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MERCATOR, Gerardus

(Editor's note: Flemish geographer, inventor of cylindrical map projection)

Quotes

…..When I saw that Moses’ version of the Genesis of the world did not fit sufficiently in many ways with Aristotle and the rest of the philosophers, I began to have doubts about the truth of all philosophers and started to investigate the secrets of nature.

Since my youth geography has been for me the primary object of study. When I was engaged in it, having applied the considerations of the natural and geometric sciences, I liked, little by little, not only the description of the earth, but also the structure of the whole machinery of the world, whose numerous elements are not known by anyone to date.

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... spread on a plane the surface of a sphere in such a way that the positions of all places shall correspond on all sides with each other both in so far as true direction and distance are concerned and as concerns true longitudes and latitudes.
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Lectori Salve. Quam hic vides orbis imaginem lector candide eam ut posteriorem ita & emendatiorem iis quae hactenus circumferebantur esse America Sarmatiaque ac India testantur. Proposuimus atque partitionem orbis in genere tantum, quam deinceps in particularibus aliquot regionibus latius tractabimus, atque adeo in Europa id iam facimus, quam brevi non minorem illa universali Ptolemei expectato. Vale.

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Dear Reader, that the image of the world you see here is newer and more correct than those that have been circulated hitherto. We propose with regard to the different parts of the world to treat, successively, particular regions more broadly, as we are already doing with Europe, and you may soon expect a universal map, which will not be inferior to that of Ptolemy. Farewell.

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