Martin Behaim's potato
The Behaim globe , also called Behaimscher Erdapfel or Martin Behaims Erdapfel , is the oldest surviving terrestrial globe in the world. It has a diameter of 51 cm and was made around 1492–1493 on behalf of the Nuremberg Council by various craftsmen under the guidance of the knight Martin Behaim . The globe is exhibited today in Nuremberg in the Germanic National Museum. It is one of the last cartographic works that depicts the world known at the time before the rediscovery of America by Christopher Columbus in 1492.
Order of the Nuremberg Council
In 1492 Behaim received the order from the Nuremberg Council on his own initiative to produce a globe that was supposed to depict the known world of that time. This emerges both from a statement of the council and from a dedication inscription at the south pole of the globe. Behaim's motives for creating the globe can only be guessed at. It is assumed that the seafarer and merchant tried to bring the Nuremberg merchants closer to the idea of a ship expedition to find a sea route to India via a western route or to inspire them in general for sea trade. The globe should make these ideas “tangible” through its three-dimensional shape. In addition, the places of origin of various commercial goods were recorded on the globe.
In the statement of councilor Georg Holzschuher from August 26, 1494, the following people are named as craftsmen of the Behaim globe:
- A member of the Glockengiesser family , probably Hans Glockengiesser III .
- Hans Storch , registered under the name Starch
- Ruprecht Kolberger
- Georg Glockendon
- Petrus Gagenhart
As a trained metal and bell caster, Hans Glockengiesser supplied a fired clay ball that served as a shaped piece for the globe. Ruprecht Kolberger, arithmetical master by profession, made the body of the globe, which the illuminist and illuminist Georg Glockendon painted and which was presumably inscribed by the scribe Petrus Gagenhart. According to the accounts, the painter Hans Storch is rewarded for painting two wooden panels. It is unknown whether and in what connection these tablets are with the globe, as the tablets have not been preserved. In addition, an unknown locksmith supplied two iron hoops that were used to fix the globe, while an unknown carpenter made a wooden stand for the globe.
The globe has been examined several times in the course of its history and its manufacturing technology has been reproduced in a wide variety of ways. Only a technical examination and radiography of the globe in 1977 provided reliable information. Ruprecht Kohlberger drew four layers of linen over the clay ball supplied by Hans Glockengiesser, all of which he glued. After the glue had dried and the fabric had stretched around the clay ball, it was cut open at what would later be the equator. The clay ball was removed, a layer of canvas was sewn to the inside of the ball and two wooden hoops were added to the equatorial sections of the individual halves of the ball in order to maintain the spherical shape. After assembling the halves of the globe, Kohlberger covered the sphere with a total of eight pieces of parchment (two polka dots and six segments) that were sewn together. This layer of parchment was followed by a layer of paper that was covered with glue. Georg Glockendon then painted the world on this layer according to Behaim's maps and instructions. In 1510 the wooden stand was replaced by a cast iron frame with a horizon ring, which is still preserved today.
Sources for the potato
Behaim used different sources to create the worldview, some of which he also disclosed in the inscriptions on the globe.
Ancient and medieval sources
Behaim's main source was the Geographike Hyphegesis by Claudius Ptolemy of Alexandria , which was a standard work in the field of geography and cartography at the time of Behaim. The influence of the work can mainly be seen in the dimensions of the continents on the globe. Beyond Ptolemy, Behaim names the Naturalis historia Pliny the Elder and the geography of Strabo , which were the main sources for the island world of the Indian Ocean. As contemporary sources, Behaim used the travelogues of Marco Polo and the fictional accounts of Jehan de Mandeville , which at that time were still considered genuine. Above all, they were the godfathers of countries that were still unknown to the ancient authors. Hartmann Schedel apparently also participated in the manufacture of the globe , who entered a handwritten report on the manufacture of the globe in a book with two geographical works by Pomponius Mela and Dionysius Periegetes from his library.
Martin Behaim himself made a significant contribution to the cartography of the globe, although this contribution is also very controversial. In inscriptions along the west coast of Africa on the globe, Behaim reports of his participation in a trip of the Portuguese navigator Diogo Cão in the years 1484 and 1485. In Schedel's world chronicle by Hartmann Schedel from 1493, however, there is talk of a trip in The year 1483. However, this information cannot be correct, since it is clear from Behaim's received letters that the trained cloth merchant attended a fair in Bergen op Zoom in 1483 and that in 1484 he sent a letter from Antwerp . Behaim's participation in the first of Cãos' two trips to Africa is ruled out, as this lasted from 1482 to 1483/1484. So only the second trip would come into question. From Schedel's world chronicle it emerges that Behaim is said to have been commander in addition to Cão on that voyage. However, the name Behaim is not recorded on any of the stone marker pillars that Cão had set up at prominent points on the coast, although other travel companions are named. This seems very unusual for the high rank that Behaim is said to have held on the voyage and suggests that Behaim did not take part in any of Diogo Cão's voyages, but instead sailed on another voyage by Portuguese sailors, the Cãos route along the west coast followed. The experiences on this trip could well have flowed into the cartographic picture of the globe, be it through personal reports or through acquired nautical maps. However, precise statements about Behaim's travels cannot be made.
The geographic accuracy of the globe varies from continent to continent and depends heavily on the sources used. Since Ptolemy was invoked for the circumference of the earth, the wrong calculation of the circumference of the earth from Poseidonius and not the correct one from Eratosthenes was automatically adopted . This leads to the fact that, for. B. the Mediterranean is too long in relation to the globe, the continents of Europe and Asia are too big. The Atlantic Ocean is too small for that. Subsequent insertion of the newly discovered America was not possible from the outset.
Europe, including the Mediterranean, is most accurately represented on the continents themselves. Africa is shown in great detail, especially on the north and west coast, which indicates either that Behaim was traveling on board a Portuguese ship or that Behaim acquired a Portuguese nautical chart. The east coast, on the other hand, is only shown very imprecisely. The further east you go, the more distorted the picture becomes. The Indian subcontinent is hardly recognizable as such, and the Pacific is adorned with a multitude of fabulous islands.
Digitization of the globe
The globe has been digitized twice so far. The first time took place on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the completion of the globe in 1992 by the Institute for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing at the Technical University of Vienna . In 2011 a new digitization of the globe was started by the Germanisches Nationalmuseum.
- Peter J. Bräunlein: Martin Behaim. Legend and reality of a famous Nuremberg man . Bamberg 1992.
- Bernd Hering: The manufacturing technology of the Behaim globe: New results . In: Focus Behaim Globus , Part 1: Essays. Nuremberg 1992, pp. 289-300.
- Renate Hilsenbeck: Medieval world studies and Behaim globe . In: Focus Behaim Globus , Part 1: Essays, Nuremberg 1992, pp. 223-238.
- Reinhard Jakob: Who was Martin Behaim? On the trail of his life . In: Norica. Reports and topics from the Nuremberg City Archives , Edition 3/2007, Nuremberg 2007, pp. 32–47.
- Ulrich Knefelkamp: The Behaim globe and the cartography of its time . In: Focus Behaim Globus , Part 1: Essays, Nuremberg 1992, pp. 217–222.
- Ursula Timann: The craftsmen of the Behaim globe . In: Norica. Reports and topics from the Nuremberg City Archives , Edition 3/2007, Nuremberg 2007, pp. 32–47.
- Johannes Willers : The history of the Behaim globe . In: Johannes Willers (Ed.): Focus Behaim Globus , exhibition catalog Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nürnberg, Part 1: Essays, Nürnberg 1992, pp. 209–216.
- Daniel Hess and Dagmar Hirschfelder (eds.): Renaissance. Baroque. Enlightenment. Art and culture from the 16th to the 18th century . Nuremberg 2010, pp. 33–38.
- Martin Behaim biography and detailed treatment of the earth apple ( memento from March 11, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
- Ulrich Knefelkamp: Globe of Martin Behaim. In: Historical Lexicon of Bavaria . April 5, 2012, accessed July 4, 2013 .
- Lionel Dorffner: The digital Behaim globe - visualization and measurement of the historically valuable original
- English article on the interim status of the digitization of the Behaim globe by the Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nürnberg (PDF; 5.7 MB)
- Collection of images and texts from the Behaim globe
- The globe texture in high resolution at MARBLE
- App to download the globe texture for mobile devices
- Germanisches Nationalmuseum: Behaim globe
- Ursula Timann: The craftsmen of the Behaim globe . In: Norica. Reports and topics from the Nuremberg City Archives , Edition 3/2007, Nuremberg 2007, pp. 59–64.
- Johannes Willers: The history of the Behaim globe . In: Focus Behaim Globus , Part 1: Essays. Nuremberg 1992, p. 209.
- Reinhard Jakob: Who was Martin Behaim? On the trail of his life . In: Norica. Reports and topics from the Nuremberg City Archives , edition 3/2007, Nuremberg 2007, p. 42.
- Renate Hilsenbeck: Medieval world studies and Behaim globe . In: Focus Behaim Globus , Part 1: Essays. Nuremberg 1992, p. 236.
- Germanisches Nationalmuseum : Online object catalog terrestrial globe, so-called Behaim globe
- Bernd Hering: The manufacturing technique of the Behaim globe: New results . In: Focus Behaim Globus , Part 1: Essays, Nuremberg 1992, pp. 289f.
- Bernd Hering: The manufacturing technique of the Behaim globe: New results . In: Focus Behaim Globus , Part 1: Essays. Nuremberg 1992, p. 296 f.
- Renate Hilsenbeck: Medieval world studies and Behaim globe . In: Focus Behaim Globus , Part 1: Essays. Nuremberg 1992, p. 225.
- Pomponius Mela: Cosmographia de situ orbis. Venice, 1478. ( http://vorlage_digitalisat.test/1%3Dhttp%3A%2F%2Fdaten.digitale-sammlungen.de%2F0005%2Fbsb00052474%2Fimages%2Findex.html%3Ffip%3D22.214.171.124%26id%3D00052474%26seite .%3D118~ GB% 3D ~ IA% 3D ~ MDZ% 3D% 0A ~ SZ% 3D ~ double-sided% 3D ~ LT% 3D ~ PUR% 3D )
- Peter J. Bräunlein: Martin Behaim. Legend and reality of a famous Nuremberg man . Bamberg 1992, p. 56 f.
- Peter J. Bräunlein: Martin Behaim. Legend and reality of a famous Nuremberg man . Bamberg 1992, p. 54 f.
- Peter J. Bräunlein: Martin Behaim. Legend and reality of a famous Nuremberg man . Bamberg 1992, pp. 56-60.
- Renate Hilsenbeck: Medieval world studies and Behaim globe . In: Focus Behaim Globus , Part 1: Essays. Nuremberg 1992, pp. 226-236.
- Lionel Dorffner: The digital Behaim globe - visualization and measurement of the historically valuable original . In: Cartographica Helvetica 14/1996.
- Digitization by the Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nürnberg