Juan de la Cosa
|Born||Between 1450 and 1460|
|Died|| 28 February 1510 |
|Residence||El Puerto de Santa María|
|Other names||Juan the Biscayne|
|Occupation||Navigator and cartographer|
|Map of Juan de la Cosa|
Juan de la Cosa (c. 1450 – 28 February 1510) was a Castilian navigator and cartographer, known for designing the earliest European world map that incorporated the territories of the Americas that were discovered in the 15th century. De la Cosa played an important role in the first and second voyage of Christopher Columbus to the West Indies, since he was the owner and captain of the Santa María .
The Crown of Castile was a medieval state in the Iberian Peninsula that formed in 1230 as a result of the third and definitive union of the crowns and, some decades later, the parliaments of the kingdoms of Castile and León upon the accession of the then Castilian king, Ferdinand III, to the vacant Leonese throne. It continued to exist as a separate entity after the personal union in 1469 of the crowns of Castile and Aragon with the marriage of the Catholic Monarchs up to the promulgation of the Nueva Planta decrees by Philip V in 1715.
A navigator is the person on board a ship or aircraft responsible for its navigation. The navigator's primary responsibility is to be aware of ship or aircraft position at all times. Responsibilities include planning the journey, advising the ship's captain or aircraft commander of estimated timing to destinations while en route, and ensuring hazards are avoided. The navigator is in charge of maintaining the aircraft or ship's nautical charts, nautical publications, and navigational equipment, and he/she generally has responsibility for meteorological equipment and communications. With the advent of GPS, the effort required to accurately determine one's position has decreased by orders of magnitude, so the entire field has experienced a revolutionary transition since the 1990s with traditional navigation tasks being used less frequently.
The map or chart of Juan de la Cosa is a mappa mundi painted on parchment, 93 cm high and 183 cm wide. Since the nineteenth century it has formed part of the collections of the Naval Museum of Madrid (Spain). A line of text on the map says it was made by the Cantabrian cartographer and sailor Juan de la Cosa in 1500 in the Andalusian port city of El Puerto de Santa María. Its rich decoration hints that it was ordered by some powerful member of the court of the Catholic Monarchs, who ruled the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon at that time.
In 1499, he served as the chief pilot in the expedition of Alonso de Ojeda to the coasts of South America. Upon his return to Andalusia, he drew his famous mappa mundi ("world map") and soon returned to the Indies, this time with Rodrigo de Bastidas. In the following years, De la Cosa alternated trips to America under its own command with special duties from the Crown, including an assignment as a spy in Lisbon and participation in the board of pilots held in Burgos in 1508. In 1509, he began what would be his last expedition, again with Ojeda, to take possession of the coasts of modern Colombia.
Alonso de Ojeda was a Spanish navigator, governor and conquistador. He travelled through Guyana, Venezuela, Trinidad, Tobago, Curaçao, Aruba and Colombia. He is famous for having named Venezuela, which he explored during his first two expeditions, for having been the first European to visit Guyana, Colombia, and Lake Maracaibo, and later for founding Santa Cruz.
Andalusia is an autonomous community in southern Spain. It is the most populous, and the second largest autonomous community in the country. The Andalusian autonomous community is officially recognised as a "historical nationality". The territory is divided into eight provinces: Almería, Cádiz, Córdoba, Granada, Huelva, Jaén, Málaga and Seville. Its capital is the city of Seville.
A mappa mundi is any medieval European map of the world. Such maps range in size and complexity from simple schematic maps 25 millimetres or less across to elaborate wall maps, the largest of which was 3.5 m in diameter. The term derives from the Medieval Latin words mappa and mundi.
De la Cosa died in an armed confrontation with indigenous people before he could get possession of Urabá.
The Gulf of Urabá is a gulf on the northern coast of Colombia. It is part of the Caribbean Sea. It is a long, wide inlet located on the coast of Colombia, close to the connection of the continent to the Isthmus of Panama.The town of Turbo, Colombia, lies at the mid eastern side naturally sheltered by the Turbo Bay part of the Gulf. The Atrato River flows into the Gulf of Urabá.
No one knows exactly where Juan de la Cosa was born, but the most accepted hypothesis is that it was in Santoña (Cantabria),because there are documents showing that he was a resident there and his wife and daughter lived in that city. Some 16th-century chroniclers called him "the Biscayne", leading to confusion with another sailor called "Juan Vizcaino". However, today they are known to be different people.
His date of birth is also unknown, but it is estimated between 1450 and 1460, nor is any information available from his childhood or adolescence. It is assumed that the young man took part in sailing voyages around the Bay of Biscay and then towards the Canary Islands and West Africa.
The Bay of Biscay is a gulf of the northeast Atlantic Ocean located south of the Celtic Sea. It lies along the western coast of France from Point Penmarc'h to the Spanish border, and the northern coast of Spain west to Cape Ortegal.
The Canary Islands are a Spanish archipelago and the southernmost autonomous community of Spain located in the Atlantic Ocean, 100 kilometres west of Morocco at the closest point. The Canary Islands, which are also known informally as the Canaries, are among the outermost regions (OMR) of the European Union proper. It is also one of eight regions with special consideration of historical nationality as recognized by the Spanish Government. The Canary Islands belong to the African Plate like the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla, the two on the African mainland.
The first solid references come from 1488, when Juan de la Cosa was in Portugal. At that time, navigator Bartolomeu Dias had just arrived in Lisbon, after having reached the Cape of Good Hope. The Catholic Monarchs may have sent de la Cosa to that city as a spy to obtain information and details of the discovery. He managed to return to Castile before Portuguese officers captured him.
Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic, is a country located mostly on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost sovereign state of mainland Europe, being bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain. Its territory also includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments.
Bartolomeu Dias, a nobleman of the Portuguese royal household, was a Portuguese explorer. He sailed around the southernmost tip of Africa in 1488, the first European to do so, setting up the route from Europe to Asia later on. Dias is the first European during the Age of Discovery to anchor at what is present-day South Africa.
Lisbon is the capital and the largest city of Portugal, with an estimated population of 505,526 within its administrative limits in an area of 100.05 km2. Lisbon's urban area extends beyond the city's administrative limits with a population of around 2.8 million people, being the 11th-most populous urban area in the European Union. About 3 million people live in the Lisbon metropolitan area, which represents approximately 27% of the country's population. It is mainland Europe's westernmost capital city and the only one along the Atlantic coast. Lisbon lies in the western Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and the River Tagus. The westernmost portions of its metro area form the westernmost point of Continental Europe, which is known as Cabo da Roca, located in the Sintra Mountains.
Early in the 1490s, Juan de la Cosa was living in El Puerto de Santa María and owned a ship called Marigalante or Galician. It is believed that it was there that he established a business relationship with the Pinzón brothers.
According to some historians he was born in 1460 at Sta. Maria del Puerto (Santoña), in Cantabria, Spain. From early childhood he spent time on the water. From the waters of his native country, which he knew thoroughly, he soon ventured on to the coast of Western Africa, which was at that time the goal of many Spanish expeditions. The first reliable references place him in Portugal in 1488, meeting the explorer Bartolomeu Dias who had just sailed around the Cape of Good Hope.
Juan de la Cosa sailed with Christopher Columbus on his first three voyages to the New World. He owned and was master of the Santa María , flagship of Columbus's first voyage in 1492. The vessel shipwrecked that year on the night of 24–25 December off the present-day site of Cap-Haïtien, Haiti. De la Cosa, in a notable act of cowardice (or treason, in Columbus's documented opinion), fled the sinking Santa Maria (his partial ownership of the vessel notwithstanding) in the flagship's boat, rather than endeavor to assist Columbus in kedging the stricken vessel from off the coral reef on which it had run aground. He and a handful of loyals made for La Nina, waiting a few hundred yards astern of the flagship, but they were turned back by La Nina's captain Vicente Yanez.
On Columbus's second voyage, in 1493, de la Cosa was mariner and cartographer on the ship Colina. On Columbus' third voyage, in 1498, de la Cosa was on the ship La Niña. Some historians believe de la Cosa did not participate in this voyage.
In 1494 de la Cosa received compensation from the Spanish monarchs for the sinking of his ship on his first voyage. He was awarded the right to transport docientos cahíces de trigo ("two hundred cahices of flour")from Andalucia to Biscay, and exempted from certain duties.
On his fourth voyage, in 1499, de la Cosa was the first pilot for the expedition of Alonso de Ojeda and Amerigo Vespucci, and with them was among the first to set foot on the South American mainland on the Gulf of Paria. At the same time they explored the coast from Essequibo River to Cape Vela.
In spite of not receiving much remuneration, De la Cosa had benefited considerably, having mapped in detail the coast of the region he explored, information he would use to create his famous map.
On the fifth voyage, in 1500, de la Cosa, Rodrigo de Bastidas, and Vasco Núñez de Balboa explored the lands of present-day Colombia and Panama. He explored further along the South American coast to the isthmus of Panama, and returned to Haiti in 1502. When the Spanish court found soon afterwards that the Portuguese had made several incursions into the newly discovered country, Queen Isabella sent Juan de la Cosa at the head of a delegation to Portugal to protest this incursion. De la Cosa was arrested and incarcerated, liberated only with the help of Queen Isabella.
De la Cosa was nominated an alguazil , and in 1504–05(?) (or 1506) was commander of an expedition to the Pearl Islands and the Gulf of Urabá to found settlements there. At the same time he visited Jamaica and Haiti.
In 1509 Juan de la Cosa set out for the seventh and last time for the New World. He carried two hundred colonists on three ships, and on reaching Haiti placed himself under the command of Alonso de Ojeda, who added another ship with one hundred settlers to the expedition. After having settled an old border dispute between Alonso de Ojeda and Diego de Nicuesa, they went with Francisco Pizarro into de Ojeda's territory and landed at the future site of Cartagena. This was against the warnings of de la Cosa, who proposed they disembark on the more peaceful coast of the Gulf of Urabá. When the Spanish came ashore, they got in a fight with the natives on the Bay of Calamar, and drove them off. Emboldened by the Spanish victory, de Ojeda decided to go further into the forest, to the native village at the future site of Turbaco. When they arrived at the town, they were attacked by the natives, and de la Cosa was shot with poison arrows and killed. De Ojeda escaped, and fled to the coast. Another Spanish expedition passed by, and de Ojeda told them of the murderous natives. The men of the other expedition joined de Ojeda for a punitive attack on that village, killing all of its inhabitants to avenge de la Cosa's death. De la Cosa's widow received 45,000 maravedís and all the natives he had in his possession as indemnity for services rendered.
Juan de la Cosa made several maps of which the only survivor is his famous world map from 1500. It is the oldest known European map that shows the New World. Of special interest is the outline of Cuba, which Christopher Columbus never believed to be an island. Walkenaer and Alexander von Humboldt were the first to point out the great importance of this chart. It is now in the Museo Naval in Madrid. Reproductions of it were first given by Humboldt in his Atlas géographique et physique.
Amerigo Vespucci was an Italian explorer, financier, navigator, and cartographer from the Republic of Florence. Sailing for Portugal around 1501–1502, Vespucci demonstrated that Brazil and the West Indies were not Asia's eastern outskirts but a separate, unexplored land mass colloquially known as the New World. In 1507, the new continent was named America after the Latin version of Vespucci's first name. Vespucci became a citizen of the Crown of Castile and died in Seville (1512).
Sanlúcar de Barrameda, or simply Sanlúcar, is a city in the northwest of Cádiz province, part of the autonomous community of Andalucía in southern Spain. Sanlúcar is located on the left bank at the mouth of the Guadalquivir River opposite the Doñana National Park, 52 km from the provincial capital Cádiz and 119 km from Sevilla capital of the autonomous region Andalucía. Its population is 65,805 inhabitants.
Vicente Yáñez Pinzón was a Spanish navigator, explorer, and conquistador, the younger of the Pinzón brothers. Along with his older brother, Martín Alonso Pinzón, who captained the Pinta, he sailed with Christopher Columbus on the first voyage to the New World, in 1492, as captain of the Niña.
Martín Alonso Pinzón, was a Spanish mariner, shipbuilder, navigator and explorer, oldest of the Pinzón brothers. He sailed with Christopher Columbus on his first voyage to the New World in 1492, as captain of the Pinta. His youngest brother Vicente Yáñez Pinzón was captain of the Niña, and the middle brother Francisco Martín Pinzón was maestre of the Pinta.
La Santa María, English "The Saint Mary," alternatively La Gallega, was the largest of the three ships used by Christopher Columbus in his first voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in 1492, the others being the Niña and the Pinta. Her master and owner was Juan de la Cosa, a man of Basque ethnicity from Santoña, Cantabria, operating in south Spanish waters. Requisitioned by order of Queen Isabella and by contract with Christopher Columbus, whom de la Cosa knew previously, the Santa Maria became Columbus' flagship on the voyage as long as it was afloat. Having gone aground on Christmas Day, 1492, on the shores of Haiti, through inexperience of the helmsman, it was partially dismantled to obtain timbers for Fort Navidad, "Christmas Fort," placed in a native Taíno village. The fort was the first Spanish settlement in the New World, which Columbus had claimed for Spain. He thus regarded the wreck as providential. The hull remained where it was, the subject of much modern wreck-hunting without successful conclusion.
Alejandro Malaspina was a Tuscan explorer who spent most of his life as a Spanish naval officer. Under a Spanish royal commission, he undertook a voyage around the world from 1786 to 1788, then, from 1789 to 1794, a scientific expedition throughout the Pacific Ocean, exploring and mapping much of the west coast of the Americas from Cape Horn to the Gulf of Alaska, crossing to Guam and the Philippines, and stopping in New Zealand, Australia, and Tonga.
Rodrigo de Bastidas was a Spanish conquistador and explorer who mapped the northern coast of South America, discovered Panama, and founded the city of Santa Marta.
Vasco Núñez de Balboa was a Spanish explorer, governor, and conquistador. He is best known for having crossed the Isthmus of Panama to the Pacific Ocean in 1513, becoming the first European to lead an expedition to have seen or reached the Pacific from the New World.
The Pinzón brothers were Spanish sailors, pirates, explorers and fishermen, natives of Palos de la Frontera, Huelva, Spain. Martín Alonso, Francisco Martín and Vicente Yañez, participated in Christopher Columbus's first expedition to the New World and in other voyages of discovery and exploration in the late 15th and early 16th centuries.
Pedro de Heredia was a Spanish conquistador, founder of the city of Cartagena de Indias and explorer of the northern coast and the interior of present-day Colombia.
In 1492, a Spanish-based transatlantic maritime expedition led by Italian explorer Christopher Columbus encountered the Americas, continents which were completely unknown in Europe, Asia and Africa and were outside the Old World political and economic system. The four voyages of Columbus began the Spanish colonization of the Americas.
Spanish claims to the West Coast of North America date to the papal bull of 1493, and the Treaty of Tordesillas. In 1513, this claim was reinforced by Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa, the first European to sight the Pacific Ocean, when he claimed all lands adjoining this ocean for the Spanish Crown. Spain only started to colonize the claimed territory north of present-day Mexico in the 18th century, when it settled the northern coast of Las Californias (California).
Francisco de Eliza y Reventa was a Spanish naval officer, navigator, and explorer. He is remembered mainly for his work in the Pacific Northwest. He was the commandant of the Spanish post in Nootka Sound on Vancouver Island, and led or dispatched several exploration voyages in the region, including the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Strait of Georgia.
The History of Valledupar refers to the historical events related to the Colombian city of Valledupar. The region of what is now Valledupar was prior to the Spanish conquest of the Americas inhabited by numerous indigenous tribes pertaining to three major language families; the Arawaks, Kalina (Caribs) and Chibchas.
The Government of Santa Marta was a capitulation given by the King of Spain between 1526 and 1618 to his loyals to manage newly discovered and conquered territories in the Americas. The Government of Santa Marta became part of the New Kingdom of Granada in 1528 as a subdivision. In 1549 the Government of Santa Marta was subject to the Royal Audience of Santa Fe de Bogotá.
The Lugares colombinos is a tourist route in the Spanish province Huelva, which includes several places that have special relevance to the preparation and realization of the first voyage of Cristopher Columbus. That voyage is widely considered to constitute the discovery of the Americas by Europeans. It was declared a conjunto histórico artístico by a Spanish law of 1967.
The Niño Brothers were a family of sailors from the town of Moguer, who participated actively in Christopher Columbus's first voyage—generally considered to constitute the discovery of the Americas by Europeans—and other subsequent voyages to the New World.
The Spanish conquest of the Muisca took place from 1537 to 1540. The Muisca were the inhabitants of the central Andean highlands of Colombia before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors. They were organised in a loose confederation of different rulers; the zipa of Bacatá, with his headquarters in Funza, the zaque of Boyacá, with his headquarters in Hunza, the iraca of the sacred City of the Sun Sugamuxi, the Tundama of Tundama, and several independent caciques. The leaders of the Confederation at the time of conquest were zipa Tisquesusa, zaque Quemuenchatocha, iraca Sugamuxi and Tundama in the northernmost portion of their territories. The Muisca were organised in small communities of circular enclosures, with a central square where the bohío of the cacique was located. They were called "Salt People" because of their extraction of salt in various locations throughout their territories, mainly in Zipaquirá, Nemocón and Tausa. For the main part self-sufficient in their well-organised economy, the Muisca traded with the European conquistadors valuable products as gold, tumbaga and emeralds with their neighbouring indigenous groups. In the Tenza Valley, to the east of the Altiplano Cundiboyacense where the majority of the Muisca lived, they extracted emeralds in Chivor and Somondoco. The economy of the Muisca was rooted in their agriculture with main products maize, yuca, potatoes and various other cultivations elaborated on elevated fields. Agriculture had started around 3000 BCE on the Altiplano, following the preceramic Herrera Period and a long epoch of hunter-gatherers since the late Pleistocene. The earliest archaeological evidence of inhabitation in Colombia, and one of the oldest in South America, has been found in El Abra, dating to around 12,500 years BP.
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