The Life Of Amerigo Vespucci Essay

782 WordsMar 13, 20094 Pages
The Life of Amerigo Vespucci Amerigo Vespucci was born March 9, 1451 to Nastagio Amarigho Vespucci and Elizabeth Giovanni Vespucci, although this date had been largely contested for many years. Amerigo was the third of their six children. The Vespucci family was one of the most respected families in Florence at that time, and was quite influential throughout Florence. Americo was educated by his uncle Guido Antonio Vespucci, who was an ambassador to Florence under King Louis XI of France. Uncle Guido was also a canon, scholar, and a collector of manuscripts, who also happened to own a library. Sometime in 1450 Guido Vespucci opened a school in the convent of San Macro for the children of the ruling class in Florence. This is where Americo would eventually be exposed to the teachings of the great philosophers Aristotle and Ptolemy. Here he also studied Latin, as well as astronomy cosmography and geography. The director of his uncle’s library was Paolo Toscanelli the most highly educated geographer in Florence. Toscanelli was known as the greatest cosmography of his time and was a collector of maps of the world. It was well known that Toscanelli had aspirations of sailing west to find a route to the East Indies. Ironically this could have been the influence that planted the seed in Amerigo for his future westward explorations. In 1483 Americo became the managing steward for Lorenzo De Medici and his family. Amerigo was a very good business man and was becoming quite rich, but the better he did his job the more responsibilities the Medici family began to rely on him for. The burdens eventually became too much and he decided to move to Spain, although he would still remain employed by the Medici family. Spain was a land of great business opportunity and was now seen as the focal point of Europe in 1491, as the Spanish Inquisition was

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