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The Jagiellonian Globe: A Key to the Puzzle of 'Jave la Grande'

Globe, The
Issue 62 (2009)

Abstract: According to Jean Alfonse in his work of 1544, 'La Cosmographie', Java Major was part of the continent of Terra Australis, which extended as far as the Antarctic Pole and the Strait of Magellan. This concept was exhibited in the mid-sixteenth century mappemondes of the school of cosmographers centred at Dieppe, Normandy, which in later times gave rise to the idea that Australia may have been discovered by Europeans or Chinese long before Willem Janszoon began to chart its northern coast in 1606 or before James Cook charted its east coast in 1770. A clue to resolving this puzzle is offered by the globe dating from around 1510 held by the Muzeum Uniwersytetu Jagiellonskiego Collegium Maius, Krakow, Poland. This globe depicts a continent in the Indian Ocean to the east of Africa and south of India, but labelled "AMERICA-NOVITER-REPERTA". The Jagiellonian globe illustrates how geographers struggled to reconcile the discoveries of new lands with the Ptolemaic cosmography inherited from antiquity, and is a key to understanding how the Dieppe view of Java Major, 'Jave la Grande', grew out of the cosmographical concepts of the early sixteenth century.

To cite this article: King, Robert J. The Jagiellonian Globe: A Key to the Puzzle of 'Jave la Grande' [online]. Globe, The, No. 62, 2009: 1-50. Availability: <;dn=991081461781028;res=IELHSS> ISSN: 0311-3930. [cited 21 Jul 17].

Personal Author: King, Robert J; Source: Globe, The, No. 62, 2009: 1-50 DOI: Document Type: Journal Article ISSN: 0311-3930 Subject: Discoveries in geography; Historical geography; History; Cartography; Early maps; Maps; Peer Reviewed: Yes Affiliation: (1) Researcher, National Library of Australia, Canberra ACT 2600, Australia, email:

Database: Humanities & Social Sciences Collection