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伟大的地图史话:美洲之名的由来

更新时间:2018-7-26 21:05:02 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The epic story of the map that gave America its name
伟大的地图史话:美洲之名的由来

St-Dié-des-Vosges is a small, leafy town in the Meurthe valley in north-east France. It lies 68km south-west of Strasbourg in France, 93km north-west of Basel in Switzerland and 74km north-west of Freiburg in Germany. Today, due to modern maps and precise methods of measuring longitude and latitude, we can pinpoint exactly where it is on the planet. However, a few hundred years ago, when much of the world was mysterious and unknown, a group of European humanists came together here to produce an extraordinary map of the world – one that differed radically from what came before, and whose effects are still with us today. This town is responsible for giving the entire continent of America its name.

孚日圣迪耶(St-Dié-des-Vosges)是法国东北部默尔特河谷(Meurthe valley)中一个绿树成荫的小镇,位于法国斯特拉斯堡(Strasbourg)西南68公里处,瑞士巴塞尔(Basel)西北93公里处,德国弗里堡(Freiburg)西北74公里处。如今,依靠现代地图和测量经纬度的精确方法,我们可以准确指出它在地球上的位置。然而在几百年前,当世界上大部分地区还是神秘而未知的时候,一群欧洲人文主义者聚在这里制作了一幅非同寻常的世界地图——这幅地图和之前的有着天壤之别,而它所产生的影响一直延续到今天。美洲大陆的命名与这座小镇密切相关。

The map, printed in 1507, measured about 1.4m by 2.4m, a size that matched its grand ambition to portray the world in its entirety. And indeed, it did depict more of the world than ever before. For centuries, Europeans had believed that the world was made up of three landmasses: Asia, Africa and Europe, with Jerusalem at its centre. That’s why Italian explorer and coloniser for Spain, Christopher Columbus, had gone to his deathbed just a year earlier believing that where he had landed in the Americas was just another part of Asia. However, this new map depicted a fourth part of the world for the first time. To the left of Europe, it showed a long, thin version of South America, with a small-sized North America above it. The new continent was surrounded by water, and, on the part that is known today as Brazil, the map-makers placed a name: America.

这幅地图印刷于1507年,长2.4米,宽1.4米,这一尺寸足以支撑起描绘整个世界的雄心壮志。诚然,这幅地图描绘的世界的确要比以往更多。几百年来,欧洲人一直认为世界是由三块大陆组成的:亚洲、非洲和欧洲,耶路撒冷是世界中心。正因如此,获得西班牙资助的意大利探险家和殖民者哥伦布,在去世前一年还相信他在美洲的登陆之处只是亚洲的另一部分。而此幅地图首次描绘了地球上的第四部分。这块大陆位于欧洲的左面,地图所描绘的南美洲呈细长状,南美洲上方有一个小型的北美洲。这块新大陆四面环水。地图上现今巴西所在的位置,地图绘制者标上了一个名字:美洲(America)。

This milestone in cartography is known as the Waldseemüller map, after the German humanist who drew it. But Martin Waldseemüller was just one of a group of scholars who Walter Lud, the canon of the church of St-Dié-des-Vosges, brought together in this town. Lud was particularly interested in cosmography – the study of the Earth and its place in the universe – and wanted to create a picture of the world that combined ancient knowledge with the new reports coming in from the voyages that were taking place at the time. To this end, he secured funding from René II, Duke of Lorraine, to set up a printing press called Gymnasium Vosagense and assembled a team that included Waldseemüller and another German humanist, Matthias Ringmann. According to Toby Lester, author of The Fourth Part of the World: The Race to the Ends of the Earth, and the Epic Story of the Map that Gave America its Name, Ringmann took the lead in writing the book that was printed along with the map and almost certainly coined the name America.

地图绘制史上的里程碑当属瓦尔德泽米勒地图(Waldseemüller map),它出自德国人文主义者之手。不过瓦尔德泽米勒(Martin Waldseemüller)只是一群学者当中的一员,这群学者在孚日圣迪耶教堂咏礼司铎(天主教会圣职)路德(Walter Lud)的召集下来到这座小镇。路德对宇宙学(研究地球以及它在宇宙中位置的科学)尤其感兴趣,想创作一幅世界图景,将古代知识和当下正在进行的航海探险的新发现相结合。为此他从洛林公爵(Duke of Lorraine)勒內二世(René II)那里获得资助,开办了一家名为吉姆纳士沃萨根(Gymnasium Vosagense)的印刷社,并组建了一个团队,团队成员包括瓦尔德泽米勒和另一位德国人文主义者林曼(Matthias Ringmann)。《世界上的第四部分:通往地球尽头的竞逐,伟大的地图史话,美洲之名的由来》(The Fourth Part of the World: The Race to the Ends of the Earth, and the Epic Story of the Map that Gave America)的作者莱斯特(Toby Lester)说,林曼带头编写了一本书,这本书和地图一起印刷,几乎可以肯定的是,美洲得名正是因为这本书。

That these two Germans came together to undertake such as project in St-Dié-des-Vosges was not simply a question of money. The location of the town was also significant. As Toby Lester told me, “You had explorers setting off from the Atlantic coast in Spain and Portugal, who were bringing all their information back there, and the Italians who were funding and going on these expeditions, churning through a lot of the information, and the Germans in the middle, doing strong, leading work with printing.” St-Die, near Strasbourg, Basel and Freiburg, was, like other locations that set up printing presses, at a convergence where information could move back and forth easily.

这两个德国人一起在孚日圣迪耶做这个项目并不是为了钱。这座小镇的位置同样很重要。莱斯特告诉我,"这里有从大西洋沿岸的西班牙和葡萄牙出发的探险者,他们将所有信息带回到这里;意大利人资助这些探险,同时参与其中,整合了大量信息;德国人处于中间,在印刷方面做了强有力的领导工作。" 孚日圣迪耶位于斯特拉斯堡、巴塞尔和弗里堡附近,和其他设有印刷社的地方一样,这里是信息的汇集、往来之地。

Today, only a few clues point to the medieval history of St-Dié-des-Vosges, which was mostly rebuilt after World War II. An outline of the continent of America is paved on the ground just outside the cathedral in a matching pink sandstone that you might mistake for a decorative pattern; a stone gargoyle of an indigenous person from the continent can be spotted in its cloister; and each year the town hosts an international festival of geography where geography experts and enthusiasts get together to exchange ideas. Perhaps this is why most visitors to the town don’t know about its map-making history, or that they can see a remnant of it by simply making an appointment the bright and modern local library.

今时今日,只有少许线索可以勾勒出孚日圣迪耶的中世纪历史,这座小镇基本上是在二战(World War II)后重建的。美洲大陆的轮廓铺陈在大教堂外面的地面上,位于砂岩上,砂岩呈粉红色,与美洲大陆的轮廓相得益彰,你可能会误以为砂岩是装饰图案;回廊上石制的美洲大陆土著人的奇特形象清晰可见;每年镇上都会举办国际地理节,地理专家和爱好者们聚在一起交流思想。也许正因如此,大多数镇上的游客都不知道小镇的地图制作历史,不过他们可以通过预约参观当地敞亮而现代化的图书馆来感受小镇地图制作史的残存遗迹。

I was one of the few visitors to St-Dié-des-Vosges to make the trip down the stairs of the library, past the colourful children’s paintings decorating the walls to the Salle du Trésor, or Treasure Room. Last year, only 664 people came here, compared to the 18,000 who visited the Tourist Office. It is a small, narrow room with wooden display cases that contrasts with the rest of the library’s contemporary feel. Here, among the other old and rare books on display, such as the beautifully illustrated song book Graduel, is an original version of the book that was printed along with the Waldseemüller map in 1507: the Cosmographiae Introductio, or Introduction to Cosmography.

沿着图书馆的楼梯游览下来,穿过五颜六色的儿童绘画区,这些绘画装饰着特尔塞尔广场(Salle du Trésor,又称珍藏室)的墙壁,孚日圣迪耶的游客少有到这里的,我是其中之一。去年旅游局(Tourist Office)记录的访客则有18,000人,只有664人到访这里。这是一间狭小的房间,配有木质展示柜,和图书馆其余地方的当代风格形成鲜明对比。这里展出有其他年代久远的稀有书籍,比如说含精美插图的歌曲书《格莱杜尔》(Graduel)。在这些书籍中间,有一本原版书,和瓦尔德泽米勒地图同时印刷于1507年,书名叫作《宇宙学入门》(Cosmographiae Introductio, or Introduction to Cosmography)。

The tome, written entirely in Latin, clearly states its purpose: as an “introduction to the world that we have depicted on a globe and on a flat surface”. The ‘flat surface’ refers to the Waldseemüller map, which was printed on 12 separate sheets of paper to be pieced together on a flat surface, while the ‘globe’ refers to a smaller version of the map that was designed to be cut out and pasted onto a ball – making it history’s first ever commercially printed globe and demonstrating, contrary to popular belief, that medieval Europeans knew perfectly well that the world was spherical rather than flat. Significantly, the text also explains the reason behind the naming of the continent, which it claims was discovered by the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci. Since other continent names were feminine in Latin – Europa, Africa, Asia – the author reasoned that the name of this new land should also be feminised, into “America, after its discoverer”.

这本鸿篇巨著全部用拉丁文写成,书的目的非常清楚:它是一个"对于绘在地球仪和平面上的世界的介绍"。这里的"平面"指的就是瓦尔德泽米勒地图,它印在12张单独的纸上,然后拼在一块平面上;而"地球仪"指的则是较小版本的地图,它可以剪下来并粘贴到一个球上——这使得它成为历史上第一个用于商业印刷的地球仪。它能证明,和通常看法不同,中世纪的欧洲人非常清楚世界是球形的而不是平的。重要的一点在于,文中还解释了美洲大陆命名背后的原因。书中说这块大陆是意大利探险家韦斯普奇(Amerigo Vespucci)发现的。由于其它大陆的名字在拉丁语中都是阴性的——欧罗巴(Europa),阿非利加(Africa),亚细亚(Africa),所以作者推断这块新大陆的名字也应该是阴性的,叫作"亚美利加(美洲),以发现者的名字命名"。

These words were the cause of contention for centuries to come. From the Spanish friar Bartolomé de la Casas, who in first half of the 16th Century said that it was an “injury and injustice” to Columbus, whose voyages to the Americas predated Vespucci’s, to American writer Washington Irving, who in 1809 wrote of the “crafty wiles” by which the Florentines stole the glory of Columbus. But although Columbus’ four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean started in 1492, when he encountered the islands of the Caribbean, he only touched continental soil on his third journey in 1498. Contrarily, according to a letter dated 1504 from Vespucci to Duke Renè that was reprinted in Introduction to Cosmography and describes his four voyages from 1497 to 1504, he reached the mainland a year earlier than Columbus. Historians have called the authenticity of this letter into doubt, but Waldseemüller and Ringmann took Vespucci’s letter at face value, basing their naming of the new continent on its contents.

这些字眼在接下来的几个世纪里引发了人们的争论。西班牙修士卡萨斯(Bartolomé de la Casas)在16世纪上半叶曾经表示,这样命名对哥伦布来说是"伤害和不公",因为哥伦布到达美洲的航行要早于韦斯普奇。美国作家欧文(Washington Irving)曾于1809年撰文表示这样命名是"狡猾的欺骗",佛罗伦萨人通过这种方式窃取了属于哥伦布的荣耀。不过尽管哥伦布穿越大西洋的四次航行始于1492年,其间他曾到达加勒比海的岛屿,然而他只在1498年的第三次航行中踏上过美洲大陆的土地。韦斯普奇曾于1504年写信给勒內公爵,这封信重印在《宇宙学入门》一书中,信上写到了他于1497至1504年间展开的四次航行,而他到达美洲大陆的时间比哥伦布早一年。历史学家对这封信的真实性表示怀疑,不过瓦尔德泽米勒和林曼认为韦斯普奇的信是真实的,他们依据的是信中对于新大陆命名的内容。

The name of the new continent was not the only debate surrounding the map. Much was made of the fact that the new continent was shown to be surrounded by water. How did the map-makers in St-Dié-des-Vosges know, in 1507, that there was water on the other side of the land that Columbus and Vespucci had come across? According to records, the first European to set eyes on the Pacific Ocean was Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa, who saw it from a mountain top in Panama six years later, in 1513. Was it guesswork, or did the map-makers have access to information from alleged Portuguese voyages to the other side of the continent, kept secret because they crossed over into Spanish waters? (In 1494, the Spanish and the Portuguese decided to divide the entire world west of Europe between them in the Treaty of Tordesillas. Everything beyond what is today known as Brazil was Spanish territory, which is why Brazil is the only Portuguese-speaking country in South America.)

新大陆的名字并不是地图上的唯一争论点。很多争论都围绕着新大陆被水包围这一事实展开。孚日圣迪耶的地图制作者在1507年如何知道哥伦布和韦斯普奇踏足的这块大陆另一边也有水呢?据记载,第一位见过太平洋的欧洲人是西班牙探险家巴尔博亚(Vasco Núñez de Balboa),他是于六年之后(即1513年)在巴拿马的一座山顶上看到太平洋的。那么"大陆另一边有水"在当时是猜测出来的吗?又或者是地图制造者从葡萄牙人宣称到达大陆另一边的航行中获得了信息?而葡萄牙人将这一消息对外保密,是因为穿越了西班牙的水域?(1494年,西班牙人和葡萄牙人决定按照《托尔德西拉斯条约》(Treaty of Tordesillas)将欧洲以西的世界划归各自所有。现在的巴西之外的所有地区划归西班牙领地,正因如此,巴西成了南美洲唯一说葡萄牙语的国家。)

Another mystery concerned the very existence of the map. Although 1,000 copies of the Waldseemüller map were printed in 1507, they all soon disappeared. Unlike the book, which was preserved in libraries, the maps were displayed in educational institutions and didn't last as long. Map enthusiasts spent centuries searching for and trying to reconstruct the Waldseemüller map based on the descriptions in the Introduction to Cosmography. Eventually, one remaining map was discovered in 1901 by Father Joseph Fischer, a professor in history and geography, in Wolfegg Castle, Germany. It was this map, sometimes referred to as ‘the birth certificate of America’ that was bought by the US Library of Congress in 2003 for an astounding $10 million.

另一个谜团则聚焦于这幅地图本身保存的状况。瓦尔德泽米勒地图在1507年印刷了1000份,不过不久之后全都不见了。地图不像书本那样可以保存在图书馆里,地图陈列在教育机构,并不像书本那样可以长久保存。地图爱好者花了几百年的时间来寻找这幅地图的下落,并尝试根据《宇宙学入门》中的描述来重现瓦尔德泽米勒地图的模样。1901年,历史和地理学教授、神父费希尔(Father Joseph Fischer)在德国沃尔夫埃格城堡(Wolfegg Castle)发现仅存的一幅地图。这幅有时被称之为"美洲出生证明"的地图于2003年被美国国会图书馆(US Library of Congress)以1000万美元的天价购得。

However, the value of the Waldseemüller map is not simply its depiction and naming of America. As Lester explained, “The map is like a Wikipedia entry, combining and editing a lot of different people’s information. Yes, it is a geographical map, but it is not just about space, it is about time.”

不过瓦尔德泽米勒地图的价值不仅仅在于它对美洲的描绘以及美洲的命名。莱斯特表示,"这幅地图就像一个维基百科词条,结合并编辑了很多不同人物的信息。是的,这是一幅地理图纸,但它不仅仅描绘空间,还描绘时间。"

This idea is represented by the two images at the top of the map: one of the Greek geographer Ptolemy, who represents the old way of looking at the world and an entire ancient body of knowledge; and the other of Vespucci, who represents a new way of looking at the world, fuelled by modern learning and discovery. The juxtaposition of these two different ages can be seen in the cartography itself; for example, the way Europe is depicted is not technically accurate — not because Waldseeüller did not have a more refined idea of the geography of Europe, but because, as Lester writes, he decided “he would depict the known world exactly as Ptolemy has mapped it more than 1,000 years earlier.”

这一观点通过地图顶部的两幅人像可以体现:一幅是希腊地理学家托勒密(Ptolemy),他代表了看待世界的古老方式和一整套古老的知识体系;另一幅是韦斯普奇,他代表了看待世界的崭新方式,这种方式的形成得益于现代学习和探索发现。透过地图制作,我们可以看到同时贯穿其中的这两个不同的时代。比如说,从技术的角度来看,描绘欧洲的方式并不精确——这不是因为瓦尔德泽米勒对于欧洲地理没有更为完善的理解,而是因为正如莱斯特所写,他自己希望"把已知世界描绘成和1000多年前托勒密笔下的一模一样。"

Additionally, showing two men at the top of the map instead of God, as was common, also conveyed a powerful message: “Previously it was only God who could look down upon the world, but now we can show you everything at once. And that leads to this idea of empire, because if we can map and own the whole world, we can preside over the whole world.” Lester said.

此外,地图的顶部一反常态:绘的是两个人而不是上帝。这同样传达出一条强有力的信息:"以前只有上帝可以俯瞰世界,但是现在我们可以立刻把一切展现在你眼前。这进而传达出一种帝国思想,因为如果我们可以描绘出整个世界的地图并且拥有全世界,那么我们就可以主宰它。"莱斯特说。

Ultimately, the Waldseemüller map reminds us that all maps are political. By putting north at the top of the map, whereas the previous convention was to place east at the top, and placing Europe at the middle, makes it literally Eurocentric. The decision of the map-makers to name an entire, inhabited continent after a European man who went there, privileges the European perspective and demonstrates the European attitude and ambition of the time. It is an outlook that predicts the way in which the Europeans would continue to take possession of lands, resources and people, erasing cultures and killing millions.

最后,瓦尔德泽米勒地图提醒我们,所有地图都带有政治色彩。地图绘制者将地图顶部设为北方,而此前的常规做法是将顶部设为东方。此外,绘制者还将欧洲绘于地图正中,这种做法直截了当地以欧洲为中心。地图绘制者决定用一个欧洲过客的名字来命名一块有人居住的大陆,这一决定突出了欧洲视角,体现了当时欧洲人的态度和抱负。这一观念预示了欧洲人将继续占领土地、掠夺资源并且统治人民,消灭异族文化,杀戮普罗大众。

As Lester summarises in his book, “It’s a birth certificate for the world that came into being in 1492 – and it’s a death warrant for the one that was there before.”

正如莱斯特在书中所总结的那样,"这幅地图为1492年的新世界开了张出生证明——也对此前的世界判了死刑。"

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