Published: 03rd June 2021
#ThrowbackToday: Charting the course of the oldest globe known to mankind that took shape over 500 years ago
In today's #TBT, we talk about traveller and mathematician Martin Behaim. He is best known for designing the globe that has survived centuries and currently safely housed in Nuremberg, Germany
A little less than 51 cm in diameter, made of papier-mache and coated with gypsum. Currently safely housed at Germanisches National Museum in Nuremberg, Germany. Wondering what we are talking about? The oldest surviving globe known to mankind! It was German mathematician and astronomer Martin Behaim who fashioned the globe and presented it to the world on June 3, 1492. He christened it Erdapfel, or the earth apple, and it is commonly referred to as Nuremberg Terrestrial Globe.
Born to a wealthy merchant, Martin Behaim, who was also a textile merchant and cartographer (someone who draws up maps), was very well-travelled. Encompassing all his knowledge, it took him a year to make the globe and about $75 as well. He enlisted artist Glockenthon's help who drew everything as per the specifications of Behaim onto parchment strips and pasted it on the globe. As many as 1,100 locations are depicted on the globe sans coordinates.
What's really beautiful about the globe, which is carefully placed inside a darkroom in the museum, is that it features miniature ornamental paintings along the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn that it depicts. It also features zodiac signs. There are motifs of ships, fish and wild animals which lend a charm to this oldest surviving globe known to mankind.
Female, daughter of a former deputy prime minister and from a lower caste — you can use all this to describe Meira Kumar, but what the politician and former diplomat is best known for is becoming the first female speaker of the Lok Sabha. This happened on June 3, 2009. The soft-spoken politician has also served as a five-time MP. She was nominated for the 2017 Indian presidential election which she lost to Ram Nath Kovind.