Martin Behaim

Büste Behaims in fame-resounds, Munich
 Behaim-Denkmal am Theresienplatz in Nürnberg
Behaim monument at the Theresienplatz in Nuremberg

Martin Behaim (* 6. October 1459 in Nuremberg; † 29. July 1507 in Lisbon), also Martin Bohemus, haven. Martinho there Boémia, andlat.Martinus de Boemia, was Kartograf, astronomer and Kosmograph.

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Martin Behaim originated from an outstanding Nürnberger Patriziergeschlecht. Starting from 1477 he learned to Mechelen into Flanders the cloth trade, 1479 to Antwerp and in the following year went to Lisbon, where it admits with Christoph Kolumbus became.

King Johann II. from Portugal selected it around 1483 also into the commission for the preparation of a Astrolabiums.A reason for its admission into the highest nautical authority of Portugal was that it was to have spent itself with yards as pupils of the famous mathematician and astronomer Regiomontanus. Whether it was actual it, is unproven. In this connection became multiplealso stated, it has the Ephemeriden (star boards) and the Jakob staff of the Regiomontanus to Portugal brought and with it for the sailors the discovery travels over the open ocean makes possible.

1484 ward it as Kosmograph the admiral Diogo Cão added, which with a fleeta discovery journey of the west coast of Africa along made. After 19 months returned, he became to 18. February 1485 of king Johann II. to the knight struck. From 1486 to 1490 it established itself on the Azores - island Fayal , where a flämischeColony existed, whose governor Jobst van Huerter Behaims father-in-law became. 1491 it returned with honours and wealth over frequently up to Nuremberg, where it stayed until 1493. There it created George Albrecht Glockenthon together with the painter on the basis an existing map of the worldits famous globe (Martin Behaims earth apple), which today in the Germanic national museum to be visited is and already often one illustrated and one described, so e.g. in Doppelmayrs historical messages of nürnbergischen Mathematicis and artists (Nürnb. 1730), but even for thosetime at that time strong errors contains.

Behaim returned 1493 over Flanders and France to Portugal, was again until 1506 on Fayal and followed then again Lisbon, where it to 29. July 1507 become impoverished in a hospital deceased.Behaim was friendly with Christoph Kolumbus and Ferdinand Magellan (Fernão de Magalhães); its influence on their discoveries can have been only very small however and the statement, Behaim is because of its nautical earnings/services the actual discoverer of the new world,heard certainly into the range of the fable.


were designated in Nuremberg the Martin Behaim High School, in Darmstadt the Martin Behaim school after it.

See also:

  • Hans Behaim D. A. (* 1455/60; † 1538), of Nuremberg architect-general of the Dürerzeit


  • Murr, diplomatic history of the famous knight v. Behaim, 2. Aufl., Gotha 1801.
  • Alexander of Humboldt, critical investigations etc., Bd. 1, Berlin 1852.
  • Ghillany, history of the sailor knight Behaim, Nuremberg 1853.
  • Behaim, 1) (Bohemus)Martin, in: Meyers encyclopedia, 4. Aufl. 1888-90, Bd. 2, S. 620.
  • Fitzler, sailor knight Martin Behaims discovery travel to South Africa, into: The echo 54, 2. August booklet (1935).

Web on the left of

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