America: origins of the word

KorbenDallas

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#1
I think quite a few of us were pondering on where the word "America" could come from. I knew about the Amerigo Vespucci version, but I had no idea that this narrative was set in stone. Here is what we have for the official version:
  • The name America was coined by Martin Waldseemüller from Americus Vespucius, the Latinized version of the name of Amerigo Vespucci (1454–1512), the Italian explorer who mapped South America's east coast and the Caribbean Sea in the early 16th century. Later, Vespucci's published letters were the basis of Waldseemüller's 1507 map, which is the first usage of America. The adjective American subsequently denoted the New World.
    vespucci1-portrait.jpg
    16th-century European usage of American denoted the native inhabitants of the New World. The earliest recorded use of this term in English is in Thomas Hacket's 1568 translation of André Thévet's book France Antarctique; Thévet himself had referred to the natives as Ameriques. In the following century, the term was extended to European settlers and their descendants in the Americas. The earliest recorded use of "English-American" dates to 1648, in Thomas Gage's The English-American his travail by sea and land: or, a new survey of the West India's.
The official narrative leaves no other possibilities, but why the honors? Could this guy really map South America's east coast and the Caribbean Sea in the early 16th century? Where did his cartography related education could come from? Here is what we have for his schooling and such:
  • Amerigo Vespucci was educated by his uncle, Fra Giorgio Antonio Vespucci, a Dominican friar of the monastery of San Marco in Florence. While his elder brothers were sent to the University of Pisa to pursue scholarly careers, Amerigo Vespucci embraced a mercantile life, and was hired as a clerk by the Florentine commercial house of Medici, headed by Lorenzo de' Medici. Vespucci acquired the favor and protection of Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici, who became the head of the business after the elder Lorenzo's death in 1492. In March 1492, the Medici dispatched the thirty-eight-year-old Vespucci and Donato Niccolini as confidential agents to look into the Medici branch office in Cádiz (Spain), whose managers and dealings were under suspicion.
  • In April 1495, by the intrigues of Bishop Juan Rodríguez de Fonseca, the Crown of Castile broke their monopoly deal with Christopher Columbus and began handing out licenses to other navigators for the West Indies. Just around this time (1495–96), Vespucci was engaged as the executor of Giannotto Berardi, an Italian merchant who had recently died in Seville. Vespucci organized the fulfillment of Berardi's outstanding contract with the Castilian crown to provide twelve vessels for the Indies. After these were delivered, Vespucci continued as a provision contractor for Indies expeditions, and is known to have secured beef supplies for at least one (if not two) of Columbus' voyages.
Amerigo-Vespucci-founder-of-america.jpg

KD: I find it hard to believe that just like that, HUMONGOUS honors of having two continents named after him, were awarded to some semi-merchant individual. At the times, when other discoverers were paying respect to their Kings and Queens by naming tiny islands in their honor, this Americus Vesputius gets the entire New World named after him. It makes very little sense. A King of Spain, would probably execute a few people for such audacity and impudence.

Than we have Google Books Ngram Viewer telling us that the earliest pub is dated with 1609. Most are from the 18th century. Why not earlier than that. Here is a little cutout from that 1609 book.
  • Americus Vesputius inuenit terram occidentalem à fé appellatam Americam.
  • Google Translated - Americu be found from the western land called America - a better translation, anyone?
  • A. 5501(i) m. 1(i)469 eu. - what's that supposed to mean?
vesp_1.jpg

- The season's amendment, the summary of facts from the beginning of the world until now.
What's the true meaning of this two words - Americus Vesputius? Is this even a name? My speculative guess would be that the New World was called America long before 1492. Essentially the old name remained, and this Amerigo Vespucci legend was born.

Anyways, if you have any thoughts on etymology of the word "America" - please share.
 

Paracelsus

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#2
The best I can come up with is, is working the clues of what is either known or can be surmised.

First, the Kievan Rus' holding of Alyeska. Which is more than likely the only foothold the Tartarian Empire could gain in "The New World." Second, the history of mis-translating names and terms has a rich history in America. The Cherokee aren't a tribe, Cherokee is a phonetically close-enough match for Tsalagi - the languange spoken by the "Cherokee." The Cherokee themselves were the Southernmost of the Algonquin tribes. Apparently even "hundreds" of years ago surrounding tribes didn't know what to call the Cherokee either and just referred to them as the Tsalagi.

From the Cherokee themselves we have the most interesting accounts of their origins, many give "inconclusive" evidence that they are descendants of the Phoenician Sea Kings. From there you end up with Phoenicia/Canaan/Syria and the Semitic language base. AMERICA
Aleph - Mem - Resh (Raysh) - Kaph(or Qoph/Qaph)

Interestingly enough, after consulting my 1962 Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Dictionary for the Aleph-Mem entries. The second part classified "hypothetical partial," "adjective" entry, is - construction of a future time. The very first part of the entry is the proper name Aram, and if / if not, except.

Amerigo Vespucci is a nobody. Naming two continents after him has always been an odd choice. Why not Columbia after Columbus, the alleged discoverer of "The New World."

"Construction of a future time." What are the odds?
 
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kulapono

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#3
On page 592 of Isis Unveiled, the name is ascribed possibly to the norse markland from mark, a wood. Later on the Himalayan word meruah mentioned, meaning 'great mountain.' The text later goes on to say that if Vespucci would have used his surname if he desired to name a continent.
I'd recommend the book Isis Unveiled by Blavatsky. Your thread reminded me of this passage. A huge portion of Isis Unveiled is about Egyptian pyramids and theories of construction and purpose. You might like it. I found reading it difficult but for more academic minds it's probably a walk in the park.
 
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#4
Indeed, people like us have been pondering many times on the origin of the name "America". The only thing which has become clear to me is that "Africa","Asia" and "America" have the same sounds (a in the beginning and the end and an i in the middle) and have been conceived together, before the time of Amerigo Vespucci. In the citation from the Emendatio temporum of Thomas Lydyat, "A 5501 m" means anno mundi, year of the world 5501, in the short protestant counting, and "1469 eu" means 1469 years after the death of Christ, that is 1502 Common Era.
 

BStankman

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#5
This is Blavatsky, so it is up to you to decide which part is truth and what is deception.

James Pyrse researched an article written in the Theosophical Society magazine entitled "Lucifer", which gave insight into the word "America."

He says that the chief god of the Mayan Indians in Central America was Quettzalcoatl / Kukulkan ("Plumed Serpent", "Feathered Serpent"). In Peru this god was called Amaru and the territory known as Amaruca.

Pyres states: "Amaruca is literally translated 'Land of the Plumed Serpents' - (Variation: 'Land of the Great Plumed Serpents)." He claims that the name of America was derived from Amaruca, instead of after the explorer Amerigo Vespucci.
 

Paracelsus

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#6
This is Blavatsky, so it is up to you to decide which part is truth and what is deception.

James Pyrse researched an article written in the Theosophical Society magazine entitled "Lucifer", which gave insight into the word "America."

He says that the chief god of the Mayan Indians in Central America was Quettzalcoatl / Kukulkan ("Plumed Serpent", "Feathered Serpent"). In Peru this god was called Amaru and the territory known as Amaruca.

Pyres states: "Amaruca is literally translated 'Land of the Plumed Serpents' - (Variation: 'Land of the Great Plumed Serpents)." He claims that the name of America was derived from Amaruca, instead of after the explorer Amerigo Vespucci.
All good points, especially the Blavatsky one. America has some deep dark secrets of what actually roams the woods, I'd definitely buy the Amaru/Amaruca angle. I was always fascinated by the Mohawk warriors and the Aztec Eagle and Jaguar knights as a kid. Apparently in addition to being elite warriors, the Jaguar and Eagle knights were a type of holy order that worshipped their respective animals, similar to the totem concept of northern tribes. But, with Native tribes there is often deeper legend. With the Navajo there are the Spirit Walkers/Skinwalkers who literally transform into coyotes, crows, and other animals. Maybe the Amaru tranformed into giant were-eagles or Thunderbirds and profoundly scared the living shit out of any would-be invaders.

Maybe America was once full of people who could transform into Thunderbirds and jaguars and wolves.
 

kentucky

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#7
Anyways, if you have any thoughts on etymology of the word "America" - please share.
I love the stream-of-conscious and synchronistic mind-melding that this board seems to manifest, for me at least. I say this because I'd like to bring forth here a piece of curiosity (rover?) that we've been ruminating upon in the "Outer Space - what is it?" thread regarding the narrative of Mars as a destination. I am sure that you, @Silvanus777, et al, will find this crossover entertaining, at the least.

Back in the late '90s, searching through the internets for an explanation on the origin of "America" myself, I found a tantalizing tale about the Templars that I really wanted to entertain further at the time, but could never find a second-sourcing of it. It revolves around the notion that the Templars uncovered (Zoroastrian?) texts that spoke of a "New World" towards the west to be found or re-discovered. Much lore does revolve around the Templars being the true "discoverers" of the Americas, to be sure (again, based upon conventional and institutionalized "history").

As I (poorly) recall, these texts may have been related to the Temple of Soloman excavation (and may have been of Arabic origin?), but again, I feel that the recounting of the tale itself was preserved in Templar French and based on Persian Prophecy. Regardless, the musing that I am offering will work in either the Arabic or Farsi language.

The texts allegedly stated that an angel prophesized that there would be a New World to be found by following a certain star "towards the west" that man will re-establish himself in, which will bring forth a new age of enlightenment, or something to the effect of that now-standard trope.

So, here's the punchline - it was argued that the name that was attributed to the new world, as allegedly recounted by the French Templars as the star they were to follow, was "Le Marikh".

Marikh is the Persian word for Mars - in Arabic, Almiriykh. The Templars were destined by way of Mars to establish a new age of enlightenment, according to alleged texts that stated that they found Zoroastrian texts prophesizing it.

As an aside, but submitted for further (and possibly tangential) speculation, I submit that the name Cairo also translates to Mars (the vanquisher), in which is located the Citidal of Saladin, once ruler of Egypt. In another post, I teased that I have found an anecdotal correlation between, the Merovingian Franks, Saladin, and the Templars, as they seem to share some overlapping narratives and (for the latter two) convenient frenemy status at times.

Edit: A correction/addendum.
I do now recall that the whole point of the narrative was that the Persian text spoke of the need to follow Le Marikh to the west to find the new world, as opposed to having offered it as a name of the New World, as I had previously misstated above. I have since edited the above and cleaned it up for readability.

I do see a correlation with Amerigo Vespucci, with that said, as it is alleged that "he learned to calculate how far west he had traveled by observing the conjunction of the Moon and the planet Mars."

Also, there is a Botticelli painting called Venus and Mars that has Mars to the left of a wasp's nest (the name Vespucci originates for the Latin for "wasp"). Indeed, the painting was said to overtly be paying homage to the Vespucci family through the wasp symbolism embedded in the work. It is anecdotal that it is situated next to the character of Mars, as Amerigo Vespucci could be said to be portrayed as a personification of Mars in this regard - although it is also speculated to be an homage to Amerigo's cousin (if either had ever existed in the first place), who just happens to share the namesake of another famous traveller, Marco.

Edit 2: Sourcing the narrative
I have found a blog post that shares a less-specific but corroborated outline of the narrative that I have presented above. It offers corroboration from the authors of the book "The Hiram Key", which I have indeed read at one point, but do not recall it having contained a lot of the information that I've offered above. It may be that they presented it in one of their other works.

Nevertheless, even though the account that I had previously encountered (20 years ago!) was more specific and adds specific linguistic details of the origins of "le Merica" as it's presented (and left unanswered) in the following link, I can at least offer it to show you that I didn't concoct it myself. To be sure, the link proposes that it may have come from ancient Mandaean texts, which is not Zoroastrian but semi-Zoroastrian (or an offshoot, as considered by some).

America Before Columbus
 
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#8
Maybe America was once full of people who could transform into Thunderbirds and jaguars and wolves.
I was recently wondering where we got our ideas of humans shape-shifting into animals. As with other things that we are told simply came from the minds of people with overactive imaginations, I strongly suspect an element of reality behind it. People who partake of ayahuasca report seeing half-animal, half-human hybrid creatures, some friendly and some not. Shamans often wear animal costumes, and are depicted in artwork turning into animals or birds. Where does this all come from? Did people once have the ability to assume animal forms? And now, it can be done only in visions because we've lost whatever magic powers we once had.
 

Paracelsus

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#9
I was recently wondering where we got our ideas of humans shape-shifting into animals. As with other things that we are told simply came from the minds of people with overactive imaginations, I strongly suspect an element of reality behind it. People who partake of ayahuasca report seeing half-animal, half-human hybrid creatures, some friendly and some not. Shamans often wear animal costumes, and are depicted in artwork turning into animals or birds. Where does this all come from? Did people once have the ability to assume animal forms? And now, it can be done only in visions because we've lost whatever magic powers we once had.
Skinwalkers
By most accounts I'm inclined to believe that they turn into animals with humanlike features or exaggerated proportions. I've spent plenty of time in the desert, it's a magical place, even you feel magical out there. Solitude and desolation move your mind to strage places.

Also, there are specific chants, The Blessingways Chants, & The Enemyways (Enemiesways?) Chants. Music is technology that people severely underestimate, even more than hallucinogens.
 
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#13
I'll take a crack at it... Let's split it like this portion of urbano's map does...

Into: ame and rica

Ame is a conjugation of the word love
And rica is feminine of rico, rich or abundant

Take it from there....
What I really like about this: You have Puerto Rico and Costa Rica, and I never noticed the -rica hiding in plain sight in Ame-rica before now.

What is still the head-scratcher: If there's something to this to any degree, why the obfuscation?
 

Onijunbei

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#14
What I really like about this: You have Puerto Rico and Costa Rica, and I never noticed the -rica hiding in plain sight in Ame-rica before now.

What is still the head-scratcher: If there's something to this to any degree, why the obfuscation?
Well, why not obfuscate that, they pretty much obfuscated everything else ... Lol
The only thing that I can think of is that the "new world" was supposed to be new, but it was old.. With very detailed maps... Almost like they could fly over land and use cartography at will...

españa-en-mapa-1440x808.jpg
Hey.. That boat next to the word MARE has some funny looking sails...

Urbano Monte Map - Mediterranean
 
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Paracelsus

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#16
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KorbenDallas
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#17
Just adding to the above.

Waldseemuller Map, 1507 (Geography and Map Reading Room, Library of Congress)
The Map That Named America (September 2003) - Library of Congress Information Bulletin

The map has been referred to in various circles as America's birth certificate and for good reason; it is the first document on which the name "America" appears. It is also the first map to depict a separate and full Western Hemisphere and the first map to represent the Pacific Ocean as a separate body of water. The purchase of the map concluded a nearly century-long effort to secure for the Library of Congress that very special cartographic document which revealed new European thinking about the world nearly 500 years ago.
 

Paracelsus

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#18
@KorbenDallas,

This is a good Venn diagram of the Reich/Roman Empire and Etymology of America thread. Martin Waldenseemüler, a German cartographer naming an entire continent after a Florentine who didn't accompany the expedition to the continent who bears his namesake. But, the Genoese explorer who was in the service of the Spanish Court (Holy Roman Empire) and leader of said expedition carries the distinguished honor of having a city in a flyover state named after him.

Apparently what Martin Waldenseemüler was most well known for amongst his contemporaries is this:
"In 1513, Waldseemüller appears to have had second thoughts about the name, probably due to contemporary protests about Vespucci’s role in the discovery and naming of America, or just carefully waiting for the official discovery of the whole northwestern coast of what is now called North America, as separated from East Asia. In his reworking of the Ptolemy atlas, the continent is labelled simply Terra Incognita (unknown land). Despite the revision, 1,000 copies of the world maps had since been distributed, and the original suggestion took hold. While North America was still called Indies in documents for some time, it was eventually called America as well."

This has Jesuit scholarly re-education campaign written all over it. I'd imagine back then there were some people really asking - "who the hell is Amerigo Vespucci?"
 
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