Tordesillas Line, the Medici Pope, and our Rhinoceros 

This map of 1573 by Domingos Teixeira shows a meridian line on the left running from top to bottom through the tip of Brazil, that was created by the Treaty of Tordesillas, signed by Portugal and Spain in 1494 in the wake of Columbus returning from the New World. The line divided all newly discovered lands between the two Empires - All lands to the West were declared as belonging to Spain, all to the East to Portugal, regardless of who ’discovered’ or ‘lived on’ or ‘claimed’ them first.  

As Portugal gained its foothold in the spice and color rich lands of the East, which would vastly enrich its empirical wealth, Spain, backed by the church in Rome, insisted that the Tordesillas line ran clear around the globe and that, in fact, all Portuguese lands in India belonged to the Spanish Crown.

Favor shifted toward Portugal, when in 1514, the year before the Rhinoceros arrived, the Medici Pope Leo X, granted a proclamation that limited the Tordesillas line to the Atlantic Ocean, effectively saving Portuguese interests in Asia.