In the two centuries between Marco Polo's (1254-1324) Book of the Marvels of the World (Il Milione) and Waldseemüller's (ca. 1470-ca. 1520) Cosmografia—in other words, between 1300 and 1507—the image of the known world underwent a slow but profound change. Scholarly medieval geography had long defended two notions. The first was that the number of peoples inhabiting the oikumene (inhabited world) had been defined once and for all when Noah's sons and their descendants repopulated the Earth after the Flood; the second notion was that Roman geographers had provided the definitive description of inhabited lands. From the thirteenth century on, these certainties were gradually undermined by two major historical processes. The first was the series of literary discoveries made by humanistic culture, which brought to light forgotten or lost works such as Pomponius Mela's (1st cent. CE) Corography and Claudius Ptolemy's (ca. 100-ca. 175 CE) Geography, supplemented by accounts by pilgrims to the Holy Land. The second process was the sequence of geographic discoveries resulting from the trade journeys beyond the ancient oikumene. Portuguese navigators were the first to sail down the coast of West Africa, passing Cape Bojador and the Cape of Good Hope to reach India directly by sea. Among other things, this avoided the problem of the Ottoman blockade of the Mediterranean. The Spanish crown, instead, financed the first westward expeditions, which led to the discovery of the New World.