The Story of Geographical Discovery: How the World Became Known

Produced by Robert J. Hall.

Fig. 1
Arms granted to SEBASTIAN DEL CANO, Captain of the Victoria, the first vessel that circumnavigated the Globe
[For a description, see pp. 129-30]

The Story of Geographical Discovery

How the World Became Known

By Joseph Jacobs

With Twenty-four Maps, &c.

PREFACE

In attempting to get what is little less than a history of the world, from a special point of view, into a couple of hundred duodecimo pages, I have had to make three bites at my very big cherry. In the Appendix I have given in chronological order, and for the first time on such a scale in English, the chief voyages and explorations by which our knowledge of the world has been increased, and the chief works in which that knowledge has been recorded. In the body of the work I have then attempted to connect together these facts in their more general aspects. In particular I have grouped the great voyages of 1492-1521 round the search for the Spice Islands as a central motive. It is possible that in tracing the Portuguese and Spanish discoveries to the need of titillating the parched palates of the mediævals, who lived on salt meat during winter and salt fish during Lent, I may have unduly simplified the problem. But there can be no doubt of the paramount importance attached to the spices of the East in the earlier stages. The search for the El Dorado came afterwards, and is still urging men north to the Yukon, south to the Cape, and in a south-easterly direction to “Westralia.”

Besides the general treatment in the text and the special details in the Appendix, I have also attempted to tell the story once more in a series of maps showing the gradual increase of men’s knowledge of the globe. It would have been impossible to have included all these in a book of this size and price but for the complaisance of several publishing firms, who have given permission for the reproduction on a reduced scale of maps that have already been prepared for special purposes. I have specially to thank Messrs. Macmillan for the two dealing with the Portuguese discoveries, and derived from Mr. Payne’s excellent little work on European Colonies; Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin, & Co., of Boston, for several illustrating the discovery of America, from Mr. J. Fiske’s “School History of the United States;” and Messrs. Phillips for the arms of Del Cano, so clearly displaying the “spicy” motive of the first circumnavigation of the globe.

I have besides to thank the officials of the Royal Geographical Society, especially Mr. Scott Keltie and Dr. H. R. Mill, for the readiness with which they have placed the magnificent resources of the library and map-room of that national institution at my disposal, and the kindness with which they have answered my queries and indicated new sources of information.

J. J.

CONTENTS


















CHAP. 
 PREFACE
 LIST OF MAPS AND ILLUSTRATIONS
 INTRODUCTION
I.THE WORLD AS KNOWN TO THE ANCIENTS
II.THE SPREAD OF CONQUEST IN THE ANCIENT WORLD
III.GEOGRAPHY IN THE DARK AGES
IV.MEDIÆVAL TRAVELS—MARCO POLO, IBN BATUTA
V.ROADS AND COMMERCE
VI.TO THE INDIES EASTWARD—PORTUGUESE ROUTE—PRINCE HENRY AND VASCO DA GAMA
VII.TO THE INDIES WESTWARD—SPANISH ROUTE—COLUMBUS AND MAGELLAN
VIII.TO THE INDIES NORTHWARD—ENGLISH, FRENCH, DUTCH, AND RUSSIAN ROUTES
IX.PARTITION OF AMERICA
X.AUSTRALIA AND THE SOUTH SEAS—TASMAN AND COOK
XI.EXPLORATION AND PARTITION OF AFRICA—PARK, LIVINGSTON, AND STANLEY
XII.THE POLES—FRANKLIN, ROSS, NORDENSKIOLD, AND NANSEN
 ANNALS OF DISCOVERY

LIST OF MAPS AND ILLUSTRATIONS

Coat-of-arms of Del Cano (from Guillemard, Magellan. By kind permission of Messrs. Phillips).—It illustrates the importance attributed to the Spice Islands as the main object of Magellan’s voyage. For the blazon, see pp. 129-30.

The Earliest Map of the World (from the Rev. C. J. Ball’s Bible Illustrations, 1898).—This is probably of the eighth century B.C., and indicates the Babylonian view of the world surrounded by the ocean, which is indicated by the parallel circles, and traversed by the Euphrates, which is seen meandering through the middle, with Babylon, the great city, crossing it at the top. Beyond the ocean are seven successive projections of land, possibly indicating the Babylonian knowledge of surrounding countries beyond the Euxine and the Red Sea.

The World according to Ptolemy.—It will be observed that the Greek geographer regarded the Indian Ocean as a landlocked body of water, while he appears to have some knowledge of the so ces of the Nile. The general tendency of the map is to extend Asia very much to the east, which led to the miscalculation encouraging Columbus to discover America.

The Roman Roads of Europe (drawn specially for this work).—These give roughly the limits within which the inland geographical knowledge of the ancients reach some degrees of accuracy.

Geographical Monsters (from an early edition of Mandeville’s Travels).—Most of the mediæval maps were dotted over with similar monstrosities.

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