kpanago1960 ® 13-Nov-2019 07:30

The Seafarers-The Explorers


Year: 1979
Language: english
Author: Richard Humble
Genre: History
Publisher: Time-Life Books, Inc.
Edition: First
ISBN: 9780809426607
Format: PDF
Quality: Scanned pages
Pages count: 184
Description:
This book of “The Seafarers” series tells the story of the four greatest explorers of the Age of Exploration: Bartolomeu Dias, Vasco da Gama, Christopher Columbus, and Ferdinand Magellan.
Medieval Europeans were aware of the riches of Asia as a result of the writings of Venetian Marco Polo. However, the Venetians maintained a monopoly on trade with Asia via the Moslems; both the Venetians and the Moslems denied other European nations overland access to Asia. Wanting to find a water trade route around Africa to Asia (and ally himself with the legendary Christian king Prester John to defeat the Moslems), Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal commissioned a series of voyages on the west coast of Africa in the 1400s. By 1488 Bartolomeu Dias journeyed around the southern tip of Africa to the Indian Ocean and back. Spain, a rival of Portugal, sent Christopher Columbus to find a water route to Asia via the Atlantic in 1492. Portugal, not wanting to be outdone by Spain, commissioned Vasco da Gama to sail to India and back between 1497 and 1499; this voyage resulted in a Portuguese monopoly on the trade route around Africa to India and the breaking up the Moslem dominated trade network on the west coast of India. In 1519 Ferdinand Magellan-a Portuguese soldier who sailed for Spain-set out to succeed where Columbus failed and began a journey around South America to Asia. Though Magellan died in battle in the Philippines, his ship Victoria (commanded by Juan del Cano) completed the first circumnavigation around the world in 1522.
Author Richard Humble has done an excellent job of describing the voyages of these intrepid explorers and explaining how seamanship, navigational skills, determination, optimism, luck, and an iron will led these explorers to succeed in their voyages. The rivalry between Spain and Portugal is also skillfully portrayed. Numerous illustrations enhance the fast-moving narrative.

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