Age Of Exploration Essay

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Peninsular India (on which Cananor and Calicut are named) is shown; although too small, it is, however, recognizable.

There is even an indication to the east of it of the Bay of Bengal, with a great river running into it.

In 1487, a Portuguese emissary, Pêro da Covilhã, successfully followed the first route; but, on returning to Cairo, he reported that, in order to travel to India, the Portuguese “could navigate by their coasts and the seas of Guinea.” In the same year, another Portuguese navigator, Cape of Storms in such bad weather that he did not see it, but he satisfied himself that the coast was now trending northeastward; before turning back, he reached the Great Fish River, in what is now South Africa.

On the return voyage, he sighted the Cape and set up a pillar upon it to mark its discovery.

The coastlines of the Indian Ocean are largely Ptolemaic with two exceptions: first, the Indian Ocean is no longer landlocked; and second, the Malay Peninsula is shown twice—once according to Ptolemy and once again, presumably, according to Marco Polo.

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The Contarini map of 1506 shows further advances; the shape of Africa is generally accurate, and there is new knowledge of the Indian Ocean, although it is curiously treated. We apologize for any inconvenience, and thank you for your visiting.When we think of the European age of exploration, we remember names like Christopher Columbus and Marco Polo.In 1497 a Portuguese captain, Vasco da Gama, sailed in command of a fleet under instructions to reach Calicut (Kozhikode), on India’s west coast.This he did after a magnificent voyage around the Cape of Storms (which he renamed the Cape of Good Hope) and along the unknown coast of East Africa.Eastward of this is Ptolemy’s India, with the huge island of Taprobane—a muddled representation of the Indian peninsula and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).East again, as on the map of Henricus Martellus, the Malay Peninsula appears twice. Portugal, initiated the first great enterprise of the Age of Discovery—the search for a sea route east by south to Cathay. He was curious about the world; he was interested in new navigational aids and better ship design and was eager to test them; he was also a Crusader and hoped that, by sailing south and then east along the coast of Africa, Arab power in North Africa could be attacked from the rear.The promotion of profitable trade was yet another motive; he aimed to divert the Guinea trade in gold and ivory away from its routes across the Sahara to the Moors of Barbary (North Africa) and instead channel it via the sea route to Portugal.The seaway was now open, but eight years were to elapse before it was exploited.In 1492 Columbus had apparently reached the East by a much easier route.


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