Volume 2, Chapter 1 -- Summary of the Discoveries of the World, from their first original, to the year 1555, by Antonio Galvano.
*Section 1* -- Epitome of the Ancient and Modern Discoveries of the World, chiefly by means of Navigation, from the Flood to the close of the Fifteenth Century
*Section 2* -- Summary of Portuguese Discoveries, from the Commencement of the Fifteenth Century, to the Discovery of America by Columbus
**Section 3* -- Summary of Discoveries made by the Spaniards and Portuguese, from the Era of Columbus, in 1492, to the year 1555



This treatise was written in the Portuguese language, by Antonio Galvano, who had been governor of Ternate, the chief of the Molucca Islands, and was first translated into English by the celebrated Richard Hakluyt, who dedicated it to Sir Robert Cecil, Principal Secretary of State to Queen Elizabeth. It was afterwards inserted in Osbornes, or the Oxford Collection of Voyages and Travels, and forms an appendix to the first volume of Clarke's Progress of Maritime Discovery; and from these sources the present edition has been carefully prepared. Of Richard Hakluyt, the original translator, the following notice is worthy of being preserved. "The great Richard Hakluyt was descended from an ancient family at Yetton in Herefordshire, and was educated at Westminster School, from whence he was elected a student of Christ Church, in the University of Oxford, where he took the degrees of Bachelor and Master of Arts. Entering into holy orders, he was first made a prebendary of Bristol, and afterwards of Westminster, and rector of Witheringset in Suffolk. Besides this translation, he illustrated the eight decades of Peter Martyr Angelericus de Novo Orbe with curious notes. He also translated from the Portuguese, Virginia, richly valued by the description of Florida, her next neighbour; and wrote notes of certain commodities in good request in the East Indies, Molucca, and China; but what has most deservedly perpetuated his name, is his great pains, and judgment, in collecting English Voyages, Navigations, Trafficks, and Discoveries."[2]

Both from the nature of this treatise on the origin and progress of maritime discovery, and from respect to the memory of Hakluyt, the father of our English collections of voyages and travels, it has been selected for insertion in this place, as an appropriate introduction to the Second Part of our arrangement; because its author may be considered as almost an original authority for the early discoveries of the Portuguese and Spaniards. Although it may be considered in some measure as not precisely conformable with our plan, yet one portion of this summary is directly in point; and, the whole being curious, and in no respect tedious, it is here given entire; changing the antiquated English of Hakluyt into modern language. Although said in its title to extend to the year 1555, the chronological series of Galvano properly ends in 1545; and the only subsequent incident, is a very slight notice of the voyage of Sir Hugh Willoughby and Richard Chancellor, towards the White Sea, in 1553. In the original translation, and in the Oxford collection, this treatise is preceded by a dedication from Hakluyt toSir Robert Cecil; and another dedication from the Portuguese editor, Francis de Sousa Tavares, to Don John, Duke of Aveira; both of which are here omitted, as having no directly useful tendency, except so much of the latter as refers to the history of Galvano. Besides the present discourse, Galvano composed a history of the Molucca Islands, of which he had been governor, which work has unfortunately been lost, or at least is unknown in this country. He is likewise said to have published at Lisbon in 1555, an account of the different routes by which the merchandize of India had been conveyed into Europe at different periods.

Antonio Galvano, the author of the following Summary of the Discoveries of the World, was a Portuguese gentleman, who was several years governor of the Molucca Islands, and performed signal service to his country in that honourable station, by dissipating a formidable league, which had been entered into by the native princes of these islands, for the expulsion of the Portuguese; and, though possessing very inadequate resources for the protection of so important a commercial establishment, he confirmed and extended the dominion and influence of Portugal in these islands. When first appointed to the command in the Moluccas, Galvano carried with him a private fortune of 10,000 crusadoes, all of which he expended in the public service. Though he added a clear revenue to the crown of 500,000 crusadoes, in consequence of his successful, vigilant, and pure administration, he was so zealous in patronizing the propagation of the Christian religion among the islands belonging to his government, that, on his return to Lisbon in 1540, he was reduced to such extreme poverty, as to be under the necessity of taking refuge in the hospital, where he died in 1557.

Francis de Sousa Tavares, the original Portuguese editor of this treatise, in a dedication of the work to Don John Duke of Aveira, gives the following account of the work, and of its author:

"Antonio Galvano, when on his death-bed, left me this book, along with his other papers, by his testament; and, as I am certain he designed that it should be presented to your highness, I have thought proper to fulfil his intentions in that respect. It was fitting that this treatise should be written by a native of Portugal, as it treats of the various ways in which the spiceries and other commodities of India were formerly brought to our part of the world, and gives an account of all the navigations and discoveries of the ancients and moderns, in both of which things the Portuguese have laboured above all other nations. In this treatise, and in nine or ten other books, concerning India and the Moluccas, this true Portuguese described the unfortunate and sorrowful times, before our day, in which he had been engaged. When he was appointed to the command of the islands and fortresses of the Moluccas, all the kings and chiefs of these islands had agreed to make war against our nation, and to drive them out of the country. Yet he fought against them all in Tidore, though he had only 130 Portuguese soldiers, against their whole united power, and gave them a signal overthrow, in which their king, and one Ternate, the principal author of the war, were both slain; besides which, he conquered their fortresses, and compelled them all to submit to the obedience and service of our sovereign. In this war, two great and wonderful events took place: the first, that all the chiefs and kings of these islands united against us, who used ever to be at variance among themselves; and secondly, that Galvano, with only the ordinary garrison, should obtain the victory against so great a combination. It has happened to other governors of the Moluccas, with an extraordinary number of European troops, and assisted by all the other native lords, to go to war with one king only, and to come back with loss; whereas he, with a small and inadequate force, successfully waged war against a confederacy of all the lords of these islands.

"Three brilliant exploits have been performed in India, beyond all others. The capture of Muar by Emanuel Falcon; the winning of Bitam by Peter Mascarenas; and this victory obtained by Galvano. Besides this great exploit, his father and four brothers were all slain in the king's service; and he, being the last of his lineage, carried with him about 10,000 crusadoes into the Moluccas, all of which he expended in propagating our holy faith, and in preserving these valuable islands, using all his power and influence to bring all the cloves into the king's coffers, by which he added 500,000 crusadoes yearly to the royal revenue. Had he gathered cloves on his own account, as other governors of the Moluccas have done, he might have come home very rich; but returning poor, and, in the simplicity of his nature, expecting to be rewarded for his honest services, he was entirely neglected, and had to take refuge in an hospital, where he remained seventeen years, till his death, when he was 2000 crusadoes in debt; partly for demands upon him from India, and partly borrowed from his friends to maintain him in the hospital. After his death, the cardinal desired me to give his other writings to Damien de Goes, promising to content me for them, which otherwise I should not have done; yet hitherto I have not received any thing with which to execute his will. Yet, for all this, as in the prosperity of his victories he made no boast, so, in his adversity, he always preserved an unabated spirit. Your grace, therefore, may perceive, that this treatise, and his other works, were written under great afflictions; yet was he not willing to use the remedy of Zelim, the son of the great Turk Mahomet, who took Constantinople, and died in Rome, who used to make himself drunk, that he might forget the high estate from which he had fallen. Neither would he follow the councils of many of his friends, in withdrawing from the kingdom; saying, he had rather resemble Timocles the Athenian, than the Roman Coriolanus. For all which, this treatise ought to receive favour from your grace, allowing for any oversights of the author, if there be any such, as I am unfit to detect or correct then. God prosper your grace with long life, and increase of honour."

[1] Oxford Collection, II. 353. Clarke, Progr. of Marit. Disc. I. App 1.
[2] Oxford Collection, I. viii.



Volume 2, Chapter 1, Section 1 -- Epitome of the Ancient and Modern Discoveries of the World, chiefly by means of Navigation, from the Flood to the close of the Fifteenth Century.

When I first desired to compose an account of the ancient and modern discoveries by sea and land, with their true dates and situations, these two principal circumstances seemed involved in such difficulty and confusion, that I had almost desisted from the attempt. Even in regard to the date of the flood, the Hebrews reckon that event to have happened 1656 years after the creation: while the seventy interpreters make it 2242; and St. Augustine extends the time to 2262 years.[1] In regard to geographical situations, likewise, there are many differences; for there never sailed ten or an hundred pilots in one fleet, but they made their reckonings in almost as many different longitudes. But considering that all these difficulties might be surmounted, by just comparison, and the exercise of judgment, I at length resolved to persist in my undertaking.

Some allege that the world was fully known in ancient times; for, as it was peopled and inhabited, it must have been navigable and frequented; and because the ancient people were of longer lives, and had all one law and one language, they could not fail to be acquainted with the whole world. Others again believe, that though the world might be once universally known by mankind, yet, by the wickedness of man, and the want of justice among nations, that knowledge has been lost. But as all the most important discoveries have been made by sea, and that chiefly in our own times, it were desirable to learn who were the first discoverers since the flood. Some allege the Greeks, others the Phenicians, while others say the Egyptians. The inhabitants of India, on the contrary, pretend that they were the first navigators; particularly the Tabencos, whom we now call Chinese; and allege in proof of this, that they were lords of all the Indies, even to Cape Bona Speranca, and the island of St. Lawrence,[2] which is inhabited by them; as likewise all the coasts of the Indian seas, also the Javas, Timores, Celebes, Macassar, the Moluccas, Borneo, Mindanao, Luçones, Lequeos, the Japans, and many other islands; also the countries of Cochin-China, Laos, Bramas,[3] Pegu, Arracones,[4] till you come quite to Bengala. Besides all these, New Spain, Peru, Brazil, the Antilles, and all the adjoining lands, are possessed by the same race, as appears by the fashions and manners both of the men and women, who have small eyes, flat noses, with other proportions resembling the Chinese. And to this day, many of these islands and countries are called by such names, as Bato-China, Bocho-China, and the like, indicating the countries of, or belonging to China.

It farther appears, that the ark of Noah rested upon the north part of the mountains of Armenia, in 40 degrees of latitude or upwards; and that Scythia, being a high land, and the first that appeared out of the universal deluge, was first peopled. And as the province or country of the Tabencos, or Chinese, is one of the chiefest of all Tartary, its inhabitants may be considered as the most ancient nation, and the oldest navigators. Their seas are calm; and, as lying between the tropics, their days and nights are nearly equal, and their seasons differ little in temperature; and as no outrageous winds swell their seas into storms, navigation among them is safe and easy. Their small barks called catamorans have only a large bough of a tree set up in the middle, serving as mast and sail; the master steers only with an oar, and the passengers sit on poles fastened to the bark.

It is said that the people of China were anciently lords of almost all Scythia, and were in use to sail along that coast, which reaches from east to west, in seventy degrees of north latitude. Cornelius Nepos says, that, in the time when Metellus, the colleague of Afranius, was proconsul of Gaul, the king of the Suevi sent to him certain Indians, who came to his country in a ship by the north and the flats of Germany.[5] These people probably came from China; as in that country, in the latitudes of 20, 30, and 40 degrees, they have strong and well-fastened ships, which can bear the seas and encounter the severity of the northern climate. Cambaia also has ships, and its inhabitants are said to have long used the seas; but it is not likely they should have gone to Gaul; for they only trade to Cairo, and are indeed a people of little trade and less clothing.

Those who escaped from the flood kept the hills, not daring for a long time to descend into the plains and low countries; and Nimrod, an hundred and thirty years afterwards, built the tower of Babel, intending it as a refuge in case of any future deluge.[6] Upon the whole, it seems probable that the inhabitants of China and the east were the first sailors; though others think the inhabitants of the west, particularly of Syria, were the first to use the sea.[7] This contest about the antiquity of navigation, I leave to the Scythians and Egyptians, who each challenge the honour to themselves. But leaving all contested points in this matter, I now apply to my proposed deduction, resting only upon what has been recorded in authentic histories. Ancient history says that Tubal, in the hundred and forty-third year after the flood, came by sea into Spain;[8] whence it appears that in these early times navigation was usual from Ethiopia to our parts of western Europe. It is also said, that Semiramis invaded the country on the river Indus, whence the Indians derive their name, and gave battle to king Stabrobates, in which he lost a thousand ships;[9] by which it clearly appears there were then many ships in those parts; and that the seas were much frequented.

In the six hundred and fiftieth year after the flood, there was a king in Spain named Hesperus;[10] and Gonsalvo Fernandez de Oviedo, the chronicler of antiquities,[11] affirms that he made discoveries by sea as far as Cape Verde and the Isle of St Thomas, of which he was prince, and that in his time the islands of the West Indies were discovered, and called the Hesperides, after his name. He alleges many reasons in proof of this assertion, and even says particularly, that these early navigators sailed in forty days from Cape Verde to these islands. Others say, that the islands of St Thomas and de Principe are the Hesperides, and not the Antilles; which is the more probable, as these ancient navigators only sailed along the coast, not daring to pass through the main ocean, having no compass, nor any means of taking altitudes for their guidance. It is not to be denied that many countries, islands, capes, isthmuses, and points, the names of which are found in histories, are now unknown; because, in course of ages, the force of the waters has wasted and consumed them, and has separated countries from each other formerly joined, both in Europe, Asia, Africa, New Spain, Peru, and other places.

In his dialogue called Timaeus, Plato says there was anciently a great country and large islands in the Atlantic, named Atlantides, greater than Europe and Africa, and that the kings of these parts were lords of a great part of Spain; but that, by the force of great tempests, the sea had overflowed the country, leaving nothing but banks of mud and gravel, so that no ships could pass that way for long after. It is also recorded by Pliny,[12] that close by the island of Cadiz, there was a well-inhabited island called Aphrodisias, towards the Straits of Gibraltar, abounding in gardens and orchards; but we have now no knowledge of this island, except from the bare mention of it in ancient authors. The Isle of Cadiz is said to have been anciently so large as to join the continent of Spain. The Açores are held to have been a continuation of the mountains of Estrella, which join the sea coast beside the town of Cintra; and the Sierra Verde, or Green-mountains, which reach the coast, near the city of Sasin in the land of Cucu, or the island of Moudim in which Algarbe is situated, are supposed to have reached to Porto Santo and Madeira. For it is considered as an indubitable fact, that all islands derive their roots from the firm land or continent, however distant, as otherwise they could not stand firm. Other authors say, that from Spain to Ceuta in Barbary, people sometimes travelled on foot on dry land; that the islands of Corsica and Sardinia were once joined; that Sicily was united with Italy, and the Negropont with Greece.[13] We read also of the hulls of ships, iron anchors, and other remnants of shipping, having been found on the mountains of Susa, far inland, where there is now no appearance of the sea having ever been. Many writers affirm, that in India and Malabar, which now abounds in people, the sea once reached the foot of the mountains; and that Cape Comorin and the island of Ceylon were once united; also that Sumatra once joined with Malacca, by the shoals of Caypasia; and not far from thence there is a small island which, only a few years ago, was joined to the opposite coast. Ptolemy advances the point of Malacca three or four degrees to the south of the line; whereas its most southerly point, now called Jentana, is in one degree of north latitude, by which people pass daily the straits of Cincapura to the coasts of Siam and China; and the island of Aynan is said to have formerly joined the land of China; the southern extremity of which Ptolomey placed far to the south of the line, though it now only reaches to twentieth degree of north latitude.

It may even have been that Malacca and China, as Ptolemy sets forth, extended beyond the line to the south; as Malacca might join with the land called Jentana, and the islands of Bintam, Banca, and Salistres, and the land might be all slime and ouze; likewise China might be united with the Luçones, Borneo, Lequeuo, Mindanao, and others. Some are of opinion, that Sumatra joined with Java, across what is now the Straits of Sunda; and that Java also joined with the islands of Bali, Anjave, Cambava, Solor, Hogalcao, Maulva, Vintara, Rosalaguin, and others in that range, all of which are so near as to appear continuous, when seen from a small distance; and they still are so near together, that in passing through the channels which divide them, the boughs of the trees on each side may be touched by the hands. It is not long since several of the islands of Banda in the east were drowned by the sea overflowing them; and in China, about 180 miles of firm land are said to have become a lake. All these things are to be considered as coming within the limits of probability, especially when we take into account what has been related of similar events by Ptolemy and others, but which I here omit to return to my subject.

About 800 years after the deluge, the city of Troy was built by the Dardanians; and even before that time, spices, drugs, and many other kinds of merchandize, which were then more abundant than now, were brought from India to Europe, by the Red Sea. Hence, if credit can be given to these accounts, we may conclude, that the sea of old was much frequented, those of the east bringing their commodities to the haven of Arsinoe in the Arabian Gulf, now called Suez,[14] in lat. 30° N. and at the northern extremity of the Arabian Gulf; from whence the goods were carried by caravans, upon camels, asses, and mules, to Cassou, a city on the coast of the Levant sea, in lat. 32° N. Allowing seventeen leagues and a half to every degree of latitude, these two cities are said to have been 35 leagues, or 105[15] miles distant from each other. On account of the heat, these caravans, or great companies of carriers, travelled only in the night, directing themselves by the stars, and by land-marks fixed in the ground for that purpose. But finding this journey attended with many inconveniencies, the course was twice altered in search of a more commodious route.[16] About nine hundred years after the flood, and previous to the destruction of Troy, Egypt was ruled by a king named Sesostris, who caused a canal to be cut from the Red Sea to that arm of the Nile which flows past the city of Heroum, that ships might pass and repass between India and Europe, to avoid the expence and trouble of carrying merchandize by land across the isthmus of Suez; and Sesostris had large caraks or ships built for this purpose.[17] This enterprize, however, did not completely succeed; for, if it had, Africa would have been converted into an island, as there are even now only twenty leagues or sixty miles of land between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.

About this time the Grecians gathered a fleet and army, called the Argonautic expedition, under the command of Jason and Alceus.[18] Some say they sailed from Crete, and others from Greece; but they passed through the Propontis and the sleeve of St George into the Euxine, where some of the vessels perished, and Jason returned back to Greece. Alceus reported that he was driven by a tempest to the Palus Maeotis, where he was deserted by all his company; and those who escaped had to travel by land to the German ocean, where they procured shipping; and sailing past the coasts of Saxony, Friesland, Holland, Flanders, France, Spain, and Italy, returned to the Peloponnesus and Greece, after discovering a great portion of the coast of Europe.

Strabo, on the authority of Aristonicus the grammarian, says, that king Menelaus, after the destruction of Troy, sailed from the Grecian sea to the Atlantic, coasted along Africa and Guinea, doubled the Cape Bona Sperança, and arrived in India;[19] concerning which voyage many other particulars might be collected from the writings of the ancients. This Mediterranean Sea was sometimes called the Adriatic, the Aegean, and the Herculean Sea; and had other names, according to the lands, coasts, and islands, which it skirted, till, running through the Straits of Hercules, between Spain and Africa, it communicated with the great Atlantic Ocean. Thirteen hundred years after the flood, Solomon caused a navy to be constructed at Ezion-geber on the Red Sea, which sailed to Tharsis and Ophir, which some believe to have been islands in the East Indies. This fleet was three years on its voyage, and on its return brought gold, silver, cypress-wood, and other commodities.[20] The islands to which the navy of Solomon traded were probably those we now call the Luçones, the Lequeos, and China; for we know of few other places whence some of the things mentioned as forming their cargoes can be had, or where navigation has been so long practised.

Necho, one of the kings of Egypt, was desirous to have joined the Red Sea with the Mediterranean, and is said in history to have commanded some Phenicians to sail from the Red Sea by the Straits of Mecca, and to endeavour to return to Egypt by the Mediterranean.[21] This they accomplished, and sailed along the coast of Melinda, Quiloa, and Sofala, till they reached the Cape of Good Hope, which they doubled; and, continuing their course to the north, they sailed along the coast of Guinea all the way to the Mediterranean, and returned to Egypt after two years absence, being the first who had circumnavigated Africa.

In the year 590 before the Incarnation, a fleet belonging to Carthaginian merchants sailed from Cadiz through the ocean, to the west, in search of land.[22] They proceeded so far that they came to the islands now called the Antilles, and to New Spain.[23] This is given on the authority of Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo, in his General History, who says that these countries were then discovered; and that Christopher Columbus, by his voyages in after times, only acquired more exact knowledge of them, and hath left us a more precise notice of their situation, and of the way to them. But all those historians who formerly wrote concerning the Antilles, as of doubtful and uncertain existence, now plainly allow them to be the same with New Spain and the West Indies. In the year 520 before Christ, Cambyses, king of Persia, conquered Egypt, and was succeeded by Darius, the son of Hystaspes. This latter prince determined upon completing the projects of Sesostris and Necho, by digging a canal between the Red Sea and the Nile: But, being assured that the Red Sea was higher than the Nile, and that its salt water would overflow and ruin the whole land of Egypt, he abandoned his purpose, lest that fine province should be destroyed by famine and the want of fresh water;[24] for the fresh water of the Nile overflows the whole country, and the inhabitants have no other water to drink.

It may not be too great a digression from the subject, to say a few words concerning Egypt. The natives allege that they have in their country certain animals, of which one half of their bodies seem earth, and the other like rats, one species of which keeps continually in the water, while another species lives on the land. In my opinion, it is these animals which break the serpents' eggs, of which there are many in the Nile, but which serpents are also called crocodiles. It is said, that in ancient times these animals were inchanted, so that they could not do harm to any one: But since they have been freed from the power of inchantment, by the arts and learning of the Egyptians decaying, they have done much hurt, by killing people, wild beasts, and cattle, more especially those which live in the water and come often on land. Those that live continually on the land become strongly venomous.[25] The people beyond the city of Cairo used to catch these animals, and even to eat them, setting up their heads on the walls of the city. Concerning these crocodiles, it is related[26] that they often lie along the shores of the river with their mouths wide open; on which occasion, certain white birds, little larger than our thrushes, fly into the mouths of the crocodiles, and pick out the filth from between his teeth, to the great delight of the crocodile; which, however, would surely close his mouth and devour the bird, had not nature provided the bird with a sharp sting, growing from the top of his head, which pricks the roof of the crocodile's mouth, and forces him to gape, so that the bird flies away unhurt. In this manner, by means of a succession of these birds, the crocodiles get their teeth cleansed. In this same river, there are many beasts resembling horses; and upon the land, there are certain birds like our cranes, which continually make war upon the serpents, which come thither out of Arabia: Which birds, and likewise the rats, which eat the eggs of the crocodiles, are held in great reverence and estimation, by the Egyptians.

But now, to return to my subject of discoveries. In the year 485 before Christ, Xerxes, king of Persia, sent his nephew Sataspis to discover India; who sailed from the Mediterranean through the Straits of Hercules, and passed the promontory of Africa, which we now call the Cape of Good Hope; but, wearying of the length of the voyage, he returned back again, as Bartholomew Diaz did in our days.[27] In 443 A. C. Hamilco and Hanno, two Carthaginian commanders who governed that part of Spain now called Andalusia, sailed from thence with two squadrons. Hamilco, sailing towards the north, discovered the coasts of Spain, France, England, Flanders, and Germany; and some allege that he sailed to Gothland, and even to Thule or Iceland, standing under the Arctic circle, in 64 degrees north, and continued his voyage during two years, till he came to that northern island, where the day in June continues for twenty-two hours, and the nights in December are of a similar length; on account of which it is there wonderfully cold. His brother, Hanno, took his course to the south, along the coast of Africa and Guinea, and discovered the Fortunate Islands, now the Canaries, and the Orcades, Hesperides, and Gorgades, now called the Cape de Verde islands. Proceeding onwards, Hanno doubled the Cape of Good Hope, and went along the eastern coast of Africa to another cape, called Aromaticum, now called Gardafu, and thence to the coast of Arabia, and was five years employed in this voyage before his return to Spain.[28] Others allege, that Hanno proceeded no farther than Sierra Leona, which he colonized, and afterwards discovered as far as the equinoctial line; but it would rather appear, from the length of time he employed, that he must have accomplished the more extended navigation.

It is reported that the inhabitants of the country at the Cape of Good Hope are great witches, and by inchantment bring certain serpents so much under command, that they preserve their churches, churchyards, gardens, orchards, barns, and cattle, both from wild beasts and thieves. When these serpents see any person doing or intending to do harm, they wind themselves in such a manner around them as to make them prisoners, and then command their young ones to give notice to their masters, that they may come and secure the thieves. But if the thieves be numerous, or the wild beasts of too much strength, so that the serpents dare not encounter them, they go to their master's house, and if it happen to be in the night, they give many strokes with their tails, so as to awaken their masters, that they may provide for their defence.[29]

A certain Italian, named Aloisius Cadamosta, relates, that when he was upon the discovery of Guinea, and resided in the house of Bisboral, the grandson of king Budomel, he heard one night, when in bed, a great noise and many blows given about the house, upon which Bisboral arose and went out; and, upon his return, Cadamosta demanded of him where he had been, and he answered that he had been with his cobras or snakes, which called him.[30] In the Indies there are many snakes, and some of them very full of poison; yet the Indians carry them about their necks, and put them in their bosoms, and under their arms, without fear or injury; and at certain sounds, the snakes will dance, and do many other strange things at command.

I was informed by a certain Portuguese, who had been beyond the Cape of Good Hope, towards Sofala, Quiloa, and Melinda, that there were certain birds in that country, which would come to the negroes on a call, and as the negroes moved on through the woods, the birds would do the same from tree to tree, till at length they would alight on a tree whence they would not remove: And, on examining that tree, the negroes were sure to find wax and honey, but knew not whether it grew there naturally or not.[31] In the same country, they find much wax and honey in ant-holes, made by the ants, but somewhat bitter. In the seas of that coast, there are certain fish, known to the fishermen, which commonly swim upright in the water, having the faces and breasts of women.[32]

In the year 355 before Christ, the Spaniards are said to have gone by sea to the flats of India, Arabia, and the adjoining coasts, to which they carried various merchandizes in great ships; and sailing to the north-west they came to certain flats which are covered by the tide, and left bare by the ebb, where they caught many tunnies of great size; which fishing turned out to their great profit, as they were very abundant and much esteemed.[33]

Alexander, who flourished 324 years before Christ, travelled from Europe into Asia and Africa, passed through Armenia, Assyria, Persia, and Bactria; whence he descended by the mountains of Imaus and the vallies of Parapomissus, into India, and prepared a navy on the river Indus, with which he passed into the ocean. He there turned by the lands of Gedrosia, Caramania, and Persia, to the great city of Babylon, leaving the command of his fleet to Onesicratus and Nearchus, who sailed through the straits of the Persian Sea and up the river Euphrates, discovering the whole coast between the Indus and that river.

After the death of Alexander, Ptolemy became king of Egypt, who by some was reputed to have been the bastard son of Philip, the father of Alexander: He, imitating the before-named kings, Sesostris and Darius, caused dig a canal from the branch of the Nile which passed by Pelusium, now by the city of Damieta.[34] This canal of Ptolemy was an hundred feet broad and thirty feet deep, and extended ten or twelve leagues in length, till it came to the bitter wells. He meant to have continued it to the Red Sea; but desisted on the idea that the Red Sea was three cubits higher than the land of Egypt, and would have overflowed all the country, to its entire ruin.

Ptolemy Philadelphus, in the year 277 before Christ, changed the direction of the Indian traffic. The goods from Europe, by his orders, were carried up the Nile from Alexandria to the city of Coptus, and conveyed across the desert from thence to the sea-port of Myos-Hormos on the Red-sea.[35] To avoid the excessive heat, the caravans travelled only in the night, directing their course by the stars; and water being very scarce in the desert, they had to carry a sufficient quantity with them for the journey. Afterwards, to avoid this trouble, deep wells were dug at certain intervals; and in other places large cisterns or reservoirs were constructed for the reception of rain water. Still later, in consideration of the dangers attending the port of Myos-Hormos, on account of flats and islands, Philadelphus sent an army into Troglodytica, where he constructed a haven called Berenice, in which the ships engaged in the Indian commerce took shelter, as a place of greater security. From thence the goods were transported to the city of Coptus, and afterwards to Alexandria, which became rich and famous, through its trade with India, beyond any other city in the world; insomuch that it is asserted that the customs of Alexandria yielded every year to Ptolemy Auletes, the father of Cleopatra, seven millions and a half of gold, though the traffic had then scarcely subsisted in that direction for twenty years.[36] After the reduction of Egypt and Alexandria under the power of the Romans, the customs are said to have advanced to double that amount; and the trade was so great, that 120 ships used to be sent yearly from Myos-Hormos to India. The ships set sail every year from Myos-Hormos about the middle of July, and returned back within the year.[37] The merchandize they carried amounted to the value of one million two hundred thousand crowns; and the returns were an hundred for one; and through this prodigious increase of wealth, the matrons and noble ladies of those days in Alexandria, were exceedingly profuse in decorating themselves with purple, pearls, and precious stones, and in the use of musk, amber, and other rich perfumes of various kinds; of all which the historians and other writers of that age treat at great length.[38]

Pliny,[39] on the authority of Cornelius Nepos, says that one Eudoxus, flying from Ptolemy Lathyrus, passed by sea through the gulf of Arabia, and sailing along the eastern coast of Africa, doubled the cape of Bona Sperança arrived by the Atlantic at Cadiz; and it would appear that this navigation was as often used in those days as it now is. Caius Caesar, the son of Augustus, going into Arabia, found in the Red Sea certain pieces of the ships which had gone thither from Spain.

Long after these days it was usual to pass to India by land. This was done by the kings of the Sogdians, the princes of Bactria, and other famous captains and many merchants, who travelled thither and into Scythia by land. Marcus Paulus Venetus writes largely of these countries; and though his book at first was reckoned fabulous, yet what he and others have reported is now found true, by the experience of travellers, and merchants who have since been to the same parts.

It is reported that the Romans sent an army by sea to India, against the great khan of Cathaia, 200 years before the Incarnation; which, passing through the Straits of Gibraltar, and running to the north-west, found ten islands opposite to Cape Finisterre; producing large quantities of tin, which perhaps may have been those afterwards called the Cassiterides. Being come to 50 degrees of latitude, they found a strait passing to the west, through which they arrived in India, and gave battle to the king of Cathaia, after which they returned to Rome. Whether this story may appear possible or not, true or false, I can only say that I give it as I found it written in the histories of these times.

In the year 100 after the incarnation of Christ, the emperor Trajan fitted out a fleet on the rivers Tigris and Euphrates, whence he sailed to the islands of Zyzara; and passing the straits of Persia, entered into the ocean, by which he sailed along the coast to India, till he came to the place where Alexander had been. He there took some ships which came from Bengal, and learned the state of the country from the mariners. But being in years, and weary of the sea, and because he found it difficult to procure necessaries for his army, he returned back to Assyria.[40]

After the Romans had subdued most part of the world, many notable discoveries were made. But then came the Goths, Moors, and other barbarous nations, who destroyed all A.D. 412, the Goths took the city of Rome. Thereafter the Vandals went out of Spain, and conquered Africa. In 450, Attila destroyed many cities in Italy, at which time Venice began; and in this age the Franks and Vandals entered into France. In 474, the empire of Rome was lost, and fell from the Romans to the Goths. In 560, the Lombards came into Italy. About this time the sect of the Arians prevailed greatly, and Merlin the English prophet flourished. In 611, the Mahometan sect sprung up, and the Moresco government, which invaded both Africa and Spain. By this it may appear that all the world was in a state of war, and all places so very tumultuous, that traffic and merchandize ceased, no nation daring to trade with another by sea or land; nothing remaining steadfast, neither in kingdoms, signories, religions, laws, arts, sciences, or navigation. Even the records and writings of these things were burnt and destroyed by the barbarous power of the Goths, who proposed to themselves to begin a new world, and to root out the memory and knowledge of all other nations.

Those who succeeded in the government of Europe, perceiving the great losses of the Christian world by want of traffic and the stoppage of navigation, began to devise a way of passing into India, quite different from the route of the Nile and the Red Sea, and much longer and more costly.[41] The goods of India were brought up the river Indus as far as it was navigable. They were then carried by land in caravans through the country of Parapomissus into the province of Bactria, and shipped on the river Oxus, which falls into the Caspian, and thence across that sea to the haven of Citracan, or Astracan, on the river Rha, or Volga. Thence up that river, and to the city of Novogrod, in the province of Resan, which now belongs to the great duke of Muscovy, in lat. 54° N. The goods were carried thence overland to the province of Sarmatia and the river Tanais or Don, which is the division between Europe and Asia. Being there loaded in barks, they were carried down the stream of that river into the Paulus Maeotis to the city of Caffa, anciently called Theodosia, which then belonged to the Genoese, who came thither by sea in galliasses, or great ships, and distributed Indian commodities through Europe.

In the reign of Commodita, emperor of Armenia, a better course was provided for this traffic: The goods being transported by land from the Caspian, through the country of Hiberia, now Georgia, and thence by the Phasis into the Euxine, and to the city of Trebisond, they were thence shipped for the various parts of Europe.[42] It is recorded that Demetrius Nicanor determined, or actually began, to open a canal of above 120 miles in length between the Caspian and Euxine, for the greater convenience of the Indian trade. But he was slain by Ptolemy Ceraunos, and this famous enterprize fell to nothing.[43]

All other ways being lost, by reason of the wars of the Turks, the spiceries of the Indian Islands, particularly of Java, Sumatra, and the city of Malacca, were carried up the river Ganges, in Bengal, to the city of Agra; thence they were carried by land to another city near the Indus, named Boghar, where they were discharged, because the city of Cabor, or Laor, the principal city of the Mogores, stands too far within the land. From thence they were carried to the great city of Samarcand in Bactria, in which the merchants of India, Persia, and Turkey met together with their several commodities, as cloth of gold, velvets, camblets, scarlet and woollen cloths, which were carried to Cathay and the great kingdom of China; whence they brought back gold, silver, precious stones, pearls, silk, musk, rhubarb, and many other things of great value.

In after times these merchandizes, drugs, and spiceries, were carried in ships from India to the Straits of Ormus, and the rivers Euphrates and Tigris, and were unladen at the city of Basora; from whence they were carried overland to Aleppo, Damascus, and Barutti; and there the Venetian galliasses, which transported pilgrims to the Holy Land, came and received the goods.

In the year 1153, in the time of the emperor Frederick Barbarossa, it is said there came to the city of Lubeck, in Germany, a canoe like a long barge, with certain Indians, who were supposed to have come from the coast of Baccalaos,[44] which is in the same latitude with Lubeck. The Germans greatly wondered to see such a boat and strange people, not knowing whence they came, nor being able to understand their language, especially as there was then no knowledge of their country. Although the boat was small in comparison with the seas it had to cross, it is yet possible that it might have been conveyed by the winds and waves; for in our days the almadias of the negroes, which are very small boats, venture to navigate from Quiloa, Mosambique, and Sofala, around the Cape of Good Hope, even to the island of St. Helena, a very small spot in the ocean, at a great distance from land.

In the year 1300 after Christ, the great soldan of Cairo restored the trade of spiceries, drugs, and merchandize from India, by the Red Sea; at which time they unloaded the goods at the port of Judea,[45] and carried them to Mecca; whence they were distributed by the Mahometan pilgrims,[46] so that each prince endeavoured to increase the honour and profit of his own country. The soldans translated this trade to their own city of Cairo; whence the goods were carried to the countries of Egypt, Lybia, Africa, Tunis, Tremessen, Fez, Morocco, and Suz; and some of them were carried beyond the mountains of Atlas, to the city of Tombuto, and the kingdom of the Jalophos; till afterwards the Portuguese brought the Indian trade round the Cape of Good Hope to Lisbon, as we propose to shew more at large in a convenient place.

A.D. 1344, Peter IV. reigned in Arragon, and the chronicles of his reign report that Don Lewis de Cerda, grandson of Don John de Corda, requested his aid to go and conquer the Canary Islands, which had been gifted to him by Pope Clement VI. a Frenchman. About this time, too, the island of Madeira is said to have been discovered by an Englishman named Macham; who, sailing from England into Spain with a lady whom he loved, was driven out of his course by a tempest, and arrived in a harbour of that island, now called Machico, after his name. The lady being oppressed with seasickness, Macham landed with her on the island, accompanied by some of his people; but in the mean time the ship weighed anchor and stood to sea, leaving them behind. On this the lady died of grief, and Macham, who was passionately fond of her, erected a chapel or hermitage on the island, which he named the chapel of Jesus, and there deposited her remains, engraving both their names and the cause of their coming to this place on a monumental stone. After this, he and his companions made a boat or canoe out of a large tree, and putting to sea without sails or oars, got over to the coast of Africa. The Moors among whom he arrived, considering their passage as miraculous, sent him to their king, who transmitted both him and his company to the king of Castile.

In 1395, while Henry III. reigned in Castile, in consequence of information given by Macham respecting this island, many persons of France and Castile were induced to attempt its discovery, and that of the Grand Canary. Those who went on this expedition were principally from Andalusia, Biscay, and Guipuscoa, who carried thither many men and horses; but I know not whether this was done at their own charge, or that of the king. But however that might be, these people seem to have been the first discoverers of the Canaries; where they took 150 of the islanders prisoners. There is some difference among authors respecting the time of this discovery, as some affirm that it did not take place till the year 1405.

[1] August. de Civit. Dic. I. 15. c. 20.
[2] The Cape of Good Hope, and the island of Madagascar--E.
[3] Birmahs
[4] Arracan
[5] Pompon. Mela, I. 3. Plin. I. 2. c. 67.
[6] Joseph: Ant. Jud. I. 1. c. 5.
[7] Justin, I. 1.
[8] Berosus.
[9] Diod. Sic. I. 2. c. 5.
[10] Berosus.
[11] Gons. Fern. I. 2. c. 3. Plin. I. 6. c. 31.
[12] Plin. I. 4. c. 22.
[13] Eratosth. ap. Strab. I. 1. p. 26.
[14] Plin. I. 6. c. 29.
[15] The miles here used are three to the league; but the league of the text is nearly equal to four English miles, and the assumed distance of these two ports 140 of our miles--E.
[16] Strab. I. 17. p. 560.
[17] Plin. I. 6. c. 29.
[18] Diod. Sic. I. 4. c. 4.
[19] Strab. I. 1. p. 26.
[20] Kings, I. 9. Chron. II. 8.
[21] Herodot. I. 4.
[22] Arist. de Mirand.
[23] Gonz. Fern. Ovied. I. 2. c. 3.
[24] Plin. I. 9. c. 58. de Maribus Nili.
[25] Joan. Leo Afric. I. 9. de Nilo.--Our author has got into a strange dilemma, by confounding crocodiles and serpents under one denomination.--E.
[26] Plin. and Leo, ub. cit.
[27] Plin. I. 2. c. 67.
[28] Plin. I. 6. c. 31. This subject will be discussed in the Fifth Part of our work; being much too extensive to admit of elucidation in a note.--E.
[29] Hasty readers will have the justice to give the honour of this story to Galvano.--E.
[30] This story will be found hereafter very differently related by Cada Mosto himself, but with a sufficient spice of the marvellous.--E.
[31] The Honey-guide, or Cuculus Indicator, will be noticed more particularly in the Travels through the Colony of the Cape.--E.
[32] The Philosophers of the nineteenth century have fortunately rediscovered the Mermaid in the north of Scotland! Hitherto, wonderful things used to be confined to barbarous regions and ignorant ages.--E.
[33] Arist. de Mirand. Strabo, I. 2. p. 68.
[34] Plin. I. 6. c. 29.
[35] Strabo, I. 17. p. 560, 561.
[36] Strab. I. 17. p. 549.
[37] Plin. I. 6. c. 23.
[38] Id. I. 12. c. 18.
[39] Id. I. 2. c. 67.
[40] Ziphilin. in vit. Traj.
[41] Ramusio, V. f. 372. p. 2
[42] Strabo, I. 11.
[43] Plin. I. 6. c. 11.
[44] Newfoundland?
[45] Jidda.
[46] Leo Afric. Ramus. v. 1. f. 373.



Volume 2, Chapter 1, Section 2 -- Summary of Portuguese Discoveries, from the Commencement of the Fifteenth Century, to the Discovery of America by Columbus.[1]

According to the chronicles of Portugal, John I. went from Lisbon in 1415, attended by his sons Don Duarte, or Edward, Don Peter, and Don Henry, and other lords and nobles of his realm, into Africa, where he took the great city of Ceuta, which was one of the principal causes of extending the dominions of Portugal. After their return, Don Henry, the king's third[2] son, being then in Algarve, and desirous to enlarge the kingdom by the discovery of unknown regions, gave directions for discovering the coast of Mauritania; for in those days none of the Portuguese had ever gone beyond Cape Non, in lat. 29°. N.[3] For the better accomplishment of this purpose, Don Henry prepared a fleet, and commanded the officers whom he employed to proceed in making discoveries to the south of that cape, which they did; but when they came to another cape, named Bajador, none of them dared for a long time to go beyond it, at which cowardice the prince was much displeased.

In 1417, in the reign of John II. of Castile, and while his mother the lady Catharine was regent of the kingdom, Ruben de Bracamonte, the admiral of France, craved a grant of the Canary Islands, and the title of king, for his kinsman John de Betancourt; which being conceded, he departed from Seville with an armament to attempt the conquest. The principal motive of this enterprize was to make a perfect discovery of Madeira, of which Macham had before given so much information; yet he went to the Canaries, where he carried a friar named Mendo as bishop, who had received that dignity from Pope Martin V. He reduced Lançerota, Fuerteventura, Gomera, and Ferro; whence he sent into Spain many slaves, and considerable quantities of honey, wax, camphire, hides, orchill, figs, dragons-blood, and other merchandize, of which he made good profit. This armament is said to have likewise discovered Porto Santo. The island first occupied by Betancourt was Lançerota, where he built a castle of stone for the better defence of the new settlers.

In the year 1418, John Gonzales Zarco, and Tristram Vaz Teixera, gentlemen of the household to Don Henry, perceiving the great desire of their master to discover new countries, requested and obtained a bark to proceed to the coast of Africa; where they were overtaken by a violent tempest, and driven into a haven of the island now called Porto Santo, where they remained two years. In 1420, they discovered the island of Madeira, where they found the chapel, tomb, and stone on which Macham had engraved his name. Others write, that a Castilian had informed Don Henry of having made the discovery of Porto Santo; and that he sent Bartholomew Perestrello, John Gonzales Zarco, and Tristram Vaz Teixera, purposely in search of that island, according to the signs and directions indicated by the Castilian; and that these persons afterwards discovered Madeira in 1420, where they found the memorial and monument left by Macham the Englishman.

Betancourt, who begun the conquest of the Canaries, was slain in a war with the natives, leaving one Menante his heir; who afterwards sold the islands to one Peter Barba of Seville. But others say, that John de Betancourt went to France to procure reinforcements, to enable him to complete his conquests, and left the command of Lançerota with his nephew; who, hearing nothing of his uncle, and being unable to continue the contest with the natives, sold the Canaries to Don Henry, for an estate in the island of Madeira.

It is related that, in 1424, Don Henry sent a squadron with some land forces, under Don Ferdinando de Castro, on purpose to make a conquest of these islands; but, being repulsed by the bravery of the natives, de Castro prudently desisted from the enterprize and returned home; and that Don Henry afterwards resigned his claim to these islands in favour of the crown of Castile. The Castilian writers, however, assert that both Don Henry and the king of Portugal refused to give up these islands, until the dispute was ended by the judgment of Pope Eugenius IV. who awarded them to the king of Castile. These islands, anciently called the Insulae Fortunatae, or Fortunate Islands, are seven in number, in lat. 28° N. where the longest day is thirteen hours, and the longest night the same. They are 200 leagues distant from the coast of Spain, and 18 leagues from the coast of Africa. The people were idolaters, and eat raw flesh for want of fire. They had no iron, but raised or tilled the ground with the horns of oxen and goats, for want of better implements of husbandry. Every island spoke a separate language, and many pagan customs prevailed among the natives; but now the Christian religion is planted among them. The commodities of these islands are wheat, barley, sugar, wine, and Canary-birds, which are much esteemed for the sweetness and variety of their song. In the island of Ferro they have no water but what proceeds in the night from a tree, encompassed by a cloud, whence water issues, and serves the whole inhabitants and cattle of the island.[4]

In the year 1428, Don Pedro, the king's eldest[5] son, who was a great traveller, went into England, France, and Germany, and thence into the Holy Land and other places, and came home by Italy, through Rome and Venice. He is said to have brought a map of the world home with him, in which all parts of the earth were described, by which the enterprizes of Don Henry for discovery were much assisted. In this map the Straits of Magellan are called the Dragons-tail, and the Cape of Good Hope the Front of Africa, and so of the rest[6]. I was informed by Francis de Sosa Tavares, that in the year 1528, Don Fernando, the king's eldest son, shewed him a map which had been made 120 years before, and was found in the study of Alcobaza, which exhibited all the navigation of the East Indies, with the cape of Bona Sperança, as in our latter maps; by which it appears that there was as much discovered, or more, in ancient times as now.[7]

Though attended with much trouble and expence, Don Henry was unwearied in prosecuting his plan of discoveries. At length Gilianes, one of his servants, passed Cape Bojador, a place terrible to all former navigators, and brought word that it was by no means so dangerous as had been represented, he having landed on its farther side, where he set up a wooden cross in memorial of his discovery.

In the year 1433 died John king of Portugal, and was succeeded by his eldest son Duarte or Edward. In 1434, Don Henry sent Alphonso Gonzales Balduja and Gillianes, who penetrated from Cape Bajador to another cape, where they found the country to be inhabited, and went forward to another point of land, whence they returned to Portugal. In 1438 king Duarte died, and his son Alphonso being young, the kingdom was governed during his minority by his uncle Don Pedro. In 1441, Don Henry sent out two ships under Tristan and Antonio Gonzales, who took a prize on the coast, and sailed to Cape Blanco, or the White Cape in lat. 20° N.[8] From thence they brought home some Moors, from whom Don Henry learned the state of the country. Don Henry sent an account of these discoveries to Pope Martin, by one Fernan Lopez de Savado; and the Pope granted indulgences and everlasting pardon of sins to all who should die in attempting the discovery of the land of the infidels. In the year 1443, Don Henry commanded Antonio Gonzales to carry back the Moors to their own country, where they were ransomed for black Moors with curled hair, or negroes, and some gold; owing to which that place is now called Rio de Oro, or the Golden River, that thereby the desire of discovery might be the more increased. He sent soon afterward one named Nunnez Tristan, who discovered the islands of Arguin, who brought more slaves from thence to Portugal in 1444. One Lancarote, a groom of Don Henrys chamber, and three others, armed certain ships, with which they sailed along the coast to the islands of Garze, where they took 200 slaves, which were the first that were brought from thence to Portugal.

In 1445, Gonsalvo de Syntra, an esquire belonging to Don Henry, went [[as]] captain of a bark into these parts; and landing on the coast, was taken by the natives, with six or seven of his people The place where he was cut off got the name of Angra de Gonsalvo de Syntra from him; and this was the first loss sustained by the Portuguese in their discoveries. In 1446, three caravels were sent out under Antonio Gonsales, Diego Aloizio, and Gomes Perez; who were ordered to refrain from going to Rio de Oro, to carry themselves peaceably to the natives, to traffic with them peaceably, and to endeavour to convert as many infidels as possible to Christianity; but in this they had no success. In the same year, Dennis Fernandes of Lisbon, an esquire to the king, entered upon these discoveries, more to acquire fame than for profit. In the course of his voyage he discovered the river Sanaga or Senegal, between 15 and 16 degrees of latitude;[9] and proceeding onwards, discovered Cape Verde, in 14 degrees;[10] upon which he erected a wooden cross, and then returned, much elated at the success of his voyage. In 1447 Nunnez Tristan passed beyond Cape Verde to Rio Grande, and went beyond that river to another in twelve degrees.[11] He was here taken and slain, with eighteen other Portuguese, and the ship was brought home in safety by four or five of the crew who escaped the hands of the negroes.

In this year 1447, a Portuguese ship, in coming through the Straits of Gibraltar, was forced a great way to the westwards by a violent tempest, and came to an island having seven cities, the inhabitants of which spoke the Portuguese language, and they inquired of our mariners if the Moors still infested Spain, whence their ancestors had fled to avoid the distresses which occurred subsequent to the death of Don Roderigo, king of Spain. The boatswain of this ship brought home some of the sand from this island, and sold it to a goldsmith in Lisbon, who procured from it a good quantity of gold. Don Pedro, who then governed the realm, being made acquainted with this circumstance, caused the whole to be recorded in the house of justice.[12] Some think that this island belonged to what is now called the Antilles or New Spain; but though their reasons for this opinion are good, I omit them here, as not connected with my present purpose.

In the year 1449, King Alphonso granted license to his uncle, Don Henry, to colonize the Açores, which had been formerly discovered. In the year 1458, this king went into Africa, where he took the town of Alcaçer; and in the year 1461, he commanded Signior Mendez to build the castle of Arguin, in the island of that name, on the coast of Africa. In the year 1462, three Genoese gentlemen, of whom Antonio de Noli was the chief, the others being his brother and nephew, got permission from Don Henry to take possession of the Cape de Verde islands, which some believe to be those called Gorgades, Hesperides, and Dorcades, by the ancients. But they named them Mayo, Saint Jago, and Saint Philip, because discovered on the days of those saints. Some call them the islands of Antonio. In the year following, 1463, that excellent prince, Don Henry, died; having discovered, by his exertions, the whole coast of Africa, from Cape Non to the mountain of Sierra Liona, which is on this side of the line, in lat. 8° 30' N. where no man had been before.

In 1469, the king of Portugal let out the trade of Guinea, afterwards called the Minas, to Fernan Gomez, for five years, at the yearly rent of 200,000 rees;[13] and under the express condition that he was every year to discover 100 leagues farther along the coast of Africa to the south. In 1470, this king went into Africa, accompanied by his son Prince John, where he took the town of Arzila; and the inhabitants of Tangier having fled from fear, he took possession of it also. In the year 1471, John de St Aren and John de Scovar, under the orders of Fernan Gomez, continued the discovery of the coast of Guinea as far as St George del Mina, in lat. 5° N. and 2° W. long.; the coast from Cape Verde to Cape Palmas trending S.E. after which it goes to the east, with even a small northerly inclination for about twelve degrees of longitude. In 1472, one Fernando da Poo discovered the island now called after his name, beyond Cape Formosa, in lat. 3° 40' N. and about the same time the islands del Principe and St Thomas were discovered, the latter of which is situated under the equinoctial line. The firm land also was explored at the same time, all the way from the kingdom of Benin to Cape St Catherina, in lat. 1° 40' S. This last discovery was made by Sequetra, a person in the king's immediate service. Many suppose that then were these countries and islands discovered which had never been before known since the flood.

In the year 1480, the valiant King Don Alphonzo died, and was succeeded by his son Don John II. who, in 1481, gave orders to Diego d'Azambuxa to construct the castle of St George del Mina, on the African coast. In 1484, Diego Caon, a knight belonging to the court, discovered the coast as far as the river Congo, on the south side of the line, in seven or eight degrees of latitude,[14] where he erected a stone pillar, with the royal arms and titles of Portugal, with the date of his discovery. He proceeded southwards from thence along the coast, all the way to a river near the tropic of Capricorn, setting up similar stone pillars in convenient places. He afterwards returned to Congo, the king of which country sent ambassadors by his ship into Portugal. In the next year, or the year following, John Alonzo d'Aveiro brought home from Benin pepper with a tail,[15] being the first of the kind ever seen in Portugal.

In 1487, King John sent Pedro de Covillan and Alphonzo de Payva, both of whom could speak Arabic, to discover India by land. They left Lisbon in the month of May, and took shipping in the same year at Naples for the island of Rhodes, and lodged there in the hotel of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem, belonging to Portugal. From thence they went to Alexandria and Cairo, and then along with a caravan of Moors to the haven of Toro. There they embarked on the Red Sea, and proceeded to Aden, where they separated; de Payva going into Ethiopia, while Covillan proceeded to India. Covillan went to the cities of Cananor and Calicut, and thence to Goa, where he took shipping for Sofala, on the eastern coast of Africa. He thence sailed to Mosambique, and the cities of Quiloa, Mombaza, and Melinda, returning back to Aden, where he and Payva had formerly separated. Thence he proceeded to Cairo, where he hoped to have rejoined his companion; but he here learnt by letter from the king his master, that de Payva was dead, and he was further enjoined by the king to travel into the country of Abyssinia.[16] He returned therefore, from Cairo to Toro, and thence to Aden; and hearing of the fame of Ormuz, he proceeded along the coast of Arabia by Cape Razalgate to Ormuz. Returning from the Gulf of Persia to the Red Sea, he passed over to the realm of the Abyssinians, which is commonly called the kingdom of Presbyter John, or Ethiopia, where he was detained till 1520, when the ambassador, Don Roderigo de Lima, arrived in that country. This Pedro de Covillan was the first of the Portuguese who had ever visited the Indies and the adjacent seas and islands.

In the year 1490, the king sent Gonzalo de Sosa to Congo with three ships, carrying back with him the ambassador of the king of Congo, who had been brought over to Portugal in 1484, by Diego Caon. During his residence in Portugal, this ambassador and others of his company had been instructed in the Christian religion, and baptized. Gonzalo de Sosa died during the outward-bound voyage; and Ruy de Sosa, his nephew, was chosen to the command of the expedition in his stead. Arriving in Congo, the king of that country received them with much joy, and soon yielded himself and the greater part of his subjects to be baptized; to the infinite satisfaction of the Portuguese, who by these means converted so many infidels from paganism to Christianity.

[1] The only quotations used in this Section in the original translation by Hakluyt, are from the Asia of John de Barros, Decade 1. which it has not been deemed necessary to refer to here more particularly.--E.
[2] It is singular that a Portuguese should not be more correct. Henry was the fifth son.--Clarke.
[3] More accurately 28° 40'.--E.
[4] Opportunities will occur hereafter, in particular voyages, to discuss the circumstances of this wonderful tree.
[5] Galvano is again mistaken. Edward or Duarte was the eldest son; Pedro the third.--Clarke.
[6] Dr Vincent, in his Periplus, considers this as a copy of the map of Marco Polo, which was exhibited in the church of St Michael de Murano, at Venice.--Clarke.
[7] Even if this were fact, it proves nothing, as the Cape of Good Hope must have been inserted merely by the fancy of the draughtsman.--Clarke.
It may be added, that in 1528, it was no difficult matter to wrong date a forged map, on purpose to detract from the merit of the actual discoverers.--E.
[8] More correctly in lat. 20° 54' N. There is another Cape Blanco in Morocco in lat. 33° 10' N. and this more southerly cape on the great desert is named Branca in our best charts.--E.
[9] The mouth of the Senegal is in lat. 15° 45' N.--E.
[10] More correctly, 14° 45' N.--E.
[11] It is difficult to ascertain these two rivers: The Rio Grande here meant is properly named Gambia. The river in 12° N. may be the Casamansa, the Santa Anna, or the St Dominico: which last is exactly in 12° N. the two others a little farther north, and nearer the Gambia.--E.
[12] This is one of the many palpable and clumsy fables which were advanced to defraud Columbus of the honour of having discovered the new world, and is even more ridiculous, if possible, than the voyages of Zeno, adverted to in our First Part.--E.
[13] Equal to L.138: 17: 9-1/4 d. English money.--Halk.
[14] Only 6° 45' S.--E.
[15] Mr Clarke explains this as long pepper; but besides that this by no means answers the descriptive name in the text, long pepper certainly is the production of the East Indies. The article here indicated was probably one of the many species, or varieties of the Capsicum; called Guinea pepper, Cayenne pepper, Bird pepper, and various other names.--E.
[16] In the original this is called the country of Prester or PresbyterJohn. We have formerly, in the First Part of this work, had occasion to notice the strange idea of a Christian prince and priest, who was supposed to have ruled among the pagan nations of eastern Tartary. Driven from this false notion, by a more thorough knowledge of Asia, the European nations fondly transferred the title of Prester John to the half-Christian prince or Negus of the semi-barbarous Abyssinians.--E.


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