Skip to main content

Questions tagged [age-of-discovery]

For questions related to new lands discoveries made by Europeans in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
0 votes
0 answers
76 views

Why did Christopher Columbus underestimated that much when planning his trip to India? [duplicate]

On the one hand, Europeans knew about the roundness and size of our planet since Eratosthenes (third century BCE). The measurement was extraordinarily precise (~1% error). On the other hand, the ...
WoJ's user avatar
  • 737
15 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the first recorded contact with Taiwan by Europeans?

Apparently every book and website on or accessible through the internet repeats the exact same "they say..." "everyone knows..." story about the first European contact with Taiwan.¹...
lly's user avatar
  • 2,033
8 votes
1 answer
370 views

Were the Spanish conquistadors really motivated by myths like El Dorado?

I teach secondary school History classes. Our school library contains old academic works (from the 60s-80s) and unreliable children's academic literature. These all claim that ancient myths motivated ...
Village's user avatar
  • 1,107
-2 votes
2 answers
295 views

Did 15th century Europeans not know about south-east Asia?

Columbus headed west across the Atlantic expecting to reach India, and initially thought that he had landed there. His latitude for India was correct, but even if his estimates of distance and the ...
Ray Butterworth's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
385 views

Where did the term "Indies" come from?

According to this Wikipedia article: Exploration of the East Indies by European powers began in the last three years of the 15th century and continued into the 16th century, led by the Portuguese ...
Elon Tusk's user avatar
  • 123
0 votes
1 answer
1k views

What were the names of Amerigo Vespucci's ships?

What were the names of the ships that Amerigo Vespucci used during his exploratory cruises? He was Italian; the American continent was named after him.
Jane B.'s user avatar
  • 131
0 votes
0 answers
44 views

When did people learn that Columbus actually discovered a New World? [duplicate]

I know that Christopher Columbus never learnt that the land he discovered was actually a new continent. Until his death he thought that he reached Asia. There probably was a hypothesis in the very ...
mentor93's user avatar
32 votes
2 answers
9k views

Why could Phoenicians sail past Cape Bojador but later Europeans could not until 1434?

Cape Bojador is unknown to most people today but it was considered as the edge of the world for much of the worlds history. Any ship that sailed past it never returned. Only in the 15th century, the ...
Orsinus's user avatar
  • 3,433
8 votes
1 answer
392 views

Why did the Portuguese permit an Italian commercial agent to accompany Vasco da Gama on the 4th Portuguese India Armada?

From Conquerors by Roger Crowley, A second detachment of five ships under Estevao de Gama followed on April 1. The amplified expedition included a number of observers who would write eyewitness ...
wireman's user avatar
  • 497
-1 votes
1 answer
257 views

Was the fall of the Inca Empire inevitable? [closed]

Some time ago I watched a documentary on Inca Empire, since its creation to the death of Túpac Amaru. Although it wasn't stated explicitly, I came out of it with an impression that after Manco Inca ...
Reverent Lapwing's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
177 views

Was the strait of Malacca a potential "chokepoint" during the age of discovery?

The Strait of Malacca runs between the east coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra and the Malaccan peninsula on the west coast Malaysia and is fairly narrow. It is the most direct route from India ...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 104k
0 votes
1 answer
214 views

What prevented empires with territory in North Africa from expanding south of the Sahara? And vice versa [closed]

Almost all empires I've seen that existed north of Sahara, did not expand to the south. And the empires south of the Sahara did not expand to the north (except for post 15th century European ...
Samid's user avatar
  • 2,192
4 votes
0 answers
108 views

Were crosses frequently used as communication while exploring?

Were big crosses/little crosses a common method of communication during the Age of Exploration? I have read some sources, such as this, Robert and Roberts' book A History of New Mexico, and other ...
Village's user avatar
  • 1,107
9 votes
2 answers
406 views

Do maps dating back to 1489/90 show Ascension and St Helena even though these islands were supposedly only discovered in 1501 and 1502 respectively?

The 1504 Vesconte Maggiolo Map appears to be the first map to name and accurately locate the islands of St Helena and Ascension as single isloated islands. Ascension was shown in a similar location ...
user8654's user avatar
  • 723
1 vote
0 answers
82 views

What factors enabled or motivated the Age of Exploration? [closed]

I am teaching an upcoming lesson on Columbus. I want to provide background for what conditions enabled the crossing, along with other similar expeditions in the early stages of the Age of Exploration. ...
Village's user avatar
  • 1,107
5 votes
3 answers
293 views

When did the Portuguese decide to extend their West African exploration to finding a sea passage to India?

In 1421, when the Portuguese began the southwards exploration of the West African coast under Prince Henry the Navigator, their primary aim (there were several) was to find the source of wealthy goods ...
user8654's user avatar
  • 723
34 votes
3 answers
4k views

When the Portuguese began the exploration of the West African Coast, did they believe the Indian Ocean was an enclosed sea?

The Ptolemy map shows the Indian Ocean as an enclosed sea separated from the Atlantic by land extending from Africa to Malaya. Therefore, it suggests it is impossible to reach the Indian Ocean from ...
user8654's user avatar
  • 723
6 votes
0 answers
254 views

What were the contemporary European reactions of de Vlamingh's sightings of black swans?

Willem de Vlamingh is reportedly the first European to have seen black swans near modern-day Perth, Western Australia in 1697. The 'black swan' had existed in Europe as a metaphor for about fifteen ...
gktscrk's user avatar
  • 10.8k
2 votes
1 answer
390 views

When did James Cook's wife learn about his death?

James Cook died on 14 February 1779 in Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii. When did his wife Elizabeth hear about his death?
Matty's user avatar
  • 29
2 votes
2 answers
331 views

Is there any first-hand evidence of intentional spreading of disease among natives in the Pacific Northwest?

I was working as an interpreter at a city park, and was giving a guided tour of the coast. Because the north end of the city is where an old Native wintering village was, and the outline of it was ...
awsirkis's user avatar
  • 123
9 votes
1 answer
687 views

How close did a Manila galleon ever come to Hawaii?

Between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, Manila galleons sailed regularly between Mexico and the Philippines. Consistent ocean currents informed their clockwise route. After the Spanish had ...
Aaron Brick's user avatar
  • 27.5k
3 votes
1 answer
674 views

Why did the English name of "Pacific Ocean" stick if it has been known by many cultures since ancient times? [closed]

As far as I understand, the largest ocean on Earth is know worldwide as the Pacific Ocean, a name given by Ferdinand Magellan in 1519. However, it is surprising to me that such a name stuck given that ...
Camilo Rada's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
285 views

Independent development of ocean navigation

I am wondering about who can reasonably claim to independently have developed navigating oceans. It is quite clear that the Iberians had the technology around 1500; and that the proto-Polynesians had ...
Arno's user avatar
  • 1,175
14 votes
3 answers
1k views

Which 'evidence' is there for a claim that 'Chinese discovered America in 636'?

The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics is a branch of the Ministry of Planning, Budget, and Management. On its own website it has a history timeline with a few curious dates: catálogo ID:...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.8k
1 vote
3 answers
289 views

Were the islands/countries discovered by Hispanic explorers named after Mozarabic feast days? [closed]

The Spanish and Portuguese often named newly discovered countries and islands after the feast days they were discovered, especially during the late 15th and early 16th centuries. It is always assumed ...
user8654's user avatar
  • 723
5 votes
2 answers
214 views

Did the Portuguese Crown sponsor Brazilian gold-seeking expeditions (bandeiras) in the 17th century?

The end of the 17th century is the beginning of the gold rush in Brazil. Shortly before there were expeditions (bandeiras) of explorers (later called bandeirantes) who were seeking precious minerals ...
korsun's user avatar
  • 151
4 votes
2 answers
486 views

Are there any histories of indigenous Americans who were taken to Europe?

I have read brief accounts of indigenous Americans who were taken to Europe in the wake of Columbus's arrival, including a family of Inuit who were taken to meet Elizabeth I but died shortly after ...
Bondosan's user avatar
  • 191
8 votes
2 answers
514 views

How did tobacco affect the English colonies economically during the 17th Century?

During the Age of Exploration (focusing on 17th century), England went and colonized the Americas, founding the original 13 colonies. They brought back many new wonders, namely, tobacco. I know that ...
Mine Rockers's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

When was the first confirmed circumnavigation of Africa?

There has been debate over the years about whether the Phoenicians and Egyptians circumnavigated Africa. An expedition beginning in 2008 set out to prove just that, with a Phoenician-inspired ship. ...
Riialto's user avatar
  • 77
9 votes
1 answer
324 views

How old is Philippe Buache's map of New Discoveries?

(See 6MB high-resolution version.) The University of Hawai'i at Manoa owns a copy of this map of the Pacific by Phillippe Buache. Its library record gives the date "Circa 1750"; I wonder if we can be ...
Aaron Brick's user avatar
  • 27.5k
15 votes
3 answers
3k views

Did any Moors accompany Hernando de Soto in his exploration of Mississippi?

I was reading about Hernando de Soto and saw William Powell's painting (Relevant bit cropped and added below): The odd thing (Marked with a red arrow) is the man who looks Moorish and is dressed in ...
NSNoob's user avatar
  • 8,175
37 votes
1 answer
9k views

Why did the Royal Society in 1771 believe that a continent further south than Australia should exist?

In reading the wikipedia article on Captain Cook's 2nd voyage, I noticed the comment: Despite this evidence to the contrary, Alexander Dalrymple and others of the Royal Society still believed that a ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar
28 votes
7 answers
12k views

Why didn't the Moroccans try to explore and conquer the New World?

Why didn't the Marinid try to discover and colonize the New World during the 15th and 16th centuries, like the Spanish and Portuguese? They faced the Atlantic Ocean and had the power and the ...
Mr.lock's user avatar
  • 1,069
-4 votes
2 answers
397 views

Nothing is discovered until a white man finds out about it [closed]

It is sometimes complained that nothing is considered to have been "discovered" until a white man learns of it. Thus Columbus "discovered" America, and Livingstone "discovered" Lake Victoria. I have ...
Michael Hardy's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

How did sailing technology improve during the Age of Sail? [closed]

Wikipedia article on the Middle Passage says: while an average transatlantic journey of the early 16th century lasted several months, by the 19th century the crossing often required fewer than six ...
Max Yankov's user avatar
60 votes
4 answers
12k views

Why did Columbus cross the mid-Atlantic instead of exploring from Greenland?

Greenland was known to Europe since long before 1492. In fact, Leif Erikson reached modern Canadian lands around the year 1000, coming from Greenland. That journey was forgotten, but he chose a ...
DrZ214's user avatar
  • 17.3k
2 votes
0 answers
124 views

Independent persons founding personal fiefdoms

Question: I am interested to know of any more possible instances like Sarawak and the Cocos-Keeling Islands described below, where individuals have managed to establish de facto fiefdoms or states ...
Henningsson's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
319 views

Where did Vasco Núñez de Balboa first see the South Ocean?

Do we know the exact place in Panama where Vasco Núñez de Balboa first saw the South Ocean? (If so, do we have a picture of this place where he saw the two oceans at the same time?) In Decisive ...
Polk's user avatar
  • 153
10 votes
8 answers
3k views

Is there a relationship between Portugal and Spain being able to discover the New World and the Moor occupation?

This documentary circa 01:07:20 discusses the Renaissance in Toledo. To me that seems plausible. The knowledge and culture brought by the Moors seems a much better catalyzer to escape the dark ages' ...
Yuri Borges's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
833 views

How did Vasco da Gama know about the Southern Cross?

It is said that the precession cycle of the Earth's axis takes about 26,000 years to complete. It is also said that the ancient Greeks could see Crux (aka the Southern Cross) from where they lived. It ...
Ricky's user avatar
  • 3,435
5 votes
1 answer
383 views

Was John Cabot the first European to reach Newfoundland since (arguably) the Vikings?

Recently I read Cod, by Mark Kurlansky, a poorly written yet amazingly informative book on the history of cod fishing. Among other fascinating things in that book, the Basques are mentioned as ...
Ricky's user avatar
  • 3,435
5 votes
1 answer
10k views

What was Pizarro's route between Spain and Peru?

What was the sea route generally used by Francisco Pizarro and his contemporaries to go from Spain to Peru (and back)? Was it: Sea route 1.: Through Panama Isthmus (with a passage in the land) Sea ...
Polk's user avatar
  • 61
32 votes
4 answers
1k views

How did the ruling class in the Muslim world react to the discovery and colonization of the Americas?

Since Columbus' voyage in 1492, the Europeans began to explore and colonize the Americas. During the next century, the Spanish (and the Portuguese?) extracted a lot of wealth from the Americas, ...
user69715's user avatar
  • 7,080
19 votes
5 answers
5k views

What did other European powers say when Portugal and Spain signed the Treaty of Tordesillas?

In 1494, Portugal and Castile (succeeded by Spain) divided all lands outside Europe, including the newly "on-discovering" Americas, between them signing the Treaty of Tordesillas. What were the ...
curiouser's user avatar
  • 458
26 votes
6 answers
19k views

How significant was the Fall of Constantinople as an event leading to the Age of Exploration?

I have been hearing that the Fall of Constantinople was the most important event that ultimately led to the Age of Exploration, mainly the discovery of the New World by Columbus and of the sea route ...
taninamdar's user avatar
  • 3,053
117 votes
9 answers
47k views

Why did Native Americans die from European diseases while Europeans didn't catch serious diseases from the New World?

Why did Native Americans die of European diseases while Europeans didn't have serious diseases from the New World? I read that most Native American victims of colonization in the new world died of ...
CsBalazsHungary's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
6k views

Did Portuguese fisherman visit New England prior to 1492?

This might blow your mind a little bit, but one thing I notice, living in New England as I do, that there are the remnants of a tiny Portuguese community here going way, way back. For example, there ...
Tyler Durden's user avatar
  • 37.8k
3 votes
0 answers
139 views

What convinced the Europeans that they hadn't landed in Asia? [duplicate]

Famously, when Columbus (and several other European explorers) landed in the New World, they thought they'd reached Asia. Hence, for example, our use of the word "Indians" for the local peoples. ...
Nerrolken's user avatar
  • 7,692
11 votes
1 answer
2k views

Around the time of Columbus, were there other failed attempts?

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. He sailed farther than anyone else had ever done, on three tiny ill-equipped ships. After days of sailing he finally reached his intended destination and ...
CGCampbell's user avatar
  • 3,606
12 votes
7 answers
4k views

Was there a Japanese Exchange, à la Columbian Exchange?

After the European (re-)discovery of the Americas, there was a widespread transfer of animals, plants, culture, human populations, communicable diseases, technology and ideas between the Americas and ...
CGCampbell's user avatar
  • 3,606