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Title: Prince Henry the Navigator, the Hero of Portugal and of Modern Discovery, 1394-1460 A.D. - With an Account of Geographical Progress Throughout the Middle Ages As the Preparation for His Work.
Author: Beazley, C. Raymond, 1868-1955
Language: English
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       *       *       *       *       *

Heroes of the Nations.


I.--Nelson, and the Naval Supremacy of England. By W. CLARK RUSSELL,
author of "The Wreck of the Grosvenor," etc.

II.--Gustavus Adolphus, and the Struggle of Protestantism for Existence.
By C.R.L. FLETCHER, M.A., late Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford.

III.--Pericles, and the Golden Age of Athens. By EVELYN ABBOTT, M.A.,
Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford.

IV.--Theodoric the Goth, the Barbarian Champion of Civilisation. By
THOMAS HODGKIN, author of "Italy and Her Invaders," etc.

V.--Sir Philip Sidney: Type of English Chivalry. By H.R. FOX BOURNE.

VI.--Julius Cæsar, and the Organisation of the Roman Empire. By WARDE
FOWLER, M.A., Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford.

VII.--Wyclif, Last of the Schoolmen and First of the English Reformers.

VIII.--Napoleon, Warrior and Ruler; and the Military Supremacy of
Revolutionary France. By WILLIAM O'CONNOR MORRIS.

IX.--Henry of Navarre, and the Huguenots in France. By P.F. WILLERT,
M.A., Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford.

X.--Cicero, and the Fall of the Roman Republic. By J.L.
STRACHAN-DAVIDSON, M.A., Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford.

XI.--Abraham Lincoln, and the Downfall of American Slavery. By NOAH

XII.--Prince Henry (of Portugal) the Navigator, and the Age of
Discovery. By C.R. BEAZLEY, Fellow of Merton College, Oxford.

XIII.--Julian the Philosopher, and the Last Struggle of Paganism against
Christianity. By ALICE GARDNER, Lecturer on Ancient History, Newnham

XIV.--Louis XIV., and the Zenith of the French Monarchy. By ARTHUR
HASSALL, M.A., Senior Student of Christ Church College, Oxford.

(For titles of volumes next to appear and for further details of this
Series see prospectus at end of volume.)


       *       *       *       *       *

Heroes of the Nations

Edited by Evelyn Abbot, M.A.
Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford



1394-1460 A.D.

With an Account of Geographical Progress Throughout the Middle Ages As
the Preparation for His Work



Fellow of Merton College, Oxford; Geographical Student in the University
of Oxford, 1894

    Venient annis sæcula seris
    Quibus Oceanus vincula rerum
    Laxet, et ingens pateat tellus,
    Tethys que novos detegat orbes,
    Nec sit terris ultima Thule.

SENECA, _Medea_ 376/380.


G. P. Putnam's Sons
New York
27 West Twenty-Third Street
24 Bedford Street, Strand
The Knickerbocker Press
Copyright, 1894
G. P. Putnam's Sons
Entered at Stationers' Hall, London
Electrotyped, Printed and Bound by
The Knickerbocker Press, New York
G. P. Putnam's Sons


  PREFACE                                         xvii




  EARLY CHRISTIAN PILGRIMS (CIRCA 333-867)          29


  VIKINGS OR NORTHMEN (CIRCA 787-1066)              50




  MARITIME EXPLORATION (CIRCA 1250-1410)           106


  FIRST CRUSADES (CIRCA 1100-1460)                 114


  PORTUGAL TO 1400 (1095-1400)                     123


  THE FIRST VOYAGES, 1410-15                       138




  (1418-28)                                        160


  CAPE BOJADOR AND THE AZORES (1428-41)            168


  HENRY'S POLITICAL LIFE (1433-41)                 179


  FROM BOJADOR TO CAPE VERDE (1441-5)              192


  THE ARMADA OF 1445                               228


  VOYAGES OF 1446-8                                240


  THE AZORES (1431-60)                             250


  DON PEDRO (1440-9)                               257


  CADAMOSTO (1455-6)                               261


  VOYAGES OF DIEGO GOMEZ (1458-60)                 289


  HENRY'S LAST YEARS AND DEATH (1458-60)           299



  INDEX                                            325




  Built on the site of an old sailor's chapel, existing in
  Prince Henry's day, and used by his men. In the niche
  between the two great entrance doors, is a statue of Prince
  Henry in armour.

  THE MONASTERY CHURCH AT BATALHA[1]                       132

  West front of church in which Prince Henry and his
  House lie buried. This church was founded by the Prince's
  father, King John, in memory of his victory over Castille
  at Aljubarrota.


  The aisle containing the tombs of Prince Henry and his
  brothers, the Infants of the House of Aviz.


  Henry's father and mother, from their tomb in the Abbey
  of Batalha.

  GATEWAY OF THE CHURCH AT THOMAR                          154

  The Mother Church of the Order of Christ, of which
  Henry was Grand-Master.

  HENRY IN MORNING DRESS[2]                                258

  The original forms the frontispiece to the Paris MS. of
  Azurara's _Discovery and Conquest of Guinea_.

  COIMBRA UNIVERSITY                                       298

  THE RECUMBENT STATUE OF PRINCE HENRY                     306

  From his tomb in Batalha Church; with his escutcheons (1)
  as titular King of Cyprus; (2) as Knight of the Garter of
  England; (3) as Grand Master of the Order of Christ.

  ALLEGORICAL PIECE[3]                                     310

  Supposed to represent Columbus, as St. Christopher,
  carrying across the ocean the Christian faith, in the
  form of the infant Christ. From the map of Juan de la
  Cosa, 1500.

  VASCO DA GAMA[4]                                         314

  From a portrait in the possession of the Count of

  AFFONSO D'ALBUQUERQUE[5]                                 318

[Footnote 1: From a water-colour.]

[Footnote 2: From Major's _Life of Henry the Navigator_.]

[Footnote 3: From the Hakluyt Society's _Select Letters of Columbus_.]

[Footnote 4: From the Hakluyt Society's edition of _Three Voyages of
Vasco da Gama_.]

[Footnote 5: From the Hakluyt Society's edition of Albuquerque's


  THE WORLD ACCORDING TO PTOLEMY                            2

  From Nordenskjöld's fac-simile atlas

  THE WORLD ACCORDING TO EDRISI. _c._ 1150            24

  As reconstructed by M. Reinaud from the written
  descriptions of the Arabic geographer. This illustrates
  the extremely unreal and untrue conception of the earth
  among Moslem students, especially those who followed the
  theories of Ptolomy--_e.g._, in the extension to
  Africa eastward, so as practically or actually to join
  China, making the Indian Ocean an inland sea.

  THE MAPPE-MONDE OF ST. SEVER                             48

  (B. Mus., Map room, shelf 35 [5], sheet 6). Of uncertain
  date, between _c._ 780-980 but probably not later
  than the 10th century. One of the earliest examples of
  Christian map-making.

  THE ANGLO-SAXON MAP                                      54

  (B. Mus., Cotton mss., Tib. B.V., fol. 59). This gives
  us the most interesting and accurate view of the world
  that we get in the pre-Crusading Christian science. The
  square, but not conventional outline is detailed with
  considerable care and precision. The writing, though
  minute, is legible; but the Nile, which, like the Red
  Sea in Africa, is coloured _red_, in contrast to the
  ordinary _grey_ of water in this example, is made to
  wander about Africa from side to side, with occasional
  disappearances, in a thoroughly mythical fashion. This
  map, from a ms. of Priscian's _Peviegesis_, appears
  to have been executed at the end of the 10th century; it
  is on vellum, highly finished, and has been engraved, in
  outline, in Playfair's _Atlas_ (Pl. I), and more fully
  in the _Penny Magazine_ (July 22, 1837). In the reign
  of Henry II., it appears to have belonged to Battle Abbey.

  THE TURIN MAP OF THE 11TH CENTURY                        76

  (B. Mus., Map room. From Ottino's reproduction).
  One of the oldest and simplest of Christian Mappe-Mondes,
  giving a special prominence to Paradise, (with the figures
  of Adam, Eve, and the serpent), to the mountains and
  rivers of the world, and to the four winds of heaven. It is
  to be associated with the Spanish map of 1109, and the
  Mappe-Monde of St. Sever.

  THE SPANISH-ARABIC MAP OF 1109                           84

  (B. Mus., Add. mss., 11695). The original, gorgeously
  coloured, represents the crudest of Christian and Moslem
  notions of the world. Even more crude than in the Turin
  map and the Mappe-Monde of St. Sever, both of which offer
  some resemblances to this. The earth is represented as of
  quadrangular shape, surrounded by the ocean. At the E.
  is Paradise with the figures of the Temptation. A part of
  the S. is cut off by the Red Sea, which is straight (and
  coloured red), just as the straight Mediterranean, with its
  quadrangular islands, divides the N.W. quarter, or Europe,
  from the S.W. quarter, or Africa. The Ægean Sea joins
  the Mediterranean at a right angle, in the centre of the
  map. In the ocean, bordering the whole, are square
  islands, _e.g._, Tile (Thule), Britania, Scocia,
  Fu(o)rtunarum insula. The Turin map occurs in another
  copy of the same work--_A Commentary on the Apocalypse_.

  THE PSALTER MAP OF THE 13TH CENTURY                      92

  (B. Mus., Add. mss., 28, 681). A good illustration of
  the circular type of mediæval map, which is sometimes
  little better than a panorama of legends and monsters.
  Christ at the top; the dragons crushed beneath him at the
  bottom; Jerusalem, the navel of the earth, in the middle
  as a sort of bull's-eye to a target, all show a "religious"
  geography. The line of queer figures, on the right side,
  figuring the S. coast of Africa, suggests a parallel with the
  still more fanciful Mappe-Monde of Hereford. (For copy
  see Bevan and Phillott's edition of the Hereford map).

  MAP _c._ 1275-1300                                 106

  (B. Mus., King's Lib., XXIII). The S. coast of Africa,
  as in the Psalter map, is fringed with monstrous tribes;
  monstrous animals fill up a good deal of the interior; half
  of the wheel representing Jerusalem in the middle of the
  world appears in the N.E. corner; and the designer's idea
  of the Mediterranean and Atlantic islands is specially noteworthy.
  The Hereford map is a specimen of the thoroughly
  traditional and unpractical school of mediæval geographers
  who based their work on books, or fashionable collections
  of travellers' tales--such as Pliny, Solinus, or Martianus
  Capella--and who are to be distinguished from the scientific
  school of the same period, whose best works were the
  Portolani, or coast-charts of the early 14th century.


  (B. Mus., King's Lib., 149 F. 2 p. 282). The shape of
  Africa in this map is supposed by some to be valuable in the
  history of geographical advance, as suggesting the possibility
  of getting round from the Atlantic into the Indian Ocean.

  SKETCH MAP OF DULCERT'S PORTOLANO OF 1339               116

  (From Nordenskjöld's fac-simile atlas). This illustrates
  the accuracy of the 14th century coast-charts, especially in
  the Mediterranean.

  THE LAURENTIAN PORTOLANO OF 1351                        120

  (From the Medicean Lib. at Florence; reproduced in
  B. Mus., Map room, shelf 158, 22, 23). This is the most
  remarkable of all the Portolani of the 14th century, as
  giving a view of the world, and especially Africa, which is
  far nearer the actual truth than could be expected. Especially
  its outline of S. Africa and of the bend of the Guinea
  coast, is surprisingly near the truth, even as a guess, in
  a chart made one hundred and thirty-five years before the
  Cape of Good Hope was first rounded.

  N.W. SECTION OF THE CATALAN MAP OF 1375-6               124

  (B. Mus., Map room, 13, 14). This gives the British
  Islands, the W. coasts of Europe, N. Africa as far as Cape
  Boyador, and the Canaries and other islands in the Atlantic.
  The interior of Africa is filled with fantastic pictures of
  native tribes; the boat load of men off Cape Boyador in the
  extreme S.W. of the map probably represents the Catalan
  explorers of the year 1346, whose voyage in search of the
  "River of Gold" this map commemorates.


  (Engraved in copper 1595. Almost an unaltered copy of
  a Portolano from the 14th century. From Nordenskjöld's
  fac-simile atlas). This illustrates the remarkable
  correctness in the drawing of the Mediterranean basin
  and the coasts of W. Europe, reached by the Italian and
  Balearic coast-charts, or Portolani, in the 14th century.

  THE BORGIAN MAP OF 1450                                 290

  (B. Mus., Map room, shelf 2 [6], 13, 14; copy of 1797).
  This map was executed just before the fall of Constantinople
  (1453), and gives a view of the world as imagined
  in the 15th century. It is very fantastic and
  unscientific, but remarkable among its kind for its
  comparative freedom from ecclesiastical influence.

  MAURO, 1457-9                                           302

  (_Cf._ reproduction in B. Mus., Add. mss., 11267, and
  photographic copy in Map room). This map of Fra Mauro
  of Murano, (near Venice), is usually understood to be a sort
  of picture, not merely of the world as then known, but of
  Prince Henry's discoveries in particular on the W. African
  coast. From this point of view it is perhaps disappointing;
  the inlet of the Rio d'Ouro(?), to the S. of the Sahara,
  is exaggerated beyond all recognition; at the S. Cape (of
  Good Hope) a great island is depicted, separated from the
  mainland by a narrow channel--possibly Madagascar

  SKETCH-MAP OF FRA MAURO'S MAPPE-MONDE                   304

  As reduced and simplified in Lelewel's _Atlas_.
  The corners of the table are filled up with four small
  circles representing: (1) The Ptolemaic System in the
  Spheres. (2) The lunar influences over the tides. (3) The
  circles described in the terrestial globe. (4) A picture
  of the expulsion from Eden, with the four sacred rivers.

  MAP OF 1492                                             322

  (B. Mus., Add. mss. 15760). This gives a general view
  of the Portuguese discoveries along the whole W. coast of
  Africa, and just beyond the Cape of Good Hope, which
  was rounded in 1486.

[Footnote 6: **Missing.** Please see the Transcriber's Note
at the foot of the text.]


This volume aims at giving an account, based throughout upon original
sources, of the progress of geographical knowledge and enterprise in
Christendom throughout the Middle Ages, down to the middle or even the
end of the fifteenth century, as well as a life of Prince Henry the
Navigator, who brought this movement of European Expansion within sight
of its greatest successes. That is, as explained in Chapter I., it has
been attempted to treat Exploration as one continuous thread in the
story of Christian Europe from the time of the conversion of the Empire;
and to treat the life of Prince Henry as the turning-point, the central
epoch in a development of many centuries: this life, accordingly, has
been linked as closely as possible with what went before and prepared
for it; one third of the text, at least, has been occupied with the
history of the preparation of the earlier time, and the difference
between our account of the eleventh-and fifteenth-century Discovery, for
instance, will be found to be chiefly one of less and greater detail.
This difference depends, of course, on the prominence in the later time
of a figure of extraordinary interest and force, who is the true hero in
the drama of the Geographical Conquest of the Outer World that starts
from Western Christendom. The interest that centres round Henry is
somewhat clouded by the dearth of complete knowledge of his life; but
enough remains to make something of the picture of a hero, both of
science and of action.

Our subject, then, has been strictly historical, but a history in which
a certain life, a certain biographical centre, becomes more and more
important, till from its completed achievement we get our best outlook
upon the past progress of a thousand years, on this side, and upon the
future progress of those generations which realised the next great
victories of geographical advance.

The series of maps which illustrate this account, give the same
continuous view of the geographical development of Europe and
Christendom down to the end of Prince Henry's age. These are, it is
believed, the first English reproductions in any accessible form of
several of the great charts of the Middle Ages, and taken together they
will give, it is hoped, the best view of Western or Christian map-making
before the time of Columbus that is to be found in any English book,
outside the great historical atlases.

In the same way the text of this volume, especially in the earlier
chapters, tries to supply a want--which is believed to exist--of a
connected account from the originals known to us, of the expansion of
Europe through geographical enterprise, from the conversion of the
Empire to the period of those discoveries which mark most clearly the
transition from the Middle Ages to the Modern World.

       *       *       *       *       *

The chief authorities have been:

For the Introductory chapter: (1) Reinaud's account of the Arabic
geographers and their theories in connection with the Greek, in his
edition of Abulfeda, Paris, 1848; (2) Sprenger's Massoudy, 1841; (3)
Edrisi, translated by Amédée Jaubert; (4) Ibn-Batuta (abridgment),
translated by S. Lee, London, 1829; (5) Abulfeda, edited and translated
by Reinaud; (6) Abyrouny's _India_, specially chapters i., 10-14; xvii.,
18-31; (7) texts of Strabo and Ptolemy; (8) Wappäus' _Heinrich der
Seefahrer_, part 1.

I. For Chapter I. (Early Christian Pilgrims): (1) _Itinera et
Descriptiones Terræ Sanctæ_, vols. i. and ii., published by the Société
de l'Orient, Latin, Geneva, 1877 and 1885, which give the original texts
of nearly all the Palestine Pilgrims' memoirs to the death of Bernard
the Wise; (2) the Publications of the Palestine Pilgrims' Text Society;
(3) Thomas Wright's _Early Travels in Palestine_ (Bohn); (4) Avezac's
_Recueil pour Servir à l'histoire de la géographie_; (5) some recent
German studies on the early pilgrim records, _e.g._, Gildemeister on
Antoninus of Placentia.

II. For Chapter II. (The Vikings): (1) Snorro Sturleson's _Heimskringla_
or Sagas of the Norse Kings; (2) Dozy's essays; (3) the, possibly
spurious, _Voyages of the Zeni_, with the Journey of Ivan Bardsen, in
the Hakluyt Society's Publications.

III. For Chapter III. (The Crusades and Land Travel): (1) Publication of
the Palestine Pilgrims' Text Society; (2) Avezac's edition of the
originals in his _Recueil pour Sevir à l'histoire de la géographie_; (3)
Yule's _Cathay and the Way Thither_; (4) Yule's Marco Polo; (5) Benjamin
of Tudela and others in Wright's _Early Travels in Palestine_; (6)
Yule's _Friar Jordanus_; (7) Sir John Mandeville's _Travels_.

IV. For Chapter IV. (Maritime Exploration): (1) The Marino Sanuto Map of
1306; (2) the Laurentian Portolano of 1351; (3) The Catalan Map of
1375-6; (4) scattered notices collected in early chapters of R.H.
Major's _Prince Henry the Navigator_; (5) Béthencourt's _Conquest of the
Canaries_ (Hakluyt Society, ed., Major); (6) Wappäus' _Heinrich der
Seefahrer_, part 2.

V. For Chapter V. (Geographical Science): (1) Neckam's _De Naturis
Rerum_; (2) the seven chief Mappe-Mondes of the fourteenth and early
fifteenth centuries; (3) the leading Portolani; (4) scattered notices,
_e.g._, from Guyot de Provins' "Bible," Brunetto Latini, Beccadelli of
Palermo, collected in early chapters of Major's _Henry the Navigator_;
(5) Wauwerman's _Henri le Navigateur_.

VI. For Chapter VI. (Portugal to 1400): (1) _The Chronicle of Don John
I._; (2) Oliveiro Martins' _Sons of Don John I._; (3) A. Herculano's
_History of Portugal_; (4) Osbernus de Expugnatione Lixbonensi.

VII. For Chapter VII. (Henry's position in 1415): Azurara's _Discovery
and Conquest of Guinea_.

VIII. For Chapter VIII. (Ceuta): (1) Azurara's _Chronicle of the
Conquest of Ceuta_; (2) Azurara's _Discovery of Guinea_.

IX. For Chapter IX. (Henry's Settlement at Sagres): (1) Azurara's
_Guinea_; (2) De Barro's _Asia_; (3) Wauwerman's _Henri le Navigateur et
l'École Portugaise de Sagres_.

X. For Chapter X. (Cape Bojador and the Azores): (1) Azurara's _Guinea_;
(2) O. Martins' _Sons of Don John I._

XI. For Chapter XI. (Henry's Political Life, 1433-41): (1) Pina's
_Chronicle of King Edward_; (2) O. Martins' _Sons of Don John I._; (3)
Azurara's _Chronicle of John I._; (4) Pina's _Chronicle of Affonso V._

XII. For Chapter XII. (From Boyador to Cape Verde).--(1) Azurara's
_Guinea_; (2) De Barros; (3) Pina's _Chronicle of Affonso V._; (4) O.
Martins' _Sons of Don John I._

For Chapters XIII. to the end.--(1) Azurara's _Discovery and Conquest of
Guinea_; (2) Narratives of Cadamosto and Diego Gomez; (3) Pina's
_Chronicle of Affonso V._; (4) Prince Henry's Charters.

The three modern lives of Prince Henry which I have chiefly consulted

R.H. Major's _Henry the Navigator_, Wappäus' _Heinrich der Seeffahrer_,
and De Weer's _Prinz Heinrich_, with O. Martins' _Lives of the Infants
of the House of Aviz_ in his _Sons of Don John I._

The maps and illustrations have been planned in a regular series.

I. As to the former, they are meant to show in an historical succession
the course of geographical advance in Christendom down to the death of
Prince Henry (1460). Setting aside the Ptolemy, which represents the
knowledge of the world at its height in the pre-Christian civilisation,
and the Edrisi which represents the Arabic followers of Ptolemy, whose
influence upon early Christian geography was very marked, all the maps
reproduced belong to the science of the Christian ages and countries.
The two Mappe-mondes above referred to are both placed in the
introductory chapter, and are treated only as the most important
examples of the science which the Græco-Roman Empire bequeathed to
Christendom, but which between the seventh and thirteenth centuries was
chiefly worked upon by the Arabs. Among early Christian maps, that of
St. Sever, possibly of the eighth century, the Anglo-Saxon map of the
tenth century, the Turin Map of the eleventh, and the Spanish map of the
twelfth (1109), represent very crude and simple types of sketches of the
world, in which within a square or oblong surrounded by the ocean a few
prominent features only, such as the main divisions of countries, are
attempted. The Anglo-Saxon example, though greatly superior to the
others given here, essentially belongs to this kind of work, where some
little truth is preserved by a happy ignorance of the travellers' tales
that came into fashion later, but where there is only the vaguest and
most general knowledge of geographical facts.

On the other hand, in the next group, to which the Psalter map is
allied, and in which the Hereford map is our best example, mythical
learning--drawn from books like Pliny, Solinus, St. Isidore, and
Martianus Capella, which collected stories of beasts and monsters,
stones and men, divine, human, and natural marvels on the principle
_Credo quia impossible_--has overpowered every other consideration, and
a map of the world becomes a great picture-book of curious objects, in
which the very central and primary interest of geography is lost. But by
the side of and almost at the same time as these specimens of
geographical mythology, geographical science had taken a new start in
the coast charts or portolani of Balearic and Italian seamen, some
specimens of which form our next set of maps.

Dulcert's portolano of 1339 and the Laurentian of 1351 are two of the
best examples of this kind of work, which gave us our first really
accurate map of any part of the globe, but which for some time was
entirely confined to coast drawing, and was meant to supply the
practical wants of captains, pilots, and seamen. The Catalan atlas of
1375-6 shows the portolano type extended to a real Mappa Mundi; the
elaborate carefulness and sumptuousness of this example prepares us for
the still higher work of Andrea Bianco and of Benincasa in the fifteenth
century. As the Laurentian portolano of 1351 commemorates the voyage of
1341 and marks its discoveries in the Atlantic islands, so the Catalan
map of 1375-6 commemorates the Catalan voyage of 1346, and gives the
best and most up-to-date picture of the N.W. African coast as it was
known before Prince Henry's discoveries.

Last of these groups of maps is that of examples from Henry's own age,
such as the Fra Mauro map of 1459 or the maps of Andrea Bianco and
Benincasa (_e.g._, 1436, 1448, 1468), among which the first-named is the
only one we have been able to give here.

The Borgian map of 1450 is given as an extraordinary specimen of what
could be done as late as 1450, not as an example of geographical
progress; and the map of 1492, recording Portuguese discoveries down to
the rounding of the Cape of Good Hope, is added to illustrate the
advance of explorers in the years closely following Henry's death, as it
was realised at the time.

The maps have in most cases been set from the modern standpoint, but, as
will readily be seen by the position of the names, the normal mediæval
setting was quite different, with the S. or E. at the top.

II. The illustrations aim at giving portraits or pictures of the chief
persons and places connected with the life of Prince Henry. There are
three of the Prince himself; one from the Paris MS. of Azurara, one from
the gateway of the great convent church of Belem, one from the recumbent
statue over his tomb at Batalha. Two others give: (1) The whole group of
the royal tombs of Henry's house,--of his father, mother, and brothers
in the aisle at Batalha, and (2) the recumbent statues of his father and
mother, John and Philippa, in detail; the exterior and general effect of
the same church--Portugal's Westminster, and the mausoleum of the
Navigator's own family of Aviz--comes next, in a view of this greatest
of Portuguese shrines.

Coimbra University, with which as rector or chancellor or patron Prince
Henry was so closely connected, for which he once provided house room,
and in which his benefactions earned him the title of "Protector of the
studies of Portugal" is given to illustrate his life as a student and a
man of science; the mother church of the order of Christ at Thomar may
remind us of another side of his life--as a military monk, grand master
of an order of religious chivalry which at least professed to bind its
members to a single life, and which under his lead took an active part
in the exploration and settlement of the African coasts and the Atlantic

The portraits of Columbus, Da Gama, and Albuquerque, which conclude this
set of illustrations, are given as portraits of three of Prince Henry's
more or less conscious disciples and followers, of three men who did
most to realise his schemes. The first of these, who owed to Portuguese
advance towards the south the suggestion of corresponding success in the
west, and who found America by the western route to India,--as Henry had
planned nearly a century before to round Africa and reach Malabar by the
eastern and southern way,--was the nearest of the Prince's successful
imitators in time, the greatest in achievement; he was not a mere
follower of the Portuguese initiative, for he struck out a new line or
at least a neglected one, made the greatest of all geographical
additions to human knowledge, and took the most daring plunge into the
unknown that has ever been taken--but Columbus, beside his independent
position and interest, was certainly on one side a disciple of Henry the
Navigator, and drew much of his inspiration from the impulse that the
Prince had started. Da Gama, the first who sailed direct from Lisbon to
India round Africa, and Albuquerque, the maker, if not the founder, of
the Portuguese empire in the East, were simply the realisers of the vast
ambitions that take their start from the work and life of Prince Henry,
and he has a right to claim them as two leading champions of his plans
and policy. In many points Albuquerque, like Columbus, is more than a
follower; but in the main outline of his achievement he follows upon the
work of other men, and, among these men, of none so much as the Hero of
Portugal and of modern discovery.

Lastly. I have to thank many friends generally for their constant
kindness and readiness to assist in any way, and in particular several
for the most generous and valuable help in certain parts.

Mr. T.A. Archer, besides the benefit of his suggestions throughout, has
given special aid in Chapters I., III., V., and the Introductory
Chapter, especially where anything is said of the connection of
geographical progress with the Crusades.[7]

[Footnote 7: Compare Archer and Kingsford, _The Crusades_, in the
_Stories of the Nations_.]

Mr. F. York Powell has revised Chapter II. on the Vikings, and Professor
Margoliouth has done the same for the Introductory Chapter on Greek and
Arabic geography; Mr. Coote has not only given me every help in the map
room of the British Museum, but has read the proofs of Chapter V. Mr.
H. Yule-Oldham in Chapter XVIII. on the Voyage of Cadamosto, and Mr.
Prestage in Chapters VIII. and IX. on Prince Henry's capture of Ceuta
and settlement at Sagres, have been most kind in offering suggestions.
For several hints useful in Chapter I.--the early Christian pilgrims--I
have also to thank Professor Sanday; and for revision of a great part of
the proof-sheets of the entire book, Mr. G.N. Richardson and the Rev.
W.H. Hutton.

As to the illustrations, of portraits and monuments, etc., I am
especially obliged to the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University (Dr.
Boyd), who has allowed his water-colour paintings of Portuguese subjects
to be reproduced; and to the Rev. R. Livingstone of Pembroke, and Sir
John Hawkins of Oriel, for their loan of photographs.


    The Lusitanian Prince who, heaven-inspired,
    To love of useful glory roused mankind,
    And in unbounded commerce mixed the world.

THOMSON: _Seasons, Summer, 1010-2._



Arabic science constitutes one of the main links between the older
learned world of the Greeks and Latins and the Europe of Henry the
Navigator and of the Renaissance. In geography it adopted in the main
the results of Ptolemy and Strabo; and many of the Moslem travellers and
writers gained some additional hints from Indian, Persian, and Chinese
knowledge; but, however much of fact they added to Greek cartography,
they did not venture to correct its postulates.

And what were these postulates? In part, they were the assumptions of
modern draughtsmen, but in some important details they differed. And
first, as to agreement. Three continents, Europe, Asia, and Africa, an
encircling ocean, the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and Caspian, the Red
Sea and Persian Gulf, the South Asiatic, and North and West European
coasts were indicated with more or less precision in the science of the
Antonines and even of Hannibal's age. Similarly, the Nile and Danube,
Euphrates and Tigris, Indus and Ganges, Jaxartes and Oxus, Rhine and
Ebro, Don and Volga, with the chief mountain ranges of Europe and
Western Asia, find themselves pretty much in their right places in
Strabo's description, and are still better placed in the great chart of
Ptolemy. The countries and nations from China to Spain are arranged in
the order of modern knowledge. But the differences were fundamental
also. Never was there a clearer outrunning of knowledge by theory,
science by conjecture, than in Ptolemy's scheme of the world (_c._ A.D.
130). His chief predecessors, Eratosthenes and Strabo, had left much
blank space in their charts, and had made many mistakes in detail, but
they had caught the main features of the Old World with fair accuracy.
Ptolemy, in trying to fill up what he did not know from his inner
consciousness, evolved a parody of those features. His map, from its
intricate falsehood, backed as it was by the greatest name in
geographical science, paralysed all real enlargement of knowledge till
men began to question, not only his facts, but his theories. And as
all modern science, in fact, followed the progress of world-knowledge,
or "geography," we may see how important it was for this revolution to
take place, for Ptolemy to be dethroned.


The Arabs, commanding most of the centres of ancient learning (Ptolemy's
own Alexandria above all), riveted the pseudo-science of their
predecessors on the learned world, along with the genuine knowledge
which they handed down from the Greeks. In many details they corrected
and amplified the Greek results. But most of their geographical theories
were mere reproductions of Ptolemy's, and to his mistakes they added
wilder though less important confusions or inventions of their own. The
result of all this, by the tenth century A.D., was a geography, based
not on knowledge, but on ideas of symmetry. It was a scheme fit for the
_Arabian Nights_.

And how did Ptolemy lend himself to this?

His chief mistakes were only two;--but they were mistakes from which at
any rate Strabo and most of the Greek geographers are free. He made the
Indian Ocean an inland sea, and he filled up the Southern Hemisphere
with Africa, or the unknown Antarctic land in which he extended
Africa.[8] The Dark Continent, in his map, ran out on the one side to
the south-east of China, and on the other to the indefinite west, though
there was here no hint of America or an Atlantic continent. It was a
triumph of learned imagination over humdrum research. Science under
Hadrian was ambitious to have its world settled and known; it was not
yet settled or fully known; and so a great student constructed a
_mélange_ of fact and fancy mainly based on a guess-work of imaginary
astronomical reckonings. On the far east, Ptolemy joined China and
Africa; and on this imaginary western coast, fronting Malacca and
Further India, he placed various gratuitous towns and rivers. Coming to
smaller matters, he cut away the whole of the Indian peninsula proper,
though preserving the Further or "Golden" Chersonesus of the Malays, and
he enlarged Taprobane, or Ceylon, to double the size of Asia Minor. Thus
the southern coast of Asia from Arabia to the Ganges ran almost due
east, with a strait of sea coming through the modern Carnatic, between
the continent and the Great Spice Island, which included most of the
Deccan. The Persian Gulf, much greater on this map than the Black Sea,
was made equal in length and breadth; the shape of the Caspian was, so
to say, turned inside out and its length given as from east to west,
instead of from north to south; while the coast line, even of the
familiar Euxine, Ægean, and Southern Mediterranean, was anything but
true. Scandinavia was an island smaller than Ireland; Scotland
represented a great eastern bend of Britain, with the Shetlands and
Färoes (Thule) lying a short distance to the north, but on the left-hand
side of the great island. The Sea of Azov, hardly inferior to the
Euxine, stretched north half way across Russia. All Central Africa and
the great Southern or Antarctic continent was described as pathless
desert--"a land uninhabitable from the heat"; and the sources of the
Nile were accounted for by the marshes and Mountains of the Moon.

[Footnote 8: Rejecting the old idea of an encircling ocean as the girdle
or limit of the known world, and replacing it with a new fancy of
unbounded continent (on all sides except the north-west)--a fancy which
the vast extension of Roman Dominion under the Empire may have

Thus all the problems of ancient geography were explained: where
Ptolemy's knowledge failed him altogether, no Western of that time had
ever been, or was likely to go. The whole realised and unrealised world
was described with such clearness and consistency, men thought, that
what was lacking in Aristotle was now supplied.

Yet it is worth while observing how, centuries before Ptolemy, in the
ages nearer to Aristotle himself, the geography of Eratosthenes and
Strabo, by a more balanced use of knowledge and by a greater restraint
of fancy, had composed a far more reliable chart.[9]

[Footnote 9: In using the expressions "Chart," or "Map" of Strabo's
description (_c._ A.D. 20), it is not meant to imply that Strabo himself
left more than a written description from which a plan was afterwards
prepared: "The world according to Strabo." The same applies to
Eratosthenes (_c._ B.C. 200) and all pre-Ptolemaic Greek geographers.
Ptolemy's Atlas, probably, and the Peutinger Table, more certainly, are
maps really drawn by ancient designers; but these are the only ones that
have survived from a much larger number.]

This earlier and discredited map avoided all the more serious
perversions of Ptolemy. Africa was cut off at the limit of actual
knowledge, about Cape Non on the west and Cape Guardafui on the east;
and the "Cinnamon-bearing Coast," between these points, was fringed by
the Mountains of Æthiopia, where the Nile rose. This was the theory
which revived on the decline of the Ptolemaic, and which encouraged the
Portuguese sailors with hopes of a quick approach to India round Africa,
as the great eastern bend of the Guinea coast seemed to suggest.
Further, on this pre-Ptolemaic map the Southern Ocean was left untouched
by a supposed Southern Continent, and except for an undue shrinkage of
the Old World in general as an island in the midst of the vast
surrounding ocean, a reliable description of Western Asia and Central
Europe and North Africa was in the hands of the learned world two
hundred years before Christ.

It is true that Strabo's China is cramped and cut short; that his Ceylon
(Taprobane) is even larger than Ptolemy's; that Ireland (Ierne) appears
to the _north_ of Britain; and that the Caspian joins the North Sea by a
long and narrow channel; but the true shape of India, of the Persian
Gulf and the Euxine, of the Sea of Azov and the Mediterranean, is marked
rightly enough in general outline. This earlier chart has not the
elaborate completeness of Ptolemy's, but it is free from his enormous
errors, and it has all the advantage of science, however imperfect, over
brilliant guessing.

Of course, even in Ptolemy, this guess-work pure and simple only comes
in at intervals and does not so much affect the central and, for his
day, far more important tracts of the Old World, but we have yet to see
how, in the mediæval period and under Arabic imagination, all geography
seemed likely to become an exercise of fancy.

The chief Greek descriptions of the world, we must clearly remember,
were before the mediæval workers, Christian and Moslem, from the first;
these men took their choice, and the point is that they, and specially
the Arabs, chose with rare exceptions the last of these, the Ptolemaic
system, because it was the more ambitious, symmetrical, and pretty.

Let us trace for a moment the gradual development of this geographical

Starting with the notion of the world as a disc, or a ball, the centre
of the universe, round which moved six celestial circles, of the
Meridian, the Equator, the Ecliptic, the two Tropics, and the Horizon,
the Arab philosophers on the side of the earth's surface worked out a
doctrine of a Cupola or Summit of the world, and on the side of the
heavens a pseudo-science of the Anoua or Settings of the Constellations,
connected with the twelve Pillars of the Zodiac and the twenty-eight
Mansions of the Moon.

With Arabic astrology we are not here concerned; it is only worth noting
in this connection as the possible source of early Christian knowledge
of the Southern Cross and other stars famous in the story of
exploration, such as Dante shows in the first canto of his _Purgatorio_.
But the geographical doctrines of Islam, compounded from the Hebrew
Pentateuch and the theoretical parts of Ptolemy, had a more immediate
and reactionary effect on knowledge. The symmetrical Greek divisions of
land into seven zones or climates; and of the world's surface,[10] into
three parts water and one part _terra firma_; the Indian fourfold
arrangement of "Romeland" and the East; the similar fourfold Chinese
partition of China, India, Persia, and Tartary: all these reappeared
confusedly in Arabic geography. From India and the Sanscrit "Lanka,"
they seem to have got their first start on the myth of Odjein, Aryn, or
Arim, "the World's Summit"; from Ptolemy the sacred number of 360
degrees of longitude was certainly derived, beautifully corresponding to
the days of the year, and neatly divided into 180 of land or habitable
earth and 180 of sea, or unharvested desert. With the seven climates
they made correspond the great Empires of the world--chief among which
they reckoned the Caliphate (or Bagdad), China, Rome, Turkestan, and

[Footnote 10: In which the habitable quarter of the world, situated
mainly in the Northern Hemisphere, was just about twice as long as it
was broad.]

The sacred city of Odjein had been the centre of most of the earlier
Oriental systems; in the Arabic form of Arim ("The Cupola of the
Earth"), it became the fixed point round which circled mediæval theories
of the world's shape. "Somewhere in the Indian Ocean between Comorin and
Madagascar," became the compromise when the mountain could not be found
off any of the known coast-lines; it was mixed up with notions of the
Roc, and the Moon Mountains in Africa, of the Magnet Island and of the
Eastern Kingdom made out of one vast pearl; and even in Roger Bacon it
serves as an algebraic sign for a mathematical centre of the world.

The enlargement of knowledge, though forcing upon Arabic science a
conviction of Ptolemy's mistake in over-extending the limits of the
world known to him, only led to the invention of a scholastic
distinction between the real and the traditional East and West, while
the confusion was made perfect by the travestied history always so
popular among Orientals. The "Gades of Alexander and Hercules," the
farthest points east and west, were named after the mythical conquests
of the real Iskander and the mythical hero of Greeks and Phoenicians.
Arim in the middle, with the pillars of Hercules and Alexander, and the
north and south poles at equal distance from it--the centre and the four
corners of the world as neatly fixed as geometry could define--this was
the map, first of the Arabs, and then of their Christian scholars.

To form any idea of the complete spell thus cast over thought both in
Islam and Christendom, we may look at the words of European scholars of
the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, living far from Islam, long after
its intellectual glory had begun to decay, and at a time when Christian
scholastic philosophy had reached an independent position. Gerard of
Cremona and Adelard of Bath (the translator of the great Arabic
geographer, Mohammed Al-Kharizmy) in the twelfth century, Roger Bacon
and Albertus Magnus in the later thirteenth, are all as clear about
their geographical postulates as about their theological or ethical
rules. And what concerns us here is that they exactly reflect the mind
of the Arabic science or pseudo-science of the time just preceding, so
that their words may represent to us the state of Mohammedan thought
between the eighth and twelfth centuries, between the writers at the
Court of Caliph Almamoun (813-833) and Edrisi at the Court of King Roger
of Sicily (1150).

(1.) _Adelard_, summarising Mohammed Al-Kharizmy with the results of his
Paris education, tells us of the Arabic "Examination of planets and of
time, starting from the centre of the world, called _Arim_, from which
place to the four ends of the earth the distance is equal, viz., ninety
degrees, answering to the fourth part of the world's circumference. It
is tedious and unending to attempt to place all the countries of the
world and to fix all the marks of time. So the meridian is taken as the
measure of the latter and _Arim_ of the former, and from this
starting-point it is not hard to fix other countries." "Arim," he
concludes, "is under the equator, at the point where there is no
latitude," and he plainly implies that there were then existing among
the Arabs tables calculating all the chief places of every country from
the meridian of _Arim_.

(2.) _Gerard_ of Cremona, who, though for some time a resident at
Toledo, is essentially an Italian, tells us about the "Middle of the
World," from which longitudes were calculated, "called Arim," and "said
to be in India," whose longitude from west to east or from east to west
is ninety degrees.

In his _Theory of the Planets_ Gerard tells us still more wonderful
things. Arim was a geographical centre known and used by Hermes
Trismegistus and by Ptolemy, as well as by the great Arab geographers;
Alexander of Macedon marched just as far to the east of Arim as Hercules
to the west; both reached the encircling ocean, and accordingly "Arim
is equidistant from both the Gades, 90 degrees; likewise from each pole,
north and south, the same, 90 degrees." This all recurs in the tables of
Alphonso the Wise of Castille about A.D. 1260, and two of the greatest
of mediæval thinkers, Albert and Roger Bacon, reproduced the essential
points of this doctrine, its false symmetry, and its balance of the true
and the traditional, with variations of their own.

(3.) _Albert the Great_, Albertus Magnus, second only to Aquinas among
the Continental Schoolmen, in his _View of Astronomy_, repeats Adelard
upon the question of Arim, "where there is no latitude," while (4)
_Roger Bacon_ discusses not only the true and the traditional East and
West, but even a twofold Arim, one "under the solstice, the other under
the equinoctial zone." Arim he finds not to be in the centre of the real
world, but only of the traditional. In another passage of the _Opus
Majus_, Bacon, our first English worker in the exact sciences, allows
the world-summit not to be exactly 90 degrees from the east, although so
placed by mathematicians. Yet there is no contradiction, he urges,
because the men of theory are "speaking of the habitable world known to
them, according to the true understanding of latitude and longitude,"
and this "true understanding" is "not as great as has been realised in
travel by Pliny and others." "The longitude of the habitable world is
more than half of the whole circuit." This, reproduced in the _Imago
Mundi_ of Cardinal Peter Ailly (1410), fell into the hands of Columbus
and helped to fix his doctrines of the shape of the world ("in the form
of a pear") of the terrestrial paradise, and of the earth's
circumference,--so enormously contracted as practically to abolish the

[Footnote 11: In Columbus' letters to Queen Isabella in 1498, we catch,
as it were, the last echo of the Arabic _mélange_ of Moses and Greek
geography, along with the results of Roger Bacon's corrections of
Ptolemy. "The Old Hemisphere," he writes "which has for its centre the
isle of Arim, is spherical, but the other (new) Hemisphere has the form
of the lower half of a pear. Just one hundred leagues west of the Azores
the earth rises at the Equator and the temperature grows keener. The
summit is over against the mouth of the Orinoco."]

To return to the Arabs: We have seen how they not merely followed Greek
theories, which their own experience as conquerors in the Further East
went to discredit, but, in the great outlines of geography, added to
earlier errors, put prejudice in the place of knowledge, and handed on
to Christendom a half-fanciful map of the world. It only remains for us
to illustrate their leading fault, of a too vivid fancy, with a few
details on minor points.

(1.) Ptolemy's "Habitable Quarter" of the world, amounting to just half
the longitude of the globe, was literally accepted by the Moslem world,
as it accepted the Pentateuch from the moment when it began its study of
science at the Court of Almamoun (813-833). But, as the conquests of the
Caliphs disclosed districts in the east far beyond Ptolemy's limits, it
was necessary, in case of keeping his data for the whole, to compress
the part which alone was to be found fully described in his chart: "On
the west, unhappily, there were no countries newly discovered to
compensate for this abridgment." By Massoudy's time,--by the tenth
century,--fact and theory were thus hopelessly at variance.

(2.) On the shape of Africa, the mass of Arabic opinion confirmed
Ptolemy, but among the more enlightened there is traceable from
Massoudy's time a tendency either to react towards Strabo's partly
agnostic position, or to invent some new theory rather more in harmony
with the known facts. That is, either their later map-makers cut off
Africa at Cape Non or Bojador and Cape Guardafui, and gave away the rest
to the "Green Sea of Darkness," or, like Massoudy, they sketched a great
Southern Continent, divided from Africa by a narrow channel, which
connected the Western Ocean with the Sea of Habasch--of Abyssinia or
India. In either case Africa was left an island.

(3.) The words "Gog and Magog" from Jeremiah, describing the nomades of
Central Asia, appear in the Koran as Yadjoudj and Madjoudj. The complete
story, in the tenth century and in Edrisi's day, connects them with
Alexander the Great, who is also found in the Koran as Doul-Carnain, and
with the Wall of China. "When the Conqueror," said the Arabs, "reached
the place near where the sun rose, he was implored to build a wall to
shut off the marauders of Yadjoudj and Madjoudj from the rich countries
of the South." So he built a rampart of iron across the pass by which
alone Touran joined Iran, and henceforth Turks and Tartars were kept
outside. Till the Arabs reached the Caucasus, they generally supposed
this to answer to Alexander's wall; when facts dispelled this theory,
the unknown Ural or Altai Mountains served instead; finally, as the
Moslems became masters of Central Asia, the Wall of China, beyond the
Gobi desert, alone satisfied the conditions of shadowy but historic
grandeur, beyond all practical danger of verification.

(4.) In striking contrast with the steady advance of Arabic exploration
and trade in the Eastern Sea is the Moslem horror of the Western Ocean
beyond Europe and Africa, the "Green Sea of Darkness" or the Atlantic.
And what we have to note is that they imparted much of this paralysing
cowardice to the Christian nations. Only the Northmen of Scandinavia,
living a life apart, and forced to make their way over the wild North
Sea, were untouched by this southern superstition, and ventured across
the ocean by the Färoes, Iceland, and Greenland, to the coast of

The doctors of the Koran indeed thought that a man mad enough to embark
for the unknown, even on a coasting voyage, should be deprived of civil
rights. Ibn Said goes further, and says no one has ever done this:
"whirlpools always destroy any adventurer." As late as the generation
immediately before Henry the Navigator, about A.D. 1390, another light
of Moslem science declared the Atlantic to be "boundless, so that ships
dare not venture out of sight of land, for even if the sailors knew the
direction of the winds, they would not know whither those winds would
carry them, and as there is no inhabited country beyond, they would run
a risk of being lost in mist, fog, and vapour. The limit of the West is
the Atlantic Ocean."

This was the final judgment of the Arabic race and its subject allies
upon the western limits of the world, and in two ways they helped to fix
this belief, derived from the timid coasting-traders of the Roman Empire
on Greek and Latin Christendom. First, the Spanish Caliphate cut off all
access to the Western Sea beyond the Bay of Biscay, from the eighth to
the twelfth centuries. Not till the capture of Lisbon in 1147, could
Christian enterprise on this side gain any basis, or starting-point. Not
till the conquest of the Algarve in the extreme south-west of the
peninsula, at the end of the twelfth century, was this enterprise free
to develop itself. Secondly, in the darkest ages of Christian
depression, the seventh, the eighth, the ninth, the tenth centuries,
when only the brief age of Charlemagne offered any chance of an
independent and progressive Catholic Empire in the west, the Arabs
became recognised along with the Byzantines as the main successors of
Greek culture. The science, the metaphysic, the abstract ideas of these
centuries came into Germany, France, and Italy from Cordova and from
Bagdad, as much as from Byzantium. And on questions like the South
Atlantic or Indian Ocean, or the shape of Africa,--where Islam had all
the field to itself, and there was no positive and earlier discovery
which might contradict a natural reluctance to test tradition by
experiment--Christendom accepted the Arabic verdict with deference.

In the same way, on still more difficult points, such as the theory of
a canal from the Caspian to the Black Sea, or from the Caspian to the
Arctic circle, or from the Black Sea to the Baltic, Paris and Rome and
Bologna and Oxford accepted the Arabic descriptions.

It has been necessary for us to attend to the defects of Arabic
geography, in order to understand how in the long Saracen control of the
world's trade routes and of geographical tradition, science and
seamanship were so little advanced. Between Ptolemy and Henry of
Portugal, between the second and the fifteenth centuries, the only great
extension of men's knowledge of the world was: (1) in the extreme north,
where the semi-Christian, semi-Pagan Vikings reached perhaps as far as
the present site of New York and founded, on another side, the Mediæval
Kingdom of Russia; (2) on the south-east coast of Africa, from Cape
Guardafui to Madagascar, which was opened up by the trading interest of
the Emosaid family (800-1300); (3) in the far east, in Central and
Further Asia, by the discoveries of Marco Polo and the Friar preachers
following on the tracks of the earlier Moslem travellers. The first of
these was a Northern secret, soon forgotten, or an abortive development,
cut short by the Tartars; the second was an Arabic secret, jealously
guarded as a commercial right; the third alone added much direct new
knowledge to the main part of the civilised world.

But throughout their period of commercial rule from the eighth to the
twelfth centuries, the Arabs took a keen interest in land traffic,
conquest, and exploration. They were of small account at sea; it took
them some time to turn to their own purposes Hippalus' discovery (in the
second century A.D.) of the monsoon in the Indian Ocean; but, on land,
Moslem travellers and writers--generally following in the wake of their
armies, but sometimes pressing on ahead of them--did not a little to
enlarge the horizon of the Mohammedan world, though it was not till
Marco Polo and the Franciscan missionaries of the thirteenth and
fourteenth centuries, that Christian Europe shared in this gain.

As the early Caliphs conquered, they made surveys of their new
dominions. Thus after Tarik and Mousa had overrun Spain, Walid at
Damascus required from them an account of the land and its resources.
The universal obligation of the Mecca pilgrimage compelled every Moslem
to travel once in his life; and many an Arab, after the Caliphate was
settled in power from the Oxus to the Pyrenees, journeyed to and fro
with the joy of a master going over vast estates, shewing his dreaded
turban to subjects of every nation.

This, however, was not geographical science, or even pseudo-science.
Before Mohammed the Arabs had possessed some knowledge of the stars and
used it for astrology; but it was at the Court of Almamoun (813-833)
that their inquiring spirits first set themselves to answer the great
question of geography--Where? Through the ninth and tenth centuries
there arose a succession of travellers and thinkers who, with all their
wild dreamings, preserved the best results of Greek maps and would have
made much greater advances but for their helplessness in original work.
As they could not recast Aristotle in philosophy, so they could not with
all their new knowledge of the Further East recast the geography of
Ptolemy and Strabo.

A few great ages, the age for instance of Almamoun in Bagdad (A.D. 830),
of Mahmoud in Ghazneh (A.D. 1000), of Abderrahman III. in Cordova (A.D.
950), give us the history of Arabic geography.

Beginning in the latter years of the eighth century, Moslem science was
reformed and organised, in the New Empire, by the patronage of the
Caliphs of the ninth. Itineraries of victorious generals, plans and
tables prepared by governors of provinces, and a freshly acquired
knowledge of Greek and Indian and Persian thought, made up the
subject-matter of study. The barbarism of the first believers was
passing away, and Mohammed's words were recalled: "Seek knowledge, even
in China." By the end of the eighth century Ptolemy's Geography and the
now lost work of Marinus of Tyre had already been translated. Almamoun
drew to his Court all the chief "mathematicians" or philosophers of
Islam, such as Mohammed Al-Kharizmy, Alfergany, and Solyman the
merchant. Further he built two observatories, one at Bagdad, one at
Damascus, and procured a chart fixing the latitude and longitude of
every place known to him or his savants. Al-Kharizmy interpolated the
new Arabic Ptolemy with additions from the Sanscrit, and made some use
of Indian trigonometry. Alfergany wrote the first Arab treatise on the
Astrolabe and adopted the Greek division of the seven Climates to the
new learning. Solyman, at the time of closest intercourse between
China, India, and the Caliphate, travelled in every country of the
Further East, sailed in the "Sea of Pitchy Darkness" on the east coast
of Asia, and by his voyages became the prototype of Sinbad the Sailor.

The impulse given by Almamoun did not die with him. About 850 Alkendy
made a fresh version of Ptolemy; as early as 840 the Caliph Vatek-Billah
sent to explore the countries of Central Asia, and his results have been
preserved by Edrisi. A few years later (_c._ 890) Ibn-Khordadbeh, "Son
of the Magi," described the principal trade-routes, the Indian by the
Red Sea from Djeddah to Scinde, the Russian by the Volga and North
Caspian, the Persian by way of Balkh to China. It was by this last that
some have thought the envoys of the English King Alfred went in 883,
till they turned south to seek India and the Christians of San Thomé.

The early scientific movement in Islam reached its height in Albateny
and Massoudy at the beginning of the tenth century. The former
determined, more exactly than before, various problems of astronomical
geography.[12] The latter visited every country from Further India to
Spain;--even China and Madagascar seem to have been within the compass
of his later travels; and his voyages in the Indian Ocean bring us to
the real Sinbad Saga of the tenth century.

[Footnote 12: "The Obliquity of the Ecliptic, the Eccentricity of the
Sun, the Precession of the Equinoxes."]

Sinbad, as his story appears in the _Arabian Nights_, has been traced to
an original in the Indian tales of _The Seven Sages_, in the voyages of
the age of Chosroes Nushirvan or of Haroun-Al-Rashid, but the tale
appears to be an Arabic original, the real account, with a little more
of mystery and exaggeration than usual, of the ninth-and tenth-century
travellers, from Solyman to Massoudy, reproduced in form of a series of

[Footnote 13: "With the Sinbad story is connected the historical
extension of the Arab settlements in the East African coast through the
enterprise of the Emosaid family."]

With Massoudy begins also the formal discussion of geographical problems
affecting Islam. Was the Caspian a land-locked sea? Did it connect with
the Euxine? Did either or both of these join the Arctic Ocean? Was
Africa an island? If so, was there also an unknown Southern Continent?
What was the shape of South-Eastern Asia? Was Ptolemy's longitude to be
wholly accepted, and if not, how was it to be bettered? By a use of
Strabo and of Albateny rather than of Ptolemy, Massoudy arrived at
fairly accurate and very plausible results. His chief novelties were the
long river channel from the Sea of Azov to the North Sea, and the strait
between South Africa and the shadowy Southern Continent. On his scheme
the Indian Ocean, or Sea of Habasch, contains most of the water surface
of the world, and the Sea of Aral appears for the first time in Moslem
geography. Lastly his account of the Arab coasting voyages from the
Persian Gulf to Socotra and Madagascar proves, implicitly, that as yet
there was no use of the compass.

Massoudy cut down the girth of the world even more than Ptolemy. The
latter had left an ocean to the west of Africa: the former made the
Canaries or Fortunate Islands, the limit of the known Western world,
abut upon India, the limit of the Eastern.

The first age of Arabic geography ends with Massoudy, its greatest name,
in the middle of the tenth century. The second age is summed up in the
work of the Eastern sage Albyrouny and of Edrisi, the Arabic Ptolemy
(A.D. 1099-1154), who found a home at the Christian Court of Roger of
Sicily. In the far East and West alike, in Spain and Morocco, in
Khorassan and India, Moslem science was now driven to take refuge among
strangers on the decay of the Caliphates of Bagdad and Cordova. The
Ghaznevides Mahmoud and Massoud in the first half of the eleventh
century, attracted to their Court not only Firdusi and Avicenna, but
Albyrouny, whose "Canon" became a text-book of Mohammedan science, and
who, for the range of his knowledge and the trained subtlety of his
mind, stands without a rival for his time.[14] The Spanish school, as
resulting directly in Edrisi, half Moslem, half Christian, like his
teachers, is of still more interest. One of its first traces may be
found in the Latin translation of the Arab _Almanack_ made by Bishop
Harib of Cordova in 961. It was dedicated and presented to Caliph
Hakem--one of our clearest proofs of the conscious interworking of
Catholic and Mahometan philosophy in the age of Pope Sylvester II. and
of our own St. Dunstan. A century later, on the recapture of Toledo by
Alfonso VI. (1084), an observatory was built, served by Jews and
Moslems, who had been steadily producing, through the whole of the
eleventh century, astronomical and geographical tables and dictionaries.
A whole tribe of commentators on place-names, on the climates and
constellations, and on geographical instruments was at work in this last
age of the Spanish Caliphate, and their results are brought together by
Abou Hamid of Granada and by Edrisi.

[Footnote 14: The school of Persian mathematicians who produced the maps
of Alestakliry-Ibn-Hankal, the book of latitudes and longitudes,
ascribed by Abulfeda to Alfaraby the Turk, was the immediate descendant
of Albyrouny.]

Born at Ceuta in 1099, this great geographer travelled through Spain,
France, the Western Mediterranean, and North Africa before settling at
the Norman Court of Palermo. Roger, the most civilised prince in
Christendom, the final product of the great race of Robert Guiscard and
William the Conqueror, valued Edrisi at his proper worth, refused to
part with him, and employed men in every part of the world to collect
materials for his study. Thus the Moor gained, not only for the Moslem
world but for Southern Europe as well, an approximate knowledge even of
Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the coasts of the White Sea. His work,
dedicated to Roger and called after him, _Al-Rojary_, was rewarded with
a peerage, and it was as a Sicilian Count that he finished his Celestial
Sphere and Terrestrial Disc of silver, on which "was inscribed all the
circuit of the known world and all the rivers thereof."

Each of his great Arabic predecessors, along with Eratosthenes, Ptolemy,
and Strabo, was welded into his system--the result of fifteen years of
abstract study, following some thirty of practical activity in

[Footnote 15: The world he divided by climates in the Greek manner,
taking no account of political divisions, or of those resting on
language or religion. Each climate was further subdivided into ten
sections. In the shape of Africa he followed Ptolemy.]

A special note may be made on Edrisi's account of the voyage of the
Lisbon "Wanderers" ("Maghrurins") some time before 1147, the date of the
final Christian capture of the Portuguese capital. For this is the
earliest recorded voyage, since the rise of Islam, definitely undertaken
on the Western Ocean to learn what was on it and what were its limits.
The Wanderers, Edrisi tells us, were eight in number, all related to one
another. They built a transport boat, took on board water and provisions
for many months, and started with the first east wind. After eleven
days, they reached a sea whose thick waters exhaled a fetid odour,
concealed numerous reefs, and were but faintly lighted. Fearing for
their lives, they changed their course, steered southwards twelve days,
and so reached an island, possibly Madeira,--which they called El Ghanam
from the sheep found there, without shepherd or anyone to tend them. On
landing, they found a spring of running water and some wild figs. They
killed some sheep, but found the flesh so bitter that they could not eat
it, and only took the skins. Sailing south twelve more days, they found
an island with houses and cultivated fields, but as they neared it they
were surrounded, made prisoners, and carried in their own boats to a
city on the sea-shore, to a house where were men of tall stature and
women of great beauty. Here they stayed three days, and on the fourth
came a man, the King's interpreter, who spoke Arabic, and asked them who
they were and what they wanted. They replied they were seeking out the
wonders of the ocean and its limits. At this the King laughed heartily,
and said to the interpreter: "Tell them my father once ordered some of
his slaves to venture out on that sea and after sailing across the
breadth of it for a month, they found themselves deprived of the light
of the sun and returned without having learnt anything." Then the
Wanderers were sent back to their prison till a west wind arose, when
they were blindfolded and put on board a boat, and after three days
reached the mainland of Africa. Here they were put ashore, with their
hands tied, and so left. They were released by the Berbers, and after
their reappearance in Spain, a "street at the foot of the hot bath in
Lisbon," concludes Edrisi, "took the name of Street of the Wanderers."

On the other extremity of the Moslem world, on the south-east coast of
Africa, there was more real progress. By Edrisi's day that important
addition of Arabic travellers and merchants to the geographical
knowledge of the world, by the remarkable trade-ventures of the
Emosaids, had been already made.

It had taken long in the making.


About A.D. 742, ten years after the battle of Tours, the Emosaid family,
descended from Ali, cousin and son-in-law of Mahomet, tried to make
Said, their clan-chieftain, Ali's great-grandson, Caliph at Damascus.
The attempt was foiled, and the whole tribe fled, sailed down the Red
Sea and African coast, and established themselves as traders in the Sea
of India. First of all, Socotra seems to have been their mart and
capital, but before the end of the tenth century they had founded
merchant colonies at Melinda, Mombasa, and Mozambique, which, in their
turn, led to settlements on the opposite coasts of Asia. Thus the trade
of the Indian Ocean was secured for Islam, the first Moslem settlements
arose in Malabar, and when the Portuguese broke into this _mare
clausum_, in 1497-8, they found a belt of "Moorish" coast towns, from
Magadoxo to Quiloa, controlling both the Indian and the inland African
trades, as Ibn Batuta had found in 1330.

By Edrisi's day, moreover, the steady persistence and self-evident
results of Arabic overland exploration had become recognised by a sort
of "Traveller's Doctorate." It was not enough for the highest knowledge
to study the Koran, and the Sunna, and the Greek philosophers at home;
for a perfect education, a man must have travelled at least through the
length and breadth of Islam. All the successors of Edrisi, in the
twelfth and thirteenth centuries, shew this mingling of science and
religion, of practical and speculative energy.

Tradition still governed Moslem thought, but there had come into being a
sort of half-acknowledged appendix to tradition, made up of real
observations on men and things. And in these observations, geographical
interest was the main factor.

The Life of Al Heravy of Herat (1173-1215), the "Doctor Ubiquitus" of
Islam in the age of the Crusades, gives us a picture of another
Massoudy. The friend of the Emperor Manuel Comnenus, the "first man
among Christians," Heravy seems able in his own person to break down the
partition wall of religious feud by the common interest of science. In
1192 he was offered the patronage of the Crusading princes, and Richard
Coeur de Lion begged for the favour of an interview, and begged in
vain. Heravy, who had been on one of his exploring journeys, angrily
refused to see the King whose men had broken his quiet and wasted his
time. Before his death, he had run over the world (men said) from China
to the Pyrenees and from Abyssinia to the Danube, "scribbling his name
on every wall," and his survey of the Eastern Empire was the single
matter in which Turks and "Romans" made common cause,--for Greeks and
Latins at Byzantium alike read Heravy, like a Christian doctor. Another
example of the same catholic spirit is "Yacout the Roman,"[16] whose
_Dictionary_, finished in the earlier half of the thirteenth century,
was a summary of geographical advance since Edrisi, like the similar
work of Ibn Said, of the same period.

[Footnote 16: Yacout "the ruby," originally a Greek slave, who made a
brave but fruitless attempt to change his name into Yacoub or Jacob,
became one of the greatest of Arab encyclopædists, was checked by the
hordes of Genghiz-Khan in his exploration of Central Asia, and died

But as a matter of fact, the balance both of knowledge and power was now
shifting from Islam to Christendom. The most daring and successful
travellers after the rise of the Mongols were the Venetian Marco Polo
and the Friar Preachers who revived Chinese Christianity (1270-1350);
Madeira and the Canaries (off Moslem Africa) were finally rediscovered
not by Arabic enterprise, but by the Italian Malocello in 1270, by the
English Macham in the reign of our Edward III., and by Portuguese ships
under Genoese captains in 1341; in 1291 the Vivaldi ventured beyond Cape
Bojador, where no Moor had ever been, except by force of storm, as in
the doubtful story of Ibn Fatimah, who "first saw the White Headland,"
Cape Blanco, between Cape Bojador and Cape Verde.

In the fourteenth century the map of Edrisi was superseded by the new
Italian plans and coast-charts, or Portolani. As the Moslem world fell
into political disorder, its science declined. "Judicial astrology"
seemed gaining a stronger and stronger hold over Islam, and the
irruption of the Turks gradually resulted in the ruin of all the higher
Moslem culture. Superstition and barbarism shared the honour and the
spoils of this victory.

But two great names close the five hundred years of Arab learning.

1. Ibn Batuta (_c._ 1330), who made himself as much at home in China as
in his native Morocco, is the last of Mohammedan travellers of real
importance. Though we have only abridgments of his work left to us,
Colonel Yule is well within his rights in his deliberate judgment, "that
it must rank at least as one of the four chief guide books of the
Middle Ages," along with the _Book of Ser Marco Polo_ and the journals
of the two Friar-travellers, Friar Odoric and Friar William de

2. With _Abulfeda_ the Eastern school of Moslem geography comes to an
end, as the Western does with Ibn Batuta. In the early years of the
fourteenth century he rewrote the "story and description of the Land of
Islam," with a completeness quite encyclopædic. But his work has all the
failings of a compilation, however careful, in that, or any, age. It is
based upon information, not upon inspection; it is in no sense original.
As it began in imitation, so it ended. If it rejects Ptolemy, it is only
to follow Strabo or someone else; on all the mathematical and
astronomical data its doctrine is according to the Alexandrians of
twelve hundred years before, and this last _précis_ of the science of a
great race and a great religion can only be understood in the light of
its model--in Greek geography.



CIRCA 333-867.

The special interest of the life and work of Henry the Navigator
(1394-1460) lies in the relation it bears to the general expansion
of Europe and Christendom--an expansion that had been slowly gathering
strength since the eleventh century. But even before the tide had
turned in the age of Hildebrand and the First Crusade, even from the
time that Constantine founded the Christian Empire of Rome, the Christian
Capital on the Bosphorus, and the State Church of the Western
World,--pilgrimage, trade, conquest, and colonisation had been
successively calling out the energies of the moving races, "the motor
muscles" of Europe. It is through the "generous Henry, Prince of
Portugal," that this activity is brought to its third and triumphant
stage--to the time of Columbus and Da Gama and Magellan,--but it is only
by tracing the earlier progress of that outward movement, which has made
Europe the ruling civilisation of the world, that we can fairly grasp
the import of that transition in which Henry is the hero.

More than any other single man he is the author of the discovering
movement of the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries,--and by
this movement India has been conquered, America repeopled, the world
made clear, and the civilisation which the Roman Empire left behind has
conquered or utterly overshadowed every one of its old rivals and
superiors--Islam, India, China, Tartary.

But before the fifteenth century, before the birth of Prince Henry,
Christendom, Greek and Latin, was at best only one of the greater
civilising and conquering forces struggling for mastery; before the age
of the Crusades, before the eleventh century, it was plainly weaker than
the Moslem powers; it seemed unable to fight against Slav or
Scandinavian Heathendom; it was only saved by distance from becoming a
province of China; India, the world's great prize, was cut off from it
by the Arabs. Even before the rise of Islam, under Constantine or
Theodosius or Justinian, the Church-State of the Byzantine Cæsars,
though then ruling in almost every province of Trajan's empire, was in a
splendid but sure decline from the exhaustion of the southern races. Our
story then begins naturally with the worst time and climbs up for a
thousand years, from the Heathen and Mohammedan conquests of the fifth
and seventh centuries, to the reversal of that judgment, of those
conquests, in the fifteenth. The expansion of Europe is going on all
this time, but at our beginning, in the years before and after Pope
Gregory the Great, even the legacy of Greece and Rome, in wide knowledge
of the world and practical exploring energy, seemed to have passed from

And in the decline of the old Empire, while Constantine and Justinian
are said to receive and exchange embassies with the Court of China,
there is no real extension of geographical knowledge or outlook.
Christian enterprise in this field is mainly one of pilgrimage, and the
pilgrims only cease to be important when the Northmen, first Heathen,
then Christian, begin to lead, in a very different manner, the expansion
of Europe. Into this folk-wandering of the Vikings, the first great
outward movement of our Europe in the Middle Ages, is absorbed the
reviving energy of trade, as well as the ever-growing impulse of
pilgrimage. The Vikings are the highest type of explorers; they do not
merely find out new lands and trade with them, but conquer and colonise
them. They extend not merely the knowledge, but the whole state and
being of Europe, to a New World.

Lastly, the partial activity of commerce and religion made universal and
"political" by the leading western race--for itself only--is taken up by
all Christendom in the Crusades, borrowed in idea from Spain, but
borrowed with the spirit of the Norse rovers, and made universal for the
Latin world, for the whole federation of Rome. In the eleventh, twelfth,
and thirteenth centuries we have the preparation for the discovery and
colonisation of the outside world by Europeans in the fifteenth,
sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries of the Christian era.

From the conversion of Constantine to the Reformation the story of
Christendom is unbroken; the later Roman Empire is the Church-State of a
Christian Prince, as modern Europe is the Church-State of a nominally
Christian society. Mediæval Europe thought of itself as nothing but the
old world-state under religion; from Spain to Russia men were living
under a Holy Roman Empire of an Italian, or Teutonic, or Byzantine, or
independent type. England and Russia were not parts of the Germanic
revival of Charlemagne, but they had just the same two elements dominant
in their life: the classical tradition and the Christian Church.

And so throughout this time, the expansion of this society--by whatever
name we may call it, discovery, exploration, geographical knowledge--has
a continuous history. But before the rise of Islam, in the seventh
century, throws Christendom into its proper mediæval life, before the
new religion begins the really new age, at the end of which lived Henry
himself, we are too far from our subject to feel, for instance in the
fourth and fifth-century pilgrims and in Cosmas Indicopleustes, anything
but a remote preparation for Henry's work. It is only with the seventh
century, and with the time of our own Bede and Wilfrid, that the
necessary introduction to our subject really begins.

Yet as an illustration of the general idea, that discovery is an early
and natural outlet of any vigorous society and is in proportion to the
universal activity of the State, it is not without interest to note that
Christian Pilgrimage begins with Constantine. This, the first
department of exploring energy, at once evidences the new settlement of
religion and politics. Helena, the Emperor's mother, helped, by her
visit to Palestine, her church at Bethlehem, and her discoveries of
relics in Jerusalem, to make a ruling fashion out of the custom of a few
devotees; and eight years after the council of Nicæa, in 333, appeared
the first Christian geography, as a guide-book or itinerary, from
Bordeaux to the Holy Places of Syria, modelled upon the imperial survey
of the Antonines. The route followed in this runs by North Italy,
Aquileia, Sirmium, Constantinople, and Asia Minor, and upon the same
course thousands of nameless pilgrims journeyed in the next three
hundred years, besides some eight or nine who have left an account
mainly religious in form, but containing in substance the widest view of
the globe then possible among Westerns.

Most of the pilgrims, like Jerome's friend Paula, Bishop Eucherius, and
Melania, tread the same path and stop at the same points, but three or
four of them distinctly add some fresh knowledge to the ordinary

St. Silvia, of Aquitaine (_c._ 385), not only travels through Syria, she
visits Lower Egypt and Stony or Sinaitic Arabia, and even Edessa in
Northern Mesopotamia, on the very borders of hostile and heathen Persia.
"To see the monks" she wanders through Osrhöene, comes to Haran, near
which was "the home of Abraham and the farm of Laban and the well of
Rachel," to the environs of Nisibis and Ur of the Chaldees, lost to the
Roman Empire since Julian's defeat; thence by "Padan-aram" back to
Antioch. When crossing the Euphrates the pilgrims saw the river "rush
down in a torrent like the Rhone, but greater," and on the way home by
the great military road, then untravelled by Saracens, between Tarsus
and the Bosphorus, Silvia makes a passing note on the strength and
brigand habits of the Isaurian mountaineers, who in the end saved
Christendom from the very Arabs with whom our pilgrim couples them.

Again, Cosmas Indicopleustes, in the time of Justinian, is at the end,
as Silvia is at the beginning, of a definite period, the period of the
Christian empire of Rome, while still "Cæsarean" and not merely
Byzantine, "patrician" and not papal, "consular" and not Carolingian.

And contemporary with Cosmas are two of the chief among the earlier or
primitive pilgrims, Theodosius and Antoninus the Martyr. The first-named
indulges in a few excursions--in fancy--beyond his known ground of
Palestine, going as far east as Susa and Babylon, "where no one can live
for the serpents and hippo-centaurs," and south to the Red Sea and its
two arms, "of which the eastern is called the Persian Gulf," and the
western or Arabian runs up to the "thirteen cities of Arabia destroyed
by Joshua,"--but, for the rest, his knowledge is not extensive or
peculiar. Antoninus of Placentia, on the other hand, is very
interesting, a sort of older Mandeville, who mixes truth and its
opposite in fairly even proportions and with a sort of resolute
partiality to favourite legends.

He tells us how Tripolis has been ruined by the late earthquake (July 9,
551); how silk and various woven stuffs are sold at Tyre; how the
pilgrims scratched their names on the relics shewn in Cana of
Galilee--"and here I, sinner that I am, did inscribe the names of my
parents"; how Bethshan, the metropolis of Galilee, "is placed on a
hill," though really in the plain; how the Samaritans hate Christians
and will hardly speak to them; "and beware of spitting in their country,
for they will never forgive it"; how "the dew comes down upon Hermon the
Little, as David says, 'The dew of Hermon that fell upon the hill of
Zion'"; how nothing can live or even float in the Dead Sea, "but is
instantly swallowed up"--as exact an untruth as was ever told by
traveller; how the Jordan opens a way for pilgrims "and stands up in a
heap every year at the Epiphany during the baptism of Catechumens, as
David told, 'The sea saw that and fled, Jordan was driven back'"; how at
Jericho there is a Holy Field "sown by the Lord with his own hand." A
report had been spread that the salt pillar of Lot's wife had been
"lessened by licking"; "it was false," said Antoninus, the statue was
just the same as it had always been.

In Jerusalem the pilgrims first went up the Tower of David, "where he
sang the Psalter," and into the Basilica of Sion, where among other
marvels they saw the "Corner-stone that the builders rejected," which
gave out a "sound like the murmuring of a crowd."

We come back again to fact with rather a start when told in the next
section of the Hospitals for 3000 sick folk near the Church of St. Mary,
close to Sion; then with the footprints and relics of Christ, and the
miraculous flight of the Column of Scourging--"carried away by a cloud
to Cæsarea," we are taken through a fresh set of "impressions."

The same wild notions of place and time and nature follow the Martyr
through Galilee to Gilboa, "where David slew Goliath and Saul died,
where no dew or rain ever falls, and where devils appear nightly,
whirled about like fleeces of wool or the waves of the sea"--to
Nazareth, where was the "Beam of Christ the Carpenter"--to Elua, where
fifteen consecrated virgins had tamed a lion and trained it to live with
them in a cell--to Egypt, where the Pyramids become for him the
"_twelve_ Barns of Joseph," for the legend had not yet insisted that the
actual number should be made to fit the text of the seven years of

But with all this Antoninus now and then gives us glimpses of a larger
world. In Jerusalem he meets Æthiopians "with nostrils slit and rings
about their fingers and their feet." They were so marked, they told him,
by the Emperor Trajan "for a sign."

In the Sinai desert he tells us of "Saracen" beggars and idolaters; in
the Red Sea ports he sees "ships from India" laden with aromatics; he
travels up the Nile to the Cataracts and describes the Nilometer at
Assouan, and the crocodiles in the river; Alexandria he finds "splendid
but frivolous, a lover of pilgrims but swarming with heresies."

But far more wonderful than the practical jumble of Antoninus Martyr is
the systematic nonsense of Cosmas, who invented or worked out a theory
and scheme of the world, a "Christian topography," which required
nothing more than a complete disuse of human reason. His assurance was
equal to his science.

It may have been his voyage to India, or his monastic profession, or his
study of Scripture, or something unknown that made him take up the part
of a Christian Aristotle; in any case he felt himself called into the
field to support the cause of St. Augustine against infidelity, and to
refute the "anile fable" of the Antipodes. Cosmas referred men back to
Revelation on such matters, and his system was "demonstrated from
Scripture, concerning which a Christian is not allowed to doubt." Man by
himself could not understand the world, but in the Bible it was all
clear enough. And from the Bible this much was beyond dispute.

The universe is a flat parallelogram; and its length is exactly double
of its breadth. In the centre of the universe is our world surrounded by
the ocean, and by an outer world or ring where men lived before the
Flood. Noah and his Ark came over sea from this to the present earth.

To the north of our world is a great hill, like the later Moslem and
older Hindu "Cupola of the Earth," which perhaps was Cosmas' own
original. Round this the sun and moon revolve, making day and night as
they appear or disappear behind it.

The sky consists of four walls meeting in the "dome of heaven" over the
floor on which we live, and this sky is "glued" to the edges of the
outer world, the world of the Patriarchs.

But this heaven is also cut in two by the firmament, lying between our
atmosphere and that "New Heaven and New Earth wherein dwelleth
Righteousness"; and the floor of this upper world is covered by the
"waters that be above the firmament"; above this is Paradise, and below
the firmament live the angels, as "ministers" and "flaming fires" and
"servants of God to men."

The proofs of this are simple, mainly resting on some five texts from
the Old Testament and two passages of St. Paul.

First the Book of Genesis declared itself to be the "Book of the
Generation of the Heaven and the Earth"--that is, of everything in the
heavens, and the earth. But the "old wives' fable of the Antipodes"
would make the heaven surround and contain the earth, and God's word
would have to be changed "These are the generations of the sky." For the
same truth--the twofold and independent being of heaven and
earth--Cosmas quotes the additional testimony of Abraham, David, Hosea,
Isaiah, Zachariah, and Melchisedek, who clenched the case against the
Antipodes. "For how indeed could even rain be said to 'fall' or to
'descend,' as in the Psalms and the Gospels, in those regions where it
could only be said to 'come up'?"

Again, the world cannot be a globe, or sphere, or be suspended in
mid-air, or in any sort of motion, for what say the Scriptures? "Earth
is fixed on its foundations"; "Thou hast laid the foundations of the
earth and it abideth"; "Thou hast made the round world so sure, that it
cannot be moved"; "Thou hast made all men to dwell upon the face of the
whole earth"--not "upon every face," or upon any more than one
face--"upon _the_ face," not the back or the side, but the broad flat
face we know. "Who then with these passages before him, ought even to
speak of Antipodes?"

So much against false doctrine; to establish the truth is simpler still.
For the same St. Paul, who disposes of science falsely so called, does
not he speak, like David, like St. Peter and St. John, of our world as a
tabernacle? "If our earthly house of this tabernacle be dissolved," "We
that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened," which points to
the natural conclusion of enlightened faith, that Moses' tabernacle was
an exact copy of the universe. "See thou make all things according to
the pattern shewn thee in the Mount." So the four walls, the covered
roof, the floor, the proportions of the Tent of the Wilderness, shewed
us in small compass all that was in nature.

If any further guidance were needed, it was ready to hand in the Prophet
Isaiah and the Patriarch Job. "That stretcheth out the heavens as a
curtain and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in"; "Also can any
understand the spreadings of the clouds or the noise of his tabernacle?"

The whole reasoning is like the theological arguments on the effects of
man's fall upon the stars and the vegetable world, or the atmospheric
changes due to angels.

But though Cosmas states his system with the claims of an article of
faith, there were not wanting men, and even saints, who stood out on the
side of reason in geography in the most traditional of times. Isidore of
Seville, and Vergil, the Irish missionary of the eighth century, both
maintained the old belief of Basil and Ambrose, that the question of the
Antipodes was not closed by the Church, and that error in this point was
venial and not mortal. For the positive tabernacle-system of "the man
who sailed to India" there was never much support; his work was soon
forgotten, though it has been called by some paradox-makers "the great
authority of the Middle Ages"--in the face of the known facts, that this
was the real position of Ptolemy and Strabo, that no one can speak of
the "Middle Ages" in this unqualified way any more than of the Modern or
Ancient worlds; and that Cosmas is almost unnoticed in the great age of
mediæval science, from the twelfth century.

And whatever we may think of Cosmas and his _Christian System of the
Whole World, Evolved out of Holy Scripture_, he is of interest to us as
the last of the old Christian geographers, closing one age which,
however senile, had once been in the truest sense civilised, and
preparing us to enter one that in comparison is literally dark. From the
age of Justinian, and from the rise of Islam in the early years of the
seventh century, the geographical knowledge of Christendom is on a par
with its practical contraction and apparent decline. There are
travellers; but for the next five hundred years there are no more
theorists, cosmographers, or map-makers of the Universe or Habitable

From the time that Islam, after a century of world-conquest, began to
form itself into an organised state, or federation of states, in the
later eighth and earlier ninth centuries A.D.,--thus making itself until
the thirteenth century the principal heir of the older Eastern
culture,--Christendom was content to take its geography, its ideas of
the world in general, from the Arabs, who in their turn depended upon
the pre-Christian Greeks.

The relation of Ptolemy and Strabo to modern knowledge is best seen
through the work of the Arabic geographers, but the Saracens did much to
destroy before they began to build up once more. As the northern
barbarians of the fifth century interrupted the hope of a Christian
revival of Pagan literature and science, so the Moslems of the seventh
and eighth cut short the Catholic and Roman revival of Justinian and
Heraclius, in which the new faith and the old state had found a working

Between Cosmas and the Viking-Age, "Christian," "Roman," "Western"
exploration falls within very narrow limits: the few pilgrims whose
recollections represent to us the whole literature of travel in the
seventh, eighth, and ninth centuries, add nothing fresh even of
practical discovery; theory and theoretical work has ceased altogether,
and the first stirrings of the new life in the commerce and voyages of
Amalphi, and in the sudden and splendid outburst of Norse life in its
age of piracy, are not yet, are not really before the world until the
time of Alfred of England, of Charles the Bald, of Pope Nicholas I. "the
Great." Yet such as it is, this pilgrim stage of European development
stands for something. Religion, as it is the first agent in forming our
modern nations, is the first impulse towards their expansion. And to us
there is a special interest.

For the best known of western travellers in this darkest of the
Christian ages (600-870 A.D.), Arculf and Willibald, are both connected
with England and the beginnings of English science in the age of Bede.

Arculf, a Frank or Gallican Bishop, who about 690 visited, first of
"Latin" writers since the Mohammedan conquest, Jerusalem, the Jordan
valley, Nazareth, and the other holy places of Syria, was driven by
storms on his return to the great Irish monastery of Iona. There he
described his wonders to the Abbot Adamnan, who then sat in the seat of
the Irish Apostles Patrick and Columba, and by Adamnan this narrative
was presented and dedicated to Aldfrith the Wise, last of the great
Northumbrian Kings, in his Court at York (_c._ A.D. 701). Not only does
the original remain to us, but we have also two summaries of it, one
longer, another shorter, made by Baeda, the Venerable Bede, as a useful
manual for Englishmen, _Concerning the Holy Sites_. We are again
reminded by this how constantly fresh life is growing up under an
appearance of death. The conversion of England, which Gregory the Great,
Theodore, and the Irish monks had carried through in the seventh, that
darkest of Christian centuries, was now bearing its fruit in the work
of Bede, who was really the sign of a far more permanent intellectual
movement than his own, and in that of Boniface, Wilbrord, and Willibald,
who began to win for Christendom in Germany more than a counterpoise for
her losses in the South and East, from Armenia to Spain.

Arculf is full of the mystical unscientific spirit of the time. He notes
in Jerusalem "a lofty column, which at mid-day casts no shadow, thus
proving itself to be the centre of the earth for as David says, 'God is
my king of old, working salvation _in the midst of the_ earth.'"

"At the roots of Lebanon" he comes to the place "where the Jordan has
its rise from two fountains Jor and Dan, whose waters unite in the
single river Jordan." In the Dead Sea a lighted lamp would float safely,
and no man could sink if he tried; the bitumen of this place was almost
indissoluble; the only fruit here about were the apples of Sodom, which
crumbled to dust in the mouth.

The three churches on the top of Tabor were "according to the three
tabernacles described by Peter."

From Damascus Arculf made for the port of Tyre, and so came by Jaffa to
Egypt. Alexandria he found so great that he was one entire day in merely
passing through. Its port he thought "difficult of access and something
like the human body in shape, with a narrow mouth and neck, then
stretching out far and wide."

The great Pharos tower was still lit up every night with torches. Here
was the "Emporium of the whole world"; "countless merchants from all
parts": the "country rainless and very fertile."

The Nile was navigable to the Town of Elephants; beyond this, at the
Cataracts, the river "runs in a wild ruin down a cliff." Its
embankments, its canals, and even its crocodiles, "not so large as
ravenous," are all described, and Arculf, returning home by
Constantinople, concludes with an account of the capital of Christendom,
"beyond doubt the metropolis of the Roman Empire, and by far the
greatest city therein"; lastly, as the pilgrim sails by Sicily he sees
the "isle of Vulcan vomiting smoke by day and flame by night, with a
noise like thunder, which is always fiercer on Fridays and Saturdays."

Willibald, a nephew of St. Boniface and related through his mother to
King Ina of Wessex, started for the East about 721, passed ten years in
travel, and on his return followed his countrymen to mission work and to
death among the heathen of Upper Germany. He went out by Southampton and
Rouen, by Lucca and the Alps, to Naples and Catania, "where is Mount
Etna; and when this volcano casts itself out they take St. Agatha's veil
and hold it towards the fire, which ceases at once." Thence by Samos and
Cyprus to Antaradus and Emesda, "in the region of the Saracens," where
the whole party, who had escaped the Moslem brigands of Southern Gaul,
were thrown into prison on suspicion of being spies. A Spaniard made
intercession for them and got their release; but Willibald went up
country one hundred miles, and cleared himself of all suspicion before
the Caliph at Damascus. "We have come from the West, where the sun has
his setting, and we know of no land beyond--nothing but water." This was
too far for spies, he pleaded, and the Caliph agreed, and gave him a
pass for all the sites of Palestine, with which he traversed the length
and breadth of the Holy Land four times, finding the same trouble in
leaving as he had found in entering. Like Arculf, he saw the fountains
of Jor-Dan, the "glorious church" of Helena at Bethlehem, the tombs of
the Patriarchs at Hebron, the wonders of Jerusalem. Especially was he
moved at the sight of the columns in the Church of the Ascension on
Olivet, "for that man who can creep between those columns and the wall
is freed from all his sins." Tyre and Sidon he passed again and again
"on the coast of the Adriatic Sea (as he calls the Levant), _six_ miles
from one another"; at last he got away to Constantinople, with some
safely smuggled trophies of pilgrimage, and some "balsam in a calabash,
covered with petroleum," but the customs officers would have killed all
of them if the fraud had been found out--so Willibald believed. After
two years of close intercourse with the Greek Christians of New Rome,
living in a "cell hollowed out of the side of a church" (possibly Saint
Sophia), the first of English-born travellers returned to Old Rome, as
Arculf had done, by sea, noticing, like him, "Theodoric's Hell" in the
Liparis. He could not get up the mountain, though curious to see "what
sort of a hell it was" where the Gothic "Tyrant" was damned for the
murder of Böethius and Symmachus, and for his own impenitent Arianism.
But though he could not be seen or heard, all the pilgrims remarked how
the "pumice that writers use was thrown up by the flame from the hell,
and fell into the sea, and so was cast upon the shore and gathered up."

Such was the philosophy of Catholicism about the countries of the known
world in the eighth century, for Willibald's account was published with
the imprimatur of Gregory III., and, with Arculf's, took rank as a
satisfactory comment on the old Bordeaux Itinerary of four hundred years

Again, the impression given by our two chief Guide-Books, Arculf and
Willibald, is confirmed by the monk Fidelis, who travelled in Egypt
about 750, and by Bernard the Wise of Mont St. Michel, who went over all
the pilgrim ground a century later (867). Fidelis, sailing up the Nile,
was astonished at the sight of the "Seven Barns of Joseph, (the
Pyramids) looking like mountains, but all of stone, square at the base,
rounded in the upper part and twisted at the summit like a spire. On
measuring a side of one of them, it was found to be four hundred feet."
From the Nile Fidelis sailed by the freshwater canal of Necho, Hadrian,
and Amrou, not finally blocked up till 767, direct to the Red Sea, "near
where Moses crossed with the Israelites." The pilgrim wanted to go and
look for Pharaoh's chariot-wheels, but the sailors were obstinate, and
took him round the Peninsula of Sinai, down one arm of the sea and up
another, to Eziongeber and Edom.

Bernard, "the French Monk" of Mont St. Michel, took the straight route
overland by Rome to Bari, then a Saracen city, whose Emir forwarded the
pilgrims in a fleet of transports carrying some nine thousand Christian
slaves to Alexandria. Here, like Willibald, Bernard found himself
"suspect"--thrown into prison till Backsheesh had been paid, then only
allowed to move stage by stage as fees were prompt and sufficient, for a
traveller must pay, as an infidel, not only the ordinary tribute of the
subject Christians of Egypt, but the "money of the road" as well. Islam
has always made of strangers a fair mark for extortion.

Safe at last in Jerusalem, the party (Bernard himself and two friends,
one a Spaniard, the other a monk of Beneventum) were lodged "in the
Hostel of the glorious Emperor Charles, founded for all the pilgrims who
speak the Roman tongue," and after making the ordinary visits of
devotion, and giving us their account of the Easter Miracle of the Holy
Fire at the Church of the Sepulchre, they took ship for Italy, and
landed at Rome after sixty days of misery at sea.

Bernard's account closes with the Roman churches--the Lateran, where the
"keys of the whole city are given every night into the hands of the
Apostolic Pope," and St. Peter's on the "West side of Rome, that for
size has no rival in the world."

At the same time, or a little earlier than the Breton traveller (_c._
808-850), another Latin had written a short tract _On the Houses of God
in Jerusalem_, which, with Bernard's note-book, is our last geographical
record before the age of the Northmen.

A new time was coming--a time not of timid creeping pilgrims only, but
of sea-kings and seamen, who made the ocean their home, and, for the
North of Europe at least, broke the tradition of land journeys and
coasting voyages.

But the early pilgrims after all have their place. It is of no use
insisting that the mental outlook of these men is infantile;--that is
best proved by their own words, their own scale of things; but it is
necessary to insist that in these travellers we have comparatively
enlarged experience and knowledge; and as comparison is the only test of
any age, or of any man therein, the very blunders and limitations of the
past, as we see them to be, have a constant, as well as an historical,
value to us. That is, we are always being reminded, first, how we have
come to the present mastery over nature, over ourselves, over all being;
and, secondly, how imperfect, how futile, our work is still, and seems
always doomed to be, if judged from a really final standpoint, or rather
from our own dreams of the ultimately possible.

So if in the case of our mediæval travellers their interests are the
very reverse of ours; if they take delight in brooding over thoughts
which to us do not seem worth the thinking; if their minds seem to rest
as much on fable implicitly accepted as on the little amount of
experienced fact necessary for a working life, it will not be for us to
judge, or to pity, or to despise the men who were making our world for
us, and through whose work we live.


Especially we cannot afford to forget this as we reach the lowest point
of the fortunes, the mental and material work and position and
outlook, of Europe and Christendom. A half-barbarised world had entered
upon the inheritance of a splendid past, but it took centuries before
that inheritance was realised by the so altered present. In this time of
change we have men writing in the language of Cæsar and Augustine, of
Alexander and Plato and Aristotle, who had been themselves, or whose
fathers had been, pirates, brigands, nomades,--"wolves of the land or of
the sea"--to Greeks or Romans of the South; who had been even to the
Romanised provincials of the North, as in Britain, mere "dogs," "whelps
from the kennel of barbarism," the destroyers of the order of the world.
The boundless credulity and servile terror, the superstition and feudal
tyranny of the earlier Middle Ages, mark the first stage of the
reconstruction of society, when savage strong men who had conquered were
set down beside the overworked and outworn masters of the Western world,
to learn of them, and to make of them a more enduring race.



CIRCA 787-1066.

The discoveries and conquests and colonies of the Norse Vikings, from
the White Sea to North America, are the first glimpses of light on the
sea of darkness round the little island of the known world that made up
Christendom. And from the needs of the time these were the natural, the
only natural beginnings of European expansion. From the rise of Islam,
Saracens controlled the great trade-routes of the South and East. It was
only on the West and North that the coast was clear--of all but natural

In the Moslem Caliphate men were now busy in following up the old lines
of trade, the immemorial traditions of the East, or as in southern
Africa, extending the sphere of commercial activity and so of
civilisation; men of science were commenting on the ancient texts of
Greeks and Latins, or adapting them to enlarged knowledge.

But in Christendom, in the atrophy both of mental and physical
activity, broken for short periods and in certain lands by the revivals
of Charles the Great, of the Isaurian Emperors, of Otto I., of Alfred
and his House, the practical energy of Heathen enemies,--for the
Northmen were not seriously touched by Christianity till about the end
of the first millennium,--was the first sign of lasting resurrection.
After the material came the spiritual revival; the whole life of the
Middle Ages awoke on the conversion of the Northern nations and of
Hungary; but in the abundant and brilliant energy of the eleventh, the
twelfth, the thirteenth centuries, we must recognise the offspring of
the irrepressible Norsemen as well as of the Irish and Frank and English
missionaries, who in the Dark Ages of Christendom were working out the
empire of Innocent III.

In exploration, especially, it was true that theory followed
achievement. Flavio Gioja, of Amalphi, did not apply the magnet to
navigation--did not "give sailors the use of the magnet"--till
navigation itself had begun to venture into the unknown Atlantic. The
history of geographical advance in the earlier Middle Ages is thus
rather a chronicle of adventure than of science.

But the Norse discoveries are not only the first, they are the leading
achievements of Western travel and enterprise in the true Unknown,
between the time of Constantine and the Crusades. The central fact of
European expansion in the Dark Ages (from the seventh to the eleventh
century) is the advance of the Vikings to the Arctic Continent and to
America about the year 1000. All that precedes this on the same line is
doubtful and unimportant. For, of the other voyages to the West in the
sixth, the eighth, the tenth centuries, which, on Columbus' success,
turned into prior claims to the finding of the New World, there is not
one that deserves notice.

St. Brandon in 565, the Seven Spanish Bishops in 734, the Basques in 990
may or may not have sighted their islands of "Antillia," of "Atlantis,"
of the "Seven Cities." They cannot be verified or valued, any more than
the journeys of the Enchanted Horse or the Third Calendar. We only know
for certain a few unimportant, half-accidental facts, such as the visits
of Irish hermits to Iceland and the Färoes during the eighth century,
and the traces of their cells and chapels--in bells and ruins and
crosses--found by the Northmen in the ninth.

It was in 787 that the Vikings first landed in England; by the opening
of the next century they were threatening the whole coast line of
Christendom, from Gallicia to the Elbe; in 874 they began to colonise
Iceland; in 877 they sighted Greenland; in 922 Rolf the Ganger won his
"Normandy" from Charles the Simple, by the Treaty of Clair-sur-Epte; as
early as 840 was founded the first Norse or Ostman kingdom in Ireland,
and in 878 the Norse earldom of the Orkneys, while about the same time
the first Vikings seem to have reached the White Sea and the extreme
North of Europe.

This advance is almost as rapid as that of the early Saracens; within a
hundred years from the first disturbance of Danes and Northmen by the
growing, all-including power of the new national kingdoms,--within three
generations from Halfdan the Black,--first the flying rebels, and then
the royalists in pursuit of them, had reached the farthest western and
northern limits of the known world, from Finisterre in "Spanland" to
Cape Farewell in Greenland, from the North Cape in Finland to the
Northwest Capes of "Irland," from Novgorod or "Holmgard" in Russia to
"Valland," between the Garonne and the Loire.

The chief lines of Northern advance were three--by the north-west,
south-west, and north-east, but each of these divided, after a time,
with important results.

The first sea-path, running by Caithness, Orkneys, Shetlands, and
Färoes, reached Iceland, Greenland, and at last Vinland on the North
American Continent; but from the settlements on the coasts and islands
of northern Scotland, a fresh wave of pirate colonists swept down
south-west into the narrow seas of St. George's Channel and beat upon
the east and north and south of Ireland and the western coasts of
England and of "Bretland."

The second invasion ran along the North German coast, and on reaching
the Straits of Dover, fell upon both sides of the English Channel,
according as the resistance was stronger or weaker in Wessex or in
Frankland. The advanced guard reunited with Ostmen and Orkneyers in the
Scilly Isles, and in Cornwall, and pressed on to the plunder of the Bay
of Biscay and its coasts. The most restless of all were not long in
finding out the wealth of the Moslem Caliphate of Cordova, and trying to
force their way up the Douro and the Tagus.

The expansion on this side was not to stop till it had founded, from the
Norman colony on the Seine, a Norman kingdom of England, and a dominion
in the Two Sicilies, but this was the work of the eleventh century, the
time of organisation and settled empire.

On the third side of northern expansion, to east and north-east, there
were two separate roads from the first; one taking the Baltic for its
track, and dividing northwards to Finland, up the Gulf of Bothnia,
eastwards to Russia and Novgorod ("Gardariki" and "Holmgard"), the other
coasting along "Halogaland" to Biarmaland, along Lapland to Perm and the
Archangel of later time.

Of these three lines of movement by far the most vital to our subject is
the first, which is also the earliest; the second, to south and
south-west, hardly gives any direct results for our story; and the
third, to east and north, is mainly concerned with Russian history.
While King Alfred was yet unborn, Norse settlements had been permanently
founded in the outlying points, coasts, and islands of Scotland and
Ireland, and in the years of his boyhood, about 860, Nadodd the Fäeroe
Jarl sighted Iceland, which had been touched at by the Irish monks in
795 but was now to be first added as a lasting gain to Europe, as a new
country, "Snowland"--something more than a hermitage for religious
exiles from the world. Four years later (in 864) Gardar the Swede
reached this new Ultima Thule, and re-named it from himself "Gardar's
Holm." Yet another Viking, Raven Floke, followed the track of the first
explorer in 867, before Iceland got its final name and earliest
colonisation from the Norsemen Ingolf and Leif and the sheep-farmers of
the Färoes in 874, the third year of Alfred's reign in Wessex.


Three years later, 877-8, at the very time of the farthest Danish
advance in England, when Guthrum had driven the English King into the
Isle of Athelney, the Norsemen reached their farthest point of northern
advance in Europe; Gunnbiorn sighted a new land to the north-west, which
he called "White Shirt," from its snow-fields, and which Red Eric a
century later re-named Greenland--"for there is nothing like a good name
to attract settlers." By this the Old World had come nearer than ever
before to the discovery of a new one.

Geographically, this side of the Arctic Continent falls to the share of
North America, and once its fiords had been made in their turn centres
of colonisation and of further progress, the actual reaching of
Newfoundland and Cape Cod was natural enough. The real voyage lay
between Cape Farewell and the European mainland; it was a stormy and
dangerous passage from the Greenland Bays to Labrador, but not a long
one, and, as far as can be judged from scanty records, neither so cold
nor so icebound as at present.

But exploration had outrun settlement. It was not till 986, more than
one hundred years after Gunnbiorn's discovery, that Eric the Red, one of
the chiefs of the Iceland colonists, led a band of followers and
friends into a permanent exile in the unknown land. The beginnings of
several villages were made in the next few years, and the first American
discoveries followed at once. About 989 one Bjarni Herjulfson, following
his father from Iceland to Eric's Fiord in Greenland, was driven west by
storms first to a flat, well-wooded country, then to a mountainous
island, covered with glaciers. He bore away with a fresh breeze and
reached his home in Eric's Fiord in four days.

But his report aroused great interest; the time had come, and the men,
and Norse rovers, who after so much in the past were ready to dare
anything in the future, eagerly volunteered to follow up the new route;
Bjarni himself visiting Norway and telling his story, was blamed for his
slackness, and when he went back to Greenland there was "much talk of
finding unknown lands." In the year 1000 Leif, a son of Red Eric,
started with a definite purpose of discovery. He bought Bjarni's ship,
manned it with five and twenty men and put out. First they came to the
land Bjarni had sighted last, and went on shore. There was no grass to
be seen, but great snowy ridges far inland, "and all the way from the
coast to these mountains was one field of snow, and it seemed to them a
land of no profit,"--so they left, calling it Helluland, or Slate-land,
perhaps the Labrador of the sixteenth century.

They put to sea again and found another land, flat and wooded, with a
white sand shore, low-lying towards the sea. This, said Leif, we will
call after its nature, Markland (Woodland). Thence driving for two days
before a north-east wind, they came to an island, where they landed to
wait for good weather. They tasted the dew on the grass and thought they
had never known anything so sweet. Sailing on again into a sound between
the island and a ness, they reached a place where a river came out of a
lake; into this they towed the ship and anchored, carrying their beds
out on the shore and setting up their tents, with a large hut in the
middle, and made all ready for wintering there.

There was no want of fish food--"the largest salmon in the lake they had
ever seen"--and the country seemed to them so good that they would need
no fodder for cattle in the winter. There was no frost; the grass seemed
fresh enough all the year round, and day and night were more equal than
in Iceland or in Greenland. The crew were divided in two parts: one
worked at the huts and the other explored the country, returning every
night to the camp. From the wild vines found by the foragers, the whole
district was called Vinland, and samples of these, enough to fill the
stern boat, and of the trees and "self-sown wheat" found in the fields
were taken back to Eric's Fiord. Thereafter Leif was called the Lucky,
and got much wealth and fame, but Thorwald Ericson, his brother, thought
he had not explored enough, and "determined to be talked about" even
more than the first settler of Vinland.

He put to sea with thirty men and came straight to Leif's Booths in
Vinland, where he stayed the winter. On the first signs of spring
Thorwald ordered his vessel to be rigged, and sent his longboat on
ahead to explore.

All alike thought the land beautiful and well-wooded; they noticed that
the distance was small between the forest and the sea, that the beach
was all of white sand, and that there were many islands off the shore
and very shallow water; but they saw no trace of man or beast, except a
wooden corn-barn on an island far to the west. After coasting all the
summer they came back in the autumn to the booths.

The next spring Thorwald went eastwards, and "towards the north along
the land they drove upon a cape and broke their keel and stayed long to
repair, and called the place Keel-Ness (Kjalarness) from this." Then
they sailed away eastwards along the country, everywhere thickly wooded,
till at one place Thorwald drew up his ships to the land and laid out
gangways to the shore, saying, "I would gladly set up my farm here."

But now they came upon the first traces of other men; far off upon the
white sandy beach three specks were sighted--three skin boats of the
Skrælings or Esquimaux, with three men hiding under each. Thorwald's men
captured and killed eight of them, but one escaped "to where within the
fiord were several dwellings like little lumps on the ground." A heavy
drowsiness now fell upon the Norsemen, in the Saga, till a "sudden
scream came to them, and a countless host from up the fiord came in skin
boats and laid themselves alongside."

The Vikings put up their shield-wall along the gunwale and kept off the
arrows of the Esquimaux till they had shot them all away, and "fled off
as fast as they could," leaving Thorwald with a mortal wound under the
arm. He had time just to bid his men "carry him to the point he had
wished to dwell at, for it was true that he would stay there awhile, but
with a cross at head and feet; and so died and was buried as he had
said." The place was called Crossness from the dead chief, but the crew
stayed all the winter and loaded the ship with vines and grapes, and in
the spring came back to Eric in Greenland.

And now, after the first mishap, discovery became more serious--not to
be undertaken but by strong and well-armed fleets. It was this that
checked the expansion of these Arctic colonies; at their best they were
too small to do more than hold their own against nature and the Skræling
savages in their tiny settlements along the coast, where the ice-fields
have long since pushed man slowly but surely into the sea, with his
painfully won patches of hay and corn and pasturage.

But the colonists would never say die till they were utterly worn out;
now they only roused themselves to conquer the new lands they had found,
and found disputed.

First a third son of Red Eric, Thorstein, bethought him to go to Vinland
for his brother Thorwald's body. He put to sea and lost all sight of
land, beating about in the ocean the whole summer, till he came back to
Greenland in the first week of winter. (1004-6.)

He was followed by the greatest of the Vinland sailors, Thorfinn
Karlsefne, who really took in hand the founding of a new settlement over
the Western Sea. He came from Norway to Iceland soon after Thorwald's
death in 1004, passed on to Greenland about 1005, "when, as before, much
was talked about a Vinland voyage," and in 1006 made ready to start with
one hundred and sixty men and five women, in three ships. They had with
them all kinds of cattle, meaning to settle in the land if they could,
and they made an agreement, Karlsefne and his people, that each should
have an equal share in the gain. Leif lent them his houses in Vinland,
"for he would not give them outright," and they sailed first to
Helluland (Labrador), where they found a quantity of foxes, then to
Markland, well-stocked with forest animals, then to an island at the
mouth of a fiord, unknown before, covered with eyder ducks. They called
the new discoveries Stream Island and Stream Fiord, from the current
that here ran out into the sea, and sent off a party of eight men, in
search of Vinland, in a stern boat. This was driven by westerly gales
back to Iceland, but Thorfinn, with the rest, sailed south till he came
to Leif Ericson's "river that fell into the sea from a lake, with
islands lying off the mouth of the stream, low grounds covered with
wheat growing wild, and rising grounds clad with vines."

Here they settled, re-named the country "Hope, from the good hope they
had of it," and began to fell the wood, to pasture their cattle in the
upland, and to gather the grapes.

After the first winter the Skrælings came upon them, at first to traffic
with furs and sables against milk and dairy produce, and then to fight;
for as neither understood the other, and the natives tried to force
their way into Thorfinn's houses, and to get hold of his men's weapons,
a quarrel was bound to come.

Fearing this, Karlsefne put a fence round the settlement and made all
ready for battle, "and at this very time was a child born to him in the
village, called Snorre, of Gudrid his wife, the widow of Thorstein
Eric-son, whom he had brought with him." Then the Esquimaux came down
upon them, "many more than before, and there was a battle, and
Thorfinn's men won the day and saved the cattle," and their enemies fled
into the forest.

Thorfinn stayed all the winter, but towards spring he grew tired of his
enterprise, and returned to Greenland, "taking much goods," vines, wood
for timber, and skin-wares, and so came back to Eric's Fiord in the
summer of 1008.

Thus ends the story of the last serious effort to colonise Vinland, and
the Saga, while giving no definite cause for this failure upon failure,
seems to show that even the trifling annoyance of the Skrælings was
enough to turn the scale. Natural difficulties were so immense, men were
so few, that a pigmy enemy had all the power of the last straw in a
load, the odd man in a council. The actual resistance of American
natives to European colonists was never very serious in any part of the
continent, but the distance from the starting-point and the
difficulties of life in the new country were able, even in the time of
Raleigh and De Soto, to keep in check men who far more readily founded
and kept up European empires in the Indian seas.

So now, though on Thorfinn's return the "talk began to turn again upon a
Vinland voyage, as both gainful and honourable," and a daughter of Red
Eric, named Freydis, talked men over--especially two brothers, Helge and
Finnboge--to a fresh attempt in the country where all the House of Eric
had tried and failed; though Leif lent his booths as before, and sixty
able-bodied men, besides women, were found willing to go, the colony
could never be firmly planted. Freydis and her allies sailed in 1011,
reached the settlement, which was now for the third time recolonised,
and wintered there;--but jealousies soon broke up the camp, Helge and
Finnboge were murdered with all their followers, and the rest came back
in 1013 to Greenland, "where Thorfinn Karlsefne was just ready for
sailing back to Norway, and it was common talk that never did a richer
ship leave Eric's Fiord than that which he steered." It was that same
Karlsefne who gave the fullest account of all his travels, concludes the
Saga, but whether Thorfinn ever returned to Vinland, whether there were
any more attempts to settle at Leif's Booths or elsewhere, whether the
account we have of these voyages is really an Eric Saga, only telling
the deeds of Red Eric and his House--for after Bjarni, almost every
Vinland leader is of this family--we cannot tell. We can only fancy that
all these suggestions are probable, by the side of the few additional
facts known to the Norse Skalds or Bards. The first of these is, that in
983-4, Are Marson of Reykianes in Iceland was driven by storms far West
to White Man's Land, where he was followed by Bjarni Asbrandson in 999,
and by Gudleif Gudlangson in 1029. This was the tale of his friend Rafn,
"the Limerick trader," and of Are Frode, his great-great-grandson, who
called the unknown land Great Ireland.[17] True or untrue, in whatever
way, this would be a later discovery than those of Eric and his sons, if
the news of it did not come into Iceland or Norway till after Thorfinn
Karlsefne's voyage, as is generally supposed. Again, the length of the
voyage is a difficulty, and the whole matter has a doubtful look--an
attempt to start a rival to the Eric Saga, by a far more brilliant
success a few years earlier.

[Footnote 17: By some supposed to be S. Carolina, by others the

We seem to be on more certain ground in our next and last chapter of
Viking exploration in the north-west, in the fragmentary notices of
Greenland and Vinland voyages to the middle of the fourteenth century,
and in the fairly clear and continuous account of the two Greenland
settlements of the western and the eastern Bays.

We hear, for instance, of Bishop Eric going over from Eric's Fiord to
Vinland in 1121; of clergy from the Eastern Bay diocese of Gardar
sailing to lands in the West, far north of Vinland, in 1266; of the two
Helgasons discovering a country west of Iceland in 1285; of a voyage
from Greenland to Markland in 1347 by a crew of seventeen men, recorded
in 1354.

Unless these are pure fabrications, they would seem to prove something
of constant intercourse between the mother and daughter colonies of
north-west Europe and north-east America, and something of a permanent
Christian settlement of Northmen in the New Continent is made probable
by assuming such intercourse. Between 981-1000, both Iceland and
Greenland had become "Catholic in name and Christian in surname"; in
1126 the line of Bishops of Gardar begins with Arnold, and the clergy
would hardly have ventured on the Vinland voyage to convert Skrælings in
an almost deserted country.

The later story of the Greenland colonies, interesting as it is, and
traceable to the year 1418, is not part of the expansion but of the
contraction of Europe and Christendom. And the voyages of the Zeni in
1380-95 to Greenland and the Western islands Estotiland and Drogeo,
belong to another part; they are the last achievements of mediæval
discovery before Henry of Portugal begins his work, and form the natural
end of an introduction to that work.

But it is curious to notice that just as the ice and the Esquimaux
between them were bringing to an end the last traces of Norse settlement
in the Arctic Continent, and just as all intercourse between Vinland,
Greenland, Iceland, and Norway entirely ceases--at any rate to record
itself--the Portuguese sailors, taking up the work of Eric and Leif and
Thorfinn, on another side, were rounding Cape Verde and nearing the
southern point of Africa, and so providing for the mind of Columbus
suggestions which resulted in the lasting discovery of the world that
the Vikings had sighted and colonised, but were not able to hold.

The Venetian, Welsh, and Arabic claims to have followed the Norsemen in
visits to America earlier than the voyage of 1492, belong rather to the
minute history of geographical controversy. It is a fairly certain fact
that the north-west line of Scandinavian migration reached about A.D.
1000 to Cape Cod and the coasts of Labrador. It is equally certain that
on this side the Norsemen never made any further advance, lasting or
recorded. Against all other mediæval discoveries of a Western Continent,
one only verdict can stand:--Not Proven.

The other lines of Northern advance, though marked by equal daring and
far greater military exploits, have less of original discovery. There
was fighting in plenty, the giving and taking of hard knocks with every
nation from Archangel to Cordova and from Limerick to Constantinople;
and the Vikings, as they reached fresh ground, re-named most of the
capes and coasts, the rivers and islands and countries of Europe, of
North Africa, of Western Asia. Iberia became "Spanland"; Gallicia,
"Jacobsland"[18]; Gallia, "Frankland"; Britannia, "England," "Scotland,"
"Bretland"; Hibernia, "Irland"; Islam, outside "Spanland," passed into
"Serkland" or Saracenland. Greece was "Grikland"; Russia, "Gardariki";
the Pillars of Hercules, the Straits of Gibraltar, were "Norva's Sound,"
which later days derived from the first Northman who passed through
them. The city of Constantine was the Great Town--"Miklagard"; Novgorod
was "Holmgard," the town of all others that most touched and influenced
the earlier, the Viking age, of Northern expansion. For was it not their
own proudest and strongest city-state, and "Who can stand before God, or
the Great Novgorod?" except the men who had built it, and would rush to
sack it if it turned against them?

[Footnote 18: From St. James of Compostella.]

But all this was only the passing of a more active race over ground
which had once been well known to Rome and to Christendom, even if much
of this was now being forgotten. It was only in upland Russia and in the
farthest North that the Norsemen sensibly enlarged the Western world to
east or north-east, as they did through their Iceland settlements on the

On the south and south-west no Vikings or Royalist followers of Vikings,
like Sigurd the Crusader, sailed the seas beyond Norva's Sound and
Serkland,[19] and as pilgrims, traders, travellers, and conquerors in
the Mediterranean, their work was of course not one of exploration. They
bore a foremost share in breaking down the Moslem incubus on southern
Europe; they visited the Holy sites

    "When sacred Hierosolyma they'd relievèd
    And fed their eyes on Jordan's holy flood
    Which the dear body of Lord God had lavèd";[20]

they fought as Varangian body-guards in the armies of the great
Byzantines, Nikephoros Phokas, John Tzimiskes, Basil II. or Maniakes;
but in all this they discovered for themselves rather than for Europe.

[Footnote 19: Unless White Man's Land and Great Ireland are the
Canaries. See above, p. 63.]

[Footnote 20: Camoëns, _Lusiads_, (Barton's trans.).]

But Russia, that is, Old Russia round Novgorod and Kiev, the White Sea,
the North Cape and Finland coasts, as well as the more outlying parts of
Scotland and Ireland, were first clearly known to Europe through the
Northmen. The same race did much to open up the modern Lithuania and
Prussia, and the conversion of the whole of Scandinavia, mother country
and colonies alike, in the tenth and eleventh centuries added our
Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, with all the Viking settlements, to the
civilised world and church of Rome.

First, on the eastern side, it was in 862 that the Russians invited help
from their less dreaded neighbours around Upsala against their more
vexatious neighbours around Kiev, and in September of the same year
Ruric arrived at Novgorod and founded the Mediæval Kingdom of Russia,
which in the tenth century under Oleg, Igor, and Vladimir was first the
plunderer, then the open enemy, and finally the ally in faith and in
arms of the Byzantine Empire.

All through this time and afterwards, till the time of the Tartar
deluge, the intercourse of Swedes, Danes, and Northmen with Gardariki
was constant and close, and not least in the time of the Vinland
voyages, when Vladimir and Jaroslav reigned at Novgorod, and the two
Olafs, the son of Trygve and the Saint, found refuge at their court
before and after their hard rule in Norway.

Olaf Trygveson's uncle had grown old in exile at Novgorod when young
Olaf and his mother fled from Norway to join him there and were captured
by Vikings in the Baltic and kept six years in the Gulf of Riga before
they got to Holmgard (972).

In 1019 Ingigerd of Sweden was married to Jaroslav; ten years later St.
Olaf was driven from Norway by revolt, and flying into Russia, was
offered a Kingdom called Volgaria--the modern Casan, whose old
metropolis of Vulghar was known to the Arab travellers of the ninth
century, and whose ruins can still be seen. Olaf hesitated between this
and a pilgrim's death in Jerusalem and at last preferred to fight his
way back to Norway.

The next King of the Norsemen, Magnus the Good, came from Novgorod by
Ladoga to Trondhjem, when Olaf's son Harold Hardrada fled back to his
father's refuge, to the court of Jaroslav; while Magnus had been in
exile, men had asked news of him from all the merchants that traded to

Last of these earlier kings, Harold Hardrada, during all the time of his
wild romance in East and South, before he went to Miklagard, and after
his flight, and all the time of his service in the Varangian Guard of
the Empress Zoe, made Novgorod his home. His pilgrim relics from Holy
Land and his war spoils from Serkland--Africa and Sicily--were all sent
back to Jaroslav's care till their master could come and claim them, and
when he came at last, flying from Byzantine vengeance across the Black
Sea into the Sea of Azov and "all round the Eastern Realm" of Kiev, he
found his wealth untouched and Princess Elizabeth ready to be his wife
and to help him with Russian men and money to win back Norway and to die
at Stamford Bridge for the Crown of England (1066).

Harold is the type of all Vikings, of the Norse race in its greatest,
most restless energy. William the Conqueror, or Cnut the Great, or
Robert Guiscard, or Roger of Sicily, are all greater and stronger men,
but there is no "ganger," no rover, like the man who in fifty years,
after fighting in well-nigh every land of Christians or of the
neighbours and enemies of Christendom, yet hoped for time to sail off to
the new-found countries and so fulfil his oath and promise to perfect a
life of unmatched adventure by unmatched discovery. He had fought with
wild beasts in the Arena of Constantinople; he had bathed in the Jordan
and cleared the Syrian roads of robbers; he had stormed eighty castles
in Africa; he had succoured the Icelanders in famine and lived as a
prince in Russia and Northumberland; by his own songs he boasts that he
had sailed all round Europe; but he fell, the prototype of sea-kings
like Drake or Magellan, without one discovery. Men of his own nation and
time had been before him everywhere, but he united in himself the work
and adventures, the conquests and discoveries of many. He was the
incarnation of Northern spirit, and it was through the lives and records
of such as he that Europe became filled with that new energy of thought
and action, that new life and knowledge, which was the ground and
impulse of the movement led by Henry the Navigator, by Columbus, and the

Harold's wars kept him from becoming a great explorer, but Norse
captains who took service under peaceful kings did something of what he
aimed at doing.

We must retrace our steps to the voyages of Ohthere and Wulfstan under
King Alfred about the year 890, about the time when a Norse King, Harold
Fair-hair, was first seen in the Scotch and Irish seas. Their discovery
of the White Sea, the North Cape, and the gulfs of Bothnia and Finland
was followed up by many Norsemen, such as Thorer Hund under St. Olaf, in
the next one hundred and fifty years,[21] but Ohthere's voyage was the
first and chief of these adventures both in motive and result.

[Footnote 21: And a certain number of Viking sailors seem to have
preceded Ohthere on his voyage to the Dwina.]

"He told his lord King Alfred that he dwelt northmost of all Northmen on
the land by the Western Sea and he wished to find how far the land lay
right north, or whether any man dwelt north of the waste. So he went
right north near the land;--for three days he left the waste land on the
right and the wide sea on the left, as far as the whale hunters ever
go"; and still he kept north three days more (to the North Cape of

"Then the land bent right east, and with a west wind he sailed four days
till the land bent south, and he sailed by it five days more to a great
river--the Dwina--that lay up into the land, and where beyond the river
it was all inhabited"--the modern country of Perm and Archangel.

Here he trafficked with the people, the first he had met, except the
Finn hunters, since leaving his fiord. Besides his wish to see the
country, he was looking for walrus-ivory and hides.

The Finns and Biarma-men (men of Archangel), it seemed to him, spoke
nearly the same language, but between his home and this Biarmaland no
human being lived in any fixed dwelling, and all the Northman's land was
long and narrow and thinly peopled, decreasing in breadth as it
stretched northward, from sixty to three days' journey.

Again Alfred told how Ohthere, sailing south for a month from his house,
having _Ireland_ on his right and coasting Norway all the time on his
left, came to Jutland, "where a great sea runs up into the land, so vast
that no man can see across it," whence in five days more he reached the
coast, "from which the English came to Britain."

Wulfstan, in the service of the same king, told him how he sailed in
seven days from Sleswick to Truso and the Vistula, having Wendland (or
Pomerania and Prussia) on his right all the way. He described "Witland
near the Vistula and Estland and Wendland and Estmere and the Ilfing
running from the Truso lake into Eastmere," but neither the king nor his
captains knew enough to contradict the old idea, found in Ptolemy and
Strabo, of Scandinavia as one vast island.

Thus it was for the satisfaction of their Saxon Lord that Wulfstan and
Ohthere, by their voyages along the coasts of Norway and Lapland, of
Pomerania and Prussia, round the White Sea and the Gulf of Riga and
southern Finland, added a more coherent view of north-east Europe, and
specially of the Baltic Gulf, to Western geography; but these Norse
discoveries, though in the service of an English king, were scarcely
used save by Norsemen, and they must partly go to the credit of Vikings,
as well as of Alfred the Great. Thus in 965 King Harold Grayskin of
Norway "went and fought with the folk on the banks of the Dwina," and
plundered them, and in 1026 Thorer Hund joined himself to a fleet sent
by St. Olaf to the White Sea, pillaged the temple of the idol Jomala,
and destroyed his countrymen by treachery on their way home. Where two
expeditions are recorded they may well stand for twenty unknown and
uneventful ones, and the same must be equally granted as to the gradual
advance of knowledge through the unceasing attacks of the Norse kings
and pirates on the lands to the south of the Baltic, where lived the

Thus on the west and east, north-west and north-east, the Northmen could
and did make a definite advance into the unknown; even the south-west
lines of Northern invasion and settlement, though they hardly yield any
general results to discovery, certainly led to a more thorough inclusion
of every part of the British isles in the civilised West, through the
Viking earldoms in Caithness, in the Orkneys and the Shetlands, in Man
and the Hebrides, and on the coast of Ireland, where the Ostman colonies
grew into kingdoms. From about 840, when the first of these settlements
was fairly and permanently started, to the eleventh century, when a
series of great defeats,--by Brian Boru at Clontarf in 1014, by Godwine
and Harold in England from 1042 to 1066, and by the Norman and Scottish
kings in the next generation,--practically destroyed the Norse dominion
outside the Orkneys,--for those two hundred years, Danes and Northmen
not only pillaged and colonised, but ruled and reorganised a good half
of the British isles.

By the time of Alfred the Viking principalities were scattered up and
down the northern and western coasts of the greater of our two islands,
and were fringing three sides of the lesser. About A.D. 900 the pioneer
of the Norse kings, Harold Fair-hair, pursued his traitors, first to
Shetlands and Orkneys, then to Caithness, the Hebrides, and Man. His son
Eric, who followed him, ranged the Northern seas from Archangel to
Bordeaux, and so Hakon the Good in 936 and other Norse princes in 946,
961, 965, above all, the two great Kings Olaf in 985-9 and 1009-14,
fought and triumphed through most of the world as known to the Northmen.
Thus, Frankland, England, Ireland, Scotland were brought into a closer
unity through the common danger, while as the sea-kings founded settled
states, and these grew by alliance, first with one another and then with
their older Christian victims, as the Norse kingdoms themselves became
parts of Latin Christendom, after Latin Christendom had itself been
revived and re-awakened by their attacks, the full value of the time of
trial came out on both sides, to conquered and to conquerors.

For the effects--formative, invigorative, provocative,--of the Northern
invasions had a most direct bearing on the expansion that was to come in
the next age even for those staid and sober Western countries, England
and France and Italy, which had long passed through their time of
migration, and where the Vikings could not, as in the far north-east and
north-west, extend the area of civilisation or geographical knowledge.

Lastly, the new start made by England in exploration, and trade, and
even in pilgrimage, is plainly the result--in action and reaction--of
the Norse and Danish attacks, waking up the old spirit of a kindred
race, of elder cousins that had sunk into lethargy and forgotten their

But from the Peace of Wedmore (878) Alfred first of all began to build
an English navy able to meet and chase and run down the Viking keels;
then established a yearly pilgrimage and alms-giving at the Threshold of
the Apostles in Rome; then sent out various captains in his service to
explore as much of the world as was practicable for his new description
of Europe. His crowning effort in religious extension was in 883, when
Sigehelm and Athelstan bore Alfred's gifts and letters to Jerusalem and
to India, to the Christians of San Thomé; the corresponding triumph of
the King's scientific exploration, the discoveries in the White Sea and
the Baltic, seem to have happened nearer the end of the reign, somewhere
before 895.



CIRCA 1100-1300.

The pilgrims were the pioneers of the growth of Europe and of
Christendom until Charlemagne, in one sense, in another and a broader
sense until the Crusades.

Their original work, as far as it can be called original at all, was
entirely overshadowed by the Vikings, who made real discoveries of the
first importance in hunting for new worlds to conquer; but when first
the Viking rovers themselves, and then the Northmen, settled in the
colonies and the old home, took up Christianity as the Arabs had taken
up Islam, the pilgrim spirit was translated, as it were, into new and
more powerful forms. Through the conversion of Hungary and of
Scandinavia,[22]--Europe, Christian Europe, was compacted together in a
stronger Empire than that of Constantine or of Charlemagne--a spiritual
federation, not a political unity--one and undivided not in visible
subordination, but in a common zeal for a common faith. This was the
state of the Latin world, and in a measure of the Greek and Russian
world as well, by the middle of the eleventh century, when the Byzantine
Emperors had broken the strength of the Eastern Caliphate, and recovered
most of the realm of Heraclius; when the Roman Papacy under Leo IX.,
Hildebrand, and Urban began its political stage, aiming, and in great
part successfully aiming, at an Imperial Federation of Europe under
religion; when on every side, in Spain, in France, in England, in
Germany, and in Italy, the nations that had been slowly built into that
_Domus Dei_ were filled with fresh life and purpose from the Norsemen,
who, as pirates, or conquerors, or brothers, had settled among them. The
long crusade that had gone on for four hundred years in Spain and in
southern Italy and in the Levant, which had raged round the islands of
the Mediterranean, or the passes of the Alps and Pyrenees, or the banks
of the Loire and the Tiber,--was now, on the eve of the first Syrian
Crusade of 1096, rapidly tending to decisive victory. Toledo was won
back in 1084; the Norman dominion in the Two Sicilies had already taken
the place of a weak and halting Christian defence against Arab emirs;
pilgrims were going in thousands where there had been tens or units by
the reopened land route through Hungary; only in the far East the first
appearance of the Turks as Moslem champions,[23] threatened an ebb of
the tide. Christendom had seen a wonderful expansion of the Heathen
North; now that it had won the Northmen to itself, it was ready to
imitate their example. The deliberate purpose of the Popes only gave
direction to the universal feeling of restless and abundant energy
longing for wider action. But it was not the crusading movement itself
which brought so much new light, so much new knowledge of the world, to
Europe, as the _results_ of that impulse in trade, in travel, and in

[Footnote 22: As completed about A.D. 1000-1040.]

[Footnote 23: As in 1071, when they crushed Romans and the Byzantines in
the battle of Manzikert.]


(1) From the eleventh century, from the beginning of this period, all
the greater pilgrims, Sæwulf the English-merchant, King Sigurd of
Norway, Abbot Daniel of Kiev, and their followers, have something more
in view than piety; they have a general interest in travel; some of them
a special interest in trade; most of them go to fight as well as to

(2) But as the warlike spirit of the Church Militant seems to grow
tired, and its efforts at founding new kingdoms--in Antioch, in
Jerusalem, in Cyprus, in Byzantium--more and more fruitless, the direct
expansion of European knowledge, begins in scientific travel. Vinland
and Greenland and the White Sea and the other Norse discoveries were
discoveries made by a great race for itself; unconnected as they were
with the main lines of trade or with religious sentiment, they were
unrealised by the general consciousness of the West. A full account of
the Norse voyages to America was lying at the Vatican when Columbus was
searching for proofs of land within reach,--of India, as he expected, in
the place where he found an unknown continent and a new world. But no
one knew of these; even the Greenland colony had been lost and
forgotten in the fifteenth century; in 1553 the English sailors reached
the land of Archangel without a suspicion that Ohthere or Thorer Hund
had been there six hundred years before; Russia from the thirteenth to
the sixteenth centuries was almost out of sight and mind under the
Tartar and Moslem rule; but the missionaries and merchants and
travellers who followed the crusading armies to the Euphrates, and crept
along the caravan routes to Ceylon and the China Sea, added Further and
Central Asia--"Thesauri Arabum et divitis Indiæ"--to the knowledge of

And as this knowledge was bound up with gain; as the Polos and their
companions had really opened to the knowledge of the West those great
prizes of material wealth which even the Rome of Trajan had never fully
grasped, and which had been shared between Arabs and natives without a
rival for so long; it was not likely to be easily forgotten. From that
time, at the end of the thirteenth century, to the success of the
Portuguese on another road, at the end of the fifteenth, European
interest was fairly engaged in pressing in upon the old land-routes and
getting an ever larger share of their profits.

(3) There was another side of the same problem, a still brighter hope
for men who could dare to try it. By finding a sea-path to the Indian
store-house, mariners like the Venetians and Genoese, or their Spanish
pupils, might cut into the treasuries of the world at their very source,
found a trade-empire for their country, and gain the sole command of
heaven on earth, of the true terrestrial paradise.

Then masters of the wealth of the East and of the fighting power of the
West, the Christian nations might crush their old enemy, Islam, between
two weights, hammer and anvil; might fairly strike for the rule of the
entire habitable globe.

It was with thoughts of this kind, vaguely inspired by the Crusades and
their legacy of discovery from Bagdad to Cathay, that the Vivaldi left
Genoa to find an ocean way round Africa in 1281-91, "with the hope of
going to the parts of the Indies"; that Malocello reached the Canary
Islands about 1270; and that volunteers went on the same quest nearly
twenty times in the next four generations before their spasmodic efforts
were organised and pressed on to achievement by Henry and his Portuguese

(4) Lastly, the renaissance of Europe in the crusading age was not only
practical but spiritual. Science was at last touched and changed by the
new life scarcely less than the art of war, or the social state of the
towns, or the trade of the commercial republics. And geography and its
kindred were not long in feeling some change, though it was very slowly
realised and made useful. The first notice of the magnet in the West is
of about 1180; the use of this by sailors is perhaps rightly dated from
the thirteenth century and the discoveries of Amalphi.

But to return. We must trace more definitely the preparation which has
been generally described for the work of Prince Henry first in the
pilgrim-warriors, and the travellers of the New Age, merchants or
preachers or sight-seers, who follow out the Eastern land-routes; next
in the seamen who begin to break the spell of the Western Ocean and to
open up the high seas, the true high-roads of the world; lastly in the
students who most of all, in their maps and globes and instruments and
theories, are the trainers and masters and spiritual ancestors of the
Hero of Discovery.

The first of these classes supplied the matter, the attractions and
rewards of the exploring movement; the others may be said to provide the
form by which success was reached, genius in seamanship.

And the one was as much needed as the other.

Human reason did its work so well because of a reasonable hope; men
crept round Africa in face of the Atlantic storms because of the golden
East beyond.

It was as we have seen the land travellers of the twelfth and thirteenth
and fourteenth centuries who laid open that golden East to Europe, and
added inspiring knowledge to a dream and a tradition. And of these land
travellers the first worth notice are Sæwulf of Worcester, Adelard of
Bath, and Daniel of Kiev, three of that host of peaceful pilgrims who
followed the conquerors of the First Crusade (1096-9). All of these left
their recollections and all of them are of the new time, in sharp
contrast with the hordes of earlier pilgrims, even the most recent, like
Bishop Ealdred of Worcester and York, who crowned William the Conqueror,
or Sweyn Godwineson or Thorer Hund, whose visits are all mere visits of
penitence. Every fresh conversion of the Northern nations brought a
fresh stream of devotees to Italy and to Syria, a fresh revival of the
fourth century habit of pilgrimage; but when mediæval Christendom had
been formed, and religious passion was more steady and less unworldly,
the discoverer and observer blends with the pilgrim in all the records
left to us.

Sæwulf was a layman and a trader, who went on a pilgrimage (1102), and
became a monk at the instance of his confessor, Wulfstan, Bishop of
Worcester. But though his narrative has been called an immense advance
on all earlier guide-books, it ends with the Holy Land and does not
touch even the outlying pilgrim sites, in Mesopotamia or Egypt, visited
and described by Silvia or Fidelis.

Starting some three years after the Latin capture of Jerusalem in 1099,
the English traveller takes us up six different routes from Italy to
Syria, evidence of the vast development of Mediterranean intercourse and
of practical security against pirates, gained very largely since the
second millennium began.

His own way, by Monopoli, Corfu, Corinth, and Athens, took him to Rhodes
"which once had the Idol called Colossus, one of the Seven Wonders of
the World, but destroyed by the Persians, with nearly all the land of
Roumania, on their way to Spain. These were the Colossians to whom St.
Paul wrote."

Thence to Myra in Lycia, "the port of the Adriatic as Constantinople is
of the Ægean."

Landing at Jaffa, after a sail of thirteen weeks, Sæwulf was soon among
the wonders of Jerusalem, that had not grown less since Arculf's day. At
the head of the Sepulchre Church was the famous Navel of the Earth,
"now called Compas, which Christ measured with his own hands, working
salvation in the midst, as say the Psalms." For the same legends were
backed by the same texts as in the sixth or seventh century.

Going down to the Jordan, "four leagues east of Jericho," Arabia was
seen beyond "hateful to all who worship God, but having the Mount whence
Elias was carried into Heaven in a chariot of fire."

Eighteen days journey from the Jordan is Mount Sinai, by way of Hebron,
where "Abraham's Holm Oak" was still standing, and where, as pilgrims
said, he "sat and ate with God," but Sæwulf himself did not go outside
Palestine, on this side. After travelling through Galilee and noting the
House of Saint Archi-Triclin (Saint "Ruler-of-the-Feast"), at Cana, he
made his way to Byzantium by sea, escaping the Saracen cruisers and
weathering the storms that wrecked in the roads of Jaffa before his eyes
some twenty of the pilgrim and merchant fleet then lying at anchor. But
not only can we see from this how the religious and commercial traffic
of the Mediterranean had been increased by the Crusades; the main lines
of that traffic had been changed. Since the Moslem conquest, visitors
had mostly come to Palestine through Egypt; the Christian conquest of
Syria re-opened the direct sea route as the conversion of Hungary and
north-east Europe had re-opened the direct land route one hundred years
before (_c._ 1000-1100). The lines of the Danube valley and of the
"Roman Sea" were both cleared, and the West again poured itself into the
East as it had not done since Alexander's conquest, since the Oriental
reaction had set in about the time of the Christian era, rising higher
and higher into the full tide of the Persian and Arabian revivals of
Asiatic Empire.

Among the varied classes of pilgrim-crusaders in Sæwulf's day were
student-devotees like Adelard and Daniel from the two extremes of
Christendom, England and Russia, Bath and Kiev; northern sea-kings like
Sigurd, or Robert of Normandy; even Jewish travellers, rabbis, or
merchants like Benjamin of Tudela. All these, as following in the wake
of the First Crusade, and for the most part stopping at the high-water
mark of its advance, belong to the same group and time and impulse as
Sæwulf himself, and are clearly marked off from the great thirteenth
century travellers, who acted as pioneers of the Western Faith and
Empire rather than as camp-followers of its armies.

But except Abbot Daniel (_c._ 1106) and Rabbi Benjamin (_c._ 1160-73)
who stand apart, none of our other pilgrim examples of twelfth century
exploration have anything original or remarkable about them.

Adelard or Athelard, the countryman of Sæwulf and Willibald, is still
more the herald of Roger Bacon and of Neckam. He is a theorist far more
than a traveller, and his journey through Egypt and Arabia (_c._
1110-14) appears mainly as one of scientific interest. "He sought the
causes of all things and the mysteries of Nature," and it was with "a
rich spoil of letters," especially of Greek and Arab manuscripts, that
he returned to England to translate into Latin one of the chief works of
Saracen astronomy, the Kharizmian tables. We have already met with him
in trying to follow the transmission of Greek and Indian geography or
world-science through the Arabs to Europe and to Christendom.


Abbot Daniel of Kiev in himself is a very ordinary and rather mendacious
traveller, a harmless, devout pilgrim, as careless in all matters of
fact as Antonine the Martyr. But, as representing the beginnings of
Russian expansion, he is of almost unique interest and value. His tract
upon the Holy Road is one of the first proofs of his people's interest
in the world beyond their steppes, and of that nation's readiness and
purpose to expand Christian civilisation in the East as the Franks,
after breaking through the Western Moslems, were now doing. Mediæval
Russia, Russia before the Tartars, after the Northmen, was now a very
different thing from the "people fouler than dogs" of the Arab
explorers. The House of Ruric had guided and organised a nation second
to none in Europe, till it had fallen into the general lines of
Christian development. Jury trial and justices in assize it had taken
from the West; its church and faith and architecture, its manners and
morals came to it from the court of the Roman Empire on the Bosphorus.
Daniel and the other Russians, who passed through that Empire in the age
of Nestor for trade or for religion, were the vanguard of a great
national and race expansion that is now just beginning to "bestride the

In 1022 and 1062 two monks of Kiev are recorded, out of a crowd of the
unknown, as visitors to Syria, and about 1106, probably through the news
of the Frankish conquest, Daniel left his native river, the Snow, in
Little Russia, and passed through Byzantium and by way of the
Archipelago and Cyprus to Jaffa and Jerusalem, describing roughly in
versts or half-miles the whole distance and that of every stage.

His tone is much like Sæwulf's and his mistakes are quite as bad, though
he tells of "nothing but what was seen with these self-same eyes." The
"Sea of Sodom exhales a burning and fetid breath that lays waste all the
country, as with burning sulphur, for the torments of Hell lie under
it." This, however, he did not see; Saracen brigands prevented him, and
he learnt that "the very smell of the place would make one ill."

His measurements of distance are all his own. Capernaum is "in the
desert, not far from the Great Sea (Levant) and eight versts (four
miles) from Cæsarea," half the distance given in the next chapter as
between Acre and Haifa, and less than half the breadth of the Sea of
Tiberias. The Jordan reminds Daniel of his own river, the Snow,
especially in its sheets of stagnant water.

Samaria, or "Sebastopol," he confuses with Nablous; Bethshan with
Bashan; Lydda with Ramleh; Cæsarea Philippi with the greater Cæsarea on
the coast. Not far from Capernaum and the Jordan is "another large river
that comes out of the Lake of Gennesaret, and falls into the Sea of
Tiberias, passing by a large _town_ called Decapolis." From Mt. Lebanon
"six rivers flow east into the Lake of Gennesaret and six west towards
great Antioch, so that this is called Mesopotamia, or the land between
the rivers, and Abraham's Haran is between these rivers that feed the
Lake of Gennesaret."

Daniel has left us also an account of his visits to Mar Saba Convent in
the Kedron gorge near the Dead Sea, to Damascus in the train of Prince
Baldwin, and to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, to
witness the miracle of the Holy Fire, noticed by Bernard the Wise, as a
sort of counterpart to the wonder of Beth-Horon, also retold by Daniel
"when the sun stood still while Joshua conquered King Og of Bashan."

It is not in outlook nor in knowledge nor even in the actual ground
traversed that these later pilgrims shew any advance on the chief of the
earlier travellers; it is in the new life and movement, in the new hope
they give us of greater things than these. This is the interest--to
us--in King Sigurd of Norway (1107-11), a Crusader-Norseman in the new
age that owed so much of its very life to the Northmen, but who is only
to be noticed here as a possible type of the explorer-chief--possible,
not actual--for his voyage added nothing definite to the knowledge or
expansion of Christendom. His campaign in Jacob's Land or Gallicia, and
his attack on Moslem Lisbon, some forty years before it became the head
and heart of Portugal, like his exploits in the Balearics, shew us a
point in the steady decline of western Islam, and so far may be called a
preparation for Prince Henry's work, but properly as a chapter of
Portuguese, not of general European, growth.

There were many others like Sigurd,--Robert of Normandy, Godric the
English pirate, who fought his way through the Saracen fleets with a
spear-shaft for his banner, Edgar the Ætheling, grandson of Edmund
Ironside, the Dartmouth fleet of 1147 which retook Lisbon,--but the
Latin conquest of Syria has now brought us past the Crusades, in the
narrower sense, to their results, in the exploration of the Further

The first great name of this time, of our next main chapter of
Preparation, is Benjamin of Tudela, but standing as he does well within
the earlier age, when the primary interest was the Holy War itself, he
is also the last of the Palestine travellers--of those Westerns whose
real horizon was the sacred East of Syria. He is a little before the
awakening of universal interest in the unknown world, for the Christian
Northmen lost with the new definiteness of the new faith much of their
old infinite unrest and fierce inquisitive love of wandering, and their
spirit, though related to the whole Catholic West by the crusading
movement, was not fully realised till the world had been explored and
made known, till the men of Europe were at home in every country and on
every sea.

Benjamin, as a Jew and a rabbi, has the interest of a sectary, and his
work was not of a kind that would readily win the attention of the
Christian world. So the value of his travels was hidden till religious
divisions had ceased to govern the direction of progress. He visited the
Jewish communities from Navarre to Bagdad, and described those beyond
from Bagdad to China, but he wrote for his own people and none but they
seem to have cared about him. What he discovered (_c._ 1160-73) was for
himself and for Judaism, and only his actual place in the twelfth
century makes him a fore-runner of the Polos or of Prince Henry. We may
see this from his hopeless strangeness and confusion in Rome, like a
Frank in Pekin or Delhi. "The Church of St. Peter is on the site of the
great palace of Julius Cæsar, near which are eighty Halls of the eighty
Kings called Emperors from Tarquin to Pepin the father of Charles, who
first took Spain from the Saracens.... In the outskirts of the city is
the palace of Titus, who was deposed by three hundred senators for
wasting three years over the siege of Jerusalem which he should have
finished in two."

And so on--with the "Hall of Galba, three miles round and having a
window for each day in the year," with St. John Lateran and its Hebrew
trophies, "two copper pillars from the temple of Solomon, that sweat at
the anniversary of the burning of the Temple," and the "statues of
Samson and of Absalom" in the same place. So with Sorrento, "built by
Hadarezer when he fled before King David," with the old Roman tunnel
between Naples and Pozzuoli, "built by Romulus who feared David and
Joab," with Apulia, "which is from King Pul of Assyria"--in all this we
have as it were Catholic mythology turned inside out, David put into
Italy when the West put Trajan at the sources of the Nile. It was not
likely that writing of this sort would be read in the society of the
Popes and the Schoolmen, the friars and the crusaders, any more than the
Buddhist records of missionary travel from China one thousand years
before. The religious passion which had set the crusaders in motion,
would keep Catholics as long as it might from the Jews, Turks, infidels,
and heretics they conquered and among whom they settled.

But with the final loss of Jerusalem by the Latins, and the overthrow of
the Bagdad Caliphate by the Mongol Tartars (1258), the barrier of
fanatic hatred was weakened, and Central Asia became an attraction to
Christendom instead of a dim horror, without form and void, except for
Huns and Turks and demons. The Papal court sent mission after mission to
convert the Tartars, who were wavering, as men supposed, between Islam
and the Church, and with the first missionaries to the House of Ghenghiz
went the first Italian merchants who opened the court of the Great Khan
to Venice and to Genoa.

As early as 1243 an Englishman is noticed as living among the Western
Horde, the conquerors of Russia; but official intercourse begins in 1246
with John de Plano Carpini. This man, a Franciscan of Naples, started in
1245 as the Legate of Pope Innocent IV. to the Tartars, took the
northern overland route through Germany and Poland, reached Kiev, "the
metropolis of Russia," through help of the Duke of Cracow, and at last
appeared in the camp of Batou, on the Volga. Hence by the Sea of Aral,
"of moderate size with many islands," to the court of Batou's brother,
the Great Khan "Cuyuc" himself, where the Christian stranger found
himself one of a crowd of four thousand envoys from every part of Asia

After sixteen months Carpini made his way back by the same route, "over
the plains" and through Kiev, to give at Rome the first genuine account
of Tartary, in its widest sense, from the Dnieper to China (1247).

The great rivers and lakes and mountains of Russia and Turkestan, the
position and distribution of the land and its peoples, "even from the
Caspian to the Northern Ocean, where men are said to have dogs' faces,"
are now first described by an honest and clear-headed and keen-eyed
observer, neither timid nor credulous.

Carpini really begins the reliable western map of Further Asia. His
personal knowledge did not reach China or India, but in his _Book of the
Tartars_, Europe was told nearly the whole truth, and almost nothing but
the truth, about the vast tract and the great races between the
Carpathians and the Gobi Desert. In the same was included the first fair
account of the manners and history of the "Mongols whom we call
Tartars," and the simple truthfulness of the Friar stands out in all the
allusions that make his work so human;--his interviews with the Tartar
Chiefs and with brother-travellers, his dangers and difficulties from
Lettish robbers and abandoned or guarded ferries, his passage of the
Dnieper on the ice, his last three weeks on "trotting"[24] hacks over
the steppes.

[Footnote 24: "_Tartari fecerunt equos nostros trotare._"]

We have gone a good way from Abbot Daniel, for in John de Plano Carpini
Christian Europe has at last a real explorer, a real historian, a
genuine man of science, in the service of the Church and of discovery.

Carpini was followed after six years by William de Rubruquis, a Fleming
sent by St. Louis of France on the same errand of conversion and
discovery (1253), but by a different route, through the Black Sea, and
Cherson, over the Don "at the Head of Azov, that divides Europe and
Asia, as the Nile divides Asia and Africa," to the great camp on the
Volga, "the greatest river I had ever seen, which comes from Great
Bulgaria in the north and falls into a lake (the Caspian Sea), that
would take four months to journey round." Higher in their course the Don
and the Volga "are not more than ten days' journey apart, but diverge as
they run south." The Caspian is "made out of the Volga and the rivers
that flow into it from Persia." Thence through the Iron Gates of
Derbend, between the Caspian and the Caucasus, "which Alexander made to
shut the barbarians out of Persia." Helped by a Nestorian, who possessed
influence at the Tartar Court, like so many of his Church, Rubruquis
reached the "Alps" of the Altai country, where he found a small
Nestorian lordship, governed like the Papal States, by a priest, who was
at least one original of the great mediæval phantom--Prester John.

Crossing the great steppes of eastern "Tartary," "like the rolling sea
to look at," Rubruquis at last reached the Mongol headquarters at
Caracorum, satisfied on the way that the Caspian had no northern
outlet, as Strabo and Isidore had imagined. Thence he made his way home
without much fresh result.


Though Rubruquis is well called the most brilliant and literary of the
mediæval travellers, his mission was fruitless, and the interest of his
work lay rather in recording custom and myth--in sociology--than in
adding anything definite to the geographical knowledge of the West. John
de Plano had already been over the ground to Caracorum, and recorded all
the main characteristics of the lands west of the Gobi Desert. The
further advance, east to China, south to India, was yet to come.

But while Rubruquis was still among the Tartars, Nicolo and Matteo Polo,
the uncles of the more famous Marco, were trading (1255-65) to the
Crimea and the districts of southern Russia that were now under the
Western Horde,--and soon after, following the caravans to Bokhara, they
were drawn on to the court of Kublai Khan, then somewhere near the wall
of China. After a most friendly reception they were sent back to Europe
with presents and a letter to Pope Clement IV., offering a welcome and
maintenance to Christian teachers. Kublai "had often questioned the
Polos of the Western lands," and now he asked for one hundred "Latins,
to shew him the Christian faith, for Christ he held to be the only God."
Furnished with the imperial passport of the Golden Tablet, our merchants
made their way back to Acre in April, 1269.

They found the old pope dead, Gregory X. in his place, and he shewed a
coolness in answering the Khan's requests, but in 1271 they set out on
their second journey to the furthest East, taking with them two friar
preachers and their nephew Marco, now nineteen years of age.

In Armenia the friars took alarm at the troubled state of the nearer
East and turned back, just as Augustine of Canterbury tried to find a
way out of the mission to the English that Pope Gregory I. laid upon him
in 597. For the Church it was perhaps as momentous a time now as then;
the thirteenth century, if it had ended in the Christianising of the
Mongol Empire, would have turned the Catholic victory of the fourth and
sixth centuries in the West, the victory that had been worked out in the
next seven hundred years to fuller and fuller realisation, into a world
empire,--which did come at last for European civilisation, but not for

The Polos however kept on their way north-east for more than "one
thousand days," three years and a half, till they stood in the presence
of Kublai Khan; beyond Gobi and the Great Wall and the mountain barriers
of China, in Cambaluc or Pekin, "princess encrowned of cities capital."

Their journey was first through Armenia Lesser and Greater, then through
Mosul (Nineveh) to Bagdad, where the last "Caliph and Pope of the
Saracens" had been butchered by Holgalu and his Tartars, sewn in a sack
and thrown into the Tigris by one account, walled up alive by another,
in 1258. But though the stories in Marco's journal are a main interest
of his work, as a summary and reflection of the science and history and
general culture of the Christian world of his time, we must not here
look outside his geography. And his first place-note of value is on the
Caspian, "which containeth in circuit twenty-eight hundred miles and is
like a lake, having no union with other seas and in which are many
islands, cities, and castles." The extent of the Nestorian missions,
"through all parts of India and to Cairo and Bagdad, and wherever
Christians dwell," strikes him even now at the beginning of his
travels--much more when he finds their churches on the Hoang Ho and the
Yang-Tse-Kiang--declining indeed, but still living to witness to the
part which that great heresy had played as an intermediary between the
further and the nearer East--a part which history has never yet worked
out. Entering Persia as traders, the Polos went naturally to Ormuz,
already the great mart of Islam for the Indian trade, where Europeans
really entered the third, and, to them, unknown belt of the world, after
passing from a zone of known home-land through one of enemies' country,
known and only known as such. Failing to take the sea route at Ormuz for
China, as they had hoped, our Italians were obliged to strike back
north-east, through Persia and the Pamir, the Kashgar district and the
Gobi steppes, to Cathay and the pleasure domes of Kublai, visiting
Caracorum and the Altai country on the way, by a turn due north. In 1275
they were in Shang-tu, the Xanadu[25] of Coleridge--the summer capital
of Kublai Khan--and not till 1292 did they get leave to turn their faces
to the West once more.

[Footnote 25:

    In Xanadu did Kublai Khan
    A stately pleasure-dome decree,
    Where Alph, the sacred river, ran,
    Through caverns measureless to man,
    Down to a sacred sea.

COLERIDGE: _Kublai Khan_.]

Here the Polos became what may be called consulting engineers to the
Mongol Court; Marco was even made in 1277 a commissioner of the Imperial
Council, and soon after sent upon government missions to Yunnan in
extreme south-west China and to Yangchow city.

The greater part of Marco's own memoirs is taken up with his account of
the thirty-four provinces of the Tartar Empire that centred round the
"six parts of Cathay and the nine parts of Mangi," the districts of
northern and southern China as we know them,--an account of the roads,
rivers, and towns, the trade, the Court and the Imperial Ports, the
customs and manner of life among the subject peoples in that Empire,
perhaps the largest ever known. Especially do the travellers dwell on
the public roads from Pekin or Cambaluc through all the provinces, the
ten thousand Royal inns upon the highways, the two hundred thousand
horses kept for the public service, the wonderful speed of transit in
the Great Khan's embassages, "so that they could go from Pekin to the
wall of China in two days."

But scarcely less is said about the great rivers--the arteries of
Chinese commerce, even more than the caravan routes,--above all, the
Yang-Tse-Kiang, "the greatest stream in the world, like an arm of the
sea, flowing above one hundred days' journey from its source into the
ocean, and into which flow countless others, making it so great that
incredible quantities of merchandise are brought by this river. It
flows," exclaims Marco, "through sixteen provinces, past the quays of
two hundred cities, at one of which I saw at one time five thousand
vessels, and there are other marts that have more."

The breadth and depth and length and merchandise of the Pulisangan and
the Caramaran are only less than the Kiang's; from the point where Marco
crossed the second of these, there was not another bridge till it
reached the ocean, hundreds of miles away, "by reason of its exceeding

Lastly Pekin, the capital of the Empire, with Quinsai and the other
provincial capitals of Mangi and Cathay, call out the unbounded
admiration of the Polos as of every other Western traveller, from the
Moslem Ibn Batuta to the Christian friars of the fourteenth century.

Pekin, two days' journey from the ocean, the residence of the Court in
December, January, and February, in the extreme north-east of Cathay,
had been lately rebuilt in a "central square of twenty-four miles in
compass, and twelve suburbs, three or four miles long, adjoining each of
the twelve gates," where merchants and strangers lived, each nation with
separate "burses" or store-houses, where they lodged. From this centre
to the land of Gog and Magog and the champaign-land of Bargu, the Great
Khan travelled every year in midsummer for the fresh air of the plateau
country of central Asia, as well as for a better view of the great
Russian and Bactrian sub-kingdoms of his House. The six months of spring
and autumn were spent in slow progresses through central and southern
China to Thibet on one side, and to Tonquin on the other. But greater
even than Pekin, Quinsai, or Kansay, the City of Heaven, in southern
China, though no longer the capital even of a separate Kingdom of Mangi,
was the crowning work of Chinese civilisation. It surpassed the other
cities of Kublai, as much as these overshadowed the Rome or Venice of
the thirteenth century.

"In the world there is not its like, for by common report it is one
hundred miles in circuit, with a lake on one side and a river on the
other, divided in many channels and upon these and the canals adjoining
twelve thousand bridges of stone; there are ten market places, each half
a mile square; great store-houses of stone, where the Indian merchants
lay by their goods; palaces and gardens on both sides of the main
street, which, like all the highways in Mangi, is paved with stone on
each side, and in the midst full of gravel, with passages for the water,
which keeps it always clean." Salt, silk, fruit, precious stones, and
cloth of gold are the chief commodities; the paper money of the Great
Khan is used everywhere; all the people, except a few Nestorians and
Moslems, are "idolaters, so luxurious and so happy that a man would
think himself in Paradise."

It was only in recent years that Kublai, or his general, Baian, had
captured Quinsai and driven out the King of Mangi with his seraglio and
his friends. The exile till then had only thought of pleasure, of wine,
women, and song, the "sweet meat which cost him the sour sauce ye have
heard," on the approach of danger, had fled on board the ships he had
prepared to "certain impregnable isles in the ocean," and if these
impregnable islands may be identified with Zipangu or Japan, the
conquerors pursued him even here. There is nothing more interesting in
Polo's book than his story of the Mongol failure in the Eastern islands,
fifteen hundred miles from the coast of Mangi, now first discovered to
Christian knowledge.

This country of Japan, "very great, the people white, of gentle manners,
idolaters in religion, under a King of their own," was attacked by
Kublai's fleet in 1264 for the gold they had, and had in such plenty
that "the King's house, windows, and floors were covered with it, as
churches here with lead, as was reported by merchants--but these were
few and the King allowed no exportation of the gold."

The expedition was as disastrous a failure as the old Athenian attack
upon Sicily, and was not repeated, although fleets were sent by the
Great Khan after this into the Southern Seas, which were supposed to
have made a discovery of Papua, if not of the Australian Continent. "In
this Sea of China, over against Mangi," Marco reported, from hearsay "of
mariners and expert pilots, are 7440 islands, most of them inhabited,
whereon grows no tree that yields not a pleasant smell--spices,
lignum-aloes, and pepper, black and white." The ships of Zaitum (the
great Chinese mart for Indian trade) knew this sea and its islands, "for
they go every winter and return every summer, taking a year on the
voyage, and all this though it is far from India and not subject to the
Great Khan."

But not only did Polo in these sections of his Guide Book or Memories of
Travel, record the main features of a coast and ocean scarcely guessed
at by Europeans, and flatly denied by Ptolemy and the main traditional
school of Western geography. In his service under Kublai, and in his
return by sea to Aden and Suez, he opened up the eight provinces of
Thibet, the whole of south-east Asia from Canton to Bengal, and the
great archipelago of further India.

Four days' journey beyond the Yang-Tse-Kiang, Marco entered "the wide
country of Thibet, vanquished and wasted by the Khan for the space of
twenty days' journey, and become a wilderness wanting inhabitants, where
wild beasts are excessively increased." Here he tells us of the Yak-oxen
and great Thibetan dogs as great as asses, of the musk deer, and spices,
"and salt lakes having beds of pearls," and of the cruel and bestial
idolatry and social customs of the people.

Still farther to the south-west, Commissioner Polo came to the Cinnamon
river, called Brius, on the borders of the province of Caindu, to the
porcelain-making districts of Carazan, governed by Kublai's son, and so
to Bengal, "which borders upon India," and where Marco laughs at the
tattoo customs of "flesh embroidery for the dyeing of fools' skins."

Thence back to China, the richest and most famous country of all the
East, where was "peace so absolute that shops could be left open full of
wares all night and travellers and strangers could walk day and night
through every part, untouched and fearing none."

But the Polos wearied even of the Court favours and their celestial
home; they longed to come back to earth, to Frankland and Christendom,
where life was so rough, and poor, and struggling, but for whose sake
they had come so far and braved so much. But the Khan was hurt at the
least hint of their wishes, and it was only a fortunate chance that
restored them to Europe. Twenty years after their outward start, they
were dismissed for a time and under solemn promise of return, as the
guides of an embassy in charge of a Mongol bride for a Persian Khan,
living at Tabrez and related to Kublai himself. So, in 1292, they
embarked for India at Zaitum, "one of the fairest ports in the world,
where is so much pepper that what comes by Alexandria to the West is
little to it, and, as it were, one of a hundred." Then striking across
the Gulf of Cheinan, for fifteen hundred miles, and passing "infinite
islands, with gold and much trade,"--a gulf "seeming in all like another
world"--they reached Ziambar and, after another run of the same
distance, Java, then supposed by mariners to be the greatest island in
the world, "above three thousand miles round and under a king who pays
tribute to none, the Khan himself not offering to subject it, because of
the length and danger of the voyage."

One hundred miles south-east the fleet touched at Java the Less "in
compass about two thousand miles, with abundance of treasure and spices,
ebony, and brazil, and so far to the south that the North Star cannot be
seen, and none of the stars of the Great Bear." Here they were in great
fear of "those brutish man eaters," with whom they traded for victuals
and camphire and spices and precious stones, being forced to stay for
five months by stress of weather--till they got away into the Bay of
Bengal, the extreme point of European knowledge until this time, "where
there are savages living in the deep sea islands with dogs' heads and
teeth, as I was told, all naked, both men and women, and living the life
of beasts (Andamans)."[26]

[Footnote 26: Probably the Andamans.]

Sailing hence a thousand miles to the west, adds Marco, is Ceylon, "the
finest island in the world, 2400 miles in circuit, and once 3600, as is
seen in old maps, but the north winds have made great part of it sea."

Again west for sixty miles, to Malabar, "which is firm continent in
India the Greater," and where the Polos re-entered as it were the
horizon of Western knowledge, at the shrine of St. Thomas, the Apostle
of India.

Here we must leave the Venetians, with only a bare mention of their
homeward route from Malabar by Murfili and the Valley of Diamonds, by
Camari, where they had a glimpse of the Pole-Star once more, and by
Guzerat and Cambay to Socotra, where Marco, in his stay, heard and wrote
down the first news ever brought to Europe of the "great isle Magaster,"
or Madagascar, and of Zensibar or Zanzibar.[27]

[Footnote 27: This new knowledge had been really gained from the gradual
spread of the Arab settlements down the south-east coast of Africa,
during four centuries, from Guardafui, the Cape of spices, to the
Channel of Mozambique.]

Of Polo's account of Hindu customs,--self-immolation and especially
Suttee, of Caste, of the Brahminical "thread with one hundred and four
beads by which to pray"; of their etiquette in eating, drinking, birth,
marriage, and death--only the simple fact can be noticed here, that the
first serious and direct Christian account of India, as of China, is
also among the most accurate and well judged, and that both in what he
says and what he leaves unsaid, Messer Marco is a true Herodotus of the
Middle Ages.

But not only does his account discover for Europe the extreme east and
south of Asia; in his last chapter he returns to the Tartars, and after
adding a few words on the nomades of the central plains, gives us our
first "Latin" account of Siberia, "where are found great white bears,
black foxes, and sables; and where are great lakes, frozen except for a
few months in the year, and crossed in sledges by the fur-traders."

Beyond this the Obscure Land reaches to the furthest North, "near which
is Russia, where for the most of winter the sun appears not, and the air
is thick and dark as betimes in the morning with us, where the men are
pale and squat and live like the beasts, and where on the East men come
again to the Ocean Sea and the islands of the Falcons."

The work of Marco Polo is the high-water mark of mediæval land travel;
the extension of Christendom after him was mainly by the paths of the
sea; the Roman missions to the Tartars and to Malabar, vigorously and
stubbornly pressed as they were, ended in unrelieved collapse; only by
the revolt and resurrection of the Russian kingdom did the European
world permanently and markedly expand on the side of Asia. But a crowd
of missionaries followed the first traders to Cathay and to Mangi--Friar
Odoric, John de Monte Corvino, John de Cora; statesmen like Marignolli
the Papal Legate, sight-seers like Mandeville followed these; Bishop
Jordanus of Capua worked for years in Coulam near Cape Comorin (_c._
1325-35); the martyrdom of four friars on April 1, 1322, at Tana, in
India, became one of the great commemorations of the Latin Church; there
seemed no cause why Christian missions which had won north and
north-east Europe should not win central and eastern Asia, whose peoples
seemed as indifferent, as agnostic, as our own Norse or English pagans.

"The fame of the Latins," says Jordanus, about 1330--and he is borne out
by Marino Sanuto--"is greater in India than among ourselves. Here our
arrival is always looked for, and said to be predicted in their books.
Once gain Egypt and launch a fleet even of two galleys on this sea and
the battle is won." As Egypt could not be gained by arms, it was turned
by seamanship. Before Polo returned from China, the coasting of Africa
had begun, and Italian mariners were already in search of the longer way
to the East.

But there is no work of land travel after that of Messer Marco which
really adds anything decisive to European knowledge before the fifteenth
century; the advance of trade intercourse between India and the Italian
Republics, the gradual liberation of Russia the use made of the caravan
routes by some of the most active of the Western clergy, are the chief
notes of the time between the Polos and Prince Henry; and the flimsy
fabrications of Mandeville--"of all liars that type of the first
magnitude"--would be fairly left without a word even in a minute history
of discovery, if he had not, like Ktesias with Herodotus, won a hearing
for himself and drawn men's minds away from the truth-telling original
that he travestied, by the sheer force of impudence.

The Indian travels of the Italian Nicolo Conti and the Russian merchant
Athanasius Nikitin belong to a later time, to the age of the Portuguese
voyages; they are not part of the preparation for our central subject,
they are only a somewhat obscure parallel to that subject.

For in the later Middle Ages the chief interest lies elsewhere. The
expansion of Christendom in the fourteenth century, and still more in
the fifteenth (Prince Henry's own), is the story of the ventures and the
successes, not so much of landsmen, as of mariners.



CIRCA 1250-1410.

Italian, Catalan, French, and English sailors were the forerunners of
the Portuguese in the fourteenth century, and the latter years of the
thirteenth. And as in land travel, so in maritime, the republics of
Italy, Amalphi, Pisa, Venice, and Genoa, were the leaders and examples
of Europe. Just as the Italian Dante is the first great name in the new
literatures of the West, so the Italian Dorias and Vivaldi and Malocelli
are the first to take up again the old Greek and Phoenician enterprise
in the ocean. Since Hanno of Carthage and Pharaoh Necho's Tyrians, there
had been nothing in the nature of a serious trial to find a way round
Africa, and even the knowledge of the Western or Fortunate Islands, so
clear to Ptolemy and Strabo, had become dim. The Vikings and their
crusader-followers had done nothing south of Gibraltar Straits.

1275-1300. (SEE LIST OF MAPS)]

But while the Crusades were still dragging along a weary and hopeless
warfare under St. Louis of France and Prince Edward of England,
discovery began again in the Atlantic. In 1270 Lancelot Malocello found
the Canaries; in 1281 or 1291 the Genoese galleys of Tedisio Doria and
the Vivaldi, trying to "go by sea to the ports of India to trade there,"
reached Gozora or Cape Non in Barbary, the southern Ultima Thule, and
according to a later story "sailed the Sea of Ghinoia (Guinea) to a city
of Æthiopia," where even legend lost sight of them, for in 1312 nothing
more had been heard. From the frequent and emphatic references to this
attempt in the literature of the later Middle Ages, it is clear that the
daring Genoese drew upon themselves the attention of the learned and
mercantile worlds, as much as one would naturally expect. For these men
are the pioneers of Christian explorations in the southern world--the
precursors of all the ocean voyages that led to the discoveries of
Prince Henry, Da Gama, Columbus, and Magellan,--the first who directly
challenged the disheartening theories of geographers, such as Ptolemy,
the inaction and traditionalism of the Arabs, and the elaborate
falsities of story tellers, who, in the absence of real knowledge, had a
grand opening for terrible fairy tales.

The first age, if so it may be called, of South Atlantic and African
voyages was purely Italian; the second was chiefly marked by the efforts
of the Spanish States to equip fleets and send out explorers under
Genoese captains. In 1317 the Genoese Emmanuel Pessanha became Admiral
of Portugal; in 1341 three ships manned by Portuguese and "other
Spaniards" with some Italians put out from Lisbon in search of
Malocello's "Rediscovered" islands, granted by the Pope to Don Luis of
Spain in a Bull of November 15, 1334, and now described, from the
original letters of Florentine merchants and partners in the venture of
1341, by Boccaccio. "Land was found on the fifth day after leaving the
Tagus" (July 1); the fleet stayed till November, and then brought back
four natives and products of the islands. The chief pilot thought these
were near nine hundred miles from Seville, and we may fully suppose that
the archipelago of thirteen, now first explored and described,
represents the Fortunate Islands of Greek geography, the Canaries of
modern maps, and that the five chief islands with their naked but not
quite savage people, with excellent wood houses, and flocks of goats,
palms, and figs, gardens and corn patches, rocky mountains and pine
forests, were our Ferro, Palma, Gomera, Grand Canary, and Teneriffe. The
last they took to be thirty thousand feet high, with its white scarped
sides looking like a fortress, but terrified at signs of enchantment
they did not dare to land, and returned to Spain, leaving the Islands of
the Rediscovered to be visited as a convenient slave depot by merchants
and pirates from the Peninsula till the Norman Conquest of Béthencourt
in 1402.

The voyage of 1341 gained much by attempting little; the Catalan voyage
of 1346, which followed close upon it, was something of a return to the
wilder and larger schemes of the first Genoese. On August 10, 1346,
Jayme Ferrer left Majorca "to go to the River of Gold," but of the said
galley, says the Catalan map of 1375, no news has since been heard. On
the same map, however, the explorers' boat is sketched off the "Cape
Finisterre of west Africa," and there is, after all, some ground for
supposing this to be nothing more than a mercantile venture to the Gold
Coast of Guinea, which was becoming known to the traders of Nismes,
Marseilles, and the Christian Mediterranean by the caravan traffic
across the Sahara. Even Prince Henry began in the same way; Guinea was
his half-way house for India.

About the same date (_c._ 1350) as the Catalan voyage is the Book of the
Spanish Friar, "of the voyage south to the River of Gold," which gives a
more than half fabulous story of travel, first by sea beyond Capes Non
and Bojador, then by land across the heart of Africa to the Mountains of
the Moon, the city of Melli, where dwelt Prester John, and "the
Euphrates, which comes from the terrestrial Paradise," where behind some
real notes of Barbary coasting, perhaps gained from the Catalans of
1346, there is little but a confused transcript of Edrisi's geography.
Yet this was one of the books which helped to fix the notion of a double
Nile, Northern and Western, a Nile of Egypt and a Nile of the Blacks,
with a common source in the Mountains of the Moon, upon the Christian
science of the time, as the Arab geographers had fixed it upon Islam.

The next piece of Atlantic exploration was a romantic accident. In the
reign of Edward III., an Englishman named Robert Machin eloped with Anne
d'Arfet from Bristol (_c._ 1370), was driven from the coast of France by
a north-east wind, and after thirteen days sighted an island, Madeira,
where he landed. His ship was swept away by the storm, his mistress died
of terror and exhaustion, and five days after Machin was laid beside her
by his men, who had saved the ship's boat and now ran her upon the
African coast. They were enslaved, like other Christian captives of the
Barbary corsairs, but in 1416 a fellow-prisoner, one Morales of Seville,
an old pilot, was ransomed with others and sent back to Spain. On his
way Morales was captured by a Portuguese captain, Zarco, the servant of
Prince Henry, the rediscoverer of Madeira, and through this the full
story of Machin and his island, came to be known in the court of the
Navigator Prince, who promptly made his gain of the new knowledge a
lasting one, by the voyage of Zarco in 1420.

Last among the immediate predecessors of Prince Henry's seamen come the
French. In the seventeenth century it was claimed, on newly found
evidence, that between 1364 and 1410 the men of Dieppe and Rouen opened
a regular trade in gold, ivory, and malaguette pepper with the coast of
Guinea, and built stations at Petit Paris, Petit Dieppe, and La Mine,
which they named from the precious metal found there. But all this is
more than doubtful, and the genuine Norman voyage of De Béthencourt in
1402 shows us nothing but the Canaries and the north-west coast of
Morocco. Cape Non, or Cape Bojador, was still the European Furthest on
the African coast.

The French Seigneur was stirred up to attack the Fortunate Islands by
two events. First in 1382 one Lopez, a captain of Seville sailing to
Gallicia, was driven by a tempest to Grand Canary, and lived among the
natives seven years till he and his men were denounced for writing home
and inviting rescue. To stop this intrigue they, the "thirteen Christian
brothers" whose testament reached Béthencourt twelve years later, were
all massacred. News of this and of the voyage of a Spaniard named
Becarra to the same islands at the same time, reached Rochelle about
1400, and found several French adventurers ready for a trial. The chief
of these, Jean de Béthencourt, Lord of Grainville, and Gadifer de la
Salle, a needy knight, started in July, 1402, to conquer in the sea a
new kingdom for themselves. Though the leaders quarrelled and Grand
Canary beat off all attacks, the enterprise was successful in the main,
and several of the islands became Christian colonies,--a first step
towards the colonial empires of the great European expansion, as the
record of Béthencourt's chaplains is the first chapter of modern
colonial history.

But nothing is clearer in this tract than its limitations. The French
colonists as late as 1425 seem to know nothing of the African coast
beyond Cape Bojador; they look upon the Canaries rather as an extension
of Spain and of Europe than as the beginning of a new world. They are
anxious to get to the River of Gold and traffic there, but they do not
know the way, save by report. De Béthencourt had been to Bojador
himself, and "if things in that country are such as they are described
in the Book of the Spanish Friar," he meant to open a way to the River
of Gold, for, the Friar says, "it is only one hundred and fifty leagues
from Cape Bojador, and the map proves the same--which is only a three
days' voyage for sailing boats--whereby access would be gained to the
land of Prester John, whence come so many riches." But as yet our
Normans are only "eager to know the state of the neighbouring countries,
both islands and _terra firma_:" they do not know the coast beyond the
"Utmost Cape" of Bojador, which had taken the place of the first Arab
Finisterre, Cape Non,[28] Nun, or Nam, as the limit of navigation.

[Footnote 28: Cape Non = Fish Cape. But Latini took it as = Not, "from
the fact that beyond it there is _no_ return possible." And so the rhyme
"Who pass Cape Non--Must turn again, _or else begone_" (lit. "_or not_,"
_i.e._, will not be able to return).]

We are now at the very time of Prince Henry himself; his first voyage
was in 1412. De Béthencourt died in 1425, and it is quite needless to
follow out at length the stories, however interesting, of sporadic
navigation in other parts of the European Seas. Between 1380-95 the
Venetian Zeni sailed in the service of Henry Sinclair, Earl of the
Orkneys, to Greenland, and brought back fisher stories, which read like
those of Central America, of its man-eating Caribs and splendid
barbarism. Somewhat earlier, about 1349, Ivar Bardsen of Norway paid one
of the last of Christian visits to the Arctic colonies of Greenland, the
legacy of the eleventh century, now sinking into ruin; but neither of
these voyages gives us any new knowledge of the Unknown which was now
being pierced, not from the North and East, but from the South and West.

Both in land travel and sea voyages we have traced the progress of
Western exploration and discovery up to its Hero, the real central
figure both in the history of Portugal and of the European expansion. A
little remains to be said on the other lines of preparation for his work
in scientific theory and national development from the Age of the



CIRCA 1100-1460.

Before the Crusades of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the
scientific geography of Christendom, as we have seen, was mainly a
borrowed thing. From the ninth century to the time of the Mediæval and
Christian Renaissance, in the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth
centuries, the Arabs were the recognised heirs of Greek science, and
what Franks or Latins knew of Ptolemy or Strabo was either learnt or
corrected in the schools of Cordova and Bagdad.

But when the Northmen and the Holy War with Islam had once thoroughly
aroused the practical energies of Christendom, it began to expand in
mind as well as in empire, and in the time of Prince Henry, in the
fifteenth century, a Portuguese could say: "Our discoveries of coasts
and islands and mainland were not made without foresight and knowledge.
For our sailors went out very well taught, and furnished with
instruments and rules of _astrology_ and geometry, things which all
mariners and map-makers must know."


In fact, compass, astrolabe, timepiece, and charts, were all in use on
the Mediterranean about 1400, just as they were to be found among the
Arab traders of the Indian Ocean.

In this section it will be enough to glance hastily at the later and
growingly independent science of Christendom, from the time that it
ceased merely to follow the lead of Islam, and thought and even invented
for itself. In another chapter we have seen something of the lasting and
penetrating influence of Greek and Moslem and Hindu tradition upon the
Western thought, which has conquered by absorbing all its rivals; we
must not forget that some original self-reliant work in geographical
theory not less than in practical exploration is absolutely needed to
explain the very fact of Prince Henry and his life--a student's life,
far more even than a statesman's. And after all, the invention of
instruments, the drawing of maps and globes, the reckoning of distances,
is not less practical than the most daring and successful travel. For
navigation, the first and prime demand is a means of safety, some power
of knowing where you stand and where to go, such as was given to sailors
by the use of the magnet.

"Prima dedit nautis usum magnetis Amalphis," says Beccadelli of Palermo,
but the earliest mention of the "Black ugly stone" in the West is traced
to an Englishman. Alexander Neckam, a monk of St. Albans, writing about
1180 on "The Natures Of Things," tells us of it as commonly used by
sailors, not merely as the secret of the learned. "When they cannot see
the sun clearly in cloudy weather, or at night, and cannot tell which
way their prow is tending, they put a Needle above a Magnet which
revolves till its point looks North and then stops." So the satirist,
Guyot de Provins, in his _Bible_ of about 1210, wishes the Pope were as
safe a point to steer by in Faith as the North Star in sailing, "which
mariners can keep ahead of them, without sight of it, only by the
pointing of a needle floating on a straw in water, once touched by the

It might be supposed from this not merely that the magnet was in use at
the end of the twelfth century, but that it had been known to a few
_savants_ much earlier; yet when Dante's tutor, Brunetto Latini, visits
Roger Bacon at Oxford about 1258, and is shown the black stone, he
speaks of it as new and wonderful, but certain, if used, to awake
suspicion of magic. "It has the power of drawing iron to it, and if a
needle be rubbed upon it and fastened to a straw so as to swim upon
water, the needle will instantly turn towards the Pole-Star. But no
master mariner could use this, nor would the sailors venture themselves
to sea under his command if he took an instrument so like one of
infernal make."


It was possibly after this that the share of Amalphi came in; it may
have been Flavio Gioja, or some other citizen of that earliest
commercial republic of the Middle Ages, which filled up so large a
part of the gap between two great ages of progress, who fitted the
magnet into a box, and by connecting it with the compass-card, made it
generally and easily available. This it certainly was before Prince
Henry's earliest voyages, where he takes its use for granted even by
merchant coasters, "who, beyond hugging the shore, know nothing of chart
or needle." In any case it would seem that prejudice was broken down,
and the mariner's compass taken into favour, at least by Italian seamen
and their Spanish apprentices, in the early years of the fourteenth
century, or the last years of the thirteenth, and that when the Dorias
set out for India by the ocean way in 1291, and the Lisbon fleet sailed
for the western islands in 1341, they had some sort of natural guide
with them, besides the stories of travellers and their own imaginings.
About the same time (_c._ 1350) mathematics and astronomy began to be
studied in Portugal, and two of Henry's brothers, King Edward and the
Great Regent Pedro, left a name for observations and scientific
research. Thus Pedro, in his travels through most of Christendom,
collected invaluable materials for discovery, especially an original of
Marco Polo and a map given him at Venice, "which had all the parts of
the earth described, whereby Prince Henry was much furthered."

Good maps indeed were almost as valuable to him as good instruments, and
they are far clearer landmarks of geographical knowledge. There are at
least seven famous charts (either left to us or described for us) of
the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries, which give a pretty clear
idea of what Henry's own age and his father's thought and knew of the
world--some of which we believe to have been used by the Prince himself,
and each of which follows some advance in actual exploration.

First of all comes the Venetian map of Marino Sanuto, drawn about 1306,
and putting into map-form the ideas that inspired the first Italian
voyages in the Atlantic. On this the south of Africa is washed by the
sea as the Vivaldi had hoped to find it, but the old story of a central
zone "uninhabitable from the heat" still finds a place, helping to keep
up the notion of the Tropical Seas, "always kept boiling by the sun,"
that held its own so long. Besides this, in Sanuto's map there is no
evidence that anyone had really been coasting Africa; Henry is not
anticipated and can hardly have been much helped by this very
hypothetical leap in the dark.

But the Florentine map of 1351, called the Laurentian Portolano, is to
all appearance a record of the actual discoveries of 1341 and 1346, and
a wonderful triumph of guess-work if it is nothing better. For Africa is
not only made an island, but the main outline of its coast is fairly
drawn; in its western corner the headlands, bays, and rivers are laid
down as far as Bojador, and the three groups of Atlantic islands,
Azores, Canaries, and Madeira, appear together for the first time.
Beyond this names grow scarce, and on the great indent of the Gulf of
Guinea, enormously exaggerated as it is, there is nothing to show for
certain any past discovery, which suggests that this map was made for
two purposes. First, to record the results of recent travel; secondly,
and chiefly, to put forward geographical theories based upon tradition
and inference, what men of old had told and what men of the present
could fancy.

Long after the Italian leadership in exploration had passed westward,
Italian science kept control of geographical theory; the Venetian maps
of the brothers Pizzigani in 1367, and of the Camaldolese convent at
Murano in 1380 and 1459, and the work of Andrea Bianco in 1436 and 1448,
are the most important of mediæval charts, after the Laurentian, and
along with these must be reckoned that mentioned above as given in
1425-8 to Henry's brother, Don Pedro, on his visit to Venice. This
treasure has disappeared, but it was said by men of Henry's day and
aftertime, who saw it in the monastery of Alçobaça, to show "as much or
more discovered in time past than now." If their account is even an
approach to the truth, it was in itself proof sufficient of the
supremacy and almost monopoly of Italians in geographical theory.

With 1375 and the Catalan map of that year, which specially refers to
the Catalan voyage of 1346 and may be taken as one result of the same,
we come to Spanish parallels; but until the death of Henry in 1460,
Italian draughtsmen were in possession, and Fra Mauro's great map of
1459, the evidence and result, in great measure, of the Navigator's
work, could only be drawn by Venetians for the men whose discoveries it

But there is one other point in Italian map-science which is worth
remembering. At a time when most schemes of the world were covered with
monsters and legends, when cartography was half mythical and half
miscalculated, the coasting voyagers of the Mediterranean had brought
their _Portolani_ or sea charts to a very different result. And how was
this? Did they get right, as it were, by chance? "They never had for
their object," says the great Swedish explorer and draughtsman, Baron
Nordenskjold, "to illustrate the ideas of some classical author, of some
learned prelate, or the legends and dreams of feats of Chivalry within
the Court circle of some more or less lettered feudal lord." They were
simply guides to mariners and merchants in the Mediterranean seaports;
they were seldom drawn by learned men, and small enough, in return, was
the attention given them by the learned geographers, the men of theory,
in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

But these plans of practical seamen are a wonderful contrast in their
almost present-day accuracy to the results of theory let loose, as we
see them in Ptolemy and the Arabian geographers, and in such fantastics
as the Hereford Mappa Mundi, so well known in England. Map-sketches of
this sort, were unknown to Greeks and Romans, as far as we can tell. The
old Peripli were sailing directions, not drawn but written, and the only
Arabian coast-chart known to us was copied from an Italian one. But from
the opening of the twelfth century, if not before, the western
Mediterranean was known to Christian seamen--to those at least concerned
in the trade and intercourse of the great inland sea,--by the help of
these practical guides.


From the middle of the thirteenth century, when the use of the compass
began on the coasts of southern Europe, the Portolani began to be drawn
with its aid, and by the end of the same century, by the time of our
Hereford map (_c._ 1300), these charts had reached the finish that we
see and admire in those left to us from the fourteenth century. For, of
the 498 specimens of this kind of practical map now left to us, there is
not one of earlier date than the year 1311. Among these specimens not
merely the mass of materials, but the most important examples, not
merely 413 out of 498, but all the more famous and perfect of the 498
are Italian. The course begins with Vesconte's chart, of the year 1311,
and with Dulcert's of 1339, and the outlines of these two are faithfully
reproduced, for instance, in the great Dutch map of the Barentszoons
(_c._ 1594), for the type once fixed in the fourteenth century, recurs
steadily throughout the fifteenth, and sixteenth. The type was so
permanent because it was so reliable; every part of the Mediterranean
coast was sketched without serious mistake or disproportion, even from a
modern point of view, while the fulness and detail of the work gave
everything that was wanted by practical seamen. Of course this detail
was in the coast lines, river mouths, and promontories; it only touched
the land features as they touched the seas. For the Portolani were never
meant to be more than mariners' charts, and became less and less
trustworthy if they tried to fill up the inland spaces usually left
blank. For this, we must look to the highest class of mediæval
theoretical maps, those founded on Portolani, but taking into their view
land as well as water and coast line. And such were the celebrated
examples[29] we have noticed already.

[Footnote 29: _Of_ 1306, 1351, 1367, 1375, 1380, 1436, 1448, 1459.]

       *       *       *       *       *

NOTE.--It was a man of theory, Raymond Lulli (1235-1315), of Majorca,
the famous Alchemist, who is credited with the first suggestion of the
idea of seeking a way to India by rounding Africa on the West and South.




Henry the Navigator is the Hero of Portugal, as well as of discovery,
the chief figure in his country's history, as well as the first leader
of the great European expansion; and the national growth of three
hundred years is quite as much a part of his life, quite as much a cause
of his forward movement, as the growth of Christendom towards a living
interest in the unknown or half-known world around.

The chief points of interest in the story of Portugal are first the
stubborn restless independence of the people, always rising into fresh
vigour after a seeming overthrow, and secondly their instinct for
seamanship, which Henry was able to train into exploring and colonising
genius. There was no physical justice in the separate nationality of the
Western Kingdom of Lisbon any more than of the Eastern Kingdom of
Barcelona. Portugal[30] was essentially part of Spain, as the United
Provinces of William of Orange were essentially part of the
Netherlands; in both cases it was only the spirit and endurance of the
race that gave to some provincials the right to become a people, while
that right was denied to others.

[Footnote 30: See Note 1, page 137.]

And Portugal gained that right by a struggle of three hundred years,
which was first a crusade against Islam; then a war of independence
against brother Christians of Castille; last of all a civil strife
against rebels and anarchists within.

In the twelfth century the five kingdoms of Spain were clearly marked
off from the Moslem States and from one another; by the end of the
fifteenth there is only the great central Realm of Ferdinand and
Isabella, and the little western coast-kingdom of Emanuel the Fortunate,
the heir of Prince Henry. Nations are among our best examples of the
survival of the fittest, and by the side of Poland and Aragon we may
well see a meaning in the bare and tiresome story of the mediæval
kingdom of Portugal. The very fact of separate existence means something
for a people which has kept on ruling itself for ten generations. Though
its territory was never more than one fourth of the peninsula, nor its
numbers more than one third of the Spanish race--from the middle of the
twelfth century, Portugal has stood alone, with less right to such
independence from any distinction of place or blood, than Ireland or
Navarre, fighting incessantly against foes without, from north, east,
and south, and keeping down the still worse foes of its own household.


But the meaning of the growth of the Portuguese power is not in its
isolation, its stubbornly defended national distinction from all other
powers, but in its central and as it were unifying position in modern
history--as the guide of Europe and Christendom into that larger world
which marks the real difference between the Middle Ages and our own day.

For Henry the Navigator breathed into his countrymen the spirit of the
old Norse rovers, that boundless appetite for new knowledge, new
pleasures, new sights and sounds, which underlay the exploration of the
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries--the exploration of one half of the
world's surface, the finding of a new continent in the south and in the
west, and the opening of the great sea-routes round the globe. The
scientific effects of this, starting from the new proof of a round world
won by a Portuguese seaman, Magellan; and the political effects, also
beginning with the first of modern colonial empires, founded by Da Gama,
Cabral, and Albuquerque, are too widespread for more than a passing
reference in this place, but this reference must be connected with the
true author of the movement. For if the industrial element rules modern
development; if the philosophy of utility, as expressing this element,
is now our guide in war and peace; and if the substitution of this for
the military spirit[31] is to be dated from that dominion in the Indian
seas which realised the designs of Henry--if this be so, the Portuguese
become to us, through him, something like the founders of our commercial
civilisation, and of the European empire in Asia.

[Footnote 31: W.H. Lecky, _Rationalism_.]

By the opening years of the fifteenth century, Portugal--in a Catholic
rather than a Classical Renaissance--had already entered upon its modern
life, some three generations before the rest of Christendom. But its
mediæval history is very much like that of any other of the Five Spanish
Kingdoms. Like the rest, Portugal had joined in driving the Moors from
the Asturias to Andalusia, in the two hundred years of successful
Western Crusade (1001-1212). In the same time, between the death of the
great vizier Almanzor, the last support of the old Western Caliphate
(1001), and the overthrow of the African Moors, who had supplanted that
Western Caliphate,--between those two points of Moslem triumph and
Christian reaction, the Portuguese kingdom had been formed out of the
County granted in 1095 by Alfonso VI. of Leon to the free-lance Henry of

For the next three hundred years (1095-1383), under his descendants who
reigned as kings in Guimaraëns or Lisbon, we may trace a gradual but
chequered national rise, to the Revolution of 1383 with two prominent
movements of expansion and two relapses of contraction and decline.

First comes the formation of a national spirit by Count Henry's widow
Donna Theresa and her son Affonso Henriquez, who from a Lord of Coimbra
and Oporto, dependent on the Kingdom of Gallicia or of Leon, becomes the
first free King of Portugal. His victories over the Moors in taking
Lisbon (1147) and winning the day of Ourique (1139), are followed by the
first wars with Castille and by the time of quiet organisation in his
last years under the regency of his son Sancho, the City Builder. The
building and planting of Sancho is again followed by the first relapse,
into the weakness of Affonso II., and the turbulent minority of Sancho
II. Constitutional troubles begin with the First Sancho's quarrel with
Innocent III. and with the appearance of the first national Cortés under
Chancellor Julian.

The second forward movement starts with Affonso III., "of Boulogne," who
saves the kingdom from anarchy and conquers the Algarves, on the south
coast, from Islam; who first organises the alliance of Crown and people
against nobles and clergy, and, in the strength of this, defies the
interdict of Urban IV.

Diniz, his bastard son, for whose legitimation he had made this same
struggle with Rome, follows Affonso III., in 1279, and with him begins
the wider life of Portugal, her navy and her literature, her
agriculture, justice, and commerce.

The second relapse may be dated from the Black Death (1348), which
threatened the very life of the nation, and left behind a sort of
chronic weakness. National spirit seemed worn out; Court intrigue and
political disaster the order of the day; the Church and Cortés alike
effete and useful only against themselves.

But in the revival under a new leader, John, the father of Prince Henry,
and a new dynasty--the House of Aviz--and its "Royal Race of Famous
Infants," in the years that follow the Revolution of 1383, the older
religious and crusading fervour is joined with the new spirit of
enterprise, of fierce activity, and the Portugal thus called into being
is a great State because the whole nation shares in the life and energy
of a more than recovered liberty.

Before the age of King Diniz, before the fourteenth century, there is
little enough in the national story to suggest the first
state-profession of discovery and exploration in Christian history. But
we must bring together a few of the suggestive and prophetic incidents
of the earlier time, if we are to be fully prepared for the later.

(1.) Oporto, the "port" of Gallicia, from the formation of the county or
"march" of Henry of Burgundy, seems to have given the district its name
of "Portugallia," at one time as a military frontier against Islam, then
as an independent State, lastly as an imperial Kingdom. Also, as the
earliest centre of Portugal was a harbour, and its earliest border a
river, there was a sort of natural, though slumbering, fitness for
seamanship in the people.

(2.) Again, in the alliance of the Crown with the towns, first formed by
Count Henry's wife Theresa in her regency after his death, 1114-28, and
renewed by her grandson Sancho, the City Builder, and by Affonso III.,
the "Saviour of the Kingdom," we have an early example of the power of
that class, which was the backbone of the great movement of expansion,
when the meaning of this was fairly brought home to them.

(3.) In the capture of Lisbon, in 1147, by Affonso Henriquez, Theresa's
son, at the head of the allied forces of native militia and northern
Crusaders--Flemish, French, German, and English--we have brought
clearly before us, not merely the facts of the gain of a really great
city by a rising Christian State, not merely the result of this in the
formation of a kingdom out of a county, but the more general connection
of the crusading spirit with the new nations of Europe. Portugal is the
most lasting monument of crusading energy; it was this that strengthened
the "Lusitanians" to make good their stand both against the Moors and
against Castille; and it was this which brought out the maritime bent of
the little western kingdom, and drew out its interest on the one and
only side where that could be of great and general usefulness. The
Crusades without and the policy of statesmen within, we may fairly say,
made the Portuguese ready to lead the expansion of Christendom, made
possible the work of Henry the Navigator. The foreign help given at
Lisbon in 1147 was only a repetition on a grand scale of what had long
been done on a smaller, and it was offered again and again till the
final conquest of the southern districts, between Cape St. Vincent and
the Guadiana (_c._ 1250), left the European kingdom fully formed, and
the recovery of Western Spain from the Moslem had been achieved.

[Illustration: Chart of the Mediterranean Sea by WILLEM BARENTSZOON.
Engraved in copper 1595. Almost unaltered copy of a Portolano from the
14th century. (Orig. size 418 x 855 m.m.). (SEE LIST OF MAPS)]

(4.) And when the Crusading Age passed away, it left behind an
intercourse of Portugal with England, Flanders, and the North Sea
coasts, which was taken up and developed by Diniz and the kings of the
fourteenth century, till under the new Royal House of Aviz, in the
boyhood of Henry the Navigator, this maritime and commercial element
had clearly become the most important in the State, the main interest
even of Government.

So, from the first mercantile treaty of 1294, between the traders of
Lisbon and London, we feel ourselves beyond the mere fighting period,
and before the death of Diniz (1325), there is a good deal more progress
in the same direction. The English treaty of exchange is followed by
similar ones with France and with Flanders, while for the protection of
this commerce, as well as to prove his fellowship or his rivalry with
the maritime republics of Italy, Diniz,[32] the "Labourer King," built
the first Portuguese navy, founded a new office of state for its
command, and gave the post to a great Genoese sailor, Emanuel Pessanha,
1317. With the new Lord High Admiral begins the Spanish-Italian age of
ocean voyages, and the rediscovery of the Canaries in 1341 is the first
result of the alliance. In 1353 the old treaty of 1294 is enlarged and
safeguarded by fresh clauses signed in London, as if to guard against
future trouble in the dark days then hanging over Portugal.

[Footnote 32: See Note 2, page 137.]

For the next generation (1350-1380), the national politics are bound up
with Spanish intrigues and lose nearly all reference to that larger
world, to which the kingdom was recalled by the Revolution of 1383, the
overthrow of Castille on the battle-field of Aljubarrota, and the
accession of John of Aviz. Once more intensely, narrowly national, one
might almost say provincial, in peninsular matters, Portugal then
returned to its older ambition of being, not a make weight in Spanish
politics, but a part of the greater whole of commercial and maritime
Europe. Almost ceasing to be Spanish, she was, by that very transfer of
interest from land to sea, fitted for her special part,--

    "to open up those wastes of tide
    No generation openèd before."

It was through a love affair that the crisis came about. Ferdinand the
Handsome, the last of the House of Burgundy to reign in Lisbon, became
the slave of the worst of his subjects, the evil genius of himself and
his kingdom, Leonora Telles. For her sake he broke his marriage treaty
with Castille (1372), and brought down the vengeance of Henry of
Trastamara, whom the Black Prince of England had fought and seemed to
conquer at Navarette, but who in the end had foiled all his
enemies--Pedro the Cruel, Ferdinand of Portugal, and Prince Edward of
Creçy and Poictiers.

For Leonor's sake Ferdinand braved the great riot of the Lisbon mob,
when Fernan Vasquez the Tailor led his followers to the palace, burst in
the gates, and forced from the King an oath to stand by the Castilian
marriage he had contracted. For her sake he broke his word to his
artisans, as he had broken it to his nobles and his brother monarch.

Leonor herself the people hunted for in vain through the rooms and
corridors of the palace; she escaped from their lynch law to Santarem.
The same night Ferdinand joined her. Safe in his strongest fortress, he
gathered an army and forced his way back into the capital. The mob was
scattered; Vasquez and the other leaders beheaded on the spot. Then at
Oporto, without more delay, the King of Portugal married his paramour,
in the face of her husband, of Castille, and of his own people.

"Laws are nil," said the rhyme, "when kings will," but though nobles and
people submitted in the lifetime of Ferdinand, the storm broke out again
on his death in October, 1383. During the last ten years the Queen had
practically governed, and the kingdom seemed to be sinking back into a
province of Spain. Ferdinand's bastard brother, John, Master of the
Knights of Aviz, and father of Henry the Navigator, was the leader of
the national party, and Leonor had in vain tried to get rid of him,
silent and dangerous as he was. She forged some treasonable letters in
his name, and procured his arrest; then as the King would not order him
to execution without trial, she forged the warrant, too, and sent it
promptly to the Governor of Evora Castle, where the Master lay in
prison. But he refused to obey without further proof, and John escaped
to lead the national restoration.

On the death of Ferdinand his widow took the regency in the name of her
daughter Beatrice, just married to the King of Castille. It was only a
question of time, this coming subjection of Portugal, unless the whole
people rose and made monarchy and government national once more. And in
December, 1383, they did so. Under John of Aviz the patriots cut to
pieces the Queen's friends, and made ready to meet her allies from
Castille. On the battle field of Aljubarrota (August 14, 1385), the
struggle was decided. Castille was finally driven back, and the new
age, of the new dynasty, was fairly started. The Portuguese people under
King John I. and his sons Edward, Pedro, Henry, and Ferdinand, passed
out of the darkness of their slavery into the light and life of their
heroic age.


The founder of the House of Aviz, John, the King of Good Memory, is the
great transition figure in his country's history, for in his reign the
age of the merely European kingdom is over, and that of discovery and
empire begins. That is, the limits of territory and of population, as
well as the type of government and of policy, both home and foreign,
secured by his victory and his reign, are permanent in themselves, and
as the conditions of success they lie at the root of the development of
the next hundred years.

Even the drift of Portuguese interests, seawards and southwards, is
decided by his action, his alliance with England, his encouragement of
trade, his wars against the Moors. For, by the middle of his reign, by
the time of the Ceuta conquest (1415), his third son, Prince Henry, had
grown to manhood.

Yet, King John's personal work (1383-1433) is rather one of settlement
and the providing of resources for future action than the taking of any
great share in that action. His mind was practical rather than
prophetic, common-sense rather than creative; but in his regeneration of
the Court and trade and society and public service of the kingdom, he
fitted his people to play their part, to be for a time the "very
foremost men of all this world."

First of all, he founded a strong centralised monarchy, like those which
marked the fifteenth century in France and England and Russia. The
spirit, the aim of Louis XI., of the Tudors, of Ivan III., was the same
as that of John I. of Portugal--to rule as well as govern in every
department, "over all persons, in all causes, as well ecclesiastical as
civil, within their dominions supreme." The Master of Aviz had been the
people's choice; the Lisbon populace and their leaders had been among
the first who dared to fight for him; but he would not be a simple King
of Parliaments. He preferred to reign with the help of his nobles. For
though he distrusted feudalism, he dreaded Cortés still more. So, while
in most of the new monarchies of Europe the subjection or humiliation of
the baronage was a primary article of policy, John tried to win his way
by lavish gifts of land, while resolutely checking feudalism in
government, curtailing local immunities, and guarding the liberties of
the towns against noble usurpers.

We shall see the results of this in the life of Prince Henry; at present
there is only space to notice the general fact. The other lines of
John's home government--his reform of criminal procedure, his sanction
of the vernacular in legal and official business in place of Latin, his
attempt to publish the first collection of Portuguese laws, his
settlement of the Court in the true national capital of Lisbon--are only
to be linked with the life of his son, as helping one and all of them
towards that conscious political unity on which Henry's work was

The same was the result of his foreign policy, which was nothing more
than the old state-rules of Diniz. Systematic neutrality in Spain and a
commercial alliance with England and the northern nations, were but the
common-sense securities of the restored kingdom; but they played another
part than one of mere defence, in drawing out the seamanship and worldly
knowledge, and even the greed of Portuguese traders. In the marts of
Bruges and London, "the Schoolmasters of Husbandry to Europe," Henry's
countrymen met the travellers and merchants of Italy and Flanders and
England and the Hanse Towns, and gained some inkling of the course and
profits of the overland trade from India and the further East, first as
in Nismes and Montpellier they saw the Malaguette pepper and other
merchandise of the Sahara and Guinea caravans.

The Windsor and Paris treaties of 1386 and 1389; the marriage of John
himself with Philippa, daughter of old "John of Gaunt, time-honoured"
and time-serving "Lancaster," and the consequent alliance between the
House of Aviz and the House of our own Henry IV., are proofs of an
unwritten but well understood Triple Alliance of England, Flanders, and
Portugal, which had been fostered by the Crusades and by trade and
family politics. And through this friendship had come into being what
was now the chief outward activity of Portuguese life, an interest in
commerce, which was the beginning of a career of discovery and
colonisation. Lastly, besides good government, besides saving the
kingdom and keeping it safely in the most prosperous path, Portugal owed
to King John and his English wife the training of their five sons,
Edward the Eloquent, Pedro the Great Regent, Henry the Navigator, John
the Constable, Ferdinand the Saint--the cousins of our own Henry V.,
Henry of Azincourt.

Edward, the heir of John the Great and his unfortunate successor
(1433-8), unlucky as most literary princes, but deserving whatever
courage and honesty and the best gifts can deserve, was a good ruler, a
good son, a good brother, a good lawyer, and one of the earliest writers
in his own Portuguese. As a pupil of his father's great Chancellor, John
of the Rules, he has left a tract on the _Ordering of Justice_; as a
king, two others, on _Pity_ and _A Loyal Councillor_; as a cavalier, _A
Book of Good Riding_. Still more to our purpose, he was always at the
side of his brother Henry, helped him in his schemes and brought his
movement into fashion at a critical time, when enterprise seemed likely
to slacken in the face of unending difficulties.

But the Navigator's right-hand man was his next brother Pedro the
Traveller, who, after visiting all the countries of Western Europe and
fighting with the Teutonic knights against the heathen Prussians,
brought back to Portugal for the use of discovery that great mass of
suggestive material, oral and written, in maps and plans and books,
which was used for the first ocean voyages of Henry's sailors.

On his judgment and advice, more than of any other man, Henry relied,
and after Edward's death it was due to him as Regent that the generous
support of the past was more than kept up, that so many ships and men
were found for the rounding of Cape Verde, and that Edward's son and
heir Affonso V., was trained in the mind of his father and his uncle, to
be their successor in leading the expansion of Portugal and of


John and Ferdinand, Henry's two younger brothers, are not of much
importance in his work, though they were both of the same rare quality
as the elder Infantes, and the worst disaster of Henry's life, the
Tangier campaign, is closely bound up with the fate of "Fernand the
Constant Prince," but as we pass from the earlier story of Portugal to
the age of its great achievements, it would be hard to doubt or to
forget that the mother of the Navigator was also of some account in the
shaping of the heroes of her house. Through her at least the Lusitanian
Prince of Thomson's line is half an Englishman:

    "The Lusitanian prince, who, Heaven-inspired,
    To love of useful glory roused mankind,
    And in unbounded commerce mixed the world."

[NOTE 1.--The Old Roman Lusitania, but with a wider stretch on the
North, and a narrower stretch on the East. So the Portuguese are
"Lusians," "Lusitanians," etc., in poetry. _Cf._ Camoëns, _Lusiads_.]

[NOTE 2.--

    What Diniz willèd
    He ever fulfillèd

--said the popular rhyme.]



    Then from ancient gloom emerged
    The rising world of trade: the genius then,
    Of Navigation, held in hopeless sloth,
    Had slumbered on the vast Atlantic deep
    For idle ages, starting, heard at last
    The Lusitanian Prince, who, Heaven-inspired,
    To love of useful glory roused mankind,
    And in unbounded commerce mixed the world.

THOMSON, _Seasons, Summer, 1005-1012_.

The third son of John the Great and of Philippa was the Infant Henry,
Duke of Viseu, Master of the Order of Christ, Governor of the Algarves,
born March 4, 1394, who might have travelled from Court to Court like
his brother Pedro, but who refused all offers from England, Italy, and
Germany, and chose the life of a student and a seaman,--retiring more
and more from the known world that he might open up the unknown.

After the capture of Ceuta, in 1415, he planted himself in his Naval
Arsenal at Sagres, close to Lagos town and Cape St. Vincent, and for
more than forty years, till his death in 1460, he kept his mind upon the
ocean that stretched out from that rocky headland to the unknown West
and South. Twice only for any length of time did he come back into
political life; for the rest, though respected as the referee of
national disputes and the leader and teacher of the people, his time was
mainly spent in thinking out his plans of discovery--drawing his maps,
adjusting his instruments, sending out his ships, receiving the reports
of his captains. His aims were three: to discover, to add to the
greatness and wealth of Portugal, and to spread the Christian Faith.

(1.) First of all, he was trying to find a way round Africa to India for
the sake of the new knowledge itself and for the power which that
knowledge would give. As his mind was above all things interested in the
scientific question, it was this side which was foremost in his plans.
He was really trying to find out the shape of the world, and to make men
feel more at home in it, that the dread of the great unknown round the
little island of civilised and habitable world might be lightened. He
was working in the mist that so long had hung round Christendom,
chilling every enterprise.

Thus the whole question of the world and its shape, its countries and
climates, its seas and continents, on every side of practical
exploration, was bound to be before Prince Henry as a theorist; the
practical question which he helped to solve was only a part of this
wider whole. Did this Africa stretching opposite to him in his retreat
at Sagres never end till it reached the Southern pole, or was it
possible to get round into the Eastern ocean? Since Ptolemy's map had
held the field, it had been heresy to suppose this; but in the age of
Greek and Phoenician voyages it had been guessed by some, and perhaps
even proved by others.

The Tyrians whom Pharaoh Necho sent down the Red Sea more than six
hundred years before Christ, brought back after three years a story of
their finding Africa an island, and so returning by the west and north
through the Straits of Gibraltar.

The same tradition, after a long time of discredit, was now reviving
upon the maps of the fourteenth century, and, in spite of the terrible
stories of the Arabs, Henry was able in the first years of the fifteenth
to find men who would try the forlorn hope of a direct sea-route from
Europe to the Indies. We have seen how far the charts and guide-books of
the time just before this had advanced Christian knowledge of the world;
how the southern coastline of Asia is traced by Marco Polo, and how even
Madagascar is named, though not visited, by the same traveller; the
Florentine map of 1351 proves that a fairly true guess of the shape of
Africa could be made even before persistent exploration began with Henry
of Portugal; the Arab settlements on the east coast of Africa and their
trade with the Malabar coast, though still kept as a close monopoly for
Islam, had thoroughly opened up a line of navigation, that was ready, as
it were, for the first Europeans who could strike into it and press the
Moorish pilots into a new service. Discovery was thus anticipated when
the coasts of West and South had once been rounded.

Beyond this, the vague knowledge of the Guinea coast already gained
through the Sahara Caravan Trade was improved by the Prince himself,
during his stay at Ceuta, into the certainty that if the great western
hump of Africa beyond Bojador could be passed, his caravels would come
into an eastern current, passing the gold and ivory coast, which might
lead straight to India, and at any rate would be connected by an
overland traffic with the Mediterranean.

(2.) Again, Henry was founding upon his work of exploration an empire
for his country. At first perhaps only thinking of the straight
sea-passage as the possible key of the Indian trade, it became clearer
with every fresh discovery that the European kingdom might and must be
connected by a chain of forts and factories with the rich countries for
whose sake all these barren coasts were passed. In any case, and in the
eyes of ordinary men, the riches of the East were the plain and primary
reason of the explorations. Science had its own aims, but to gain an
income for its work it must promise some definite gain. And the chief
hope of Henry's captains was that the wealth now flowing by the overland
routes to the Levant would in time, as the prize of Portuguese daring,
go by the water way, without delay or fear of plunder or Arab middlemen,
to Lisbon and Oporto. This would repay all the trouble and all the cost,
and silence all who murmured. For this Indian trade was the prize of the
world, and for the sake of this Rome had destroyed Palmyra, and
attacked Arabia and held Egypt, and struggled for the mastery of the
Tigris. For the same thing half the wars of the Levant had been waged,
and by this the Italian republics, Venice, Genoa, and Pisa, had grown to

(3.) Lastly, Henry was a Crusader with Islam and a missionary with the
heathen. Of him fully as much as of Columbus, it may be said, that if he
aimed at an empire, it was a Christian one, and from the time of the
first voyages his captains had orders not merely to discover and to
trade, but to convert. Till his death he hoped to find the land of
Prester John, the half-true, half-fabulous Christian Priest-King of the
outer world, so long cut off from Christendom by the Mohammedan states.

At this time many things were drawing western Europe towards the East
and towards discovery. The progress of science and historic knowledge,
the records and suggestions of travellers, the development of the
Christian nations, the position of Portugal and the spirit of her
people,--all these lines met, as it were, in Henry's time and nation and
person, and from that meeting came the results of Columbus and Da Gama
and Magellan.

In the earlier chapters we have tried to trace the preparation along
these slowly converging paths, for the discoveries of the fifteenth
century. We started with that body of knowledge and theory about the
world which the Roman Empire bequeathed to Christendom, and which in the
earlier Middle Ages was worked upon by the Arabs, and we gained some
idea, from the sayings of Moslem geographers and from the doings of
Moslem warriors, of the hindrance as well as of the help that Islam gave
to European expansion. We saw that during the great struggle of
Christianity and of the old Order with barbarism, the chief energy of
our Western world in discovery or extension of any sort took the shape
of pilgrimage. Then, as time went on, it was possible to see that the
Saracens, who had begun as destroyers in the South, were acting as
teachers and civilisers upon Europe, and that the Vikings, who as
pirates in the North seemed raised up to complete the ruin of Latin
civilisation, were really waking it into a new activity.

In the Crusades this activity, which had already founded the kingdom of
Russia on one side and touched America on the other, seemed to pass from
the Northern seamen into every Christian nation and every class of
society, and with the conversion of the Northmen their place as the
discoverers and leaders of the Christian world fitted in with the other
movements of Mediterranean commerce and war and devotion. Even the
pilgrims of the Crusading Age were now no longer distinctive: they were
often, as individuals, members of other classes, traders, fighters, or
travellers who, after gaining a firm foothold in Syria, began the
exploration of the further East.

The three great discovering energies of the thirteenth and fourteenth
centuries--in land-travel, navigation, and science--were all seen to be
results, in whole or in part, of the Crusades themselves, and in
following the more important steps of European travel and trade and
proselytism from the Holy Land to China, it became more and more evident
that this practical finding out of the treasures of Cathay and the
Indies was the necessary preparation for the attempts of Genoese and
Portuguese to open up the sea route as another and a safer way to the
source of the same treasures.

Lastly, the intermittent and uncertain ventures of the
fourteenth-century seamen, Italian, Spanish, French, or English, to
coast round Africa or to find the Indies by the Southern route--to reach
a definite end without any clear plan of means to that end--and the
revival in theoretical geography, which was trying at the same time to
fill up the gaps of knowledge by tradition or by probability--seemed to
offer a clear contrast and a clear foreshadowing also of Prince Henry's
method. Even his nearest forerunners, in seamanship or in map-making[33]
were strikingly different from himself. They were too much in the spirit
of Ptolemy and of ancient science; they neglected fact for hypothesis,
for clever guessing, and so their work was spasmodic and unfruitful, or
at least disappointing.

[Footnote 33: Except the draughtsmen of the Portolani.]

It was true enough that each generation of Christian thought was less in
fault than the one before it; but it was not till the fifteenth century,
till Henry had set the example, that exploration became systematic and
continuous. To Marco Polo and men like him we owe the beginnings of the
art and science of discovery among the learned; to the Portuguese is
due at least the credit of making it a thing of national interest, and
of freeing it from a false philosophy. To find out by incessant and
unwearying search what the world really was, and not to make known facts
fit in with the ideas of some thinker on what the world ought to be,
this we found to be the main difference between Cosmas or even Ptolemy
and any true leader of discovery. For a real advance of knowledge, fancy
must follow experiment, and no merely hypothetical system or Universe as
shewn in Holy Scripture, would do any longer. We have come to the time
when explorers were not Ptolemaics or Strabonians or Scripturists, but
Naturalists--men who examined things afresh, for themselves.

These various objects are all involved in the one central aim of
discovery, but they are not lost in it. To know this world we live in
and to teach men the new knowledge was the first thing, which makes
Henry what he is in universal history; his other aims are those of his
time and his nation, but they are not less a part of his life.

And he succeeded in them all; if in part his work was for all time and
in part seemed to pass away after a hundred years, that was due to the
exhaustion of his people. What he did for his countrymen was realised by
others, but the start, the inspiration, was his own. He persevered for
fifty years (1412-60) till within sight of the goal, and though he died
before the full result of his work was seen, it was none the less his
due when it came.

We find these results put down to the credit of others, but if Columbus
gave Castille and Leon a new world in 1492, if Da Gama reached India in
1498, if Diaz rounded the Cape of Tempests or of Good Hope in 1486, if
Magellan made the circuit of the globe in 1520-2, their teacher and
master was none the less Henry the Navigator.




We have seen how the kingdom of Portugal itself was almost an offspring
of the Crusades. They had left behind them a thirst for wealth and for a
wider life on one side, and a broken Moslem power on the other, which
opened the way and stirred the enterprise of every maritime state. We
know that Lisbon had long been an active centre of trade with the Hanse
Towns, Flanders, and England. And now the projected conquest of Ceuta
and the appeal of the conqueror of Aljubarrota for a great national
effort found the people prepared. A royal prince could do what a private
man could not; and Portugal, more fully developed than any other of the
Christian kingdoms, was ready to expand abroad without fear at home.

Even before the conquest of Ceuta, in 1410 or 1412, Henry had begun to
send out his caravels past Cape Non, which had so long been with C.
Bojador the Finisterre of Africa. The first object of these ships was
to reach the Guinea coast by outflanking the great western shoulder of
the continent. Once there, the gold and ivory and slave trade would pass
away from the desert caravans to the European coasters. Then the eastern
bend of Africa, along the bights of Benin and Biafra, might be followed
to the Indies, if this were possible, as some had thought; if not, the
first stage of the work would have to be taken up again till men had
found and had rounded the Southern Cape. The outflanking of Guinea
proved to be only a part of the outflanking of Africa, but it was far
more than half the battle; just as India was the final prize of full
success, so the Gold Coast was the reward of the first chapter in that

But of these earlier expeditions nothing is known in detail; the history
of the African voyages begins with the war of 1415, and the new
knowledge it brought to Henry of the Sahara and the Guinea Coast and of
the tribes of tawny Moors and negroes on the Niger and the Gambia.

In 1414, when Edward was twenty-three, Pedro twenty-two, and Henry
twenty, King John planned an attack on Ceuta, the great Moorish port on
the African side of the Straits of Gibraltar. The three princes had all
asked for knighthood; their father at first proposed to celebrate a year
of tournaments, but at the suggestion of the Treasurer of Portugal, John
Affonso de Alemquer, he decided on this African crusade instead. For the
same strength and money might as well be spent in conquests from the
Moslem as in sham-fights between Christians. So after reconnoitring the
place, and lulling the suspicions of Aragon and Granada by a pretence
of declaring war against the Count of Holland, King John gained the
formal consent of his nobles at Torres Vedras, and set sail from Lisbon
on St. James' Day, July 25, 1415, as foretold by the dying Queen
Philippa, twelve days before.


That splendid woman, who had shared the throne for eight and twenty
years, and who had trained her sons to be fit successors of her husband
as the leaders of Portugal and the "Examples of all Christians," was now
cut off by death from a sight of their first victories. Her last thought
was for their success. She spoke to Edward of a king's true vocation, to
Pedro of his knightly duties in the help of widows and orphans, to Henry
of a general's care for his men. On the 13th, the last day of her
illness, she roused herself to ask "What wind was blowing so strong
against the house?" and hearing it was the north, sank back and died,
exclaiming, "It is the wind for your voyage, that must be about St.
James' Day." It would have been false respect to delay. The spirit of
the Queen, the crusaders felt, was with them, urging them on.

By the night of the 25th of July the fleet had left the Tagus; on the
27th the crusaders anchored in the bay of Lagos and mustered all their
forces: "33 galleys, 27 triremes, 32 biremes, and 120 pinnaces and
transports," carrying 50,000 soldiers and 30,000 mariners. Some nobles
and merchant adventurers from England, France, and Germany took part. It
was something like the conquest of Lisbon over again; a greater Armada
for a much smaller prey.

On the 10th of August they were off Algeziras, still in Moorish hands,
as part of the kingdom of Granada, and on the 12th the lighter craft
were over on the African coast; a strong wind nearly carried the heavier
into Malaga.

Ceuta, the ancient Septa,[34] once repaired by Justinian, was the chief
port of Morocco and a centre of commerce for the trade routes of the
South and East, as well as a centre of piracy for the Barbary corsairs.
It had long been an outpost of Moslem attack on Christendom; now that
Europe was taking the offensive, it would be an outpost of the Spanish
crusade against Islam.

[Footnote 34: City of "Seven" Hills, as some have derived it.]

The city was built on the ordinary model, in two parts: a citadel and a
port-town, which together covered the neck of a long peninsula running
out some three miles eastward from the African mainland, and broadening
again beyond the eastern wall of Ceuta into a hilly square of country.

It was here, just where the land began to spread and form a natural
harbour, that the Portuguese had planned their landing, and to this
point Prince Henry, with great trouble, brought up the heavier craft.
The strong currents that turned them off to the Spanish coast, proved
good allies of the Europeans after all. For the Moors, who had been
greatly startled at the first signs of attack, and had hurried to get
all the help they could from Fez and the upland, now fancied the
Christian fleet to be scattered once for all, and dismissed all but
their own garrison; while the Portuguese had been roused afresh to
action by the fiery energy of King John, Prince Henry, and his brothers.
On the night of the 15th of August, the Feast of the Assumption, the
whole armada was at last brought up to the roads of Ceuta; Henry
anchored off the lower town with his ships from Oporto, and his father,
though badly wounded in the leg, rowed through the fleet in a shallop,
preparing all his men for the assault that was to be given at daybreak.
Henry himself was to have the right of first setting foot on shore,
where it was hoped the quays would be almost bared of defenders. For the
main force was brought up against the castle, and every Moor would rush
to the fight where the King of Portugal was leading.

While these movements were being settled in the armada, all through that
night Ceuta was brilliantly lighted up, as if _en fête_. The Governor in
his terror could think of nothing better than to frighten the enemy with
the show of an immensely populous city, and he had ordered a light to be
kept burning in every window of every house. As the morning cleared and
the Christian host saw the beach and harbour lined with Moors, shouting
defiance, the attack was begun by some volunteers who forgot the
Prince's claim. One Ruy Gonsalvez was the first to land and clear a
passage for the rest. The Infantes, Henry and Edward, were not far
behind, and after a fierce struggle the Moslems were driven through the
gate of the landing-place back to the wall of the city. Here they
rallied, under a "negro giant, who fought naked, but with the strength
of many men, hurling the Christians to the earth with stones." At last
he was brought down by a lance-thrust, and the crusaders forced their
way into Ceuta. But Henry, as chief captain on this side, would not
allow his men to rush on plundering into the heart of the town, but kept
them by the gates, and sent back to the ships for fresh troops, who soon
came up under Fernandez d'Ataide, who cheered on the Princes. "This is
the sort of tournament for you; here you are getting a worthier
knighthood than you could win at Lisbon."

Meantime the King, with Don Pedro, had heard of Henry's first success
while still on shipboard, and ordered an instant advance on his side.
After a still closer struggle than that on the lower ground, the Moors
were routed, and Pedro pressed on through the narrow streets, just
escaping death from the showers of heavy stones off the house tops, till
he met his brothers in a mosque, or square adjoining, in the centre of

Then the conquerors scattered for plunder, and came very near losing the
city altogether. But for the dogged courage of Henry, who twice broke up
the Moslem rally with a handful of men, at last holding a gate on the
inner wall between the lower town and the citadel, "with seventeen,
himself the eighteenth," Ceuta would have been lost after it had been
gained. Both Henry and Pedro were reported dead. "Such is the end a
soldier must not fear," was all their father said, as he stayed by the
ships under the lee of the fortress, waiting, like Edward III. at Creçy,
for what his sons would do. But towards evening it was known throughout
the army that the Princes were safe, that the port-town had been gained,
and that the Moors were slipping away from the citadel.

Henry, Edward, and Pedro held a council, and settled to storm the castle
next morning; but after sunset a few scouts, sent out to reconnoitre,
reported that all the garrison had fled.

It was true. The Governor, who had despaired all along of holding out,
was no sooner beaten out of the lower city than he set the example of a
strategic movement up the country, and when the Portuguese appeared at
the fortress gate with axes and began to hew it down, only two Moors
were left inside. They shouted out that the Christians might save
themselves that trouble, for they would open it themselves, and the
standard of St. Vincent, Patron of Lisbon, was planted, before dark
came, upon the highest tower of Ceuta.

King John offered Henry, for his gallant leadership, the honours of the
day and the right to be knighted before his brothers, but the Prince,
who had offered at the beginning of the storm to resign his command to
Edward, as the eldest, begged that "those who were before him in age
might have their right, to be first in dignity as well," and the three
Infantes received their knighthood in order of birth, each holding in
his hands the bare sword that the Queen had given him on her deathbed.

It was the first Christian rite held in the great Mosque of Ceuta, now
purified as the Cathedral, and after it the town was thoroughly and
carefully sacked from end to end. The plunder, of gold and silver and
gems, stuffs and drugs, was great enough to make the common soldiers
reckless of other things. The "great jars of oil and honey and spices
and all provisions" were flung out into the streets, and a heavy rain
swept away what would have kept a large garrison in plenty.

The great nobles and the royal Princes took back to Portugal some
princely spoils. Henry's half-brother, now Count of Barcellos,
afterwards more famous and more troublesome as Duke of Braganza, chose
for his share some six hundred columns of marble and alabaster from the
Governor's palace. Henry himself gained in Ceuta a knowledge of inland
Africa, of its trade routes and of the Gold Coast, that encouraged him
to begin from this time the habit of coasting voyages. His earlier
essays in exploration had been attempts, like the unconnected and
occasional efforts of Spanish and Italian daredevils. It is from this
year that continuous ocean sailing begins; from the time of his stay in
Ceuta, Henry works steadily and with foresight towards a nearer goal
well foreseen, a first stage in his wider scheme which had been
traversed by men he had known and talked with. They had come into Ceuta
from Guinea over the sea of the desert; he would send his sailors to
_their_ starting-point by the longer way, over the desert of the sea.

Thus the victory at Ceuta is not without a very direct influence on our
subject; and for the same reason, it was important that the conquerors,
instead of razing the place, decided to hold it. When most of the
council of war were for a safe and quick return to Portugal, one
noble, Pedro de Menezes, a trusted friend of Henry's, struck upon the
ground impatiently a stick of orange-wood he had in his hands. "By my
faith, with this stick I would defend Ceuta from every Morisco of them
all." He was left in command, and thus kept open, as it were, to Europe
and to the Prince's view, one end of a great avenue of commerce and
intercourse, which Henry aimed at winning for his country. When his
ships could once reach Guinea, the other end of that same line was in
his hands as well.


The King and the Princes left Ceuta in September of the same year (Sept.
2, 1415), but Henry's connection with his first battle-field was not yet
over. Menezes found after three years' sole command, that the Moors were
pressing him very hard. The King of Granada had sent seventy-four ships
to blockade the city from the sea, and the troops of Fez were forcing
their way into the lower town. Henry was hurriedly sent from Lisbon to
its relief, while Edward and Pedro got themselves ready to follow him,
if needed, from Lagos and the Algarve coast. But Ceuta had already saved
itself. As the first succours were sailing through the Straits of
Gibraltar, Menezes contrived to send them word of his danger; the
Berbers on the land side had mastered Almina, or the eastern part of the
merchant town, while the Granada galleys had closed in upon the port
itself. At this news Henry made the best speed he could, but he was only
in time to see the rout of the Moors. Menezes and the garrison made a
desperate sally directly they sighted the relief coming through the
straits; the same appearance struck a panic into the enemy's fleet, and
only one galley stayed on the African coast to help their landsmen, who
were thus left alone and without hope of succour on the eastern hills of
the Ceuta peninsula, cut off by the city from their Berber allies. When
Henry landed, Almina had been won back and the last of the Granada
Moslems cut to pieces. From that day Ceuta was safe in Christian hands.

But the Prince, after spending two months in the hope that he might find
some more work to do in Africa, planned a daring stroke in Europe. Islam
still owned in Spain the kingdom of Granada, too weak to reconquer the
old Western Caliphate, but too strong, as the last refuge of a conquered
and once imperial race, to be an easy prey of the Spanish kingdoms. And
in that kingdom, Gibraltar, the rock of Tarik, was the most troublesome
of Moorish strongholds. The Mediterranean itself was not fully secured
for Christian trade and intercourse while the European Pillar of the
Western straits was a Saracen fort. If Portugal was to conquer or
explore in northern Africa, Gibraltar was as much to be aimed at as
Ceuta. Both sides of the straits, Calpe and Abyla, must be in her hands
before Christendom could expand safely along the Atlantic coasts.

So Henry, in the face of all his council, determined to make the trial
on his voyage back to Lisbon. But a storm broke up the fleet, and when
it could be refitted and re-formed, the time had gone by, and the Prince
obeyed his father's repeated orders and returned at once to Court. For
his gallantry and skill in the storm of Ceuta, he had been made Duke of
Viseu and Lord of Covilham, when King John first touched his own
kingdom--after the African campaign--at Tavira, on the Algarve coast.
With his brother Pedro, who shared his honours as Duke of Coimbra and
Lord of the lands henceforward known as the Infantado or Principality,
Henry thus begins the line of Dukes in Portugal, and among the other
details of the war, his name is specially joined with that of an English
fleet which he had enrolled as a contingent of his armada while
recruiting for ships and men in the spring of 1415. In the same way as
English crusaders had passed Lisbon just in time to aid in its conquest
by Affonso Henriquez, the "great first King" of Portugal in 1147, so now
twenty-seven English ships on their way to Syria were just in time to
help the Portuguese make their first conquest abroad.

Lastly, the results of the Ceuta campaign in giving positive knowledge
of western and inland Africa to a mind like Henry's already set on the
finding of a sea-route to India, have been noticed by all contemporaries
and followers, who took any interest in his plans, but it was not merely
caravan news that he gained in these two visits of 1415 and 1418. Both
Azurara, the chronicler of his voyages and Diego Gomez, his lieutenant,
the explorer of the Cape Verde Islands and of the Upper Gambia, are
quite clear about the new knowledge of the coast now gained from Moorish

Not only did the Prince get "news of the passage of merchants from the
coasts of Tunis to Timbuctoo and to Cantor on the Gambia, which
inspired him to seek the lands by the way of the sea," but also "the
Tawny Moors (or Azanegues) his prisoners told him of certain tall palms
growing at the mouth of the Senegal or western Nile, by which he was
able to guide the caravels he sent out to find that river." By the time
Henry was ready to return from Ceuta to Portugal for good and all, in
1418, there were clearly before his mind the five reasons for exploring
Guinea given by his faithful Azurara:

First of all was his desire to know the country beyond Cape Bojador,
which till that time was quite unknown either by books or by the talk of

Second was his wish that if any Christian people or good ports should be
discovered beyond that cape, he might begin a trade with them that would
profit both the natives and the Portuguese, for he knew of no other
nation in Europe who trafficked in those parts.

Thirdly, he believed the Moors were more powerful on that side of Africa
than had been thought, and he feared there were no Christians there at
all. So he was fain to find out how many and how strong his enemies
really were.

Fourthly, in all his fighting with the Moors he had never found a
Christian prince to help him from that side (of further Africa) for the
love of Christ, therefore he wished, if he could, to meet with such.

Last was his great desire for the spread of the Christian Faith and for
the redemption of the vast tribes of men lying under the wrath of God.

Behind all these reasons Azurara also believed in a sixth and deeper
one, which he proceeds to state with all gravity, as the ultimate and
celestial cause of the Prince's work.

"For as his ascendant was Aries, that is in the House of Mars and the
Exaltation of the Sun, and as the said Mars is in Aquarius, which is the
House of Saturn, it was clear that my lord should be a great conqueror,
and a searcher out of things hidden from other men, according to the
craft of Saturn, in whose House he was."[35]

[Footnote 35: The attempts of Henry and his family to conquer a
land-empire in northern Africa are not to be separated from the maritime
and coasting explorations. They were two aspects of one idea, two faces
of the same enterprise.

In the same way the new bishopric of Ceuta, now founded, was a first
step towards the organised conversion of the Heathen of the South. The
Franciscans had founded the See of Fez and Morocco in 1233, but it had
not till now been followed up.]




Whatever the Prince owed to his stay at Ceuta beyond the general
suggestion and encouragement to take up a life-profession of discovery,
it was at any rate put into practice on his second and last return
(1418). From that time to the end of his life he became a recluse from
the Court life of Lisbon, though he soon gathered round himself a rival
Court, of science and seamanship.

The old "Sacred Cape" of the Romans, then called Sagres, now the "Cape
St. Vincent" of Nelson and modern maps, was his chosen home for the next
forty years, though he seems to have passed a good deal of his time in
his port of Lagos, close by.

In 1419 King John made him Governor for life of the Algarves (the
southern province of Portugal) and the new governor at once began to
rebuild and enlarge the old naval arsenal, in the neck of the Cape, into
a settlement that soon became the "Prince's Town." In Lagos, his ships
were built and manned; and there, and in Sagres itself, all the schemes
of discovery were thought out, the maps and instruments corrected, and
the accounts of past and present travellers compared by the Prince
himself. His results then passed into the instructions of his captains
and the equipment of his caravels. The Sacred Cape, which he now
colonised, was at any rate a good centre for his work of ocean voyaging.
Here, with the Atlantic washing the land on three sides, he was well on
the scene of action. There were buildings on Sagres headland as old as
the eleventh century; Greek geography had made this the starting-point
of its shorter and continental measurements for the length of the
habitable world, and the Genoese, whose policy was to buy up points of
vantage on every coast, were eager to plant a colony there, but Portugal
was not ready to become like the Byzantine Empire, a depot for Italian
commerce, and Henry had his own reasons for securing a desolate

On this he now built himself a palace, a chapel, a study, an
observatory--the earliest in Portugal--and a village for his helpers and
attendants. "In his wish to gain a prosperous result for his efforts,
the Prince devoted great industry and thought to the matter, and at
great expense procured the aid of one Master Jacome from Majorca, a man
skilled in the art of navigation and in the making of maps and
instruments, and who was sent for, with certain of the Arab and Jewish
mathematicians, to instruct the Portuguese in that science." So at
least, says De Barros, the "Livy of Portugal." At Sagres was thus
founded anew the systematic study of applied science in Christendom; it
was better than the work of the old Greek "University" at Alexandria
with which it has been compared, because it was essentially practical.
From it "our sailors," says Pedro Nunes, "went out well taught and
provided with instruments and rules which all map-makers should know."
We would gladly know more of Henry's scientific work; a good many
legends have grown up about it, and even his foundation of the Chair of
Mathematics in the University of Lisbon or Coimbra, our best evidence of
the unrecorded work of his school, has been doubted by some modern
critics, even by the national historian, Alexander Herculano. But to
Prince Henry's study and science two great improvements on this side may
be traced: first in the art of map-making, secondly in the building of
caravels and ocean craft.

The great Venetian map of Fra Mauro of the Camaldolese convent of
Murano, finished in 1459, one year before the Navigator's death, is
evidence for the one; Cadamosto's words, as a practical seaman, of
Italian birth, in Henry's service, that the "caravels of Portugal were
the best sailing ships afloat," may be proof sufficient of the other.

On both these lines, Henry took up the results of Italians and worked
towards success with their aid. As Columbus and the Cabots and Verazzano
in later times represented the intellectual leadership of Italy to other
nations--Spain, England, and France; but had to find their career and
resources not in their own commercial republics, but at the Courts of
the new centralised kingdoms of the West, where a paternal despotism
gave the best hope of guiding any popular movement, social or religious
or political or scientific,--so in the earlier fifteenth century,
mariners like Cadamosto and De Nolli, scientific draughtsmen like Fra
Mauro and Andrea Bianco, looked from Venice and Genoa to the Court of
Sagres and to the service of Prince Henry as their proper sphere, where
they would find the encouragement and reward they sought for at home and
often sought in vain.

Henry's settlement on Cape St. Vincent was not long without results. The
voyage of his captain, John de Trasto, to the "fruitful" district of
Grand Canary in 1415 was not in any sense a discovery, as the conquest
of John de Béthencourt in 1402 had made these "Fortunate" islands
perfectly well known, but the finding of Porto Santo and Madeira in
1418-20 was a real gain. For the Machin story of the English landing in
Madeira was a close secret, which by good fortune passed into the
Prince's keeping, but not beyond, so that as far as general knowledge
went, the Portuguese were now fairly embarked upon the Sea of Darkness.

First came the sighting of the "Holy Haven" in 1418. In this year, says
Azurara, two squires of the Prince's household, named John Gonsalvez
Zarco and Tristam Vaz, eager for renown and anxious to serve their lord,
had set out to explore as far as the coast of Guinea, but they were
caught by a storm near Lagos and driven to the island of Porto Santo.
This name they gave themselves "at this very time in their joy at thus
escaping the perils of the tempest."

Zarco and Vaz returned in triumph to Sagres and reported the new-found
island to be well worth a permanent settlement. Henry, always
"generous," took up the idea with great interest and sent out Zarco and
Vaz with another of his equerries, one Bartholomew Perestrello, to
colonise, with two ships and products for a new country; corn, honey,
the sugar cane from Sicily, the Malvoisie grape from Crete, even the
rabbit from Portugal.

On his first return voyage Zarco had captured the pilot Morales of
Seville, and from him the Prince had gained certain news of the English
landing in Madeira. So it was with a definite purpose of further
discovery that his captains returned to Porto Santo in 1420, with
Morales as their guide. Now, as before, Zarco appears as chief in
command; he had won himself a name at Ceuta, and if the tradition be
true, had just brought in the first use of ship-artillery; the finding
of Porto Santo was mainly credited to him.

Sailing from Lagos in June, 1420, he had no sooner reached once again
the "Fair Haven" of his first success, than he was called to note a dark
line, like a mark of distant land, upon the south-west horizon. The
colonists he had left on his earlier visit had watched this day by day
till they had made certain of its being something more than a passing
appearance of sea or sky, and Morales was ready with his suggestion that
this was Machin's island. The fog that hung over this part of the ocean
would be natural to a thick and dank woodland like that on the island
of his old adventure.

Zarco resolved to try: After eight days' rest in Porto Santo he set
sail, and, observing that the fog grew less toward the east of the cloud
bank, made for that point and came upon a low marshy cape, which he
called St. Lawrence Head. Then, creeping round the south coast, he came
to the high lands and the forests of Madeira,--so named here and now,
either as De Barros says, "from the thick woods they found there," or,
in the form of Machico, from the first discoverer, luckless Robert
Machin. For on landing the Portuguese, guided by Morales, soon found the
wooden cross and grave of the Englishman and his mistress, and it was
there that Zarco, with no human being to dispute his title, "took
seizin" of the island in the name of King John, Prince Henry, and the
Order of Christ.

Embarking once more, he then coasted slowly round from the "River of the
Flint" to "Jackdaw Point," and the "Chamber of the Wolves," where his
men started a herd of sea-calves. So he came to the vast plain overgrown
with fennel or "Funchal," where the chief town of after days grew up. A
party sent inland to explore, reported that on every side the ocean
could be seen from the hills; and Zarco, after taking in some specimens
of the native wood and plants and birds at Funchal, put back in the last
days of August to Portugal.

He was splendidly received at Court, made a count--"Count of the Chamber
of the Wolves,"--and granted the command of the island for his own
life. A little later, the commandership was made hereditary in his
family. Tristam Vaz, the second in the Prince's commission, was rewarded
too: the northern half of Madeira was given him as a captaincy, and in
1425 Henry began to colonise in form. Zarco, as early as May, 1421, had
returned with wife and children and attendants, and begun to build the
"port of Machico," and the "city of Funchal," but this did not become a
state affair until four years more had gone by.

But from the first, the island, by its export of wood and dragon's blood
and wheat, began to reward the trouble of discovery and settlement.
Sugar and wine were brought to perfection in later years, after the
great "Seven years' fire" had burnt down the forests and enriched the
soil of Madeira. It was soon after Zarco's return to Funchal that he
first set fire to the woods behind the fennel fields of the coast, to
clear himself a way through the undergrowth into the heart of the
island; the fire blazed and smouldered till it had taken well hold of
the entire mass of timber that covered the upper country, nothing in the
feeble resources of the first settlers could stop it, and Madeira
lighted the ships of Henry on their way to the south, like a volcano,
till 1428. This was at least the common story as told in Portugal, and
it was often joined with another--of the rabbit plague, which ate up all
the green stuff of the island in the first struggling years of Zarco's
settlement, and so prevented the export of anything but timber. So much
of this was brought into Portugal that Henry's lifetime is a landmark in
the domestic architecture of Spain, and from the trade of the "Wood
Island" is derived the lofty style of building that now began to replace
the more modest fashion of the Arabs.

A charter of Henry's, dated 1430, ten years after the rediscovery of
Madeira, and reciting the names of some of the first settlers, and his
bequest of the island, or rather of its "spiritualties," to the Order of
Christ on September 18, 1460, just before his death, are the chief links
between this colony and the home country in the next generation--but in
the history of institutions there are few more curious facts than the
insistence of the Prince on a census for his little "Nation." From the
first, the family registers of the colonists were carefully kept, and
from these we see something of the wonder of men who were beginning
human life, as it were, in a new land. The first children born in
Madeira--a son and daughter of Ayres Ferreira, one of Zarco's
comrades--were christened Adam and Eve.[36]

[Footnote 36: In 1418 and 1424-5 Henry purchased and tried to secure
certain rights of possession in the Canaries, conceded by De
Béthencourt; and these attempts were repeated in 1445 and 1446.]




But in spite of Zarco's success, Cape Bojador had not yet been passed,
though every year, from 1418, caravels had left Sagres, "to find the
coasts of Guinea."

In 1428, Don Pedro, Henry's elder brother, had come home from his
travels, with all the books and charts he had collected to help the
explorers--and it is practically certain that the Mappa Mundi given him
in Venice acted as a direct suggestion to the next attempts on west and
south--westward to the Azores, southward towards Guinea.

Kept in the royal monastery of Alçobaça till late in the sixteenth
century, though now irrecoverably lost, this treasure of Don Pedro's,
like his "manuscripts of travel," would seem to have been used at the
Sagres school till Prince Henry's death, and at least as early as 1431
its effect was seen in the first Portuguese recovery of the Azores. All
the West African islands, plainly enough described in the map of 1428,
were half within, half without the knowledge of Christendom, ever and
anon being brought back or rediscovered by some accident or enterprise,
and then being lost to sight and memory through the want of systematic
exploration. This was exactly what the Portuguese supplied. The Azores,
marked on the Laurentian Portulano of 1351, were practically unknown to
seamen when, after eighty years had passed, Gonzalo Cabral was sent out
from Sagres to find them (1431). He reached the Formiga group--the Ant
islands,--and next year (1432) returned to make further discoveries,
chiefly of the island Santa Maria. But the more important advances on
this side were made between 1444-50, after the first colony had been
planted twelve or fourteen years, and were the result of the Prince's
theoretical correction of his captains' practical oversight. From a
comparison of old maps and descriptions with their accounts, he was able
to correct their line of sail and so to direct them to the very islands
they had searched for in vain.

But as yet these results were far distant, and the slow and sure
progress of African coasting towards Cape Bojador was the chief outcome
of Pedro's help. In 1430, 1431, and 1432, the Infant urged upon his
captains the paramount importance of rounding the Cape, which had
baffled all his caravels by its strong ocean currents and dangerous
rocks. At last this became the Prince's one command: Pass the Cape if
you do nothing beyond; yet the years went by, King John of good memory
died in 1433, and Gil Eannes, sent out in the same year with strong
hopes of success, turned aside at the Canaries and only brought a few
slaves back to Portugal. A large party at Court, in the Army, and among
the nobles and merchant classes, complained bitterly of the utter want
of profit from Henry's schemes, and there was at this time a danger of
the collapse of his movement. For though as yet he paid his own
expenses, his treasury could not long have stood the drain without any

Bojador, the "paunch" or "bulging Cape," 180 miles beyond Cape Non, had
been, since the days of the Laurentian Portulano (1351), and the Catalan
and Portuguese voyages of 1341 and 1346, the southmost point of
Christian knowledge. A long circuit was needed here, as at the Cape of
Good Hope, to round a promontory that stretched, men said, fully one
hundred miles into the ocean, where tides and shoals formed a current
twenty miles across. It was the sight or the fancy of this furious surge
which frightened Henry's crews, for it plainly forbade all coasting and
compelled the seamen to strike into the open sea out of sight of land.
And though the discovery of Porto Santo had proved the feasibility and
the gain of venturing boldly into the Sea of Darkness, and though since
that time (1418) the Prince had sent out his captains due west to the
Azores and south-west to Madeira, both hundreds of miles from the
continent, yet in rounding Bojador there were not only the real terrors
of the Atlantic, but the legends of the tropics to frighten back the

Most mariners had heard it said that any Christian who passed Bojador
would infallibly be changed into a black, and would carry to his end
this mark of God's vengeance on his insolent prying. The Arab tradition
of the Green Sea of Night had too strongly taken hold of Christian
thought to be easily shaken off. And it was beyond the Cape which
bounded their knowledge that the Saracen geographers had fringed the
coast of Africa with sea-monsters and serpent rocks and water unicorns,
instead of place names, and had drawn the horrible giant hand of Satan
raised above the waves to seize the first of his human prey that would
venture into his den. If God made the firm earth, the Devil made the
unknown and treacherous ocean--this was the real lesson of most of the
mediæval maps, and it was this ingrained superstition that Henry found
his worst enemy, appearing as it did sometimes even in his most trusted
and daring captains.

And then again, the legends of Tropical Africa, of the mainland beyond
Bojador, were hardly less terrible than those of the Tropical Ocean. The
Dark Continent, with its surrounding Sea of Darkness, was the home of
mystery and legend. We have seen how ready the Arabs were to write
Uninhabitable over any unknown country--dark seas and lands were simply
those that were dark to them, like the Dark Ages to others, but nowhere
did their imagination revel in genies and fairies and magicians and all
the horrors of hell, with more enthusiastic and genial interest than in
Africa. Here only the northern parts could be lived in by man. In the
south and central deserts, as we have heard from the Moslem doctors
themselves, the sun poured down sheets of liquid flame upon the ground
and kept the sea and the rivers boiling day and night with the fiery
heat. So any sailors would of course be boiled alive as soon as they got
near to the Torrid Zone.

It was this kind of learning, discredited but not forgotten, that was
still in the minds of Gil Eannes and his friends when they came home in
1433, with lame excuses, to Henry's Court. The currents and south winds
had stopped them, they said. It was impossible to get round Bojador.

The Prince was roused. He ordered the same captain to return next year
and try the Cape again. His men ought to have learned something better
than the childish fables of past time. "And if," said he, "there were
even any truth in these stories that they tell, I would not blame you,
but you come to me with the tales of four seamen who perhaps know the
voyage to the Low Countries or some other coasting route, but, except
for this, don't know how to use needle or sailing chart. Go out again
and heed them not, for by God's help, fame and profit must come from
your voyage, if you will but persevere."

The Prince was backed by the warm encouragement of the new King, Edward,
his eldest brother, who had only been one month upon the throne when he
bestirred himself to shew his favour to a national movement of
discovery. King John had died on August 14, 1433 (the anniversary of
Aljubarrota), and on September 26th, of the same year, by a charter
given from Cintra, King Edward granted the islands of Madeira and Porto
Santo, with the Desertas, to Henry as Grand Master of the Order of

With this encouragement the Infant sent out Gil Eannes in 1434 under the
strongest charge not to return without a good account of the Cape and
the seas beyond. Running far out into the open, his caravel doubled
Bojador, and coming back to the coast found the sea "as easy to sail in
as the waters at home," and the land very rich and pleasant. They landed
and discovered no trace of men or houses, but gathered plants, "such as
were called in Portugal St. Mary's roses," to present to Don Henry. Not
even the southern Cape of Tempests or Good Hope was so long and
obstinate a barrier as Bojador had been, and the passing of this
difficulty proved the salvation of the Prince's schemes. Though again
and again interrupted by political troubles between 1437 and 1449, the
advance at sea went on, and never again was there a serious danger of
the failure of the whole movement through general opposition and

In 1435 Gil Eannes was sent out again to follow up his success with
Affonso Baldaya, the Prince's cupbearer, in a larger vessel than had yet
been risked in exploration, called a varinel, or oared galley. The two
captains passed fifty leagues--one hundred and fifty miles--beyond the
Cape, and found traces of caravans, reached as far as an inlet they
named Gurnet Bay, from its shoals of fish, and again put back to Lagos,
early in the year.

There were still several months left for ocean sailing in 1435, and
Henry at once despatched Baldaya again in his varinel, with orders to go
as far as he could along the coast, at least till he could find some
natives. One of these he was to bring home with him. Baldaya accordingly
sailed 130 leagues--390 miles--beyond Cape Bojador, till he reached an
estuary running some twenty miles up the country and promising to lead
to a great river. This might prove to be the western Nile of the
Negroes, or the famous River of Gold, Baldaya thought, and though it
proved to be only an inlet of the sea, the name of Rio d'Ouro, then
given by the first hopes of the Portuguese, has outlasted the
disappointment that found only a sandy reach instead of a waterway to
the Mountains of the Moon and the kingdom of Prester John.

Baldaya anchored here, landed a couple of horses which the Infant had
given him to scour the country, and set "two young noble gentlemen" upon
them to ride up country, to look for signs of natives, and if possible
to bring back one captive to the ship. Taking no body-armour, but only
lance and sword, the boys followed the "river" to its source, seven
leagues up the country, and here came suddenly upon nineteen savages,
armed with assegais. They rode up to them and drove them out of the open
up to a loose mound of stones; then as evening was coming on and they
could not secure a prisoner, they rode back to the sea and reached the
ship about the dawn of day. "And of these boys," says the chronicler, "I
myself knew one, when he was a noble gentleman of good renown in arms.
His name was Hector Homen, and you will find him in our history well
proved in brave deeds. The other, named Lopez d'Almeida, was a nobleman
of good presence, as I have heard from those who knew him."

This first landing of Europeans on the coasts of unknown Africa, since
the days of Carthaginian colonies, is one of the great moments in the
story of Western expansion and discovery. For it means that Christendom
on her Western side has at last got beyond the first circle of her
enemies, the belt of settled Moslem ground, and has begun to touch the
wider world outside, on the shore of the ocean as well as along the
Eastern trade routes. And it almost seemed to be of little practical
value that Marco Polo and the friars and traders who followed him had
passed Islam in Asia, and reached even furthest Tartary, for it only
made more clear that Asia was not Christian, and that there would have
to be a deadly struggle before European influence could be restored on
this side to what it had been under Alexander; but on the west, by the
Atlantic coasts, once Morocco had been passed, there were only scattered
savage tribes to be dealt with. Baldaya had now reached the pagans
beyond Islam; the rival civilisation of the Arabs and their converts had
been almost outflanked by Don Henry's ships; and the boys who rode up
the Rio d'Ouro beach in 1435 were the first pickets of a great army.
Their charge upon a body of grown men ten times their number, was a
prophecy of the coming conquests of Christian Europe in the new worlds
it was now in search of, in south and east and west.

Now Baldaya instantly followed up his pioneers. He took a party in his
ship's boat and rode up the stream to the scene of the fight, with the
boys on horseback riding by the bank and shewing him the stone-heap
where the natives had rallied on the day before. But in the night they
had all fled farther up country, leaving most of their miserable goods
behind. All these were carried off, and the Portuguese left the Bay of
the Horses, as they called this farthest reach of the Rio d'Ouro, and
pulled back to the varinel, without any further success than a wholesome
disappointment. They must go farther southward if they were to find the
western Nile and the way round Africa.

Still Baldaya was not content. He wished to carry back a prisoner, as
Henry had charged him, and so he coasted along fifty leagues more, from
the Rio d'Ouro to the Port of Gallee, a rock that looked like a galley,
where there was a more prominent headland than he had passed since
Bojador. Here he landed once again, and found some native nets, made of
the bark of trees, but none of the natives who made them.

In the early months of 1436 he and his varinel were again in Portuguese
waters; but the land had now been touched that lay three hundred miles
beyond the old African Finisterre, and in two years (1434-6) Portugal
and all the Christian nations, through Henry's work, had entered on a
new chapter of history. The narrower world of the Roman Empire and the
Mediæval Church was already growing into the modern globe in the break
up of that old terror of the sea which had so long fixed for men the
bounds that they must not pass. The land routes had been cleared to
Western knowledge, though not mastered, by the Crusades; now the far
more dreaded and unknown water-way was fairly entered. For up to this
time there is no fair evidence that either Christian or Moorish
enterprise had ever rounded Bojador, and the theoretical marking of it
upon maps was a very different thing from the experience that it was
just like any other cape, and no more an end of the world than Cape St.
Vincent itself. Neither Genoese, nor Catalans, nor Normans of Dieppe,
nor the Arab wanderers of Edrisi and Ibn Said were before Don Henry now.
His discoveries of the Atlantic islands were findings, rediscoveries;
his coast voyages from the year 1433 are all ventures in the true

But from 1436 to 1441, from Baldaya's second return to the start of Nuno
Tristam and Antam Gonsalvez for Cape Blanco, exploration was not
successful or energetic. The simple cause of this was the Infant's other
business. In these years took place the fatal attempt on Tangier, the
death of King Edward, and the troubles of the minority of his child,
Affonso V.--Affonso the African conqueror of later years.

True it is, we read in our _Chronicle of the Discovery of Guinea_, that
in these years there went to those parts two ships, one at a time, but
the first turned back in the face of bad weather, and the other only
went to the Rio d'Ouro for the skins and oil of sea wolves, and after
taking in a cargo of these, went back to Portugal. And true it is, too,
that in the year 1440 there were armed and sent out two caravels to go
to that same land, but in that they met with contrary fortune, we do not
tell any more of their voyage.



The Prince's exile from politics in his hermitage at Sagres could not be
absolutely unbroken. He was ready to come back to Court and to the
battle field when he was needed. So he appeared at the deathbed of his
father in 1433 and of his brother in 1438, at the siege of Tangier in
1437, and during the first years of the Regency (1438-40) he helped to
govern for his nephew, Edward's son Affonso. From 1436 till 1441 he did
not seriously turn his attention back to discovery.

What is chiefly interesting in the story of these years is the
half-religious reverence paid to Henry by his brothers, by Cortés, and
the whole people. He was above and beyond his age, but not so much as to
be beyond its understanding. He was not a leader where there are no
followers; he was one of the fortunate beings who are most valued by
those who have lived on the closest terms with them, by father and by

It was believed throughout the kingdom that King John's last words were
"an encouragement to the Infant to persevere in his right laudable
purpose of spreading the Christian faith in the lands of darkness";
whether true or not, at any rate it was felt to fit the place and the
man, and Henry's brothers, Pedro and Edward, took up loyally their
father's commission to keep peace at home and sailing ships on the sea.

But the new reign was short and full of trouble. King Edward had
scarcely been crowned when the scheme of an African war was revived by
Don Ferdinand, the fourth of the "Famous Infants" of the House of Aviz
(1433). Ferdinand, always a Crusader at heart, had refused a Cardinal's
hat, that he might keep his strength for killing the enemies of Christ,
and in Henry he found a ready listener. It was the Navigator, in fact,
who planned and organised the scheme of campaign now pressed upon the
King and the country. It was perfectly natural that he should do so. The
war of Ceuta had been of the first importance to his work of discovery;
it had been largely his own achievement, and his wish to conquer
Heathens and Saracens and to make good Christians of them was hardly
less strong than his natural bent for discovery and exploring
settlement. He now took up Ferdinand's suggestion, made of it a definite
project--for a storm of Tangier--and wrung a reluctant consent from
Edward and from Cortés. The chief hindrance was lack of money; even the
popularity of the Government could not prevent "sore grudging and
murmuring among the people." Don Pedro himself was against the whole
plan, and from respect to his wishes the question was referred to the
Pope. Are we to make war on the infidels or no?

If the infidels in question, answered the Curia, were in Christian land
and used Christian churches as mosques of Mohammed, or if they made
incursions upon Christians, though always returning to their own land,
or if doing none of these things they were idolaters or sinned against
nature, the Princes of Portugal would do right to levy war upon them.
But this should be done with prudence and piety, lest the people of
Christ should suffer loss. Further, it was only just to tax a Christian
people for support of an infidel war, when the said war was of necessity
in defence of the kingdom. If the war was voluntary, for the conquering
of fresh lands from the Heathen, it could only be waged at the King's
own cost.

But before this answer arrived, the armament had been made ready, and
things had gone too far to draw back; the Queen was eager for the war,
and had brought King Edward to a more willing consent. So in the face of
bad omens, an illness of Prince Ferdinand's, and the warning words of
Don Pedro, the troops were put on board ship, August 17, 1437. On August
22d they set sail, and on the 26th landed at Ceuta, where Menezes still
commanded. The European triumphs of 1415 and 1418 were still fresh in
the memories of the Moors, and Don Henry was remembered as their hero.
So it was to him that the tribes of the Beni Hamed sent offers of
submission and tribute on the first news of the invasion. The Prince
accepted their presents of gold and silver, cattle and wood, and left
them in peace during the war, for the forces he had with him were barely
sufficient for the siege of Tangier. Out of fourteen thousand men levied
in Portugal, only six thousand answered the roll-call in Ceuta. A great
number had shirked the dangers of Africa; and the room on shipboard had
in itself been absurdly insufficient. The transports provided were just
enough for the battalions that actually crossed, and for a fresh supply
they must be sent back to Lisbon. In the council of war most were agreed
upon this as the best thing on paper, but the practical difficulties
were so great that Henry decided not to wait for reinforcements, but to
push forward with the troops in hand.

The direct road to Tangier by way of Ximera was now found impassable,
and it was determined to march the army round by Tetuan, while the fleet
was brought up along the coast. Ferdinand, who was still suffering and
unequal to the land journey, was to go by sea, while his elder brother,
as chief captain of the whole armament, undertook to force his way along
the inland routes. In this he was successful. In three days he came
before Tetuan, which opened its gates at once, and on September 23d,
without losing a single man, he appeared before Old Tangier, where
Ferdinand was already waiting his arrival.

A rumour was now spread that the Moors were flying from Tangier as they
had fled from Ceuta castle two and twenty years before, but Zala ben
Zala, who commanded here as he had done there, now knew better how to
defend a town, with the desperate courage of his Spanish foes. The
attack instantly ordered by Henry on the gates of Tangier was roughly
repulsed, and for the next fortnight the losses of the crusaders were so
heavy that the siege was turned into a blockade. On September 30th,
10,000 horse and 90,000 foot came down from the upland to the coast for
the relief of Tangier. Henry promptly led his little army into the open
and ordered an attack, and the vast Moorish host which had taken up its
station on a hill within sight of the camp, not daring to accept the
challenge, wavered, broke, and rushed headlong to the mountains. But
after three days they reappeared in greater numbers and even ventured
down into the plain. Again Henry drove them back; again--next day--they
returned; at last, after their force had been swollen to 130,000 men,
and by overwhelming numbers had compelled the Christians to keep within
their trenches, they threw themselves upon the Portuguese outposts.
After a desperate struggle they were repulsed and a sally from the town
was beaten back at the same time; the Europeans seemed ready to meet any
odds. With these victories, Henry was confident that Tangier must soon
fall; he ordered another escalade, but all his scaling ladders were
burnt or broken and many of his men crushed beneath the overhanging
parts of the wall, that were pushed down bodily upon the storming
parties. In this final assault of the 5th of October, two Moors were
taken who told Henry of immense succours now coming up under the Kings
of Fez, of Morocco, and of Tafilet. They had with them, said the
captives, at least 100,000 horse; their infantry was beyond count. Sure
enough; on the 9th of October, the hills round Tangier seemed covered
with the native armies, and it became clear that the siege must be
raised. All that was left for Henry was to bring off his soldiers in
safety. He tried his best. With quiet energy he issued his orders for
all contingents; the marines and seamen were to embark at once; the
artillery was given in charge of the Marshal of the Kingdom; Almada, the
Hercules of Portugal, was to draw up the foot in line of battle; the
Infant himself took his station with the cavalry on a small piece of
rising ground.

When the Moors charged, they were well received. In spite of all their
strength, one army being held ready to take another's place, as men grew
tired, the Portuguese held their own. Henry had a horse killed under
him; Cabral, his Master of Horse, fell at his side with five and twenty
of his men; the cowardice of one regiment, who fled to the ships, almost
ruined the defence; but when night fell, the Moorish columns fell
sullenly back and left the Infant one more chance of flight and safety.
It was the only hope, and even this was lost through the desertion of a
traitor. Martin Vieyra, the apostate priest, once Henry's chaplain, now
gave up to the enemy's generals the whole plan of escape.

After a long debate, it was determined, not to massacre the Christian
army, but to take sureties from them that Ceuta should be restored with
all the Moorish captives in the Prince's hands. These terms were
accepted, for it was soon known that escape was hopeless.

But next morning a large party of Moors, with more than the ordinary
Moslem treachery, made a last fierce attempt to surprise the camp. For
eight hours, eight separate attacks went on; when all had failed, the
retreating Berbers tried to set fire to the woodwork of the
entrenchments. With the greatest trouble, Henry saved his timbers, and
under cover of night fortified a new and smaller camp close to the
shore. Food and water had both run short, and the besiegers, who were
now become the besieged, had to kill their horses and cook them, with
saddles for fuel. They were saved from a fatal drought by a lucky shower
of rain, but their ruin was only a matter of time, for it was hopeless
to try an embarkation under the walls of the city with all the hosts of
Morocco waiting for the first chance of a successful storm; but the
losses of the native kings and chiefs had been so great that they were
ready to sign a written truce and to keep their cut-throats to the terms
of it.

On the 15th of October, Don Henry, for the Portuguese, agreed that
Ceuta, with all the Moorish prisoners kept in guard by Menezes, should
be given up and that no further attack should be made by the King of
Portugal on any side of Barbary for one hundred years. The arms and
baggage of the crusaders were to be surrendered at once: directly this
was done they were to embark, with none of the honours of war, and to
sail back at once to Europe. Don Ferdinand was left with twelve nobles
as hostages for the treaty till Ceuta was restored; on the other side
Zala ben Zala's eldest son was all the security given. Even after this,
a plot was laid to massacre the "Christian dogs" as they passed through
the streets of Tangier, on their free passage to the harbour which the
treaty secured them. Henry got wind of this just in time, and instantly
embarked his men by boats from the shore outside the walls, but his
rearguard was set upon just as they were leaving the land and about
sixty were killed.

It was a terrible disaster. Although his losses were but some five
hundred killed and disabled, Henry was overcome with the disgrace. As he
thought of his brother among the Moors, he refused to show his face in
Portugal and shut himself up in Ceuta. Here, as he worried himself to
find some means of saving Ferdinand, he fell dangerously ill, till fresh
hope came to him with the arrival of Don John, whom Edward had sent to
the help of his brothers with some reserves from Algarve. Henry and John
consulted about Ferdinand's ransom and at last offered their chief
hostage, Zala ben Zala's boy, as an exchange for the Infant. It was the
only ransom, they told the Moors, that would ever be thought of; Ceuta
would never be surrendered.

Don John's mission was a failure, as might have been expected, and both
the Princes were now recalled to Portugal, where Henry steadily refused
to go to Court, staying at Sagres in an almost complete retirement from
his usual interests, till King Edward's death forced him again into
action. It was the unavoidable shame of the only choice given to
himself and the kingdom that paralysed his energy, and made him moody
and helpless through this time of inaction and disgrace.

    "Captive he saw his brother, bright Fernand
    The Saint, aspiring high with purpose brave,
    Who as a hostage in the Saracen's hand
    Betrayed himself his 'leagured host to save.
    Lest bought with price of Ceita's potent town
    To public welfare be preferred his own."[37]

[Footnote 37: Camoëns' _Lusiads_, iv., 52.]

The mere failure to storm Tangier was brilliantly atoned for by the
bravery of the army and the repeated victories over immensely superior
force. But now either Ceuta must be exchanged for Ferdinand, or the
youngest and favourite brother of the House of Aviz must be left to die
among the Berbers. Many, if not most of the Cortés, summoned in 1438 to
Leiria to discuss the ransom, were in favour of letting Ceuta go; but
all the chiefs of the Government, except the King himself, "thought it
not just to deliver a whole people to the fury of the infidels for the
liberty of one man." Even Henry at last agreed in this with Don Pedro
and Don John.

Edward was in despair; he was willing to pay almost any price to recover
Ferdinand, and in hope of finding support he now appealed from his own
royal house and his nobles to the Pope, the cardinals, and the crowned
heads of Europe. All agreed that a Christian city must not be bartered
even for a Christian Prince; Edward's offers of money and "perpetual
peace" were scornfully rejected by the Moors, who held to their bond
"Ceuta or nothing"--and their wretched captive, treated to all the
filthy horrors of Mussulman imprisonment and slavery and torture, died
under his agony in the sixth year of his living death and the
forty-first of his age, 5th June, 1443.

Before this his loss had dragged down to the same fate his eldest
brother, King Edward, and but for the inspiration of a great purpose,
which again put meaning into his life, Henry might have died of the same
"illness of soul." Every Portuguese burned to revenge the Constant
Prince; the Pope was called upon to approve a new crusade, levies were
made and vessels built, when the plague broke out with terrible
violence, and ravaged every class and every district as it had not since
the days of the Black Death. The King, seized by it in his misery and
weakness and bitter disappointment, fell a victim. The wreck of all his
hopes left him with hardly a wish to live, and on September 9, 1438, at
the age of forty-seven, and after a reign of five years, he died at
Thomar, in the act of breaking open a letter, but not before Henry had
come to his side.

To the last he kept on working for his people, and it was in the fatigue
of travelling from one plague-stricken town to another that he caught
the pest. Among all the kings of Christendom there was never a better,
or nobler, or more luckless, an Alfred with the fortune of "Unready"

By his last will there was fresh trouble provided for Don Henry and Don
Pedro and the Cortés. His successor--the child Affonso V., now six years
of age--was strictly charged to rescue Ferdinand even at the price of
Ceuta; this was nothing to practical politics; but in naming his wife,
Leonor of Aragon, along with Don Pedro and Don Henry, as guardian of his
children and regent of the kingdom, he put power in the wrong place.

The Portuguese were always intensely suspicious of foreign government,
and after the age of Leonora Telles they might well refuse a female
Regent. On the other side King Edward's Queen, who had won his absolute
trust as a wife and a mother, was not willing to stand aside for Pedro
or for Henry. She began to organise a party, and she worked on her side,
the nobles and the patriots counterworked on theirs. Don John was the
first of her husband's brothers to take his natural place as a leader of
the national opposition; Henry for a time seemed to waver between
friendship and loyalty; all who knew the Queen loved her, but the people
hated the very notion of a foreign female reign. Like John Knox they
could not be fair to the Monstrous Regiment of Women, and their voices
grew clearer and clearer for Don Pedro and his rights, real or supposed.
The eldest of the young King's uncles, the right-hand man of the State
since his return from travel in 1428, he was the proper guardian of the
kingdom; Henry was a willing exile from most of Court life, though his
support was the greatest moral strength of any government; John had
begun the movement of discontent, but no one thought of him before his
brothers; while they lived his only part was in helping them on their

Donna Leonor recognised her chief danger in Don Pedro, and tried to win
him over. When she summoned Cortés, she pressed him to sign the royal
writs; then she offered to betroth his daughter Isabel to her son; Pedro
secured a written promise, and waited for the opening of the National
Assembly in 1439. Here a fierce outcry was raised by a party of the
nobles against the marriage-settlement of their King, but Don Pedro was
too strong to be put down. He moved on by slow and steady intrigue
towards the Regency he claimed. Henry had now appeared as peacemaker,
and in his brother's interests arranged a compromise. The Queen was to
keep the actual charge of her children, and to train the little King for
his duties; Pedro was to govern the state as "Defender of the Kingdom
and of the King"; the Count of Barcellos, soon to be Duke of Braganza,
the leader of the factious and fractious party, was to be bought off
with the Administration of the Justice of the Interior.

The Queen at first struggled on against this dethronement; fortified
herself in Alemquer, and sent for help from her old home in Aragon. At
this the mob rose in fury and only Henry was able to prevent a massacre
and a war that would have stopped the expansion of Portugal abroad for
many a day. He went straight to Alemquer (1439), talked Queen Leonor
into reason, and brought her back with him to Lisbon, where she
introduced Affonso to his people and his Parliament. For another year
Henry stayed at Court, completing his work of settlement and
reconciliation, and towards the end of 1440 that work seemed fairly
safe. The fear of civil war was over; Don Pedro's government was well
started; Henry could now go back to Sagres to his other work of

It was time to do something on this side. For in the past five years
scarcely any progress had been made to Guinea and the Indies.




But with the year 1441 discovery begins again in earnest, and the
original narratives of Henry's captains, which old Azurara has preserved
in his chronicle, become full of life and interest. From this point to
the year 1448, where ends the _Chronica_, its tale is exceedingly
picturesque, as it was written down from the remembrance of
eye-witnesses and actors in the discoveries and conquests it records.
And though the detail may be wearisome to a modern reader as a wordy and
emotional and unscientific history, yet the story told is delightfully
fresh and vivid, and it is told with a simple naïveté and truth that
seems now almost lost in the self-consciousness of modern literature.

"It seems to me, says our author" (Azurara's favourite way of alluding
to himself), "that the recital of this history should give as much
pleasure as any other matter by which we satisfy the wish of our Prince;
and the said wish became all the greater, as the things for which he
had toiled so long, were more within his view. Wherefore I will now try
to tell of something new," of some progress "in his wearisome seedtime
of preparation."

"Now it was so that in this year 1441, as the affairs of the kingdom had
now some repose, though it was not to be a long one, the Infant caused
them to arm a little ship, which he gave to Antam Gonsalvez, his
chamberlain, a young captain, only charging him to load a cargo of skins
and oil. For because his age was so unformed, and his authority of needs
so slight, he laid all the lighter his commands upon him and looked for
all the less in performance."

But when Antam Gonsalvez had performed the voyage that had been ordered
him, he called Affonso Goterres, another stripling of the Infant's
household and the men of his ship, who were in all twenty-one, and said
to them, Brothers and friends, it seems to me to be shame to turn back
to our Lord's presence, with so little service done; just as we have
received the lest strict orders to do more than this, so much more ought
we to try it with the greater zeal. And how noble an action would it be,
if we who came here only to take a cargo of such wretched merchandise as
these sea wolves, should be the first to bring a native prisoner before
the presence of our Lord. In reason we ought to find some hereabout, for
it is certain there are people, and that they traffic with camels and
other beasts, who bear their merchandise; and the traffic of these men
must be chiefly towards the sea and back again; and since they have yet
no knowledge of us, they will be scattered and off their guard, so that
we can seize them; with all which our Lord the Infant will be not a
little content, as he will thus have knowledge of who and what sort of
people are the dwellers in this land. Then what shall be our reward, you
know well enough from the great expense and trouble our Prince has been
at, in past years, only to this one end.

The crew shouted a hearty "Do as you please; we will follow," and in the
night following Antam Gonsalvez set aside nine men, who seemed to him
most fit, and went up from the shore about three miles, till they came
on a path, which they followed, thinking that by this they might come up
with some man or woman, whom they might catch. And going on nine miles
farther they came upon a track of some forty or fifty men and boys, as
they thought, who had been coming the opposite way to that our men were
going. Now the heat was very great and by reason of that, as well as of
the trouble they had been at, the long tramp they had on foot and the
failure of water, Antam Gonsalvez saw the weariness of his men, that it
was very great. So let us turn back and follow after these men, said he,
and turning back toward the sea, they came upon a man stark naked,
walking after and driving a camel, with two spears in his hand, and of
our men, as they rushed on after him, there was not one who kept any
remembrance of his great weariness. As for the native, though he was
quite alone, and saw so many coming down upon him, he stood on his
defence, as if wishing to show that he could use those weapons of his,
and making his face by far more fierce than his courage was warrant
for. Affonso Goterres struck him with a dart and the Moor, frightened by
his wounds, threw down his arms like a conquered thing and so was taken,
not without great joy of our men. And going on a little farther they saw
upon a hill the people whose track they followed. And they did not want
the will to make for these also, but the sun was now very low and they
very weary, and thinking that to risk more might bring them rather
damage than profit, they determined to go back to their ship.

But as they were going, they came upon a blackamoor woman, a slave of
the people on the hill, and some were minded to let her alone, for fear
of raising a fresh skirmish, which was not convenient in the face of the
people on the hill, who were still in sight and more than twice their
number. But the others were not so poor-spirited as to leave the matter
thus, Antam Gonsalvez crying out vehemently that they should seize her.
So the woman was taken and those "on the hill made a show of coming down
to her rescue; but seeing our men quite ready to receive them, they
first retraced their steps and then made off in the opposite direction."
And so Antam Gonsalvez took the first captives.

And for that the philosopher saith, resumes the next chapter of the
chronicle, "that the beginning is two parts of the whole matter," great
praise should be given to this noble squire, who now received his
knighthood, as we shall tell. For now we have to see how Nuno Tristam, a
noble knight, valiant and zealous, who had been brought up from boyhood
at the Infant's Court, came to that place where was Antam Gonsalvez,
bringing with him an armed caravel with the express order of his lord
that he was to go to the port of Gallee and as far beyond as he could,
and that he should try and make some prisoners by every means in his
power. And you may imagine what was the joy of the two captains, both
natives of one and the self-same realm and brought up in one and the
self-same household, thus to meet so far from home. And now Nuno Tristam
said that an Arab he had brought with him, a servant of the Infant,
should speak with Gonsalvez' prisoners, and see if he understood their
tongue, and that if he understood it, it would profit them much thus to
know all the state and conditions of the people of that land. But the
tongue of the Arab was very different from that of the captives, so that
they could not understand each other.

And when Nuno Tristam perceived that he could not learn any more of the
manner of that land, he would fain be gone, but envy made him wish to do
something before the eyes of his fellows that should be good for all.

You know, he said to Antam Gonsalvez, that for fifteen years the Infant
has been seeking in vain for certain news of this land and its people,
in what law or lordship they do live. Now let us take twenty men, ten
from each of the crews, and go up country in search of those that you
found. Not so, said the other, for those whom we saw will have warned
all the others, and peradventure when we are looking out to capture
them, we may in our turn become their prisoners. But where we have
gained a victory let us not return to suffer loss. Nuno Tristam said
this counsel was good, but there were two squires whose longing to do
well outran all besides. Gonsalo de Cintra was the first of these, whose
valour we shall know more of in the progress of this history, and he
counselled that as soon as it was night they should set out in search of
the natives, and so it was determined. And such was their good fortune
that they came early in the night to where the people lay scattered in
two dwellings; now the place between the two was but small, and our men
divided themselves in three parties and began to shout at the top of
their voice "Portugal," "St. James for Portugal," the noise of which
threw the enemy into such confusion, that they began to run without any
order, as ours fell upon them. The men only made some show of defending
themselves with assegais, especially two who fought with Nuno Tristam
till they received their death. Three others were killed and ten were
taken, of men, women, and children. But without question, many more
would have been killed or taken if all our men had rushed in together at
the first. And among those who were taken was one of their chiefs, named
Adahu, who shewed full well in his face that he was nobler than the

Then, when the matter was well over, all came to Antam Gonsalvez and
begged him to be made a Knight, while he said it was against reason that
for so small a service he should have so great an honour, and that his
age would not allow it, and that he would not take it without doing
greater things than these, and much more of that sort. But at last, by
the instant demand of all others, Nuno Tristam knighted Antam Gonsalvez,
and the place was called from that time "Port of the Cavalier."

When the party got back to the ships, Nuno Tristam's Arab was set to
work again, with no better success, "for the language of the captives
was not Moorish but Azaneguy of Sahara," the tongue of the great desert
zone of West Africa, between the end of the northern strip of fertile
country round Fez and Morocco, and the beginning of the rich tropical
region at the Senegal, where the first real blacks were found. The
Portuguese were in despair of finding a prisoner who could "tell the
lord Infant what he wanted to know," but now the chief, "even as he
shewed that he was more noble than the other captives, so now it
appeared that he had seen more than they, and had been to other lands
where he had learnt the Moorish tongue so that he understood our Arab
and answered to whatever was asked of him."

And so to make trial of the people of the land and to have of them more
certain knowledge, they put that Arab on shore and one of the Moorish
women their captives with him, who were to speak to the natives if they
could, about the ransom of those they had taken and about exchange of

And at the end of two days there came down to the shore quite one
hundred and fifty Moors on foot, and thirty-five mounted on camels and
horses, and though they seemed to be a race both barbarous and bestial,
there was not wanting in them a certain sharpness, with which they
could cheat their enemies, for at first there only appeared three of
them on the beach, and the rest lay in ambush till our men should land
and they could rush out and master them, which thing they could easily
have done, so many were they, if our men had been a whit less sharp than
themselves. But when the Moors saw that our boats did not land, but
turned back again to the ship, they discovered their treachery, and all
came down in a body upon the beach, hurling stones and making gestures
of defiance, shewing us the Arab we had sent to them as a captive in
their hands.

So our men came back to the ship and made their division of the
prisoners, according to the lot of each. And Antam Gonsalvez turned back
because he had now loaded his caravel with the cargo that the Infant had
ordered him, but Nuno Tristam went on, as he for his part had in charge.
But as his vessel was in need of repair, he put to shore and careened
and refitted it as well as he could, keeping his tides as if he were
before the port of Lisbon, at which boldness of his many wondered
greatly. And sailing on again, he passed the port of "Gallee," and came
to a cape which he called "The White" (Cape Blanco), where the crew
landed to see if they could make any captures. But after finding only
the tracks of men and some nets, they turned back, seeing that for that
time they could not do any more than they had already done.

Antam Gonsalvez came home first with his part of the booty and then
arrived Nuno Tristam, "whose present reception and future reward were
answerable to the trouble he had borne, like a fertile land that with
but little sowing answers the husbandman."

The chief, or "cavalier" as he is called, whom Antam Gonsalvez brought
home was able to "make the Infant understand a great deal of the state
of that land where he had been," though as for the rest, they were
pretty well useless, except as slaves, "for their tongue could not be
understood by any other Moors who had been in that land." But the Prince
was so encouraged by the sight of the first captives that he at once
began to think "how it would be necessary to send to those parts many a
time his ships and crews well armed, where they would have to fight with
the infidels. So he determined to send at once to the Holy Father and
ask of him that he should give him of the treasures of Holy Church, for
the salvation of the souls of those who in this conquest should meet
their end."

Pope Eugenius IV., then reigning, if not governing, in the great
Apostolic See of the West, answered this appeal "with great joy" and
with all the rhetoric of the Papal Register. "As it hath now been
notified to us by our beloved son Henry, Duke of Viseu, Master of the
Order of Christ, that trusting firmly in the aid of God, for the
confusion of the Moors and enemies of Christ in those lands that they
have desolated, and for the exaltation of the Catholic Faith,--and
because that the Knights and Brethren of the said Order of Christ
against the said Moors and other enemies of the Faith have waged war
with the Grace of God, under the banner of the said Order,--and to the
intent that they may bestir themselves to the said war with yet greater
fervour, we do to each and all of those engaged in the said war, by
Apostolic authority and by these letters, grant full remission of all
those sins of which they shall be truly penitent at heart and of which
they have made confession by their mouth. And whoever breaks,
contradicts, or acts against the letter of this mandate, let him lie
under the curse of the All-Mighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter
and Paul."

And besides, adds the chronicle, rather quaintly, of more temporal and
material benefits, the Infant D. Pedro, then Regent of the kingdom, gave
to his brother Henry a charter, granting him the whole of the fifth of
the profits which appertained to the King, and, considering that it was
by him alone that the whole matter of the discovery was carried out at
infinite trouble and expense, he ordered further that no one should go
to those parts without D. Henry's licence and express command.

The chronicle, which has told us how Antam Gonsalvez made the first
captives, now goes on to say how the same one of the Prince's captains
made the first ransom. For the captive chief, "that cavalier of whom we
spoke," Henry's first prize from the lands beyond Bojador, pined away in
Europe, "and many times begged of Antam Gonsalvez that he would take him
back to his own land, where, as he said, they would give for him five or
six blackamoors, and he said, too, that there were two boys among the
other captives for whom they would get a like ransom." So the Infant
sent him back with Gonsalvez to his own people, "as it was better to
save ten souls than three, for though they were black, yet had they
souls like others, all the more as they were not of Moorish race, but
Heathen and so all the easier to lead into the way of salvation. From
the negroes too it would be possible to get news of the land beyond
them. For not only of the Negro land did the Infant wish to know more
certainly, but also of the Indies and of the land of Prester John."

So Gonsalvez sailed with his ransom, and in his ship went a noble
stranger, like Vallarte the Dane, whom we shall meet later on, one of a
kind which was always being drawn to Henry's Court. This was Balthasar
the Austrian, a gentleman of the Emperor's Household, who had entered
the Infant's service to try his fortune at Ceuta, where he had got his
knighthood, and who now "was often heard to say that his great wish was
to see a storm, before he left that land of Portugal, that he might tell
those who had never seen one what it was like.

"And certainly his fortune favoured him. For at the first start, they met
with such a storm that it was by a marvel they escaped destruction."

Again they put out to sea, and this time reached the Rio d'Ouro in
safety, where they landed their chief prisoner, "very well vested in the
robes that the Infant had ordered to be given him," under promise that
he would soon come back and bring his tribe with him.

"But as soon as he got safely off, he very soon forgot his promises,
which Antam Gonsalvez had trusted, thinking that his nobility would
hold him fast and not let him break his word, but by this deceit all our
men got warning that they could not trust any of the natives save under
the most certain security."

The ships now went twelve miles up the Rio d'Ouro, cast anchor, and
waited seven days without a sign of anybody, but on the eighth there
came a Moor, on top of a white camel, with fully one hundred others who
had all joined to ransom the two boys. Ten of the tribe were given in
exchange for the young chiefs, "and the man who managed this barter was
one Martin Fernandez, the Infant's own Ransomer of Captives, who shewed
well that he had knowledge of the Moorish tongue, for he was understood
by those people whom Nuno Tristam's Arab, Moor though he was by nation,
could not possibly get speech with, except only the one chief, who had
now escaped."

With the "Blackamoors," Antam Gonsalvez got as ransom what was even more
precious, a little gold dust, the first ever brought by Europeans direct
from the Guinea Coast, which more thoroughly won the Prince's cause at
home and brought over more enemies and scoffers and indifferentists to
his side than all the discoveries in the world.

"Many ostrich eggs, too," were included in the native ransom, "such that
one day men saw at the Infant's table three dishes of the same, as fresh
and as good as those of any other domestic fowls." Did the Court of
Sagres suppose the ostrich to be some large kind of hen?

What was still more to the Prince's mind, "those same Moors related,
that in those parts there were merchants who trafficked in that gold
that was found there among them"--the same merchants, in fact, whose
caravels Henry had already known on the Mediterranean coast, and whose
starting-point he had now begun to touch. Ever since the days of the
first Caliphs, this Sahara commerce had gone on under the control of
Islam; for centuries these caravans had crossed the valleys and plains
to the south of Morocco and sold their goods--pepper, slaves, and gold
dust--in Moslem Ceuta and Moslem Andalusia; now, after seven hundred
years of monopoly, this Moslem trade was broken in upon by the
Europeans, who, in fifty years' time, broke into the greater monopoly of
the Indian Seas, when Da Gama sailed from Lisbon to Malabar (1497-9).

Next year (1443) came Nuno Tristam's turn once more. People were now
eager to sail in the Infant's service, after the slaves, and still more
the gold dust, had been really seen and handled in Portugal, and "that
noble cavalier," for each and all of the three reasons of his
fellows--"to serve his lord," "to gain honour," "to increase his
profit,"--was eager to follow up his first successes.

Commanding a caravel manned in great part from the Prince's household,
he went out straight to Cape Blanco, the white headland, which he had
been the first to reach in 1441. Passing twenty-five leagues,
seventy-five miles beyond, into the bank or bight of Arguin, he saw a
little island, from which twenty-five canoes came off to meet him, all
hollowed out of logs of wood, with a host of native savages, "naked not
for swimming in the water, but for their ancient custom." The natives
hung their legs over the sides of their boats, and paddled with them
like oars, so that "our men, looking at them from a distance and quite
unused to the sight, thought they were birds that were skimming so over
the water." As for their size, the sailors expected much greater marvels
in those parts of the world, where every map and traveller's tale made
the sea swarm with monsters as big as a continent.

"But as soon as they saw they were men, then were their hearts full of a
new pleasure, for that they saw the chance of a capture." They launched
the ship's boat at once, chased them to the shore, and captured
fourteen; if the boat had been stronger, the tale would have been
longer, for with a crew of seven they could not hold any more prisoners,
and so the rest escaped.

With this booty they sailed on to another island, "where they found an
infinite number of herons, of which they made good cheer, and so
returned Nuno Tristam very joyfully to the Prince."

This last piece of discovery was of much more value than Nuno thought.
He saw in it a first-rate slave hunting-ground, but it became the
starting-point for trade and intercourse with the Negro States of the
Senegal and the Gambia, to the south and east. It was here, in the bay
of Arguin, where the long desert coast of the Sahara makes its last bend
towards the rich country of the south,--that Henry built in 1448 that
fort which Cadamosto found, in the next ten years, had become the centre
of a great European commerce, which was also among the first permanent
settlements of the new Christian exploration, one of the first steps of
modern colonisation.

And now the volunteer movement had fairly begun. Where in the beginning,
says Azurara, people had murmured very loudly against the Prince's
enterprise, each one grumbling as if the Infant was spending some part
of _his_ property, now when the way had been fairly opened and the
fruits of those lands began to be seen in Portugal in much greater
abundance, men began, softly enough, to praise what they had so loudly
decried. Great and small alike had declared that no profit would ever
come of these ventures, but when the cargoes of slaves and gold began to
arrive, all were forced to turn their blame into flattery, and to say
that the Infant was another Alexander the Great, and as they saw the
houses of others full of new servants from the new discovered lands and
their property always increasing, there were few who did not long to try
their fortune in the same adventures.

The first great movement of the sort came after Nuno's return at the end
of 1443. The men of Lagos took advantage of Henry's settlement so near
them in his town of Sagres, to ask for leave to sail at their own cost
to the Prince's coast of Guinea. For no one could go without his

One Lançarote, a "squire, brought up in the Infant's household, an
officer of the royal customs in the town of Lagos, and a man of great
good sense," was the spokesman of these merchant adventurers. He won his
grant very easily, "the Infant was very glad of his request, and bade
him sail under the banner of the Order of Christ," so that six caravels
started in the spring of 1444 on the first exploring voyage that we can
call national since the Prince had begun his work.

So, as the beginning of general interest in the Crusade of Discovery
which Henry had now preached to his countrymen for thirty years, as the
beginning of the career of Henry's chief captain, the head of his
merchant allies, as the beginning, in fact, of a new and bright period,
this first voyage of Lançarote's, this first Armada sent out to find and
to conquer the Moors and Blacks of the unknown or half-known South, is
worth more than a passing notice.

And this is not for its interest or importance in the story of discovery
pure and simple, but as a proof that the cause of discovery itself had
become popular, and as evidence that the cause of trade and of political
ambition had become thoroughly identified with that of exploration. The
expansion of the European _nations_, which had languished since the
Crusades, had begun again. What was more unfortunate, from a modern
standpoint, the African slave trade, as a part of European commerce,
begins here too. It is useless to try to explain it away.

Henry's own motives were not those of the slave-driver; it seems true
enough that the captives, when once brought home to Spain, were treated,
under his orders, with all kindness; his own wish seems to have been to
use this man-hunting traffic as a means to Christianise and civilise the
native tribes, to win over the whole by the education of a few
prisoners. But his captains did not always aim so high. The actual
seizure of the captives--Moors and Negroes--along the coast of Guinea,
was as barbarous and as ruthless as most slave-drivings. There was
hardly a capture made without violence and bloodshed; a raid on a
village, a fire and sack and butchery, was the usual course of
things--the order of the day. And the natives, whatever they might gain
when fairly landed in Europe, did not give themselves up very readily to
be taught; as a rule, they fought desperately, and killed the men who
had come to do them good, whenever they had a chance.

The kidnapping, which some of the Spanish patriot writers seem to think
of as simply an act of Christian charity, "a corporal work of mercy,"
was at the time a matter of profit and money returns. Negro bodies would
sell well, Negro villages would yield plunder, and, like the killing of
wild Irish in the sixteenth century, the Prince's men took a Black-Moor
hunt as the best of sport. It was hardly wonderful, then, that the later
sailors of Cadamosto's day (1450-60) found all the coast up in arms
against them, and that so many fell victims to the deadly poisoned
arrows of the Senegal and the Gambia. Every native believed, as they
told one of the Portuguese captains in a parley, that the explorers
carried off their people to cook and eat them.

In most of the speeches that are given us in the chronicle of the time,
the masters encourage their men to these slave-raids by saying, first,
what glory they will get by a victory; next, what a profit can be made
sure by a good haul of captives; last, what a generous reward the
Prince will give for people who can tell him about these lands.
Sometimes, after reprisals had begun, the whole thing is an affair of
vengeance, and thus Lançarote, in the great voyage of 1445, coolly
proposes to turn back at Cape Blanco, without an attempt at discovery of
any sort, "because the purpose of the voyage was now accomplished." A
village had been burnt, a score of natives had been killed, and twice as
many taken. Revenge was satisfied.

It was only here and there that much was said about the Prince's purpose
of exploration, of finding the western Nile or, Prester John, or the way
round Africa to India; most of the sailors, both men and officers, seem
to know that this, or something towards this, is the "will of their
Lord," but it is very few who start for discovery only, and still fewer
who go straight on, turning neither to right hand nor left, till they
have got well beyond the farthest of previous years, and added some
piece of new knowledge to the map of the known world out of the blank of
the unknown.

What terrified ignorance had done before, greed did now, and the last
hindrance was almost worse than the first. So one might say,
impatiently, looking at the great expense, the energy, and time and life
spent on the voyages of this time, and especially of the years 1444-8.
More than forty ships sail out, more than nine hundred captives are
brought home, and the new lands found are all discovered by three or
four explorers. National interest seems awakened to very little purpose.
But what explains the slow progress of discovery, explains also the
fact that any progress, however slow, was made at all, apart from the
personal action of Henry himself. Without the mercantile interest, the
Prince's death would have been the end and ruin of his schemes for many
a year.

But for the hope of adventure and of profitable plunder, and the
certainty of reward; but for the assurance, so to say, of such and such
a revenue on the ventures of the time, Portuguese "public opinion" would
not probably have been much ahead of other varieties of the same organ.
In deciding the abstract question to which the Prince had given his
life, the mob of Lisbon or of Lagos would hardly have been quicker than
modern mobs to rise to a notion above that of personal gain. If the
cause of discovery and an empire to come had been left to them, the
labour leaders might have said then in Spain, as some of them have said
to-day in England, "What is all this talk about the Empire? What is it
to us working men? We don't want the Empire, we want more wages." And so
when the great leader was dead, and the people were left to carry out
his will, his spiritual foresight of great scientific discoveries, his
ideas of conversion and civilisation, were not the things for the sake
of which ordinary men were reconciled to his scheme and ready to finish
his work. If they thought or spoke or toiled for the finding of the way
to India, it was to find the gold and spices and jewels of an earthly

This is not fancy. It is simply impossible to draw any other conclusion
from the original accounts of these voyages in Azurara's chronicle, for
Azurara himself, though one of Henry's first converts, a man who
realised something of the grandeur of his master's schemes and their
reach beyond a merely commercial ideal through discovery to empire, yet
preserves in the speeches and actions of captains and seamen alike,
proof enough of the thoroughly commonplace aims of most of the first

On the other hand, the strength of the movement lay of course in the few
exceptions. As long as all or nearly all the instruments employed were
simply buccaneers, with a single eye to trade profits, discovery could
not advance very fast or very far. Till the real meaning of the Prince's
life had impressed his nearest followers with something of his own
spirit, there could be no exploration, except by accident, though
without this background of material gain no national interest could have
been enlisted in exploration at all.

Real progress in this case was by the slow increase of that inner circle
which really shared Henry's own ambition, of that group of men who went
out, not to make bargains or do a little killing, but to carry the flag
of Portugal and of Christ farther than it had ever been planted before,
"according to the will of the Lord Infant." And as these men were called
to the front, and only as they were there at all, was there any rapid
advance. If two sailors, Diego Cam and Bartholomew Diaz, could within
four years, in two voyages, explore the whole south-west coast of Africa
from the Equator to the Cape of Tempests or of Good Hope, was it not
absurd that the earlier caravels, after Bojador was once passed should
hang so many years round the north-west shores of the Sahara?

Even some of the more genuine discoverers, the most trusted of the
Prince's household, men like Gil Eannes, the first who saw the coasts
beyond the terrible Bojador, or Diniz Diaz, or Antam Gonsalvez, or Nuno
Tristam, as they come before us in Azurara's chronicle, are more like
their men than their master.

He thought of the slaves they brought home "with unspeakable pleasure,
as to the saving of their souls, which but for him, would have been for
ever lost." They thought a good deal more, like the crowd that gathered
at the slave market in Lagos, of the "distribution of the captives," and
of the money they would get for each. At those sales, which Azurara
describes so vividly, Henry had the bearing of one who cared little for
amassing plunder, and was known, once and again, to give away his fifth
of the spoil, "for his spoil was chiefly in the success of his great
wishes." But his suite seems to have been as keenly on the look-out for
such favours as their lord was easy in bestowing them.

To return to Lançarote's voyage:

"For that the Infant knew, by certain Moors that Nuno Tristam had
carried off, that in the Isle of Naar, in the Bay of Arguin, and in the
parts thereabout, were more than two hundred souls," the six caravels
began with a descent on that island. Five boats were launched and thirty
men in them, and they set off from the ships about sunset. And rowing
all that night, we are told, they came about the time of dawn to the
island that they sought. And as day was breaking they got up to a
Moorish village close to the shore, where were living all the people in
the island. At sight of this the boats' crews drew up, and the leaders
consulted whether to go on or turn back. It was decided to attack.
Thirty "Portugals" ought to be a match for five or six times as many
natives; the sailors landed and rushed upon the villagers and "saw the
Moors with their women and children coming out of their huts as fast as
they could, when they caught sight of their enemy; and our men, crying
out 'St. James, St. George, Portugal,' fell upon them, killing and
taking all they could. There you might have seen mothers catch up their
children, husbands their wives, each one trying to fly as best he could.
Some plunged into the sea, others thought to hide themselves in the
corners of their hovels, others hid their children underneath the shrubs
that grew about there, where our men found them.

"And at last our Lord God, who gives to all a due reward, to our men
gave that day a victory over their enemies, in recompence for all their
toil in His service, for they took, what of men, women, and children,
one hundred and sixty-five, without counting the slain."

Then finding from the captives that there were other well-peopled
islands near at hand, they raided these for more prisoners. In their
next descent they could not catch any men, but of women and little
boys, not yet able to run, they seized seventeen or eighteen; soon after
this they did meet the "Moormen bold," who were drawing together on all
sides to defend themselves; a great power of three hundred savages
chased another raiding party to their boats.

That the whole expedition had no thought of discovery was plain enough
from the fact that Lançarote did not try to go beyond the White Cape
(Blanco), which had been already passed several times, but turned back
directly he found the hunting grounds becoming deserted, and a descent
producing no prize, except one girl, who had chosen to go to sleep when
the rest of the people fled up country at the first sight of the
Christian boats.

The voyage was a slave chase from first to last, and two hundred and
thirty-five Blacks were the result. Their landing and their sale at
Lagos was a day of great excitement, a long remembered 8th of August.
"Very early in the morning, because of the heat (of the later day) the
sailors began to land their captives, who as they were placed all
together in the field by the landing-place, were indeed a wonderful
sight; for among them there were some that were almost white, of
beautiful form and face; others were darker; and others again as black
as moles and so hideous, alike in face and body, that they looked, to
any one who saw them, the very images of a Lower Hemisphere."

But what heart so stern, exclaims the chronicler, as not to be pierced
with pity to see that company. For some held down their heads, crying
piteously, others looked mournfully upon one another, others stood
moaning very wretchedly, sometimes looking up to the height of Heaven,
calling out with shrieks of agony, as if invoking the Father of Nature;
others grovelled upon the ground, beating their foreheads with their
hands, while others again made their moan in a sort of dirge, in their
own way, for though one could not understand the words, the sense of all
was plain in the agony of those who uttered it.

But most terrible was that agony when came the partition and each
possessor took away his lot. Wives were divided from husbands, fathers
from sons, brothers from brothers, each being forced to go where his lot
might send him. Parents and children who had been ranged opposite one
another, now rushed forward to embrace, if it were for the last time;
mothers, holding their little children in their arms, threw themselves
down, covering their babes with their own bodies.

And yet these slaves were treated with kindness, and no difference was
made between them and other and freeborn servants. The younger captives
were taught trades, and those who showed that they could manage property
were set free and married. Widow ladies treated the girls they bought
like their own daughters, and often left them dowries by will, that they
might marry as entirely free. Never have I known one of these captives,
says Azurara, put in irons like other slaves, or one who did not become
a Christian. Often have I been present at the baptisms or marriages of
these slaves, when their masters made as much and as solemn a matter of
it as if it had been a child or a parent of their own.

During Henry's life the action of buccaneers on the African coast was a
good deal kept in check by the spirit and example and positive commands
of the Infant, who sent out his men to explore, and could not prevent
some outrages in the course of exploration. Again and again he ordered
his captains to act fairly to the natives, to trade with them
honourably, and to persuade them by gentler means than kidnapping to
come to Europe for a time. In the last years of his life he did succeed
in bettering things; by establishing a regular Government trade in the
bay of Arguin he brought a good deal more under control the unchained
deviltry of the Portuguese freebooters; Cadamosto and Diego Gomez, his
most trusted lieutenants of this later time, were real discoverers, who
tried to make friends of the natives rather than slaves.

In the early days of Portuguese exploration, it may also be said,
information, first-hand news of the new countries and their dangers, was
absolutely needed, and if the Negroes and the Azaneguy Moors could not
or would not speak some Christian tongue and guide the caravels to
Guinea, they must be carried off and made fit and proper instruments for
the work.

It would be out of place here to justify or condemn this excuse or to
enter on the wider question of the right or wrong of the slave-trade in
general. It is enough to see how brutally the work of "saving the
Heathen," was carried out by the average explorer, when discovery was
used as a plea for traffic.

No one then questioned the right of Christians to make slaves of Heathen
Blacks; Henry certainly did not, for he used slavery as an education, he
made captives of "Gentiles" for the highest ends, as he believed, to
save their souls, and to help him in the way of doing great things for
his country and for Christendom. He knew more of the results than of the
incidental cruelty, more of the hundreds taken than of the hundreds more
killed and maimed and made homeless in the taking. For centuries past
Moors had brought back slaves from the south across the Sahara to sell
on the coast of Tunis and Morocco; no Christian doubted the right
and--more than the right--the merit of the Prince in bringing black
slaves by sea from Guinea to Lisbon, where they might be fairly saved
from the grasp of "Foul Mahumet."

So if it is said that Henry started the African slave-trade of European
nations, that must not be understood as the full-blooded atrocity of the
West Indian planters, for the use he made of his prisoners was utterly
different, though his action was the cause of incessant abuse of the
best end by the worst of means.

At the time the gold question was much more important than the
slave-trade, and most Portuguese, most Europeans--nobles, merchants,
burghers, farmers, labourers--were much more excited by the news and the
sight of the first native gold dust than by anything else whatever. It
was the first few handfuls of this dust, brought home by Gonsalvez in
1442, that had such a magical effect on public opinion, that spread the
exploring interest from a small circle out into every class, and that
brought forward volunteers on every side. For a Guinea voyage was now
the favourite plan of every adventurer.

But however they may be explained, however natural and even necessary
they may seem to be, as things stood in Portugal and in Latin
Christendom, the slave-trade and the gold hunger hindered the Prince's
work quite as much as they helped it. If further discovery depended upon
trade profits, native interpreters, and the attractions of material
interest, there was at least a danger that the discoverers who were not
disposed to risk anything, and only went out to line their own pockets,
would hang about the well known coasts till they had loaded all the
plunder they could hold, and would then simply reappear at Sagres with
so many more souls for the good Prince to save, but without a word or a
thought of "finding of new lands." And this, after all, was the end.
Buccaneering on the north-west coast of Africa was not what Henry aimed

So he gave a caravel to one of his household, Gonsalo de Cintra, "who
had been his stirrup-boy," and "bade him go straight to the Land of
Guinea, and that for no cause whatever should he do otherwise." But when
De Cintra got to the White Cape (Blanco) it struck him that "with very
little danger he could make some prisoners there."

So with a cheerful impudence, in the face of the Infant's express
commands, he put his ship about and landed in that bay of Arguin, where
so many captures had been made, but he was cut off from the rest of the
men, and killed with seven others by a host of more than two hundred
Moors, and the chronicle which tells of all such details at the greatest
length, stops to give seven reasons for this, the first serious loss of
life the Europeans had suffered in their new African piracies. And for
the rest, "May God receive the soul that He created and the nature that
came forth from Him, as it is His very own. _Habeat Deus animam quam
creavit et naturam, quod suum est._" (_Azurara_, ch. 27).

Three other caravels, which quickly followed De Cintra, sailed with
special orders to Christianise and civilise the natives wherever and
however they could, and the result of this was seen in the daring
venture of Joan Fernandez. This man, the pattern of all the Crusoes of
after time, offered to stay on shore among the Blacks "to learn what he
could of the manners and speech and customs of the people," and so was
left along with that "bestial and barbarous" nation for seven months, on
the shores of the Bank of Arguin, while in exchange for him an old Moor
went back to Portugal.

Yet a third voyage was made in this spring of 1445 by Nuno Tristam. And
of this, says Azurara, I know nothing very exact or at first hand,
because Nuno Tristam was dead before the time that King Affonso (D.
Henry's nephew) commanded me to write this history. But this much we do
know, that he sailed straight to the Isle of Herons in Arguin, that he
passed the sandy wilderness and landed in the parts beyond, in a land
fertile and full of palm trees; and having landed he took a score of
prisoners. And so Nuno Tristam was the first to see the country of the
real Blacks. In other words, Nuno reached Cape Palmar, far beyond Cape
Blanco, where he saw the palms and got the all-important certainty that
the desert did end somewhere, and that beyond, instead of a country
unapproachable from the heat, where the very seas were perpetually
boiling as if in a cauldron, there was a land richer than any northern
climate, through which men could pass to the south.

Still further was this proved by the next voyage, which reached the end
of the great western trend of the African coast, and found that instead
of the continent stretching out farther and farther to an infinite
breadth, there was an immense contraction of the coast.

Diniz Diaz, the eldest of that family which gave to Portugal some of her
greatest men and makers, now begged a caravel from the Prince with the
promise of "doing more with it than any had done before." He had done
well under old King John, and now he kept his word.

Passing Arguin and Cape Blanco and Cape Palmar, he entered the mouth of
the Senegal, the western Nile, which was now fixed as the northern limit
of Guinea, or Blackman's Land. "Nor was this a little honour for our
Prince, whose mighty power was thus brought to bear upon the peoples so
far distant from our land and so near to that of Egypt." For Azurara
like Diaz, like Henry himself, thought not only that the Senegal was the
Niger, the western Nile of the Blacks, but that the caravels of
Portugal were far nearer to India than was the fact,--were getting close
to the Mountains of the Moon and the sources of the Nile.

But Diaz was not content with this. He had reached and passed, as he
thought, the great western stream up which men might sail, in the belief
of the time, to the mysterious sources of the world's greatest river,
and so down by the eastern and northern course of the same to Cairo and
the Christian seas. He now sailed on "to a great cape, which he named
Cape Verde," a green and beautiful headland covered with grass and trees
and dotted with native villages, running out into the Western Ocean far
beyond any other land, and beyond which, in turn, there was no more
western coast, but only southern and eastern. From this point Diaz
returned to Portugal.

"But great was the wonder of the people of the coast in seeing his
caravel, for never had they seen or heard tell of the like, but some
thought it was a fish, others were sure it was a phantom, others again
said it might be a bird that had that way of skimming along the surface
of the sea." Four of them picked up courage to venture out in a canoe
and try to settle this doubt. Out they went in their little boat, all
made from one hollow tree, but when they saw that there were men on
board the caravel they fled to the shore and "the wind falling our men
could not overtake.

"And though the booty of Diniz Diaz was far less than what others had
brought home before him, the Prince made very much of his getting to
that land of Negroes and Cape Verde and the Senegal," and with reason,
for these discoveries assured the success of his work, and from this
time all trouble and opposition were at an end. Mariners now went out to
sail to the golden country that had been found or to the spice land that
was now so near; men passed at once from extreme apathy or extreme
terror to an equally extreme confidence. They seemed to think the fruit
was within reach for them to gather, before the tree had been half
climbed. Long before Fernando Po had been reached, while the caravels
were still off the coasts of Sierra Leone, men at home, from King
Affonso to the common seamen of the ports, "thought the line of Tunis
and even of Alexandria had been long passed." The difficult first steps
seemed all.

Now three volunteers, Antam Gonsalvez, and two others who had already
sailed in the Prince's service, applied for the command of ships for the
discovery and conquest of the lands of Guinea, and to bring back Joan
Fernandez from his exile. Sailing past Cape Blanco they set up there a
great wooden cross and "much would it have amazed any one of another
nation that should have chanced to pass that way, not knowing of our
voyages along that coast," says Azurara gleefully, giving us proof
enough in every casual expression of this sort, often dropped with
perfect simplicity and natural truthfulness, that to his knowledge and
that of his countrymen, to the Europe of 1450, the Portuguese had had no
forerunners along the Guinea Coast.

A little south of the Bight of Arguin the caravels sighted a man on the
shore making signals to the ships, and coming closer they saw Fernandez
who had much to tell. He had completely won over the natives of that
part during his seven months' stay, and now he was able to bring the
caravels to a market where trinkets were exchanged for slaves and gold
with a Moorish chief--"a cavalier called Ahude Meymam." Then he was
taken home to tell his story to the Prince, the fleet wasting some time
in descents on the tribes of the bay of Arguin.

When he was first put on shore, Joan Fernandez told Don Henry, the
natives came up to him, took his clothes off him and made him put on
others of their own make. Then they took him up the country, which was
very scantily clothed with grass, with a sandy and stony soil, growing
hardly any trees. A few thorns and palms were the only relief to the
barren monotony of this African prairie, over which wandered a few
nomade shepherds in search of pasture for their flocks. There were no
flowers, no running streams to light up the waste, so Fernandez thought
at first, till he found one or two exceptions that proved the rule. The
natives got their water from wells, spoke a tongue and wrote a writing
that was different from that of the other Moors, though all these
people, in the upland, were Moslems, like the Berbers nearer home. For
they themselves were a tribe, the Azaneguy tribe, of the great Berber
family, who had four times--in the eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, and
fourteenth centuries--come over to help the Moslem power in Spain.

Yet, said Fernandez, these Moors of the west are quite barbarous: they
have neither law nor lordship; their food is milk and the seeds of wild
mountain herbs and roots; meat and bread are both rare luxuries; and so
is fish for those on the upland, but the Moors of the coast eat nothing
else, and for months together I have seen those I lived among, their
horses and their dogs, eating and drinking only milk, like infants. 'T
is no wonder they are weaker than the negroes of the south with whom
they are ever at war, fighting with treachery and not with strength.
They dress in leather--leather breeches and jackets, but some of the
richer wear a native mantle over their shoulders--such rich men as keep
good swift horses and brood mares. It was about the trade and religion
of the country that Fernandez was specially questioned, and his answers
were not encouraging on either point. The people were bigoted, ignorant
worshippers of the abominations of Mahumet, he said, and their traffic
in slaves and gold was a small matter after all. The only gold he saw in
their country was in ankle rings on the women of the chiefs; the gold
dust and black bodies they got from the negroes they took to Tunis and
the Mediterranean coast on camels. Their salt, on which they set great
store, was from the Tagazza salt quarries, far inland. The chief, Ahude
Meymam, who had been so kind to Fernandez, lived in the upland; the
Christian stranger had been induced to ride up from the coast, and had
reached the Court only after tortures of thirst. The water failed them
on the way, and for three days they had nothing to drink.

Altogether, Fernandez' report discouraged any further attempts to
explore by land, where all the country as far as could be reached seemed
to yield nothing but desert with a few slender oases. It was not indeed
till the European explorers reached the Congo on their coasting voyages
to the south that they found a natural and inviting pathway into the
heart of Africa. The desert of the north and west, the fever-haunted
swamps and jungle of the Guinea Coast only left narrow inlets of more
healthy and passable country, and these the Portuguese did their best to
close by occasional acts of savage cruelty and impudent fraud in their
dealings with the natives.

Another expedition, and that an unlucky one, under Gonsalo Pacheco, a
gentleman of Lisbon, followed this last of Antam Gonsalvez. Pacheco got
leave to make the voyage, equipped a caravel that he had built for
himself, and got two others to share the risk and profits with him. And
so, says Azurara, hoisting the banners of the Order of Christ, they made
their way to Cape Blanco. Here they found, one league from the Cape, a
village, and by the shore a writing, that Antam Gonsalvez had set up, in
which he counselled all who passed that way not to trouble to go up and
sack the village, as it was quite empty of people. So they hung about
the Bank of Arguin, making raids in various places, and capturing some
one hundred and twenty natives, all of which is not of much interest to
any one, though as Pacheco and his men had to pay themselves for their
trouble, and make a profit on the voyage, these man-hunts were the
chief thing they thought about and the main thing in their stories when
they got home.

Men like Pacheco and his friends were not explorers at all. They stopped
far short of the mark that Diniz Diaz had made for the European
Furthest, and their only discovery was of a new cape one hundred miles
and more beyond the Bank of Arguin. Sailing south, because the natives
fled at their approach and left the coast land all bare, "they came to a
headland which they called Cape St. Anne, by which an arm of the sea ran
four leagues up the country," where they hunted for more prisoners.

Still in search of slaves and gold they sailed on two hundred and fifty
miles--eighty leagues--to Negroland, where Diaz had been before, and
where they saw a land, to the north of the Great Western Cape, all
green, peopled with men and cattle, but when they tried to near the
shore and land a storm drove them back. For three days they struggled
against it, but at last they found themselves near Cape Blanco, more
than three hundred miles to the north, where they gave up all thought of
trying to push into the unknown south, and turned cheerfully to their
easier work of slave-hunting. In one of these raids, a party of seven,
in a boat away from all the rest, was overpowered and killed like De
Cintra's men by a large body of natives, "whose souls may God in His
mercy receive in the Habitation of the Saints." The Moors carried off
the boat and broke it up for the sake of its nails, and Azurara was told
by some that the bodies of the dead were eaten by their brutal
conquerors. 'T is certain at least, he adds, that their custom is to eat
the livers of their victims and to drink their blood, when they are
avenging the death of parents or brothers or children, as they do it to
have full vengeance on such as have so greatly injured them.



While Gonsalo Pacheco had been wasting time and men and the good name of
Europe and Christendom in his plunderings between C. Bojador and C.
Blanco, the memory of the death of Gonsalo de Cintra was kept alive in
Lagos, and the men of the town came in solemn deputation to the Prince,
before the summer of this same year (1445) was out, to beg him for
permission to take full, perfect, and sufficient vengeance. In other
words, they offered to equip the largest fleet that had ever sailed on
an ocean voyage--as it now began to be called, a Guinea voyage--since
the Prince began his work. As far as we know, this was also one of the
greatest armadas that had been sent out into the new-discovered or
re-discovered or undiscovered seas and lands since the European nations
had begun to look at all beyond their own narrow limits.

Neither the fleet of 1341, which found the Canaries, and of which
Boccaccio tells us, nor the Genoese expedition of 1291, nor the Catalan
venture of 1346, nor De Béthencourt's armament of 1402, for the
conquest of the Fortunate Isles, was anything like this armada of 1445.
For this last was a real sign of national interest in a work which was
not only discovery, but profit and a means to more; it proved that in
Portugal, in however base and narrowly selfish a way, there was now a
spirit of general enterprising activity, and till this had been once
awakened, there was not much hope of great results from the efforts of

The first contingent now equipped in Lagos--for the Prince at once
approved of his men's idea--numbered fourteen caravels--fourteen of the
best sailing ships afloat, as Cadamosto said a little later; but this
was only the central fleet, under Lançarote as Admiral. Three more ships
came from Madeira, one of them under Tristam Vaz, the coloniser of
Funchal; Diniz Diaz headed another contingent from Lisbon; Zarco, the
chief partner in the discovery and settlement of Madeira, sent his own
caravel in command of his nephew; in all there were seven and twenty
ships--caravels, galleys, and pinnaces. Since the Carthaginians sent out
their colonists under Hanno beyond the Pillars of Hercules, a larger and
braver fleet had not sailed down that desolate West of Africa.

Gil Eannes, who had rounded Bojador, was there, with the Diaz, who had
passed the Green Headland and come first to the land of the Negroes, and
the list of captains was made up of the most daring and seasoned of
Spanish seamen. Scarcely a man who had ventured on the ocean voyages of
the last thirty years was still alive and able-bodied who did not sail
on the 10th August, 1445.

At the start Cape Blanco was appointed as the rendezvous; with favouring
wind and tide the ships raced out as far as Arguin. Lawrence, a younger
brother of the Diaz family, drew ahead, and was the first to fall in
with Pacheco's three caravels, which were slowly crawling home after
their losses. Now, hearing of the great fleet that was coming after to
take vengeance, they turned about to wait for them, "as it was worth
while to have revenge though one had to live on short rations." So, now,
thirty European ships and their crews were included in the fleet. The
pioneer, Lawrence Diaz, and the rest, lay to at the Isle of Herons in
the Bank of Arguin; while waiting there they saw some wonderful things
in birds, and Azurara tells us what they told him, though rather
doubtfully. The great beaks of the Marabout, or Prophet Bird, struck
them most,--"a cubit long and more, three fingers' breadth across, and
the bill smooth and polished, like a Bashaw's scabbard, and looking as
if artificially worked with fire and tools,"--the mouth and gullet so
big that the leg of a man of the ordinary size would go into it. On
these birds particularly, says Azurara, our men refreshed themselves
during their three days' stay.

Slowly but surely, two by two, three by three, nine caravels mustered at
C. Blanco, and as the flagship of Lançarote was among them, an attack
was made at once with two hundred and seventy-eight men picked from
among the crews, the footmen and lancers in one boat and the archers in
another, with Lançarote himself and the men-at-arms behind. They were
steered by pilots who had been on the coast before and knew it, and it
was hoped they would come upon the natives of Tider Island with the
first light of dawn. But the way was longer than the pilots reckoned,
the night was pitchy dark, without moon or stars, the tide was on the
ebb, and at last the boats were aground. It was well on in the morning
before they got off on the flood and rowed along the coast to find a
landing-place. The shore was manned with natives, not at all taken by
surprise, but dancing, yelling, spitting, and throwing missiles in
insolent defiance. After a desperate struggle on the beach, they were
put to flight with trifling loss--eight killed, four taken,--but when
the raiders reached the village, they found it empty; the women and
children had been sent away, and all their wretched little property had
gone with them. The same was found true of all the villages on that
coast; but in a second battle on the next day, fifty-seven Moors were
captured, and the army went back on shipboard once more.

And now the fleet divided. Lançarote, holding a council of his captains,
declared the purpose of the voyage was accomplished. They had punished
the natives and taken vengeance for Gonsalo de Cintra and the other
martyrs; now it was for each crew and captain to settle whether they
would go farther. All the prisoners having now been divided like
prize-money between the ships, there was nothing more to stay for.

Five caravels at once returned to Portugal after trying to explore the
inlet of the sea at C. Blanco; but they only went up in their boats five
leagues, and then turned back. One stayed in the Bay of Arguin to
traffic in slaves, and lost one of the most valuable captives by sheer
carelessness,--a woman, badly guarded, slipped out and swam ashore.

But there was a braver spirit in some others of the fleet. The captain
of the King's caravel, which had come from Lisbon in the service of the
King's uncle, swore he would not turn back. He, Gomes Pires, would go on
to the Nile; the Prince had ordered him to bring him certain word of it.
He would not fail him. Lançarote for himself said the same, and another,
one Alvaro de Freitas, capped the offers of all the rest. He would go on
beyond the Negro-Nile to the Earthly Paradise, to the farthest East,
where the four sacred rivers flowed from the tree of life. "Well do you
all know how our Lord the Infant sets great store by us, that we should
make him know clearly about the land of the Negroes, and especially the
River of Nile. It will not be a small guerdon that he will give for such

Six caravels in all formed the main body of the Perseverants, and these
coasted steadily along till they came to Diaz's Cape of Palms, which
they knew was near the Senegal and the land of the Negroes, "and so
beautiful did the land now become, and so delicious was the scent from
the shore, that it was as if they were by some gracious fruit garden,
ordained to the sole end of their delights. And when the men in the
caravels saw the first palms and towering woodland, they knew right well
that they were close upon the River of Nile, which the men there call
the Sanaga." For the Infant had told them how little more than twenty
leagues beyond the sight of those trees they would see the river, as his
prisoners of the Azanegue tribes had told him. And as they looked
carefully for the signs of this, they saw at last, two leagues from
land, "a colour of the water that was different from the rest, for that
was of the colour of mud."

And understanding this to mean that there were shoals, they put farther
out to sea for safety, when one took some of the water in his hand and
put it to his mouth, and found that it was sweet. And crying out to the
others, "Of a surety," said they, "we are now at the River of Nile, for
the water of the river comes with such force into the sea as to sweeten
it." So they dropped their anchors in the river's mouth, and they of the
caravel of Vincent Diaz (another brother of Diniz and Lawrence) let down
a boat, into which jumped eight men who pulled ashore.

Here they found some ivory and elephant hide, and had a fierce battle
with a huge negro whose two little naked children they carried off,--but
though the chronicle of the voyages stops here for several chapters of
rapturous reflection on the greatness of the Nile, and the valour and
spirit of the Prince who had thus found a way to its western mouth, we
must follow the captains as they coast slowly along to Cape Verde, "for
that the wind was fair for sailing." Landing on a couple of uninhabited
islands off the Cape, they found first of all "fresh goat-skins and
other things," and then the arms of the Infant and the words of his
motto, _Talan de bien faire_, carved upon trees, and they doubted, like
Azurara when writing down his history from their lips; "whether the
great power of Alexander or of Cæsar could have planted traces of itself
so far from home," as these islands were from Sagres. For though the
distance looks small enough on a full map of all the world, on the chart
of the Then Known it was indeed a lengthy stretch--some two thousand
miles, fully as great a distance as the whole range of the Mediterranean
from the coast of Palestine to the Straits of Gibraltar.

Now by these signs, adds the chronicler, they understood right well that
other caravels had been there already--and it was so; for it was the
ship of John Gonsalvez Zarco, Captain of Madeira, which had passed this
way, as they found for a fact on the day after. And wishing to land, but
finding the number of the natives to be such that they could not land by
day or night, they put on shore a ball and a mirror and a paper on which
was drawn a cross.

And when the natives came and found them in the morning, they broke the
ball and threw away the pieces, and with their assegais broke up the
mirror into little bits, and tore the paper, showing that they cared for
none of these things.

Since this is so, said Captain Gomes Pires to the archers, draw your
bows upon these rascals, that they may know we are people who can do
them a damage.

But the negroes returned the fire with arrows and assegais--deadly
weapons, the arrows unfeathered and without a string-notch, but tipped
with deadly poison of herbs, made of reed or cane or charred wood with
long iron heads, and the assegais poisoned in like manner and pricked
with seven or eight harpoons of iron, so that it was no easy matter to
draw it out of the flesh.

So they lost heart for going farther, with all the coast-land up in arms
against them, and turned back to Lagos, but before they left the Cape
they noticed in the desert island, where they had found the Prince's
arms, trees so large that they had never seen the like, for among them
was one which was 108 palms round at the foot. Yet this tree, the famous
baobab, was not much higher than a walnut; "of its fibre they make good
thread for sewing, which burns like flax; its fruit is like a gourd and
its kernels like chestnuts." And so, we are told, all the captains put
back along the coast, in a mind to enter the aforesaid River of Nile,
but one of the caravels getting separated from the rest and not liking
to enter the Senegal alone, went straight to Lagos, and another put back
to water in the Bay of Arguin and the Rio d'Ouro estuary, where there
came to them at once the Moors on board the caravel, full of confidence
because they had never had any dealings before with the merchants of
Spain, and sold them a negro for five doubloons, and gave them meat and
water from their camels, and came in and out on board the ship, so that
there was great fear of treachery, but at last without any quarrel they
were all put on shore, under promise that next July their friends would
come again and trade with them in slaves and gold to their hearts'
content. And so, taking in a good cargo of seal-skins, they made their
way straight home.

Meantime two of the other caravels and a pinnace, which had been
separated early in the voyage from the main body, under the pilotage of
the veteran Diniz Diaz, had also made their way to C. Verde, had fought
with the natives in some desperate skirmishes--one knight had his
"shield stuck as full with arrows as the porcupine with quills," and had
turned back in the face of the same discouragements as the rest; and so
would have ended the whole of this great enterprise but for the
dauntless energy of one captain and his crew.

Zarco of Madeira had given his caravel to his nephew with a special
charge that, come what might, he was not to think of profit and trading,
but of doing the will of the Prince his lord. He was not to land in the
fatal Bay of Arguin, which had been the end of so many enterprises; he
was to go as Diniz Diaz had first gone, straight to the land of the
Negroes, and pass beyond the farthest of earlier sailors. Now the
caravel, says Azurara proudly, was well equipped and was manned by a
crew that was ready to bear hard ship, and the captain was full of
energy and zeal, and so they went on steadily, sailing through the great
Sea of Ocean till they came to the River of Nile, where they filled two
pipes with water, of which they took back one to the city of Lisbon. And
not even Alexander, though he was one of the monarchs of the world,
ever drank of water that had been brought from so far as this.

"But now, still going on, they passed C. Verde and landed upon the
islands I have spoken of, to see if there were any people there, but
they found only some tame goats without any one to tend them; and it was
there that they made the signs that the others found on coming after,
the arms of the Infant with his device and motto. And then drawing in
close to the Cape, they waited to see if any canoes would come off to
them, and anchored about a mile off the shore. But they had not waited
long before two boats, with ten negroes in them, put off from the beach
and made straight for the caravel, like men who came in peace and
friendship. And being near, they began to make signs as if for a
safe-conduct, which were answered in like manner, and then at once,
without any other precaution, five of them came on board the caravel,
where the captain made them all the entertainment that he could, bidding
them eat and drink, and so they went away with signs of great
contentment, but it appeared after, that in their hearts they meditated
treachery. For as soon as they got to land they talked with the other
natives on shore, and thinking that they could easily take the ship,
with this intent there now set out six boats, with five and thirty or
forty men, arrayed as those who come to fight, but when they came close
they were afraid and stayed a little way off, without daring to make any
attack. And seeing this, our men launched a boat on the other side of
the caravel, where they could not be seen by the enemy, and manned it
with eight rowers, who were to wait till the canoes came nearer to the
ship. At last the negroes were tired of waiting and watching, and one of
their canoes came up closer, in which were five strong warriors, and at
once our boat rowed round the caravel and cut them off. And because of
the great advantage that we had in our style of rowing, in a trice our
men were upon them, and they having no hope of defence, threw themselves
into the water, and the other boats made off for the shore. And our men
had the greatest trouble in catching those that were swimming away, for
they dived not a whit worse than cormorants, so that we could scarcely
catch hold of them. One was taken, not very easily, on the spot, and
another, who fought as desperately as two men, was wounded, and with
these two the boat returned to the caravel.

"And for that they saw that it would not profit them to stay longer in
that place, they resolved to see if they could find any new lands of
which they might bring news to the Infant their lord. And so, sailing on
again, they came to a cape, where they saw 'groves of palm trees dry and
without branches, which they called the Cape of Masts.'" Here, a little
farther along the coast, a reconnoitring party of seven landed and found
four negro hunters sitting on the beach, armed with bows and arrows, who
fled on seeing the strangers. "And as they were naked and their hair cut
very short, they could not catch them," and only brought away their
arrows for a trophy.

This Cape of Masts, or some point of the coast a little to the
south-east, was the farthest now reached by Zarco's caravel. "From here
they put back and sailed direct to Madeira, and thence to the city of
Lisbon, where the Infant received them with reward enough. For this
caravel, of all those who had sailed at this time (1445), had done most
and reached farthest."

There was one contingent of the great armada yet unaccounted for, but
they were sad defaulters. Three of the ships on the outward voyage which
had separated from the main body and Lançarote's flagship, had the
cowardice or laziness to give up the purpose of the voyage altogether;
"they agreed to make a descent on the Canary Islands instead of going to
Guinea at all that year."

Here they stayed some time, raiding and slave-hunting, but also making
observations on the natives and the different natural features of the
different islands, which, as we have them in the old chronicle, are not
the least interesting part of the story of the Lagos Armada of 1445.[38]

[Footnote 38: The date of this voyage is brought down as late as 1447 by
Santarem Oliveiro Martins.]


VOYAGES OF 1446-8.

And yet, but for the enterprise of Zarco's crew, this expedition of 1445
that began with so much promise, and on which so much time and trouble
had been spent, was almost fruitless of "novelties," of discoveries, of
the main end and object of all the Prince's voyages.

The next attempt, made by Nuno Tristam in 1446, ended in the most
disastrous finish that had yet befallen the Christian seamen of Spain.
Nuno, who had been brought up from boyhood at the Prince's court,
"seeing how earnest he was that his caravels should explore the land of
the Negroes, and knowing how some had already passed the River of Nile,
thought that if he should not do something of right good service to the
Infant in that land, he could in no wise gain the name of a brave

"So he armed a caravel and began sail, not stopping anywhere that he
might come straight to the Black Man's land. And passing by Cape Verde
he sailed on sixty leagues and found a river, where he judged there
ought to be some people living. So he bade them lower two small boats
and put ten men in the one and twelve in the other, which pulled
straight towards some huts they sighted ahead of them. But before they
could jump on shore, twelve canoes came out on the other side, and
seventy or eighty Blackmoors in them, with bows in their hands, who
began to shoot at our people." As the tide rose, one of the Guinea boats
passed them and landed its crew, "so that our men were between a fire
from the land and a fire from the boats." They pulled back as hard as
they could, but before they could get on board, four of them were lying

"And so they began to make sail home again, leaving the boats in that
they were not able to take charge of them. For of the twenty-two who
went to land in them there did not escape more than two; nineteen were
killed, for so deadly was the poison that with a tiny wound, a mere
scratch that drew blood, it could bring a man to his last end. But above
and beyond these was killed our noble knight, Nuno Tristam, earnestly
desiring life, that he might die not a shameful death like this, but as
a brave man should." Of seven who had been left in the caravel, two had
been struck by the poisoned arrows as they tried to raise the anchors,
and were long in danger of death, lying a good twenty days at the last
gasp, without the power to raise a finger to help the others who were
trying to get the caravel home, so that only five were left to work the

Nuno's men were saved by the energy and skill of one--a mere boy, a page
of the Infant's House--who took charge of the ship, and steered its
course due north, then north by east, so that in two months' time they
were off the coast of Portugal. But they were absolutely helpless and
hopeless, knowing nothing of their whereabouts, for in all those two
months they had had no glimpse of land,--so that when at last they
caught sight of an armed fusta, they were "much troubled," supposing it
to be a Moorish cruiser. When it came near and shewed itself to be a
Gallician pirate, the poor fellows were almost wild with delight, still
more when they found they were not far from Lagos. They had had a
terrible time; first they were almost poisoned by the dead bodies of
Nuno Tristam and the victims of the savages' poisoned arrows; then, when
at last they had "thrown their honour to the winds and those bodies to
the fishes," shamefaced and utterly broken in spirit, the five
wretchedly ignorant seamen, who were now left alone, drifted, with the
boundless and terrible ocean on one side, and the still more dangerous
and unknown coast of Africa on the other, for sixty days. A common
sailor, "little enough skilled in the art of sailing"; a groom of the
Prince's chamber, the young hero who saved the ship; a negro boy, who
was taken with the first captives from Guinea; and two other "little
lads small enough,"--this was the crew. As for the rest, Beati mortui
qui in Domino moriuntur, Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord,
cries the chronicler in that outburst of bewildered grief with which he
ends his story. There were widows and orphans left for the Prince to
care for, and "of these he took especial charge."

But all people were not so unlucky as Nuno Tristam. The caravel of Zarco
of Madeira, which under Zarco's nephew, Alvaro Fernandez, had already
passed beyond every other in the year of the great armada, 1445, was
sent back again on its errand "of doing service in the unknown lands of
Guinea to the Lord Don Henry," in the black year, 1446. Its noble and
valiant owner now "charged the aforesaid" Alvaro Fernandez, with the
ship well armed, to go as far as he could, and to try and make some
booty, that should be so new and so splendid that it would be a sign of
his good-will to serve the Lord who had made him. So they sailed on
straight to Cape Verde, and beyond that to the Cape of Masts (or Spindle
Palms), their farthest of the year before, but they did not turn back
here, in spite of unfriendly natives and unknown shores. Still coasting
along, they found tracks of men, and a little farther on a village,
"where the people came out as men who shewed that they meant to defend
their homes; in front of them was a champion, with a good target on his
arm and an assegai in his hand. This fellow our captain rushed upon, and
with a blow of his lance struck him dead upon the ground. Then, running
up, he seized his sword and spear, and kept them as trophies to be
offered to the Lord Infant." The negroes fled, and the conquerors turned
back to their ship and sailed on. Next day they came to a land where
they saw certain of the women of those negroes, and seized one who was
of age about thirty, with her child a baby of two, and another, a young
girl of fourteen, "the which had a good enough presence and beauty for
that country"; but the strength of the woman was so wonderful, that she
gave the three men who held her trouble enough to lift her into the
boat. And seeing how they were kept struggling on the beach, they feared
that some of the people of the country might come down upon them. So one
of them put the child into the boat, and love of it forced the mother to
go likewise, without much more pushing.

Thence they went on, pursues the story, till they came to a river, into
which they made an entrance with a boat, and carried off a woman that
they found in a house. But going up the river somewhat farther, with a
mind to make some good booty, there came out upon them four or five
canoes full of negroes, armed as men who would fight for their country,
whose encounter our men in the boat did not wish to await in face of the
advantage of the enemy, and fearing above all the great peril of
poisoned arrows. So they began to pull down stream as hard as they could
towards the caravel; but as one of the canoes distanced the others and
came up close to them, they turned upon it and in the fight one of the
negroes shot a dart, that wounded the captain, Alvaro Fernandez, in the
foot. But he, as he had been already warned of the poison, drew out the
arrow very quickly and bathed it with acid and oil, and then anointed it
well with theriack, and it pleased God that he passed safely through a
great trouble, though for some days he lay on the point of death. And so
they got back to the caravel.

But though the captain was so badly wounded, the crew did not stop in
following the coast and went on (all this was over quite new ground)
till they came to a certain sand-spit, directly in front of a great bay.
Here they launched a boat, and rowed out to see the land they had come
to, and at once there came out against them full 120 negroes, some with
bows, others with shields and assegais, and when they reached the edge
of the sea, they began to play and dance about, "like men clean wearied
of all sadness, but our men in the boat wishing to be excused from
sharing in that festival of theirs, turned and rowed back to the ship."

Now all this was a good 110 leagues,--320 miles beyond Cape Verde,
"mostly to the south of the aforesaid cape" (that is, about the place of
Sierra Leone on our maps), and this caravel remained a longer time
abroad and went farther than any other ship of that year, and but for
the sickness of the wounded captain they would not have stopped there.
But as it was they came straight back to the Bank of Arguin, "where they
met that chief Ahude Meymam, of whom we have spoken before," in the
story of Joan Fernandez. And though they had no interpreter, by whom
they might do their business, by signs they managed so that they were
able to buy a negress, in exchange for certain cloths that they had with
them. And so they came safe home. There was not much trouble now in
getting volunteers for the work of discovery, and a reward of 200
doubloons--100 from Prince Henry, 100 more from the Regent Don Pedro--to
the last bold explorers who had got fairly round Senegambia, added zest
to enterprise.

In this same year 1446-7, no fewer than nine caravels sailed to Guinea
from Portugal in another armada, on the track of Zarco's successful
crew. At Madeira they were joined by two more, and the whole fleet
sailed through the Canary island group to Cape Verde. Eight of them
passed sixty leagues, 180 miles, beyond, and found a river, the Rio
Grande, "of good size enough," up which they sailed, except one ship,
belonging to a Bishop--the Bishop of Algarve--"for that this happened to
run upon a sand-bank, in such wise, that they were not able to get her
off, though all the people on board were saved with the cargo. And while
some of them were busy in this, others landed and found the country just
deserted by its inhabitants, and going on to find them, they soon
perceived that they had found a track, which they had chanced on near
the place where they landed."

They followed this track recklessly enough, and nearly met the fate of
Nuno Tristam. "For as they went on by that road, they came to a country
with great sown fields, with plantations of cotton trees and rice plots,
in a land full of hills like loaves, after which they came to a great
wood," and as they were going into the wood, the Guineas came out upon
them in great numbers, with bows and assegais and saluted them with a
shower of poisoned arrows. The first five Europeans fell dead at once,
two others were desperately wounded, the rest escaped to the ships, and
the ships went no farther that year.

Still worse was the fate of Vallarte's venture in the early months of
1448. Vallarte was a nobleman of the Court of King Christopher of
Denmark, who had been drawn to the Court of Henry at Sagres by the
growing fame of the Prince's explorations, and who came forward with the
stock request, "Give me a caravel to go to the land of the negroes."

A little beyond Cape Verde, Vallarte went on shore with a boat's crew
and fell into the trap which had caught the exploring party of the year
before. He and his men were surrounded by negroes and were shot down or
captured to a man. But one escaped, swimming to the ship, and told how
as he looked back over his shoulder to the shore, again and again, he
saw Vallarte sitting a prisoner in the stern of the boat.

"And when the chronicle of these voyages was in writing at the end of
the self-same year, there were brought certain prisoners from Guinea to
Prince Henry, who told him that in a city of the upland, in the heart of
Africa, there were four Christian prisoners." One had died, three were
living, and in these four, men in Europe believed they had news of
Vallarte and his men.

But between the last voyage of Zarco's caravel in 1446 and the first
voyage of Cadamosto in 1455, there is no real advance in exploration.

The "third armada," as it was called, that is the fleet of the nine
caravels of 1446-7, the voyage of Gomes Pires to the Rio d'Ouro at the
same time, the trading ventures of the Marocco coast which were the
means of bringing the first lion to Portugal in 1447, the expeditions
to the Rio d'Ouro and to Arguin in the course of the same year, are not
part of the story of discovery, but of trade. There is hardly a
suspicion of exploring interest about most of them. Even Vallarte's
venture in 1448 has nothing of the novelty which so many went out to
find "for the satisfaction of the Lord Henry." Guinea voyages are
frequent, almost constant, during these years, and this frequency has at
any rate the point of making Europeans thoroughly familiar with the
coast already explored, if it did little or nothing to bring in new

But the value and meaning of Henry's life and work was not after all in
commerce, except in a secondary sense; and these voyages of purely
trading interest, with no design or at any rate no result of discovery,
do not belong to our subject. Each one of them has its own picturesque
beauty in the pages of the old chronicle of the Conquest of Guinea, but
measured by its importance to the general story of the expansion of
Europe, there is no lasting value in any one of the last chapters of
Azurara's voyages,--his description of the Canaries, and of the
"Inferno" of Teneriffe, "of how Madeira was peopled, and the other
islands that are in that part, of how the caravel of Alvaro Dornellas
took certain of the Canarians, of how Gomes Pires went to the Rio d'Ouro
and of the Moors that he took, of the caravel that went to Meça (in
Marocco) and of the Moors that were taken, of how Antam Gonsalvez
received the island of Lançarote in the name of the Prince."

Only the chronicler's summary of results, up to the year 1446, the year
of Nuno Tristam's failure, is of wider interest. "Till then there had
been fifty-one caravels to those parts, which had gone 450 leagues (1350
miles) beyond the Cape (Boyador). And as it was found that the coast ran
southward with many points, the Prince ordered these to be added to the
sailing chart. And here it is to be noted, that what was clearly known
before of the coast of the great sea was 200 leagues (600 miles), which
have been increased by these 450. Also what had been laid down upon the
Mappa Mundi was not true but was by guess work, but now 't is all from
the survey by the eyes of our seamen. And now seeing that in this
history we have given account sufficient of the first four reasons which
brought our noble Prince to his attempt, it is time we said something of
the accomplishment of his fifth object, the conversion of the Heathen,
by the bringing of a number of infidel souls from their lands to this,
the which by count were nine hundred and twenty-seven, of whom the
greater part were turned into the true way of salvation. And what
capture of town or city could be more glorious than this."




We have now come very nearly to the end of the voyages that are
described in the old _Chronicle of the Discovery and Conquest of
Guinea_, and setting aside the story of the famous Venetian Cadamosto,
this is also the end of the African mainland-coasting of Henry's seamen.
Though he did not die till 1460, and we have now only reached the year
1448, for Azurara's solemn catalogue of negroes brought to Europe is
reckoned only up to that year--"nine hundred and twenty-seven who had
been turned into the true path of salvation,"--yet there is no more
exploration in the last ten years of Henry's life worth noting, except
what falls into this and two of the following chapters.

The first of these is Cadamosto's own record of his two voyages along
the Guinea coast, in which he is supposed to have reached Cape Palmar,
some five hundred miles beyond Cape Verde, and certainly reached the
Gambia, whose great mouth, "like an arm of the sea," is well described
in his journal.

The second is the "true account of the finding of the Cape Verde islands
by Diego Gomez, servant of Don Henry," who writes the story of the
Prince's death and was as faithful a servant as he had at his Court. But
there is one other chapter of the exploration directed from Sagres and
described by Azurara, which must find its place, and is best spoken of
here and now, in the interval between the two most active periods of
African coasting voyages. This is the story of the colonisation of the
Azores, of the Western or Hawk islands, known to map-makers at least as
early as 1351, for they figure clearly enough on the great Florentine
chart of that year, though not reclaimed for Europe and Christendom till
somewhere about 1430. These islands were found, says a legend, on the
Catalan map of 1439, by Diego de Sevill, pilot of the King of Portugal,
in 1427. But these islands were after all only two groups of the
Archipelago, and the rediscovery or finding of the rest fell between the
years 1432 and 1450.

The voyage of Diego de Sevill and Gonzalo Velho Cabral to the Azores,
that is to the island of St. Mary and the Formigas, has been alluded to
as among the earliest of Prince Henry's successes. But as it was out of
this first attempt that the discovery of the whole group resulted, it
has been necessary to refer to it again. Cabral, rewarded by his lord
with the gift of his discoveries and living in St. Mary's island as
"Captain Donatory" or Lord of the Land, was in charge of the
colonisation of the islands he had already found, and of as many others
as might come to light. He spent three years (1433-6) collecting men
and means in Portugal and then settled in the "Western Isles" with some
of the best families in this country.

With this, discovery seemed to have come to a standstill, but years
after, somewhere about 1440-1 an odd chance started exploration westward
once more. There was a hunt after a runaway slave, a negro, of course,
from the continent, who had escaped to the top of the highest mountain
in St. Mary. The weather was of the clearest, and he fancied that he saw
far off on the horizon the outline of an unknown land. Was it another
island? He knew his masters were there as explorers quite as much as
colonisers, and he must often have heard their talk about the finding of
new lands, and the will of their Lord the Prince that those new lands
should at all costs be found, was no secret. That will had sent them
there; that same will would secure their slave's pardon, if he came back
from hiding with the news of a real discovery.

So he reasoned to himself; and he was right. The Prince, hearing the
news, instantly consulted his ancient maps and found that these hinted
at lands in the same direction as the slave had pointed out. He ordered
Cabral to start at once in search of them. Cabral tried and missed. Then
came a wonderful test of Henry's knowledge; he who had never been within
a thousand miles of the place, proved to his captain that he had passed
between St. Mary and the unknown land, and correcting his course sent
him out again, to seek and to find.

On the 8th of May, 1444, the new island was found "on the day of the
apparition of St. Michael," and named after the festival. It is our
modern "St. Michael of the Oranges."

As with the other islands so with this, colonisation followed discovery.
On the 29th of September, 1445, Cabral returned with Europeans, having
before left only a few Moors to open up the country. Now on his return
he found these wretched men frightened almost to death by the
earthquakes that had kept them trembling since they first landed. "And
if they had been able to get a boat, even the lightest, they would
certainly have escaped in it." Cabral's pilot also, who had been with
him before to that same island, declared that of the two great mountain
peaks which he had noticed at the two ends of the island, east and west,
only the Eastern was now standing. The slang name of "Azores" or "Hawks"
now began to take the place of the old term of "Western" islands, from
the swarms of hawks or kites that were found in the new discovered St.
Michael, and in the others which came to light soon after. For the Third
Group, "Terceira," was sighted between 1444-50, and added to the
Portugal that was thus creeping slowly out towards the unknown West, as
if in anticipation of Columbus, throwing its outposts farther and
farther into the ocean, as its pioneers grew more and more sure of their
ground outside the Straits of Gibraltar. Some seamen of Prince Henry's,
returning from "Guinea" to Spain, some adventurer trying to "win fame
for himself with the Lord Infant," some merchants sent out to try their
luck on the western side as so many had tried on the southern, some
African coasters driven out of sight of land by contrary winds;--it may
have been any of these, it must have been some one of them, who found
the rest of the Azores, Terceira or the island of Jesus, St. George,
Graciosa, Fayal, Flores, and Corvo.

Who were the discoverers is absolutely unknown. At this day we have only
a few traces of the first colonisation, but of two things we may be
pretty certain. First, that the Azores were all found and colonised in
Henry's lifetime, and for the most part between 1430 and 1450. Second,
that no definite purpose was formed of pushing discovery beyond this
group across the waste of waters to the west, and so of finding India
from the "left" hand. Henry and all his school were quite satisfied,
quite committed, to the south-east route. By coasting round the
continent, not by venturing across the ocean, they hoped and meant to
find their way to Malabar and Cathay. As to the settlement of these
islands, a copy is still left of Henry's grant of the Captaincy of
Terceira to the Fleming Jacques de Bruges.

The facts of the case were these. Jacques came to the Prince one day
with a little request about the Hawk islands--that "within the memory of
man the aforesaid islands had been under the aggressive lordship of none
other than the Prince, and as the third of these islands called the
island of Jesu Christ, was lying waste, he the said Jacques de Bruges
begged that he might colonise the same. Which was granted to him with
the succession to his daughters, as he had no heirs male."

For Jacques was a rich Fleming, who had come into the Prince's service,
it would seem, with the introduction of the Duchess of Burgundy, Don
Henry's niece. Since then he had married into a noble house of Portugal,
and now he was offering to take upon himself all the charges of his
venture. Such a man was not lightly to be passed over. His design was
encouraged, and more than this his example was followed. An hidalgo
named Sodré--Vincent Gil Sodré--took his family and adherents across to
Terceira, the island of Jesu Christ, and from thence went on and settled
in Graciosa, while another Fleming, Van der Haager, joining Van der
Berge or De Bruges in Terceira with two ships "fitted out at his own
cost and filled with his own people and artisans, whom he had brought to
work as in a new land," tried though unsuccessfully to colonise the
island of St. George.

The first Captain Donatory of Fayal was another Fleming--Job van
Heurter, Lord of Moerkerke--and there is a special interest in his name.
For it is through him that we get in 1492 the long and interesting
notice of the first settlement of the Azores on the globe of Martin
Behaim, now at Nuremberg, the globe which was made to play such a
curious part, as undesigned as it was ungenerous, in the Columbus

"These islands," says the tablet attached to them on the map, "these
Hawk islands, were colonised in 1466, when they were given by the King
of Portugal to his sister Isabel, Duchess of Burgundy, who sent out
many people of all classes, with priests and everything necessary for
the maintenance of religion. So that in 1490 there were there some
thousands of souls, who had come out with the noble knight, Job de
Heurter, my dear father-in-law, to whom the islands were given in
perpetuity by the Duchess.

"Now in 1431, Prince Henry provisioned two ships for two years and sent
them to the lands beyond Cape Finisterre, and they, sailing due west for
some five hundred leagues, found these islands, ten in number, all
desert without quadrupeds or men, only tenanted by birds, and these so
tame that they could be caught by the hand. So they called these 'the
Islands of the Hawks' (Azores).

"And next year (1432), by the King's orders, sixteen vessels were sent
out from Portugal with all kinds of tame animals, that they might breed

Of the first settlement of Flores and Corvo, the two remaining islands
of the group, still less is known, but in any case it seems not to have
been fully carried out till the last years of the Prince's life,
possibly it was the work of his successor in the Grand Mastership of the
Order of Christ, which now took up a sort of charge to colonise outlying
and new discovered lands. For among the Prince's last acts was his
bequest of the islands, which had been granted to himself by his
brother, King Edward, in 1433, to Prince Ferdinand, his nephew, whom he
had adopted with a view of making him his successor in aims as well as
in office, in leading the progress of discovery as well as in the
headship of the Order of Christ.




Don Pedro had been nominated sole Regent of Portugal on November 1,
1439, and by the end of the next year all the unsettlement consequent on
the change at court seemed to be at an end. But a deep hatred continued
between the various parties.

First of all, the Count of Barcellos, natural son of John I., created
Duke of Braganza by Affonso V., had taken up a definite policy of
supplanting the Regent. The Queen Mother had not forgotten or forgiven
Don Pedro's action at Edward's death, and the young King himself, though
engaged to the Regent's daughter, was already distrustful, was fitting
himself to lead the Barcellos party against the Prince.

On February 18, 1445, died the Queen Leonor, with suspicions of poison,
diligently fostered by the malcontents. Next year (1446) Affonso, now
fourteen, came of age, and his uncle proposed at once to resign all
actual power and retire to his estates as Duke of Coimbra. But the King
was either not yet prepared to part with him, or still felt some
gratitude to his guardian, "the wisest head in Spain."

He begged him to keep the chief direction of affairs, thanked him for
the past, and promised to help him in the future. More than this, he
protested that he wished to be married to his cousin, Pedro's daughter
Isabel. They had been formally betrothed four years; now Affonso called
on his nobles and the deputies of Cortés to witness the marriage.

In May, 1447, this royal wedding was celebrated, but coldly and poorly,
as nephew and uncle had now drifted quite apart. The more the younger
disliked and suspected the elder, the more vehement became his
protestations of regard. But he bitterly resented the Duke's action in
holding him to his promise, and he made up his mind before the marriage
that he would henceforth govern as well as reign.

The Regent just prevented his dismissal by laying down his offices; the
King seemed almost to relent in parting from his guardian, who had kept
the kingdom in such perfect peace and now resigned so well discharged a
duty; but even his wife could not prevent the coming storm. She
struggled hard to reconcile her father and her husband, but the
mischief-makers were too hard for her. Persuaded that the Duke was a
traitor, the King allowed himself to be used to goad him into revolt.
"Your father wishes to be punished," he said fiercely to the Queen, "and
he shall be punished."


If Henry, who in the last six years had only once left Sagres, to knight
Don Pedro's eldest son at Coimbra in 1445, had now been able, in
presence as well as writing, to stand by his brother in this crisis, the
Regent might have been saved. As it was, Pedro had hardly settled down
in his exile at Coimbra, when he found himself charged with the secret
murders of King Edward, Queen Leonor, and Prince John. The more
monstrous the slander, the more absurd and self-contradictory it might
be, the more eagerly it was made.

Persecution as petty and grinding as that which hunted Wolsey to death,
at last drove Pedro to take arms. His son, knighted by Henry himself for
the high place of Constable of the Realm, had been forced into flight,
the arms of Coimbra Arsenal seized for the King's use, his letters to
his nephew opened and answered, it was said by his enemies, who wrote
back in the sovereign's name, as he would write to an open rebel. All
this the Prince bore, but when he heard that his bastard brother of
Braganza, who had betrayed and maligned and ruined him, was on the march
to plunder his estates, like an outlaw's, he collected a few troops and
barred his way. At this Affonso was persuaded to declare war.

Only one great noble stood by the fallen Regent, but this was his friend
Almada, the Spanish Hercules, his sworn brother in arms and in travels,
one of the Heroes of Christendom, who had been made a Count in France
and a Knight of the Garter in England. It was he who now escaped from
honourable imprisonment at Cintra, joined Pedro in Coimbra, and proposed
to him that they should go together to Court and demand justice and a
fair trial, but sword in hand and with their men at their back. Was it
not better to die as soldiers than as traitors without a hearing?

So on May 5, 1449, the Duke left Coimbra with his little army of
vassals, 1000 horse and 5000 foot and passed by Batalha, where he
stopped to revisit the great church and the tombs of his father and his
brothers. Thence he marched straight on Lisbon, which the King covered
from Santarem with 30,000 men. At the rivulet of Alfarrobeira the armies
met; a lance thrust or a cross-bow shot killed the Infant; a common
soldier cut off his head and carried it to Affonso in the hope of
knighthood. Almada, who fought till he could not stand from loss of
blood, died with his friend. Hurling his sword from him, he threw
himself on the ground, with a scornful, "Take your fill of me, Varlets,"
and was cut to pieces.

Though at first leave could hardly be got to bury Don Pedro's body, as
time went on his name was cleared. His daughter bore a son to the King,
and the proofs of his loyalty, the indignant warnings of foreign Courts,
the entreaties of the Queen, at last brought Affonso to something like
repentance and amendment. He buried the Regent at Batalha and pardoned
his friends, those who were left from the butchery of Alfarrobeira.




We have now come to the voyages of the Venetian Cadamosto, in the
service of Prince Henry. And though these were far from being the most
striking in their general effect, they are certainly the most famous,
the best known, of all the enterprises of these fifty years (1415-1460).
It is true that Cadamosto fairly reached Sierra Leone and, passing the
farthest mark of the earlier Portuguese caravels, coasted along many
miles of that great eastern bend of the West African coast which we call
the Gulf of Guinea. But it is to his general fame as a seaman, his
position in Italy, and the interest he aroused by his written and
published story that he owed his greater share of attention.

When I first set my mind, begins his narrative, on sailing the ocean
between the Strait of Cadiz and the Fortunate Islands, the one man who
had tried to enter the aforesaid ocean, since the days of our Father
Adam, was the Infant Don Henry of Portugal, whose illustrious and
almost countless deeds I pass over, excepting only his zeal for the
Christian faith and his freedom from the bonds of matrimony. For his
father, King John, had not given up the ghost before he had warned his
son Henry with saving precepts, that the aforesaid Holy Faith he should
foster with a dauntless mind and not fail in his vows of warring down
the foes of Christ.

Therefore every year did Don Henry, as it were, challenging and hurling
defiance at the Moors, persist in sending out his caravels as far as the
headland called the Cape of Non (Not), from the belief that beyond the
said Cape there is "_No_" return possible. And as for a long time the
ships of the Prince did not dare to pass that point, Henry roused
himself to accomplish this feat, seeing that his caravels did much excel
all other sailing ships afloat, and strictly enjoined his captains not
to return before they had passed the said Cape. Who steadily pressing
on, and never leaving sight of the shore, did in truth pass near one
hundred miles beyond, finding nothing but desert land.

Beyond this again, for the space of one hundred and fifty miles, the
Prince then sent another fleet, which fared no better, and finding no
trace of men or of tillage, returned home. And Don Henry, growing ever
keener for discovery, and excited by the opposition as it were of
nature, sent out again and again till his sailors had reached beyond the
Desert Coast to the land of the Arabs and of those new races called
Azaneguys, people of a tawny colour.

And finally there appeared to these bold mariners the land of Æthiopia,
which lies upon the shore of the Southern ocean, and here again from day
to day the explorers discovered new races and new lands.

"Now I, Luigi Ca da Mosto, who had sailed nearly all the Mediterranean
coasts, once leaving Venice for 'Celtogallia' (France), but being caught
by a storm off C. St. Vincent, had to take refuge in the Prince's town,
near the said Cape, and was here told of the glorious and boundless
conquests of the Prince, whence accrued such gain that from no traffic
in the world could the like be had.

"The which," continues the candid trader, "did exceedingly stir my soul,
eager as it was for gain above all things else; and so I made suit to be
brought before the Prince, if so be that I might gain leave to sail in
his service, for since the profit of this voyage is subject to his
pleasure, he doth guard his monopoly with no small care."

With the Prince, at last, Cadamosto made terms: either that he, the
adventurer, should furnish the ships at his own cost, and take the whole
risk upon himself, and of the merchandise that he might gain a fourth
part to go to his lord; or that the Prince should bear the cost of
equipment and should have half the profits. But in any case, if there
was no profit, the whole expense should fall upon the trader. The Prince
added that he would heartily welcome any other volunteers from Venice,
and on Cadamosto himself he urged an immediate start. "As for me,"
repeats the sailor, "my age, my vigour, my skill equal to any toil,
above all my passionate desire to see the world and explore the
unknown, set me all on fire with eagerness. And especially the fact that
no countryman of mine had ever tried the like, and my certainty of
winning the highest honour and gain from such a venture, made me forward
to offer myself. I only stayed to enquire from veteran Portuguese what
merchandise was the most highly prized among the Æthiopians and people
of the furthest South, and then went home to find the best light craft
for the ocean coasting that I had in mind." Meantime the Prince ordered
a caravel to be equipped, which he gave to one Vincent, a native of
Lagos, as captain, and caused to be armed to the teeth, as was required,
and on the 21st of March, 1455, Cadamosto sailed for Madeira. On the
25th they were off Porto Santo, and the Venetian stops to give us a
description of the island, which, he says in passing, had been found and
colonised by the Prince's seamen twenty-seven years before. It was worth
the settling. Every kind of grain and fruit was easily raised, and there
was a great trade in dragon's blood, "which is made from the tears of a

On March 27th, Cadamosto sailed from Porto Santo to Madeira, forty miles
distant, and easily seen from the first island when the weather was
cloudy, and here the narrative stops some time to describe and admire
sufficiently. Madeira had been colonised under the lead and action of
the Prince four and twenty years before, and was now thickly peopled by
the Portuguese settlers. Beyond Portugal its existence was hardly known.
Its name was "from its woodland,"--here Cadamosto repeats the
traditional falsehood about the place,--but the first settlers had
destroyed most of this in trying to clear an open space by fire. The
whole island had once been in flames, the colonists only saved their
lives by plunging into the rivers, and even Zarco, the chief discoverer,
with his wife and children had to stand in a torrent bed for two whole
days and nights before they could venture on dry land again.

The island was forty miles round; like Porto Santo, it was without a
harbour, but not without convenient roads for ships to lie in; the soil
was fertile, well watered by eight rivers that flowed through the
island. "Various kinds of carved wood are exported, so that almost all
Portugal is now adorned with tables and other furniture made from these

"Hearing of the great plenty of water in the island, the Prince ordered
all the open country to be planted with sugar-cane and with vines
imported from Crete, which do excellent well in a climate so well suited
to the grape; the vine staves make good bows, and are exported to Europe
like the wine, red and white alike, but especially the red. The grapes
are ripe about Easter in each year," and this vintage, as early as
Cadamosto's day, was evidently the main interest of the islanders, who
had all the enthusiasm of a new venture in their experiment, "for no one
had ever tried his hand upon the soil before."

From Madeira the caravel sailed on 320 miles to the Canaries, of which
says our Venetian, there are ten, seven cultivated and three still
desert; and of the seven inhabited four are Christian, three Heathen,
even now, fifty years after De Béthencourt's conquest. Neither wine nor
grain can be produced on this soil, and hardly any fruit, only a kind of
dye, used for clothes in Portugal; goat's flesh and cheese can also be
exported, and something, Cadamosto fancies, might be made of the wild
asses that swarm in the islands.

Each of these Canary islands being some forty miles from the next, the
people of one do not understand the speech of their neighbours. They
have no walls, but open villages; watch towers are placed on the highest
mountains to guard the people of one village from the attacks of the
next, for a guerilla warfare, half marauding, half serious civil war, is
the order of the day.

Speaking of the three heathen islands, "which were also the most
populous," Cadamosto stops a little over the mention of Teneriffe,
"wonderful among the islands of the earth, and able to be seen in clear
weather for a distance of seventy Spanish leagues, which is equal to two
hundred and fifty miles. And what makes it to be seen from so far, is
that on the top is a great rock of adamant, like a pyramid, which stone
blazes like the mountain of Ætna, and is full fifteen miles from the
plain, as the natives say."

These natives have no iron weapons, but fight with stones and wooden
daggers; they go naked except for a defensive armour of goat-skins,
which they wear in front and behind. Houses they have none, not even the
poorest huts, but live in mountain caves, without faith, without God.
Some indeed worship the sun and moon, and others planets, reverence
certain idols; in their marriage customs the chiefs have the first right
by common consent, and at the graves of their dead chiefs are most of
their religious sacrifices; the islanders have only one art, that of
stone-slinging, unless one were to count their mountain-climbing and
skill in running and in all bodily exercises, in which nature has
created these Canarians to excel all other mortals.

They paint their bodies with the juice of plants in all sorts of colours
and think this the highest point of perfection, to be decked out on
their skins like a garden bed.

From the Canaries, Cadamosto sails to the White Cape, C. Blanco, on the
mainland, some way beyond Bojador, "towards Æthiopia," passing the bay
and isles of Arguin on the way, where the crews found such quantities of
sea-birds that they brought home two ship-loads. And here it is to be
noticed, says the narrative, that in sailing from the parts of Cadiz to
that Æthiopia which faces to the south, you meet with nothing but desert
lands till you come to Cape Cantin, from which it is a near course to C.
Blanco. These parts towards the south do run along the borders of the
negroes' land, and this great tract of white and arid land, full of
sand, very low lying at a dead level, it would be a quick thing to cross
in sixty days. At C. Blanco some hills begin to rise out of the plain,
and this cape was first found by the Portuguese, and on it is nothing
but sand, no trace of grass or trees; it is seen from far, being very
sharply marked, three-sided, and having on its crest three pyramids, as
they may be called, each one a mile from its neighbour. A little beyond
this great desert tract is a vast sea and a wondrous concourse of
rivers, where only explorers have reached. At C. Blanco there is a mart
of Arab traders, a station for the camels and caravans of the interior,
and those pass by the cape who are coming from Negro-land and going to
the Barbary of North Africa. As one might expect on such a barren stony
soil, no wine or grain can be raised; the natives have oxen and goats,
but very few; milk of camels and others is their only drink; as for
religion, the wretches worship Mahomet and hate Christians right
bitterly. What is of more interest to the Venetian merchant, the traders
of these parts have plenty of camels which carry loads of brass and
silver, and even of gold, brought from the negroes to the people of our

The natives of C. Blanco are black as moles, but dress in white flowing
robes, after the Moorish fashion, with a turban wound round the head;
and indeed plenty of Arabs are always hovering off the cape and the bay
of Arguin for the sake of trade with the Infant's ships, especially in
silver, grain, and woven stuffs, and above all in slaves and gold. To
protect this commerce, the Prince some time since (1448), built a fort
in the bay, and every year the Portuguese caravels that come here lie
under its protection and exchange the negro slaves that they have
captured farther south for Arab horses, one horse against ten or fifteen
slaves, or for silks and woven stuffs from Morocco and Granada, from
Tunis and the whole land of Barbary. The Arabs on their side sell
slaves, that they have driven from the upland, to the Portuguese at
Arguin, in all nearly a thousand a year, so that the Europeans, who used
to plunder all this coast as far as the Senegal, now find it more
profitable to trade.

The mention of the Senegal brings Cadamosto to the next stage of his
voyage, to the great river, "which divides the Azaneguys, Tawny Moors,
from the First Kingdom of the Negroes."

The Azaneguys, Cadamosto goes on to define more exactly as a people of a
colour something between black and ashen hue, whom the Portuguese once
plundered and enslaved but now trade with peacefully enough. "For the
Prince will not allow any wrong-doing, being only eager that they should
submit themselves to the law of Christ. For at present they are in a
doubt whether they should cleave to our faith or to Mahomet's slavery."
But they are a filthy race, continues the traveller, all of them mean
and very abject, liars and traitorous knaves, squat of figure, noisome
of breath, though of a truth they cover their mouths as of decency,
saying that the mouth is a very cesspool and sewer of impurity. They oil
their hair with a foul-smelling grease, which they think a great virtue
and honour. Much do they make also of their gross fat women, whose
breasts they deform usually, that they may hang out the more, straining
their bodies (when) at seventeen years of age with ropes.

Ignorant and brutal as they are, they know no other Christian people but
the Portuguese, who have enslaved and plundered them now fourteen
years. This much is certain, that when they first saw the ships of Don
Henry sailing past, they thought them to be birds coming from far and
cleaving the air with white wings. When the crews furled sail and drew
in to the shore, the natives changed their minds and thought they were
fishes; some, who first saw the ships sailing by night, believed them to
be phantoms gliding past. When they made out the men on board of them,
it was much debated whether these men could be mortal; all stood on the
shore, stupidly gazing at the new wonder.

The centre of power and of trade in these parts was not on the coast,
but some way inland. Six days' journey up the country is the place
called Tagaza, or the Gold-Market, whence there is a great export of
salt and metals which are brought on the camels of the Arabs and
Azaneguys down to the shore. Another route of merchants is inland to the
Negro Empire of Melli and the city of Timbuctoo, where the heat is such
that even animals cannot endure to labour and no green thing grows for
the food of any quadruped, so that of one hundred camels bearing gold
and salt (which they store in two hundred or three hundred huts) scarce
thirty return home to Tagaza, for the journey is a long one, 'tis forty
days from Tagaza to Timbuctoo and thirty more from Timbuctoo to Melli.

"And how comes it," proceeds Cadamosto, "that these people want to use
so much salt?" and after some fanciful astrological reasoning he gives
us his practical answer, "to cool their blood in the extreme heat of
the sun": and so much is it needed that when they unload their camels at
the entrance of the kingdom of Melli, they pack the salt in blocks on
men's heads and these last carry it, like a great army of footmen,
through the country. When one negro race barters the salt with another,
the first party comes to the place agreed on, and lays down the salt in
heaps, each man marking his own heap by some token. Then they go away
out of sight, about the time of midday sun, when the second party comes
up, being most anxious to avoid recognition and places by each heap so
much gold as the buyer thinks good. Then they too go away. The sellers
come back in the evening, each one visits his pile, and where the gold
is enough for the seller's wishes, he takes it, leaves the salt and goes
away for good; where it is not enough, he leaves gold and salt together
and only goes away to wait again till the buyers have paid a second
visit. Now, the second party coming up again, take away the salt where
the gold has been accepted, but where it still lies, refused, they
either add more or take their money away altogether, according to what
they think to be the worth of the salt.

Once the King of Melli, who sent out a party with salt to exchange for
gold, ordered his men to make captive some of the negroes who concealed
themselves so carefully. They were to wait till the buyers should come
up to put down their gold; then they were to rush out and seize all they
could. In this way one man and only one was taken, who refused all food
and died on the third day after his capture, without uttering a word,
"whereby the King of Melli did not gain much," but which induced the men
of Melli to believe that the other people were naturally dumb. The
captors described the appearance of those who escaped their hands, "men
of fine build and height, more than a palm's length greater than their
own, having the lower lip brought out and hung down even to the breast,
red and bleeding and disclosing their teeth which were larger than the
common, their eyes black, prominent, and fierce-looking."

For this treachery the trade was broken off three whole years, till the
great want of salt compelled the injured negroes to resume, and since
then the business had gone on as before.

The gold thus gained is carried by the men of Melli to their city, and
then portioned out in three parts; one part goes by the caravan route
towards Syria, the other two thirds go to Timbuctoo, and are there
divided once again, part going to Tunis, the head of Barbary, and part
to the regions of Marocco, over against Granada, and without the strait
of the Pillars of Hercules (Gibraltar). And to those parts come
Christian merchants, and especially Italians, to buy the gold in
exchange for merchandise of every sort. For among the negroes and
Azaneguys there is no coinage of gold or of silver, no money token of
metal, but the whole is simply matter for exchange.

From the trade, Cadamosto changes to discourse of the politics of the
natives, their manners and customs. Their government for the most part
is not monarchy, but a tyranny of the richest and most powerful caste.
Their wars are waged only with offensive arms, light spears and swords;
they have no defensive armour, but use horses, which they sit as the
Moors do. Their ordinary garments are of cotton.

The plague of excessive drought during all the year, except from August
to October, is aggravated at certain seasons by the worse plague of
locusts, "and I myself have seen them flying by troops upon the sea and
shore like an army, but of countless number." After this long digression
Cadamosto comes back to the Gulf of Senegal. "And this," says he, "is
the chief river of the Region of the Negroes, dividing them from the
Tawny Moors." The mouth of the estuary is a mile wide, but an island
lying in mid-channel divides the river into two parts just where it
enters the sea. Though the central channel is deep enough, the entrance
is made difficult to strangers by the shallows and sand banks on either
side; every six hours the river rises and falls with the flow and ebb of
the ocean, and where it pours out its waters into the sea, the flux and
reflux of waters reaches to a distance of sixty miles, as say the
Portuguese who have watched it. The Senegal is nearly four hundred miles
beyond Cape Blanco; a sandy shore stretches between the two; up to the
river the sailor sees from the shore only the wandering Azaneguys,
tawny, squat, and miserable savages; across the stream to the south are
the real Blacks, "well built noble-looking men," and after so long a
stretch of arid and stony desert, there is now a beautiful green land,
covered with fruit-bearing trees, the work of the river, which, men
say, comes from the Nile, being one of the four most glorious rivers of
earth that flow from the Garden of Eden and earthly paradise. For as the
eastern Nile waters Egypt, so this doth water Æthiopia.

Now the land of these negroes is at the entering in of Æthiopia, from
which to Cape Verde the land is all level, where the King of Senegal,
reigning over people that have no cities, but only scattered huts, lives
by the presents that his subjects bring him. Such are oxen, goats, and
horses, which are much valued for their scarceness, but used without
saddle, bridle, or trappings. To these presents the King adds what he
can plunder by his own strength, especially slaves, of which the Blacks
have a great trade with the Azaneguys. Their horses they sell also to
the Christian traders on the coast. The King can have as many wives as
he likes (and always keeps well above his minimum of thirty), to each of
whom is assigned a certain estate with slaves and cattle, but not equal;
to some more, to others less. The King goes the round of these farms at
will, and lives upon their produce. Any day you may see hosts of slaves
bringing fruits of all sorts to the King, as he goes through the country
with his motley following, all living at free quarters.

Of the negroes of these parts most go naked, but the chiefs and great
men use cotton shirts, as the country abounds in this sort of stuff.
Cadamosto describes in great detail the native manufacture of garments,
and the habits of the women; barefoot and bare-headed they go always,
dressed in linen, elegant enough in apparel, vile in life and diet,
always chattering, great liars, treacherous and deceitful to the last
degree. Bloody and remorseless are the wars the princes of these
barbarians carry on against one another. They have no horsemen or body
armour, but use darts and spears, barbed with many poisonous fangs, and
several kinds of arrows, as with us. From the beginning of the world
they knew nothing of ships before the Portuguese came; they only used
light canoes or skiffs, each of which can be carried by three men, and
in which they fish and go from place to place on the river.

The boundaries of the kingdom of Senegal are the ocean on the west, the
land of Gambra on the south, the inland Blackman's country on the east,
and on the north the River Niger (Senegal), which, "as I have said
before, divides the Azaneguys from the First Kingdom of the Negroes. And
the said river," concludes Cadamosto, "five years before my coming, had
been explored by the Portuguese, who hoped to open up a great commerce
in those parts. So that every year from that time their ships had been
off that coast to trade."

Cadamosto determined to push farther up the river than any had done
before, and so to come to the land of Budomel, one of the great negro
princes and kingdoms, for it was the name both of place and person. When
he came there he found an "Emperor so honest that he might have been an
example to any Christian," who exchanged his horses, wool-fells, and
linen goods for the strangers' merchandise and slaves, with deeds as
honourable as his words. Our adventurer was so taken with "Lord Budomel"
that he gladly went with him two hundred and fifty miles up country, on
his promising a supply of negro slaves, black but comely, and none of
them more than twelve years old.

On this adventurous journey, of which we are next given a full account,
Cadamosto is taken charge of by Bisboror, the Prince's nephew, "through
whom I saw many things worth noting." The Venetian was not anxious to
put off to sea, as the weather was very rough, so rough indeed that no
boat could venture off from the bank at the river's mouth to where the
ships lay, and the captain had to send word to his crews by negro
swimmers, who could pass any surf, "for that they excel all other living
men in the water and under it, for they can dive an hour without

It is not worth while to follow Cadamosto in all his long account of
what he saw and heard of negro life in the course of this journey; it is
as unsavoury as it is commonplace. He repeats very much of what he has
said before about the Azaneguys, of their servility to their Princes,
"who are to them as mortal Gods"; of the everlasting progresses and
wanderings of those Princes round their kingdoms, from kraal to kraal,
living on the stores each wife has provided; of the kraals themselves,
no towns or castles, as people at home might think, says Cadamosto, but
merely collections of forty and fifty huts, with a hedge of living trees
round, intertwined, and the royal palace in the middle.

The Prince of Budomel has a bodyguard of two hundred men, besides the
volunteer guard of his innumerable children, who are broken up in two
groups, one always at Court, "and these are made the most of," the other
scattered up and down the country, as a sort of royal garrison. The
wretched subjects, who "suffer more from their King with a good will
than they would from any stranger under force," are punished with death
for the smallest things. Only two small classes have any privileges:
ministers of religion share with the greatest nobles the sole right of
access to the person of the "Mortal God."

Cadamosto set up a mart in the upland and made what profits he could
from their miserable poverty, making exchanges with cottons, cloths,
oil, millet, skins, palm-leaves, and vegetables, and above all, of
course, with gold, what little there was to be had. "Meantime the
negroes came stupidly crowding about me, wondering at our Christian
symbols; our white colour, our dress and shape of body, our Damascenes,
garments of black silk and robes of blue cloth or dyed wool, all amazed
them; some insisted that the white colour of the strangers was not
natural but put on"; as with Cook and so many others the savages now
behaved with Cadamosto. They spat upon his arm and tried to rub off the
white paint; then they wondered more than ever when they found the flesh
itself was white.

Of gold after all not much was to be got, and the exploring party was
not long in returning to the caravels and pushing on beyond Cape Verde.
To the last the ships and their instruments were the chief terror and
delight of the negroes and above all of the negro women; the whole thing
was the work of demons, they said, not of men, seeing that our engines
of war could fell one hundred men at one discharge; the trumpets
sounding they took to be the yells of a living and furious beast of
prey. Cadamosto gave them a trumpet that they might see it was made by
art; they changed their minds accordingly, and decided that such things
were directly made by God himself, above all admiring the different
tones, and crying loudly that they had never seen anything so wonderful.

The women looked through every part of the ship--masts, helm, anchors,
sails, and oars. The eyes painted on the bow excited them: the ship had
eyes and could see before it, and the men who used it must be wonderful
enchanters like the demons. "This specially they wondered, that we could
sail out of all sight of land and yet know well enough where we were,
all which, said they, could not happen, without black art. Scarcely less
was their wonder at the sight of lighted candles, as they had never
before seen any light but that of fire, when I shewed them how to make
candles from wax which before they had always thrown aside as worthless,
they were still more amazed, saying there was nothing we did not know."

And now Cadamosto was ready to put off from the coast into the ocean and
strike south for the kingdom of Gambro, as he had been charged by the
Prince, who had told him it was not far from the Senegal, as the
negroes had reported to him at Sagres. And that kingdom, he had been
told, was so rich in gold that if Christians could reach it they would
gain endless riches.

So with two aims, first to find the golden land, and second to make
discoveries in the unknown, the Venetian was just beginning to start
afresh, when he was joined by two more ships from Portugal, and they
agreed to round Cape Verde together. It was only some forty miles beyond
Budomel and the caravels reached it next day.

Cape Verde gets its name from its green grass and trees, like C. Blanco
from its white sand. Both are very prominent, lofty, and seen from a
great distance, as they run out far into the sea, but Cape Verde is more
picturesque, dotted as it is with little native villages on the side of
the ocean, and with three small desert islands a short distance from the
mainland, where the sailors found birds' nests and eggs in thousands, of
kinds unknown in Europe, and, above all, enormous shell-fish (turtles),
of twelve pounds' weight.

Soon after passing C. Verde, the coast makes a great sweep to the east,
still covered with evergreen trees, coming down in thick woods to within
a bowshot of the sea, so that from a distance the forest line seems to
touch the high-water mark, "as we thought at first looking on ahead from
our ships. Many countries have I been in to East and West, but never did
I see a prettier sight."

From the place the description again changes to the people, and we are
told once more with wearisome repetitions about the people beyond C.
Verde, in most ways like the negroes of the Senegal but "not obedient to
that kingdom and abhorring the tyranny of the negro Princes, having no
King or laws themselves, worshipping idols, using poisoned arrows which
kill at once, even though they drew but little blood,"--in short a most
truculent folk, but very fine of stature, black and comely. The whole
coast east of C. Verde was found unapproachable, except for certain
narrow harbours, till "with a south wind we reached the mouth of a
river, called Ruim, a bowshot across at the mouth. And when we sighted
this river, which was sixty miles beyond C. Verde, we cast anchor at
sunset in ten or twelve paces of water, four or five miles from the
shore, but when it was day, as the look-out saw there was a reef of
rocks on which the sea broke itself, we sailed on and came to the mouth
of another river as large as the Senegal, with trees growing down to the
water's edge and promising a most fertile country." Cadamosto determined
to land a scout here, and caused lots cast among his slave-interpreters
which was to land. "And of these slaves, negroes whom the native kings
in the past had sold to Portuguese and who had then been trained in
Europe I had many with me who were to open the country for our trade and
to parley between us and the natives. Now the lot fell upon the Genoese
caravel (which had joined the explorers), to draw into the shore and
land a prisoner, to try the good will of the natives before any one else
ventured." The poor wretch, instructed to enquire about the races living
on the river and their manners, polity, King's name and capital, gold
supply, and other matters of commerce, had no sooner swum ashore than he
was seized and cut to pieces by some armed savages, while the ships
sailed on with a south wind, making no attempt to avenge their victim,
till after a lovely coast, fringed with trees, low-lying, and rich
exceedingly, they came to the mouth of the Gambra, three or four miles
across, the haven where they would be, and where Cadamosto expected his
full harvest of gold and pepper and aromatics.

The smallest caravel started at once the very next morning after the
discovery to go upstream, taking a boat with it, in case the stream
should suddenly get too shallow for anything larger, while the sailors
were to keep sounding the river with their poles all the way. Everybody
too kept a sharp look-out for native canoes. They had not long to wait.
Two miles up the river three native "Almadias" came suddenly out upon
them and then stopped dead, too astonished at the ship and the white men
in it to offer to do more, though they had at first a threatening look
and were now invited to a parley by the Europeans with every sign that
could be thought of.

As the natives would not come any nearer, the caravel returned to the
mouth of the river, and next morning at about nine o'clock the whole
fleet started together upstream to explore "with the hope of finding
some more friendly natives by the kind care of Heaven." Four miles up
the negroes came out upon them again in greater force, "most of them
sooty black in colour, dressed in white cotton, with something like a
German helmet on their heads, with two wings on either side and a
feather in the middle. A Moor stood in the bow of each Almadia, holding
a round leather shield and encouraging his men in their thirteen canoes
to fight and to row up boldly to the caravels. Now their oars were
larger than ours and in number they seemed past counting." After a short
breathing space, while each party glared upon the other, the negroes
shot their arrows and the caravels replied with their engines, which
killed a whole rank of the natives. The savages then crowded round the
little caravel and set upon her; they were at last beaten off with heavy
loss and all fled; the slave interpreters shouting out to them as they
rowed away that they might as well come to terms with men who were only
there for commerce, and had come from the ends of the earth to give the
King of Gambra a present from his brother of Portugal, "and for that we
hoped to be exceeding well loved and cherished by the king of Gambra.
But we wanted to know who and where their king was, and what was the
name of this river. They should come without fear and take of us what
they would, giving us in return of theirs."

The negroes shouted back that they could not be mistaken about the
strangers, they were Christians. What could they have to do with them;
they knew how they had behaved to the King of Senegal. No good men could
stand Christians who ate human flesh. What else did they buy negro
slaves for? Christians were plundering brigands too and had come to rob
them. As for their king, he was three days' journey from the river,
which was called Gambra.

When Cadamosto tried to come to closer quarters, the natives
disappeared, and the crews refused to venture any farther upstream. So
the caravels turned back, sailed down the river, and coasted away west
to Cape Verde, and so home to Portugal. But before the Venetian ends his
journal, he tells us how near Prince Henry's ships had now come to the
Equator. "When we were in the river of Gambra, once only did we see the
North Star, which was so low that it seemed almost to touch the sea." To
make up for the loss of the Pole Star--sunk to "the third part of a
lance's length above the edge of the water,"--Cadamosto and his men had
a view of six brilliant stars, "in form of a cross," while the June
night was "of thirteen hours and the day of eleven."

Cadamosto only went home to refit for a second voyage. Though at first
he had been baffled by the "savagery of the men of Gambra" from finding
out much about them, he resolved to try again, sailed out the very next
year by way of the Canaries and Cape Blanco, and found, after three
days' more sailing, certain islands off Cape Verde, where no one had
been before. The lookouts saw two very large islands, towards the larger
of which they sailed at once, in the hope of finding good anchorage and
friendly natives. But no one, friend or foe, seemed to live there.

So next morning, says Cadamosto, that I might satisfy my own mind, I
bade ten of my men, armed with missiles and cross-bows, to explore the
inland. They crossed the hills that cut off the interior from the coast,
but found nothing except doves, who were so tame that they could be
caught in any number by the hand.

And now from another side of the first island they caught sight of three
others towards the north, and of two more towards the west, which could
not be clearly seen because of the great distance. "But for the matter
of that, we did not care to go out of our way to find what we now
expected, that all these other islands were desolate like the first. So
we went on our way (due south) and so passed another island, and, coming
to the mouth of a river, landed in search of fresh water and found a
beautiful and fruitful country covered with trees. Some sailors who went
inland found cakes of salt, white and small, by the side of the river,
and immense numbers of great turtles, with shells of such size that they
could make very good shields for an army."

Here they stayed a couple of days, exploring in the country and fishing
in the river, which was so broad and deep that it would easily bear a
ship of one hundred and fifty tons burden and a full bowshot would not
carry across it. Then, naming their first discovered island Boa Vista,
and the largest of the group St. James, because it was on the feast of
the Apostle they found it, they sailed on along the coast of the
mainland, till they came to the Place of the Two Palms, between the
Senegal and Cape Verde, "and since the whole land was known to us
before, we did not stay, but boldly rounded C. Verde and ran along to
the Gambra." Up this they at once began to steer.

No canoes came out upon them this time, and no natives appeared, except
a few who hung about some way off and did not offer to stop them. Ten
miles up they found a small island, where one of the sailors died of a
fever, and they called the new discovered land "St. Andrew," after him.
The natives were now much more approachable and Cadamosto's men
conversed with the bolder ones who came close up to the caravel. Like
the men of Senegal, two things above all astonished and confounded them,
the white sails of the ships and the white skins of the sailors. After
much debate, carried on by yelling from boat to boat, one of the negroes
came on board the caravel and was loaded with presents, to make him more
communicative. The ruse was successful. The string of his tongue was
quite loosed and he chattered along freely enough. The country, like the
river, was called "Gambra"; its king, Farosangul, lived ten days'
journey toward the south, but he was himself under the Emperor of Melli,
chief of all the negroes.

Was there no one nearer than Farosangul? Oh, yes, there was Battimansa,
"King Batti," and a good many other princes who lived quite close to the
river. Would he guide them to Battimansa? Yes, safe enough, his country
was only some forty miles from the mouth of the Gambra.

"And so we came to Battimansa, where the river was narrowed down to
about a mile in breadth," where Cadamosto offered presents to the King,
and made a great speech before the negro magnates, which is abridged in
the narrative, "lest the matter should become a great Iliad." King Batti
returned the Portuguese presents with gifts of slaves and gold, but the
Europeans were sadly disappointed with the gold. It was not at all equal
to what they expected, or what the people of Senegal had talked of;
"being poor themselves, they had fancied their neighbours must be rich."
On the other hand, the negroes of Gambra would give almost any price for
trinkets and worthless toys, because they were new. Fifteen days, or
nearly that, did the Portuguese stay there trading, and immense was the
variety of their visitors in that time. Most came on board simply from
wonder and to stare at them, others to sell their cotton cloths, nets,
gold rings, civet and furs, baboons and marmots, fruit and especially
dates. Each canoe seemed to differ in its build and its crew from the
last. The river, crowded with this light craft, was "like the Rhone,
near Lyons," but the natives worked their boats like gondolas, standing,
one rowing and another steering with oars, that were like half a lance
in shape, a pace and a half long, with a round board like a trencher
tied at the end. "And with these they make very good pace, being great
coasting voyagers, but not venturing far out to sea or away from their
own country, lest they should be seized and sold for slaves to the

After the fortnight's stay in Battimansa's country, the crews began to
fall ill and Cadamosto determined to drop down the river once more to
the coast, noting as he did so all the habits of the natives. Most of
them were idolaters, nearly all had implicit faith in charms, some
worshipped "Mahmoud most vile," and some were Nomades like the Gypsies
of Europe. For the most part the people of the Gambra lived like those
of the Senegal, dressing in cotton and using the same food, except that
they ate dog's flesh and were all tattooed, women as well as men.

We need not follow Cadamosto in his accounts of the great trees, the
wild elephants, great bats and "horse-fish" of the country. A chief
called Gnumi-Mansa, "King Gnumi," living near the mouth of the Gambra,
took him on an elephant-hunt, in which he got the trophies, foot, trunk,
and skin, that he took home and presented to Prince Henry.

On descending the Gambra, the caravel tried to coast along the
unexplored land, but was driven by a storm into the open sea. After
driving about some time and nearly running on a dangerous coast, they
came at last to the mouth of a great river which they called Rio Grande,
"for it seemed more like a gulf or arm of the sea than a river, and was
nearly twenty miles across, some twenty-five leagues beyond the Gambra."
Here they met natives in two canoes, who made signs of peace, but could
not understand the language of the interpreters. The new country was
absolutely outside the farthest limits of earlier exploration, and
discovery would have to begin afresh. Cadamosto had no mind to risk
anything more. His crew were sick and tired, and he turned back to
Lisbon, observing, before he left the Ra or Rio Grande, as he noticed in
his earlier voyage, that the North Star almost touched the horizon and
that "the tides of that coast were very marvellous. For instead of flow
and ebb being six hours each, as at Venice, the flow here was but four,
and the ebb eight, the tide rising with such force that three anchors
could hardly hold the caravel."




The last voyage of Henry's lifetime was that of his faithful servant,
Diego Gomez, by which the Cape Verde islands first became clearly and
fully known. It followed close upon Cadamosto's venture.

"No long time after, the Prince equipped at Lagos a caravel, called the
_Wren_, and set over it Diego Gomez, with two other caravels, of which
the same Gomez was captain-in-chief. Their orders were to go as far as
they could.

"But after passing a great river beyond the Rio Grande, we met such
strong currents in the sea that no anchor could hold. The other captains
and their men were much alarmed, thinking we were at the end of the
ocean, and begged me to put back. In the mid-current the sea was very
clear and the natives came off from the shore and brought us their
merchandise, cotton cloth, ivory, and a quart measure of malaguette
pepper, in grain and in its pods as it grows, which delighted us.

"As the current prevented our going farther, and even grew stronger, we
put back and came to a land where there were groves of palms near the
shore with their branches broken, so tall that from a distance I thought
they were the masts or spars of negroes' vessels.

"So we went there and found a great plain covered with hay and more than
five thousand animals like stags, but larger, who shewed no fear of us.
Five elephants came out of a small river that was fringed by trees,
three full grown, with two young ones, and on the shore we saw holes of
crocodiles in plenty. We went back to the ships and next day made our
way from Cape Verde and saw the broad mouth of a great river, three
leagues in width, which we entered and guessed to be the Gambia. Here
wind and tide were in our favour, so we came to a small island in
mid-stream and rested there the night. In the morning we went farther
in, and saw a crowd of canoes full of men, who fled at the sight of us,
for it was they who had killed Nuno Tristam and his men. Next day we saw
beyond the point of the river some natives on the right-hand bank, who
welcomed us. Their chief was called Frangazick and he was the nephew of
Farosangul, the great Prince of the Negroes. There they gave us one
hundred and eighty pounds worth of gold, in exchange for our goods. The
lord of the country had a negro with him named Buka, who knew the tongue
only of Negroland, and finding him perfectly truthful, I asked him to go
with me to Cantor and promised him all he needed. I made the same
promise to his chief and kept it.

[Illustration: THE BORGIAN MAP OF 1450. (SEE LIST OF MAPS)]

"We went up the river as far as Cantor, which is a large town near the
river-side. Farther than this the ships could not go, because of the
thick growth of trees and underwood, but here I made it known that I had
come to exchange merchandise, and the natives came to me in very great
numbers. When the news spread through the country that the Christians
were in Cantor, they came from Tambucatu in the North, from Mount Gelu
in the South, and from Quioquun, which is a great city, with a wall of
baked tiles. Here, too, I was told, there is gold in plenty and caravans
of camels cross over there with goods from Carthage, Tunis, Fez, Cairo
and all the land of the Saracens. These are exchanged for gold, which
comes from the mines on the other side of Sierra Leone. They said that
range ran southwards, which pleased me very greatly, because all the
rivers coming from thence, as far as could be known, ran westward, but
they told me that other very large rivers ran eastward from the other
side of the ridge.

"There was also, they said, East of these mountains, a great lake,
narrow and long, on which sailed canoes like ships. The people on the
opposite sides of this lake were always at war; and those on the eastern
side were white. When I asked who ruled in those parts, they answered
that one chief was a negro, but towards the East was a greater lord who
had conquered the negroes a short time before.

"A Saracen told me he had been all through that land and had been
present at the fighting, and when I told this to the Prince, he said
that a merchant in Oran had written him two months before about this
very war, and that he believed it.

"Such were the things told me by the negroes at Cantor; I asked them
about the road to the gold country, and who were the lords of that
country. They told me the King lived in Kukia, and was lord of all the
mines on the right side of the river of Cantor, and that he had before
the door of his palace a mass of gold just as it was taken from the
earth, so large that twenty men could hardly move it, and that the King
always fastened his horse to it and kept it as a curiosity on account of
its size and purity. The nobles of his Court wore in their nostrils and
ears ornaments of gold.

"The parts to the East were full of gold mines, but the men who went
into the pits to get gold did not live long, because of the foul air.
The gold sand was given to women to wash the gold from it.

"I enquired the road from Cantor to Kukia and was told the road ran
eastward; where was great abundance of gold; as I can well believe, for
I saw the negroes who went by those roads laden with it.

"While I was thus trafficking with these negroes of Cantor, my men
became worn out with the heat and so we returned towards the ocean.
After I had gone down the river fifty leagues, they told me of a great
chief living on the South side, who wished to speak with me.

"We met in a great wood on the bank, and he brought with him a vast
throng of people armed with poisoned arrows, assegais, swords and
shields. And I went to him, carrying some presents and biscuit and some
of our wine, for they have no wine except that made from the date-palm,
and he was pleased and extremely gracious, giving me three negroes and
swearing to me by the one only God that he would never again make war
against Christians, but that they might trade and travel safely through
all his country.

"Being desirous of putting to proof this oath of his, I sent a certain
Indian named Jacob whom the Prince had sent with us, in order that in
the event of our reaching India, he might be able to hold speech with
the natives, and I ordered him to go to the place called Al-cuzet, with
the lord of that country, to find Mount Gelu and Timbuctoo through the
land of Jaloffa. A knight had gone there with him before.

"This Jacob, the Indian, told me that Al-cuzet was a very evil land,
having a river of sweet water and abundance of lemons; and some of these
he brought to me. And the lord of that country sent me elephants' teeth
and four negroes, who carried one great ivory tusk to the ship.

"Now the houses here are made of seaweed, covered with straw, and while
I stayed here (at the river mouth) three days, I learned that all the
mischief that had been done to the Christians had been done by a certain
king called Nomimansa, who has the country near the great headland by
the mouth of the river Gambia. So I took great pains to make peace with
him, and sent him many presents by his own men in his own canoes, which
were going for salt along the coast to his own country, for this salt
is plentiful there and of a red colour. Now Nomimansa was in great fear
of the Christians, lest they should take vengeance upon him.

"Then I went on to a great harbour where I had many negroes come to me,
sent by Nomimansa to see if I should do anything, but I always treated
them kindly. When the King heard this, he came to the river side with a
great force and sitting down on the bank, sent for me. And so I went and
paid him all respect. There was a Bishop there of his own faith who
asked me about the God of the Christians, and I answered him as God had
given me to know; and then I questioned him about Mahomet, whom they
believe. At last the King was so pleased with what I said that he sprang
to his feet and ordered the Bishop to leave his country within three
days, and swore that he would kill any one who should speak the name of
Mahomet from that day forward. For he said he trusted in the one only
God and there was no other but He, whom his brother Prince Henry

"Then calling the Infant his brother, he asked me to baptize him and all
his lords and women. He himself would have no other name than Henry, but
his nobles took our names, like James and Nuno. So I remained on shore
that night with the King but did not baptize him, as I was a layman. But
next day I begged the King with his twelve chief men and eight of his
wives to dine with me on my caravel; and they all came unarmed and I
gave them fowls and meat and wine, white and red, as much as they could
drink, and they said to one another that no people were better than the

"Then again on shore the King asked me to baptize him but I said I had
not leave from the Pope; but I would tell the Prince, who would send a
priest. So Nomimansa at once wrote to Prince Henry to send him a priest
and some one to teach him the faith, and begged him to send him a falcon
with the priest, for he was amazed when I told him how we carried a bird
on the hand to catch other birds. And with these he asked the Prince to
send him two rams and sheep and geese and ganders and a pig, and two men
to build houses and plan out his town. And all these wishes of his I
promised him that the Prince would grant. And he and all his people made
a great noise at my going but I left the King at Gambia and started back
for Portugal. One caravel I sent straight home, but with the others I
sailed to Cape Verde.

"And as we came near the sea-shore we saw two canoes putting out to sea;
but we sailed between them and the shore, and so cut them off. Then the
interpreter came to me and said that Bezeghichi, the lord of the land
and an evil man, was in one of them.

"So I made them come into the caravel and gave them to eat and drink
with a double share of presents, and making as if I did not know him to
be the chief, I said 'Is this the land of Bezeghichi?' He answered 'Yes,
it is.' And I, to try him, exclaimed 'Why is he so bitter against the
Christians? He would do far better to have peace with them, so that they
might trade in his land and bring him horses and other things, as they
do for other lords of the negroes. Go and tell your lord Bezeghichi that
I have taken you and for love of him have let you go.'

"At this he was very cheerful and he and his men got into their canoes,
as I bade them, and as they all were standing by the side of the
caravel, I called out 'Bezeghichi, Bezeghichi, do not think I did not
know thee. I could have done to thee what I would, and now, as I have
done to thee, do thou also to our Christians.'

"So they went off, and we came back to Arguin and the Isle of the
Herons, where we found flocks of birds of every kind, and after this
came home to Lagos, where the Prince was very glad of our return.

"Then after this for two years no one went to Guinea, because King
Affonso was at war in Africa and the Prince was quite taken up with
this. But after he had come back from Alcaçer, I reminded him of what
King Nomimansa had asked of him; and the Prince sent him all he had
promised, with a priest, the Abbot of Soto de Cassa, and a young man of
his household named John Delgado. This was in 1458.

"Two years afterwards King Affonso equipped a large caravel and sent me
out as captain, and I took with me ten horses and went to the land of
the Barbacins, which is near the land of Nomimansa. And these Barbacins
had two kings, but the King of Portugal gave me power over all the
shores of that sea, that any ships I might find off the coast of Guinea
should be under me, for he knew that there were those who sold arms to
the Moors, and he bade me to seize such and bring them bound to

"And by the help of God I came in twelve days to this land (of the
Barbacins), and found two ships there,--one under Gonzalo Ferreira, of
Oporto, of the Household of Prince Henry, that was conveying horses; the
other was under Antonio de Noli, of Genoa. These merchants injured our
trade very much, for the natives used to give twelve negroes for one
horse, and now gave only six.

"And while we were there, a caravel came from Gambia, which brought us
news that a captain called De Prado was coming with a richly laden ship,
and I ordered Ferreira to go to Cape Verde and look for that ship and
seize it, on pain of death and loss of all his goods. And he did so, and
we found a great prize, which I sent home with Ferreira to the King. And
then I and Antonio de Noli left that coast, and sailed two days and one
night towards Portugal, and we sighted islands in the ocean, and as my
ship was lighter and faster than the rest, I came first to one of those
islands, to a good harbour, with a beach of white sand, where I
anchored. I told all my men and the other captains that I wished to be
first to land, and so I did.

"We saw no trace of natives, and called the island Santiago, as it is
still known. There were plenty of fish there and many strange birds, so
tame that we killed them with sticks. And I had a quadrant with me, and
wrote on the table of it the altitude of the Arctic Pole, and I found it
better than the chart, for though you see your course of sailing on the
chart well enough, yet if once you get wrong, it is hard by map alone to
work back into the right course.

"After this we saw one of the Canary islands, called Palma, and so came
to the island of Madeira; and then adverse winds drove me to the Azores,
but Antonio de Noli stayed at Madeira, and, catching the right breeze,
he got to Portugal before me, and begged of the King the captaincy of
the island of Santiago, which I had found, and the King gave it him, and
he kept it till his death.

"But De Prado, who had carried arms to the Moors, lay in irons and the
King ordered him to be brought out. And then they martyrised him in a
cart, and threw him into the fire alive with his sword and gold."





While Cadamosto and Diego Gomez were carrying the Prince's flag farther
from the shores of Europe "than Alexander or Cæsar had ever ventured,"
the Prince himself was getting more and more absorbed in the project of
a new Holy War against the Infidel.

The fall of Constantinople in 1453 into the hands of the Ottoman Turks,
had at least the effect of frightening and almost of rousing Western
Christendom at large. In the most miserably divided of Latin states
there was now a talk about doing great things, though the time, the
spirit for actually doing them, had long passed by, or was not yet come.
Spain, the one part of the Western Church and State, which was still
living in the crusading fervour of the twelfth century, was alone ready
for action. The Portuguese kingdom in particular, under Affonso V., had
been keeping up a regular crusade in Marocco, and was willing and eager
to spend men and treasure in a great Levantine enterprise. So the
Pope's Legate was welcomed when he came in 1457 to preach the Holy War.
Affonso promised to keep up an army of twelve thousand men for war
against the Ottoman, and struck a new gold coinage--the Cruzado--to
commemorate the year of Deliverance.

But Portugal by itself could not deliver New Rome or the Holy Land, and
when the other powers of the West refused to move, Affonso had to
content himself with the old crusade in Africa, but he now pushed on
even more zealously than before his favourite ambition, a land empire on
both sides of the Straits, and Prince Henry's last appearance in public
service was in his nephew's camp in the Marocco campaign of 1458. In the
siege of Alcaçer the Little, the "Lord Infant" forced the batteries,
mounted the guns, and took charge of the general conduct of the siege. A
breach was soon made in the walls, and the town surrendered on easy
terms, "for it was not," said Henry, "to take their goods or force a
ransom from them that the King of Portugal had come against them, but
for the service of God." They were only to leave behind in Alcaçer their
Christian prisoners; for themselves, they might go, with their wives,
their children, and their property.

The stout-hearted veteran Edward Menezes became governor of Alcaçer, and
held the town with his own desperate courage against all attempts to
recover it. When the besiegers offered him terms, he offered them in
return his scaling ladders that they might have a fair chance; when they
were raising the siege he sent them a message, Would they not try a
little longer? It had been a very short affair.

Meantime Henry, returning to Europe by way of Ceuta, re-entered his own
town of Sagres for the last time. His work was nearly done, and indeed,
of that work there only remains one thing to notice. The great Venetian
map, known as the Camaldolese Chart of Fra Mauro, executed in the
convent of Murano just outside Venice, is not only the crowning specimen
of mediæval draughtsmanship, but the scientific review of the Prince's
exploration. As Henry himself closes the middle age of exploration and
begins the modern, so this map, the picture and proof of his
discoveries, is not only the last of the older type of plan, but the
first of the new style--the style which applied the accurate and careful
methods of Portolano-drawing to a scheme of the whole world. It is the
first scientific atlas.

But its scale is too vast for anything of a detailed account: it
measures six feet four inches across, and in every part it is crammed
with detail, the work of three years of incessant labour (1457-9) from
Andrea Bianco and all the first coasters and draughtsmen of the time. In
general, there is an external carefulness as well as gorgeousness about
the workmanship; the coasts, especially in the Mediterranean and along
the west coast of Europe, would almost suit a modern Admiralty Chart,
while its notice, the first notice, of Prince Henry's African and
Atlantic discoveries is the special point of the whole work.

There is a certain disposition to exaggerate the size of rivers,
mountains, towns, and the whole proportion of things, as we get farther
away from the well-known ground of Europe; Russia and the north and
north-east of Asia are somewhat too large, but along the central belt,
it is fair to say that the whole of the country west of the Caspian is
thoroughly sound, the best thing yet done in any projection.

No one could look at Fra Mauro's map and fail to see at a glance a
picture of the Old World; and the more it is looked at, the more
reliable it will prove to be, by the side of all earlier essays in this
field. No one can look at the Arabic maps and their imitations in
mediæval Christendom, whether conscious or unconscious (as in the
Spanish example of 1109), without despair. It is almost hopeless to try
and recognise in these anything of the shape, the proportions, or the
distribution of the parts of the world which are named, and which one
might almost fancy it was meant to represent at the time.

Place the map of 1459 by the side of the Hereford map of 1300 or of
Edrisi's scheme of 1130 (made at the Christian Court of Sicily), or in
fact beside any of the theoretical maps of the thousand years that had
gone to make the Italy and the Spain of Fra Mauro and Prince Henry, and
it will seem to be almost absurd to ask the question: Do these belong to
the same civilisation, in any kind of way? What would the higher
criticism answer, out of its infallible internal evidence tests? Of
course, these are quite different. The one is merely a collection of
the scratchings of savages, the other is the prototype of modern maps.
Yet the Christian world is answerable for both kinds; it had struggled
through ignorance and superstition and tradition into clearer light and
truer knowledge.


And when Greek geography came to be reprinted and revived, this was in
part at least a consequence of that revival of true science which had
begun in that very dark time, the night of the twelfth century, where we
are not likely to see any signs of dawn till we look, not so much at
what is written now, as at what the poor besotted savages of the ages of
Abelard and Bernard and Aquinas and Dante have left to bear witness of

Between Henry's return from Alcaçer and his death, while the great
Venetian map was in making, two years went by, years in which Diego
Gomez was finding the Cape Verde islands and pushing the farthest south
of European discovery still farther south, but of the Prince's own
working, apart from that of his draughtsmen, we have little or nothing,
but a set of charters. These charters were concerned with the trade
profits of the Guinea commerce and the settlers in the new found lands
off the continent--Madeira, the Azores, the Canaries,--and have an
interest as being a sort of last will and testament of the Prince to his
nation, settling his colonies, providing for the working of the lands he
had explored, before it should be too late. Already on the 7th June,
1454, Affonso had granted to the Order of Christ, for the explorations
"made and to be made at the expense of the aforesaid Order," the
spiritual jurisdiction of Guinea, Nubia, and Ethiopia, with all rights
as exercised in Europe and at the Mother house of Thomar.

Now on the 28th December, 1458, Prince Henry granted "in his town" that
"the said Order should receive one twentieth of all merchandise from
Guinea," slaves, gold and all other articles; the rest of the profit to
fall to the Prince's successor in this "Kingdom of the Seas." In the
same way on the 18th September, 1460, the Prince grants away the Church
Revenues of Porto Santo and Madeira to the Order of Christ, and the
temporalities to the Crown of Portugal. It was his to give, for by Royal
Decree of September 15, 1448, the whole control of the African and ocean
trade and colonies had been expressly conferred upon the Infant. No
ships as we have seen could sail beyond Bojador without his permit;
whoever transgressed this forfeited his ship; and all ships sailing with
his permit were obliged to pay him one fifth or one tenth of the value
of their freight.

But the end was in sight. The Prince was now sixty-six, and he had spent
himself too strenuously for there to be much hope of a long life in him.
Of late years, pressed by the increasing claims of his work, he had
borrowed enormous sums from his half brother, the millionaire Duke of
Braganza. Now his body failed him like his treasures.


What we know of his death is mainly from his body servant, Captain Diego
Gomez, who was with him at the last. "In the year of Christ 1460, the
Lord Infant Henry fell sick in his own town, on Cape St. Vincent, and
of that sickness he died on Thursday, November 13th, in the selfsame
year. And King Affonso, who was then at Evora with all his men, made
great mourning on the death of a Prince so mighty, who had sent out so
many fleets, and had won so much from Negro-land, and had fought so
constantly against the Saracens for the Faith.

"And at the end of the year, the King bade me come to him. Now till then
I had stayed in Lagos by the body of the Prince my lord, which had been
carried into the Church of St. Mary in that town. And I was bidden to
look and see if the body of the Prince were at all corrupted, for it was
the wish of the King to remove it to the Monastery of Batalha which D.
Henry's father King John had built. But when I came and looked at the
body, I found it dry and sound, clad in a rough shirt of horse-hair.
Well doth the Church repeat 'Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see

"For how the Lord Infant had been chaste, a virgin to the day of his
death, and what and how many good deeds he had done in his life, is to
be remembered, though it is not for me here to speak of this. For that
would be a long tale. But the King Affonso had the body of his uncle
carried to Batalha and laid in the chapel that King John had built,
where also lie buried the aforesaid King John and his Queen Phillipa,
mother of my lord the Prince, and all the five brothers of the Infant."

He was brawny and large of frame, says Azurara, strong of limb as any.
His complexion was fair by nature, but by his constant toil and
exposure of himself it had become quite dark. His face was stern and
when angry, very terrible. Brave as he was in heart and keen in mind, he
had a passion for the doing of great things. Luxury and avarice never
found lodgment within him. For from a youth, he quite left off the use
of wine, and more than this, as it was commonly reported, he passed all
his days in unbroken chastity. He was so generous that no other
uncrowned Prince in Europe had so noble a household, so large and
splendid a school for the young nobles of his country.

For all the best men of his nation and still more those who came to him
from foreign lands were welcomed at his Court, so that often the medley
of tongues and peoples and customs to be heard and seen there was a
wonder. And none who worthily came to him left the Court without some
proof of his kindness.


Only to himself was he severe. All his days were spent in work, and it
would not easily be believed how often he passed the night without
sleep, so that by his untiring industry he conquered the impossibilities
of other men. His virtues and graces it is too much to reckon up; wise
and thoughtful, of wonderful knowledge and calm bearing, courteous in
language and manner and most dignified in address, yet no subject of the
lowest rank could show more obedience and respect to his sovereign than
this uncle to his nephew, from the very beginning of his reign, while
King Affonso was still a minor. Constant in adversity and humble in
prosperity, my Lord the Infant never cherished hatred or ill will
against any, even though they had grievously offended him, so that some,
who spoke as if they knew everything, said that he was wanting in
retributive justice, though in all other ways most impartial. Thus they
complained that he forgave some of his soldiers who deserted him in the
attack on Tangier, when he was in the greatest danger. He was wholly
given up to the public service, and was always glad to try new plans for
the welfare of the Kingdom at his own expense. He gloried in warfare
against the Infidels and in keeping peace with all Christians. And so he
was loved by all, for he loved all, never injuring any, nor failing in
due respect and courtesy towards any person however humble, without
forgetting his own position. A foul or indecent word was never heard to
issue from his lips.

To Holy Church, above all, he was most obedient, attending all its
services and in his own chapel causing them to be rendered as solemnly
as in any Cathedral Church. All holy things he reverenced, and he
delighted to shew honour and to do kindness to all the ministers of
religion. Nearly one half of the year was passed by him in fasting, and
the hands of the poor never went out empty from his presence. His heart
never knew fear except the fear of sin.



Henry's own life is in one way the least important part of him. We have
seen how many were the lines of history and of progress--in Christendom,
in Portugal, in Science--that met in him; how Greek and Arabic
geography, both knowledge and practical exploration, was as much a part
of what he found to work with as the memoirs of Christian pilgrims,
traders, and travellers for a thousand years; how the exploring and
expanding energy which the Northmen poured into Europe, leading directly
to the Crusading movement, was producing in the Portugal of the
fifteenth century the very same results as in the France and Italy and
England of the twelfth and thirteenth: and now, on the failure of the
Syrian crusades, the Spanish counterpart of those crusades, the greatest
of social and religious upheavals in the Middle Ages, had reached such a
point of success that the victorious Christians of Spain could look out
for new worlds to conquer. Again we have seen how the twelfth,
thirteenth, and fourteenth century progress in science, especially in
geographical maps and plans, the great extension of land travel and the
new beginnings of ocean voyaging during the same time, must be taken
into any view of the Prince's life and work. We have now to look for a
moment at the immense results of that same life which had so vast and so
long a preparation.

For just as we cannot see how that work of his could have been done
without each and every part of that many-sided preparation in the
history of the past, so it is quite as difficult to see how the great
achievements of the generation that followed him and of the century,
that wonderful sixteenth century, which followed the age of Henry's
courtiers and disciples, could have been realised without the impetus he
had given and the knowledge he had spread.

For it was not merely that his seamen had broken down the middle wall of
superstitious terror and had pierced through into the unknown South for
a distance of nearly two thousand miles; it was not merely that between
1412 and 1460 Europeans passed the limits of the West and of the South,
as legend had so long fixed them; not merely that the most difficult
part of the African coast, between Bojador and the Gulf of Guinea, had
been fairly passed and that the waterway to India was more than half
found. This was true enough. When Vasco da Gama was once round the South
Cape, he soon found himself not in an unknown and untraversed ocean, but
embarked upon one of the great trade routes of the Mahometan world. The
main part of the distance between the Prince's farthest and the
southern Cape of Good Hope, was passed in two voyages, in four years

But there was more than this. Henry did not only accomplish the first
and most difficult steps of his own great central project, the finding
of the way round Africa to India; he not only began the conversion of
the natives, the civilisation of the coast tribes and the colonisation
of certain trading sites; he also founded that school of thought and
practice which made all the great discoveries that have so utterly
eclipsed his own.

From that school came Columbus, who found a western route to India,
starting from the suggestion of Henry's attempt by south and east;
Bartholomew Diaz, who reached and rounded the southernmost point of the
old-world continent and laid open the Indian Ocean to European sailors;
Da Gama, who was the first of those sailors to reap the full advantage
of the work of ninety years, the first who sailed from Lisbon to Calicut
and back again; Albuquerque, who founded the first colonial empire of
Modern Europe, the first great out-settlement of Christendom, the
Portuguese trade dominion in the East; Magellan, who finally proved what
all the great discoverers were really assuming--the roundness of the
world; the nameless adventurers who seem to have touched Australia some
time before 1530; the draughtsmen who left us our first true map of the
globe. So it is not in the actual things done by the Prince's efforts
that we can measure his importance in history. It is because his work
was infinitely suggestive, because he laid a right foundation for the
onward movement of Europe and Christendom, because he was the leader of
a true Renaissance and Reformation, that he is so much more than a
figure in the story of Portugal.


There are figures which are of national interest: there are others which
are less than that, figures of family or provincial importance; others
again which are always dear to us as human beings, as men who felt the
ordinary wants and passions and lived the ordinary life of men with a
brilliancy and an intense power that was all their own; there are other
men who stand out as those who have changed more or less, but changed
vitally and really, the course of the world's history; without whom the
whole of our modern society, our boasted civilisation, would have been
profoundly different.

For after all the modern Christian world of Europe has something to
boast of, though its writers spend much of their time in reviling and
decrying it. It is something that our Western world has conquered or
worsted every other civilisation upon earth; that with the single
exception of China, it has made everyone of the coveted tracts of Asia
its own; that it has discovered, settled, and developed a new continent
to be the equal of the old; that it has won not a complete but a good
working knowledge of the whole surface of the globe. We are at home in
the world now, we say, and if we would know what that means, we must
look at the Europe of the tenth or even the fourteenth century, look at
the theoretic maps of the Middle Ages, look at the legends and the
pseudo-science of a civilisation which was shut up within itself and
condemned for so long to fight in a narrowing circle against incessant
attacks from without and the barbarism which this state of things kept
alive within. Then perhaps we shall take things a little less for
granted, and perhaps also we shall begin to think that if this great
advance, the greatest thing in Modern History as we know it, that which
is the distinction and glory of the last three hundred years, is at all
due to the inspiration and the action of Henry of Portugal, an obscure
Prince of the fifteenth century, that obscure Prince may possibly belong
to the rank of the great civilisers, the men who have most altered
society and advanced it, men like Alexander and Cæsar and the founders
of the great world religions.

It may be as well to trace out very shortly the evidence for such a
claim as this and to see, how the Prince's work was followed up, first
on his own lines to south and east; second, on other lines, which his
own suggested, to west and north.

1. King Affonso V., Henry's nephew, though rather more of a hard fighter
and tournament king than a man who could fully take up his uncle's
plans, had yet caught enough of his inspiration to push on steadily,
though slowly, the advance round Africa. He had already done his best to
get the great map of Fra Mauro finished: this, which embodied all the
achievements of the Navigator and gave the most complete and perfect
view of the world that had ever yet appeared, had come out in 1459, just
before Henry's death, the last tribute of science to the Prince's work.

Now, in 1461, left alone to deal with the discovery and conquest of
Guinea, Affonso repaired Henry's fort in the Bay of Arguin and sent one
Pedro de Cintra to survey the coast beyond the Rio Grande, the farthest
point of Cadamosto in his first voyage, as generally known. Pedro went
six hundred miles into the Bight of Benin, passed a mountain range
called Sierra Leone from the lion-like growl of the thunder on its
summits, and turned back near the point afterwards known as Fort La Mina
(1461). Some time in the next few years, another courtier, one Sueiro da
Costa followed Pedro de Cintra to Guinea, but without any new results;
when Cadamosto left Portugal (Feb. 1, 1463), he tells us "there were no
more voyages to the new-found parts."

The slave-trade nearer home was now, indeed, absorbing all energies and
Affonso's main relation with African voyaging is to be found in his
regulations for the security of this trade.

But in 1471 there was another move in the line of further discovery. For
exploring energy was not dead or worn out, but only waiting a leader.
Fernando Po now reached the island in the farthest inlet of the Gulf of
Guinea, which is still called after him, finding as he went on that the
eastern bend of Africa, which men had followed so confidently since
1445, the year of the rounding of Cape Verde, now ended with a sharp
turn to the south. It was a great disappointment. But in spite of this
discouragement, at the very same time two of the foremost of the
Portuguese pilots, Martin Fernandez and Alvaro Esteeves, passed the
whole of the Guinea Coast, the Bights of Benin and of Biafra, and
crossed the Equator, into a new Heaven and a new Earth, on the edge of
which the caravels of Portugal had long been hovering, as they saw like
Cadamosto, stars unknown in the Northern Hemisphere and more and more
nearly lost sight of the Northern Pole.

In 1475 Cape St. Catherine, two degrees south of the Line, was reached
and then after six more years of languishing exploration and flourishing
trade, King John II. succeeded Affonso V. and took up the work, in the
spirit of Prince Henry the Navigator.

Now in six short years, exploration carried out the main part of the
design of so many years, the southern Cape of Africa was rounded and the
way to India laid open. For the time had come, and the man, John, added
a new chapter to discovery by the travellers he sent across the Dark
Continent and the sailors he despatched to the Arctic Seas to find a
north-east passage to China.

He died just as he was fitting up the expedition that was to enter upon
the promised land, and the glory of Da Gama's voyage fell to one who had
not laboured, but entered upon the fruits of the toil of other men, the
palace-king, Emanuel the Fortunate. But at least the names of Diaz, and
Diego Cam, and Covilham, the rounding of the Cape of Storms, the first
journey (though an overland one), straight from Lisbon to Malabar,
belong to the second founder of Portuguese and European discovery, John
the Perfect.


Less than four months after his father's death, John, who as heir
apparent, had drawn part of his income from the African trade and its
fisheries, sent out Diego de Azambuga with ten caravels to superintend
three undertakings: first the construction of a fort at St. George da
Mina, to secure the trade of the Guinea Coast; second, the rebuilding of
Henry's old fort at Arguin; third, the exploration of the yet unknown
coast as far as possible. For this, stones, brick, wood, mortar, and
tools for building were sent out with the fleet, and carved pillars were
taken to be set up in all fresh discovered lands, instead of the wooden
crosses that had previously done duty. Each pillar was fourteen hands
high, was carved in front with the royal arms and on the sides with the
names of the King and the Discoverer, with the date of discovery in
Latin and Portuguese.

Azambuga's fleet sailed on the 11th of December, 1480, made a treaty
with the chief Bezeghichi, near Cape Verde, and reached La Mina, on the
south coast of Guinea, on January 19, 1482, after a year spent in fort
building and treaty making with the natives of north-west Africa. Fort
and church at La Mina were finished in twenty days, and Azambuga sent
back his ships with a great cargo in slaves and gold, but without any
news of fresh discovery. John was not disposed to be content with this.
In 1484, Diego Cam was ordered to go as far to the south as he could,
and not to "wait anywhere for other matters." He passed Cape St.
Catherine, just beyond the Line, which since 1475 had been the limit of
knowledge, and continuing south, reached the mighty river Congo, called
by the natives Zaire, and now known as the second of African rivers, the
true counterpart of that western Nile, which every geographer since
Ptolemy had reproduced and which, in the Senegal, the Gambia, and the
Niger, the Portuguese had again and again sought to find their

Cam, by agreement with the natives, took back four hostages to act as
interpreters and next year returned to and passed the Congo, and sailed
two hundred leagues beyond, to the site of the modern Walvisch Bay

Here, as the coast seemed to stretch interminably south, though he had
now really passed quite nine-tenths of the distance to the southern
Cape, Cam turned back to the Congo, where he persuaded the King and
people to profess themselves Christians and allies of Portugal. Already,
in 1484, a native embassy to King John had brought such an account of an
inland prince, one Ogane, a Christian at heart, that all the Court of
Lisbon thought he must be the long lost Prester John, and the Portuguese
monarch, all on fire with this hope, sent out at once in search of this
"great Catholic lord," by sea and land.

Bartholomew Diaz sailed in August, 1486, with two ships, first to search
for the Prester, and then to explore as much new land and sea as he
could find within his reach. Two envoys, Covilham and Payva, were sent
on the same errand, by way of Jerusalem, Arabia, and Egypt; another
expedition was sent to ascend the Senegal to its junction with the Nile;
a fourth party started to find the way to Cathay by the North-east

Camoëns has sung of the travels of Covilham, who first saw cloves and
cinnamon, pepper and ginger, and who pined away in a state of
confinement at the Prester's Abyssinian Court, but the voyage of Diaz
hardly finds a place in the _Lusiads_ and the very name of the
discoverer is generally forgotten. Vasco da Gama has robbed him only too

John Diaz had been the second captain to double Bojador; Diniz Diaz, in
1445, had been the discoverer of Senegal and of Cape Verde; now, forty
years later, Bartholomew Diaz achieved the greatest feat of discovery in
all history, before Columbus; for the Northmen's finding America was an
unknown and transitory good fortune, while the voyage of 1486 changed
directly or indirectly the knowledge, the trade, the whole face of the
world at once and forever.

Sailing with "two little friggits," each of fifty tons burden, in the
belief that ships which sailed down the coast of Guinea might be sure of
reaching the end of the continent, by persisting to the south, Diaz, in
one voyage of sixteen months, performed the main task which Henry
seventy years ago had set before his nation.

Passing Walvisch Bay and the farthest pillar of Diego Cam, he reached a
headland where he set up his first new pillar at what is still known as
Diaz Point. Still coasting southwards and tacking frequently, he passed
the Orange River, the northern limit of the present Cape Colony. Then
putting well out to sea Diaz ran thirteen days before the wind due
south, hoping by this wide sweep to round the southern point of the
continent, which could not now be far off. Finding the cold become
almost Arctic and buffeted by tremendous seas, he changed his course to
east, and then as no land appeared after five days, to north. The first
land seen was a bay where cattle were feeding, now called Flesh Bay,
which Diaz named from the cows and cowherds he saw there. After putting
ashore two natives, some of those lately carried from Guinea or Congo to
Portugal, and sent out again to act as scouts for the European colonies,
the ships sailed east, seeking in vain for the land's end, till they
found the coast tend gradually but steadily towards the north.

Their last pillar was set up in Algoa Bay, the first land trodden by
Christians beyond the Cape. At the Great Fish River, sixty miles farther
on and quite five hundred miles beyond the point that Diaz was looking
for so anxiously, the crew refused to go any farther and the Admiral
turned back, only certain of one thing, that he had missed the Cape, and
that all his trouble was in vain. Worn out with the worry of his bitter
disappointment and incessant useless labour, he was coasting slowly
back, when one day the veil fell from his eyes. For there came in sight
that "so many ages unknown promontory" round which lay the way to India,
and to find which had been the great ambition of all enterprise since
the expansion of Europe had begun afresh in the opening years of that
fifteenth century.


While Diaz was still tossing in the storms off the Great Cape, Covilham
and his friends had started from Lisbon to settle the course of the
future sea-route to India by an "observation of all the coasts of the
Indian Ocean," to explore what they could of Upper Africa, to find
Prester John, and to ally the Portuguese experiment with anything they
could find of Christian power in Greater or Middle or Further India.

As King John's Senegal adventurers had been exploring the Niger, the
Sahara caravan routes, the city of Timbuctoo and the fancied western
Nile, so the Abyssinian travellers surveyed all the ground of Africa and
Malabar which the first fleet that could round the Cape of Storms must
come to. "Keep southward," Covilham wrote home from Cairo after his
first visit to Calicut on one side and to Mozambique on the other, "if
you persist, Africa must come to an end. And when ships come to the
Eastern Ocean let them ask for Sofala and the island of the Moon
(Madagascar), and they will find pilots to take them to Malabar."

Yet another chapter of discoveries was opened by King John's Cathay
fleet. He failed to get news of a North-east passage, but beyond the
north coast of Asia there was found a frozen island whose name of Novaia
Zemlaia or Nova Zembla still keeps the memory of the first Portuguese
attempts on the road where so many Dutch and English seamen perished in
after years.

The great voyage of Vasco da Gama (1497-9), the empire founded by
Albuquerque (1506-15) in the Indian seas, were the other steps in the
complete achievement of Prince Henry's ambition. When in the early
years of the sixteenth century a direct and permanent traffic was fairly
started between Malabar and Portugal, when European settlements and
forts controlled the whole eastern and western coasts of Africa from the
mouth of the Red Sea to the mouth of the Mediterranean, and the five
keys of the Indies--Malacca, Goa, Ormuz, Aden, and Ceylon--were all in
Christian hands, when the Moslem trade between east Africa and western
India had passed into a possession of the Kings of Lisbon, Don Henry
might see of the travail of his soul and be well satisfied.

The supposed discovery of Australia about 1530, or somewhat earlier, and
the travels of Ferdinand Mendez Pinto in Japan and the furthest East,
the opening of the trade with China in 1517, and the complete
exploration of Abyssinia, the Prester's kingdom, in 1520, by Alvarez and
the other Catholic missionaries, the millions converted by Francis
Xavier and the Jesuit preachers in Malabar, and the union of the old
native Christian Church of India with the Roman (1599), were other steps
in the same road. All of them, if traced back far enough, bring us to
the Court of Sagres, and the same is true of Spanish and French and
Dutch and English empires in the southern and eastern world. Henry built
for his own nation, but when that nation failed from the exhaustion of
its best blood, other peoples entered upon the inheritance of his work.

But though he was not able himself to see the fulfilment of his plans,
both the method of a South-east passage, and the men who followed it out
to complete success, were his,--his workmanship and his building.

Da Gama, Diego Cam, the Diaz family, and most of the great seamen who
followed the path they had traced, were either "brought up from boyhood
in the Household of the Infant," as the _Chronicle of the Discovery_
tells us of each new figure that comes upon the scene, or looked to him
as their master, owed to the School of Sagres their training, and began
their practical seamanship under his leave and protection. Even the
lines upon which the national expansion and exploration went on were so
strictly and exclusively the same as he had followed, that when a
different route to the Indies was suggested after his death by
Christopher Columbus, the Court of John II. refused to treat it
seriously. And this brings us to the other, the indirect side of Henry's

"It was in Portugal," (says Ferdinand Columbus, in his _Life of the
Admiral_, his father,) "that the Admiral began to think, that if men
could sail so far south, one might also sail west and find lands in that
quarter." The second great stream of modern discovery can thus be traced
to the "generous Henry" of Camoëns' _Lusiads_ no less plainly, though
more indirectly, than the first; the Western path was suggested by his
success in the Eastern.

But that success had turned the heads of his own people. When Columbus,
the son of the Genoese wool-comber, who had been a resident in Lisbon
since 1470, submitted to the Court of John II. some time before 1484 a
proposal to find Marco Polo's Cipangu by a few weeks' sail west, from
the Azores, he was treated as a dreamer. John, as Henry's disciple and
successor, was, like other disciples, narrower than his master in the
master's own way.

He was ready for any expense and trouble, but no novelty. He would only
go on as he had been taught. He had reason to be confident, and his
scientific Junto of four, Martin Behaim of Nuremburg among them, to whom
Columbus was referred, were too much elated with their new improvements
in the astrolabe, and the now assured confidence that the Southern Cape
would soon be passed. They could not endure with patience the vehement
dogmatism of an unknown theorist.

But as he was too full of his message to be easily shaken off, he was
treated with the basest trickery. At the suggestion of the Bishop of
Ceuta, Columbus was kept waiting for his answer, and asked to furnish
his plans in detail with charts and illustrations. He did so, and while
the Council pretended to be poring over these for a final decision, a
caravel was sent to the Cape Verde islands to try the route he had
suggested,--a trial with the pickings of Italian brains.

The Portuguese sailed westward for several days till the weather became
stormy; then, as their heart was not in the venture, they put back to
Europe with a fresh stock of the legends Henry had so heartily despised.
They had come to an impenetrable mist, which had stopped their progress;
apparitions had warned them back; the sea in those parts swarmed with
monsters; it became impossible to breathe.

[Illustration: MAP OF 1492. (SEE LIST OF MAPS)]

Columbus learned how he had been used, and his wife's death helped to
decide him, in his disgust for place and people. Towards the end of
1484, he left Lisbon. Three years later, when he had become fully as
much disgusted with the dilatory sloth and tricks of Spain, he offered
himself again to Portugal. King John had repented of his meanness; on
March 20, 1488, he wrote in answer to Columbus, eagerly offering on his
side to guarantee him against any suits that might be taken against him
in Lisbon. But the Court of Castille now became, in its turn, afraid of
quite losing what might be infinite advantage; Columbus was kept in the
service of Ferdinand and Isabella; and at last in August, 1492, the
"Catholic Kings" sent him out from Palos to discover what he could on
his own terms.

What followed, the discovery of America, and all the subsequent ventures
of the Cabots, of Amerigo Vespucci, of Cortés and Pizarro, De Soto and
Raleigh and the Pilgrim Fathers, are not often connected in any way with
the slow and painful beginnings of European expansion in the Portugal of
the fifteenth century, but it is a true and real connection all the
same. The whole onward and outward movement of the great exploring age
was set in motion by one man. It might have come to pass without him,
but the fact is simply that through him it did, as a matter of history,
result. "And let him that did more than this, go before him."



  Abulfeda, 28

  Adelard, of Bath, geographical postulates, 9, 10

  Adelard or Athelard, 84

  Affonso, comes of age, 257;
    marries his cousin Isabel, 258;
    forces Pedro into revolt, and declares war against him, 258, 259;
    sends out Gomez with a large caravel, 296;
    has the body of Prince Henry laid in chapel at Batalha, 305;
    carries on the work of his uncle, Prince Henry, 312, 313;
    is succeeded by King John II., 314

  Africa, shape of, 13

  Albateny, determined problems of astronomical geography, 19

  Albertus Magnus, geographical postulates, 9, 11

  Albuquerque, 125

  Albyrouny, work of, 21

  Alfarrobeira, battle of, 260

  Alfred the Great, credit due to, for discoveries, 72;
    efforts in exploration and religious extension, 74

  Al Heravy, life of, 26

  Almada, the Hercules of Portugal, 184;
    stands by Pedro, 259;
    dies, 260

  Almamoun, age of, 18

  Almanack, Arab, Latin translation of, 21

  Ant islands discovered, 160

  Antoninus the Martyr, an older Mandeville, 34;
    legends of, 35

  Arctic colonies checked, 59

  Arculf, 42;
    travels of, 43

  Arguin, fort built in the bay of, 205

  Arim, "World's Summit," 8;
    taken as measure of places, 10;
    twofold, 11

  Armada of Lagos, 228-239;
    "the third," 247

  Athelard, or Adelard, 84

  Aviz, House of. _See_ John, the King of Good Memory.

  Azambuga, Diego de, 315

  Azaneguys described by Cadamosto, 269

  Azores, colonisation of, 251;
    the entire group found, 254

  Azurara, chronicler of voyages of Henry, 157


  Bacon, Roger, geographical postulates, 9, 11

  Baldaya, Affonso, sent out with Gil Eannes, 173;
    his second voyage, 174-176

  Batti, King, 285, 286

  Batuta, Ibn, 27

  Beginnings of the art and science of discovery, 145

  Benjamin of Tudela, 88

  Bernard, "the French monk," route of, 46

  Bezeghichi, meets Gomez, 295;
    makes a treaty with Azambuga, 315

  Bjarni Herjulfson driven to new country, 56

  Blanco, Cape, visited by Cadamosto, 267

  Boa Vista, 284

  Bojador, southmost point of Christian knowledge, 170;
    legends concerning, 171;
    doubled by Gil Eannes, 173

  Bruges, Jacques de, receives a grant of Captaincy of Terceira, 254


  Cabral, Gonzalo, discovers Formiga group of islands and Santa Maria, 169;
    Captain Donatory in St. Mary's Island, 251;
    settled in Western Isles, 252;
    sent in search of land beyond St. Mary, misses it, and is sent
        again, 252;
    discovers St. Michael, 253;
    returns to St. Michael with Europeans, 253

  Cadamosto, record of his two voyages, 250;
    his narrative, 261-288;
    is presented to the Prince, 263;
    visits Madeira, 264, 265;
    goes on to Canaries, 265-267;
    to Cape Blanco, 267-269;
    reaches the Senegal, 269;
    describes Azaneguys, 269;
    pushes on to land of Budomel, 275-278;
    reaches Cape Verde, 279;
    describes people beyond, 280;
    explores the Gambra, 281, 282;
    goes back to Portugal, refits, and sails on second voyage, 283;
    explores islands off Cape Verde, 283, 284;
    names Boa Vista and St. James, 284;
    sails up the Gambra and names St. Andrew, 285;
    visits Battimansa, 285, 286,
      and Gnumimansa, 287;
    returns to Lisbon, 287;
    leaves Portugal, 313

  Camaldolese chart of Fra Mauro, 301

  Cam, Diego, 315;
    reaches the Congo and Walvisch Bay, 316

  Canaries, visited by Cadamosto, 265

  Cantor, visited by Gomez, 291

  Cape Cod, reached by Scandinavian migration, 65

  Cape St. Vincent, modern name for "Sacred Cape" and Sagres, 160

  Carpini, John de Plano, 90;
    his _Book of the Tartars_, 92

  Ceuta, King John plans an attack on, 148;
    situation, 150;
    left in command of Menezes, 155;
    safe in Christian hands, 156

  Chart of Fra Mauro, 301

  Christian pilgrimage begins with Constantine, 32

  Cintra, Gonsalo de, 197;
    sets out for Guinea, 218;
    is killed by Moors, 219

  Cintra, Pedro de, 313

  Columbus, influenced by _Imago Mundi_, 11;
    at Portuguese Court, 322;
    at Spanish Court, 323

  Constantine, Christian pilgrimage begins with, 32

  Corvo, 254, 256

  Cosmas Indicopleustes, 34;
    theory of, 37;
    interest to us, 40

  Costa, Sueiro da, 313

  Covilham, 316

  Crossness, place called from dead chief, 59

  Crusades and land travel, 76;
    results of, 144

  Crusading movement, results of, 78

  Cruzado, the, 300


  Daniel of Kiev, Abbot, 85

  Death, Black, in Portugal, 127

  De Prado, taken captive, 297;
    martyrised, 298

  Diaz, Bartholomew, 316;
    makes greatest discovery in all history before Columbus, 317

  Diaz, Diniz, enters mouth of the Senegal, 220;
    reaches Cape Verde, 221;
    heads a part of the fleet sent from Lagos, 229;
    reaches Cape Verde, 236

  Diaz, Lawrence, 230

  Diaz, Vincent, 233


  Eannes, Gil, makes a voyage to the Canaries, 170;
    rounds Cape Bojador, 173;
    sails with Lagos fleet, 229

  Edrisi, Arabic Ptolemy, the, 21;
    birth and life, 22;
    account of voyage of Lisbon "Wanderers," 23;
    "Traveller's Doctorate," in time of, 25;
    map superseded, 27

  Edward, eldest son of King John, 136;
    becomes King, 172;
    dies, 188

  Emosaid, family, 24;
    establish themselves as traders, 25

  England, Vikings first landed in, 52

  English-born travellers, first of, 45

  Eratosthenes, geography of, 5

  Eric the Red, renames Greenland, 55;
    leads colonists, 56

  Esteeves, Alvaro, crosses the equator, 314

  Europe, compacted together in spiritual federation, 76

  European development, pilgrim stage of, 42

  European expansion, beginnings of, 50

  Europeans, first landing of, on coasts of unknown Africa, 175;
    break in upon Moslem trade, 204


  Farosangul, King of Gambra, 285

  Fayal, 254;
    first Captain Donatory of, 255

  Ferdinand, fourth son of King John, 136;
    revives scheme of African war, 180;
    goes by sea to Tangier, 182;
    is left as hostage, 185;
    dies a captive, 188

  Ferdinand the Handsome, last of House of Burgundy to reign in Lisbon, 131

  Fernandez, Alvara, commands the caravel of his uncle, Zarco, 229;
    is again sent out with the caravel, 243;
    the voyage, 243-245

  Fernandez, Joan, left as hostage at Bank of Arguin, 219;
    taken home, 223;
    his story, 223, 224

  Fernandez, Martin, crosses the equator, 314

  Ferrer, Jayme, explorer, 108

  Fidelis, the monk, travels of, 46

  Flores, 254, 256

  Formigas discovered by Cabral, 169

  Frangazick, nephew of Farosangul, 290

  Freitas, Alvara de, 232

  Freydis, daughter of Red Eric, tries to colonise Vinland, 62


  Gama, Vasco da, 125

  Geographical record, last before age of Northmen, 47

  Geography, first Christian, 33;
    of Christendom from eighth and ninth centuries, 41

  Gerard of Cremona, geographical postulates, 9, 10

  Gnumi, King, 287

  Gog and Magog, wall to shut off, 13

  Gold dust, first ever brought by Europeans direct from Guinea coast, 203;
    effect, 217

  Gomez, Diego, 251;
    sets out in command of the caravel the _Wren_, 289;
    his narrative, 289-298;
    visits Cantor, 291;
    converts Nomimansa, 293-295;
    meets Bezeghichi, 295;
    returns to Lagos, 296;
    is sent out by Affonso and goes to the land of the Barbacins, 296;
    discovers Santiago, 297;
    returns to Portugal, 298;
    describes last illness and death of Prince Henry, 304, 305

  Gonsalvez, Antam, sent out by Henry, 193;
    his voyage, 193-195;
    takes the first captives, 195;
    is knighted by Nuno Tristam, 198;
    goes back to Portugal, 199;
    goes back to Africa with the captive prince, 202;
    exchanges two boys for ten prisoners, gold dust, and ostrich eggs, 203;
    applies for command of ships, 222

  Graciosa, 254;
    settled, 255

  Greenland, sighted by Gunnbiorn and renamed by Eric, 55;
    colonised, 56

  Green sea of darkness, 13, 14

  Gregory X., Pope, 93


  Harold Hardrada, 68;
    type of all Vikings, 69

  Helluland, or Slate-land, 56

  Henry, the Navigator, special interest of the life and work, 29;
    author of discovering movement, 30;
    preparation for work of, 80;
    predecessors of seamen of, 107-112;
    first voyage, 112;
    maps used by, 117-122;
    Hero of Portugal, 123;
    inspires his countrymen with love of exploration, 125;
    his brother Pedro his right hand man, 136;
    birth, 138;
    his aims, 139;
    tries to find a way round Africa to India, 139;
    his work of exploration a foundation of an empire for his country, 141;
    a crusader and a missionary, 142;
    sets the example for systematic exploration, 144;
    the teacher and master of more successful explorers, 145;
    sends out caravels past Cape Non, 147;
    brings Portuguese fleet into harbour at Ceuta, 150;
    anchors off Ceuta, 151;
    leads in the attack on Ceuta and is reported dead, 152;
    is made a knight, 153;
    begins coasting voyages, 154;
    is sent to relieve Ceuta, 155;
    plans to get possession of Gibraltar, 156;
    returns to Court, 156;
    is made Duke of Viseu and Lord of Covilham, 157;
    reasons for exploring Guinea, 158;
    Sagres his chosen home, 160;
    is made Governor for life of the Algarves, 160;
    his buildings on Sagres, 161;
    his scientific work, 162;
    results of settlement on Cape St. Vincent, 163;
    sends out men and ships to colonise Porto Santo, 164;
    colonises Madeira, 166;
    directs captains to Azores, 169;
    impatience at superstition and fears of navigators, 172;
    receives charter for Madeira, Porto Santo, and the Desertas, 173;
    sends out Gil Eannes, 173;
    despatches Baldaya, 174;
    engaged in politics, 179;
    reverence paid to him, 179;
    plans and organises African war, 180;
    sets sail for Ceuta, 181;
    pushes forward along inland routes, 182;
    attacks and blockades Tangier, 183;
    raises the siege, 184;
    signs a truce with Moors, 185;
    shuts himself up in Ceuta, 186;
    is recalled to Portugal, 186;
    made one of the guardians of Affonso V., 189;
    arranges a compromise between Pedro and Leonor, 190;
    sends to the Holy Father for treasure to aid in crusades, 200;
    gives grant to sail to coast of Guinea to Lançarote, 206;
    his motives in slave trade, 207;
    keeps buccaneers in check, 216;
    differs from West Indian planters, 217;
    gives a caravel to Gonsalo de Cintra, 218;
    permits Lagos to equip and send out a fleet on a Guinea voyage, 229;
    takes special charge of widows and orphans left by Nuno Tristam's
        expedition, 242;
    gives a reward to explorers, 246;
    his wonderful knowledge shown in correcting Cabral's course, 252;
    grants captaincy of Terceira to Jacques de Bruges, 254;
    account of him in narrative of Cadamosto, 261;
    absorbed in new Holy War against the Infidel, 299;
    his last appearance in public service, 300;
    makes set of charters, 303;
    makes grants to the Order of Christ and to the Crown of Portugal, 304;
    his illness and death, 304, 305;
    his body is laid in the chapel at Batalha, 305;
    his personal appearance, 305;
    his character, 306;
    results of his life, 309-312, 321, 323

  Heravy, Al, life of, 26

  Hereford _Mappa Mundi_, 120

  Heurter, Job van, notice of first settlement of Azores, 255

  Hippalus, discovery of monsoon, 17

  Hope, country re-named, 60


  Ibn Batuta, 27

  Iceland, sighted by Nadodd, 54;
    colonised, 55

  _Imago Mundi_, influence on Columbus, 11

  Isidore of Seville, belief of, 40

  Italian, merchants, first, who opened Court of Great Khan to Venice and
        Genoa, 90;
    age of South Atlantic and African voyages, 107


  Jacome from Majorca, 161

  Japan discovered by Kublai Khan, 99

  Jerusalem, loss of, 90

  John de Plano Carpini, first papal legate to the Tartars, 90;
    gives first genuine account of Tartary, 91;
    first real explorer of Christian Europe, 92

  John, fourth son of King John I., 136;
    succeeds Affonso V., adds a new chapter to discovery, dies, 314

  John, the King of Good Memory, transition figure, 133;
    personal work and its results, 133-135;
    sons of, 136;
    plans attack on Ceuta, 148;
    speech when he hears of death of his two sons, 152;
    dies, 160

  Jordanus, 104


  Karlsefne, Thorfinn, greatest of the Vinland sailors, 60

  Keel-Ness (Kjalarness), 58

  Kublai Khan, 93-98


  Labrador, possible discovery of, 56;
    reached by Scandinavian migration, 65

  Lagos equips and sends out a fleet, 229

  La Mina, 315

  Lançarote, obtains grant to sail to coast of Guinea, 206;
    his voyage, 212-214;
    landing at Lagos and sale of slaves captured by, 214;
    admiral of fleet sent out from Lagos, 229;
    holds a council of his captains, 231;
    decides to go on to the Nile, 232

  Latini, Brunetto, describes the magnet, 116

  Leif, a son of Red Eric, starts for discovery, 56

  Leonora Telles, evil genius of Ferdinand and Portugal, 131;
    marries King of Portugal, 132;
    people rise against, 132

  Leonor of Aragon, attempts to be regent, 189;
    yields to persuasions of Henry, 190;
    dies, 257

  Lion, first one brought to Portugal, 247

  Lisbon, capture of, 128


  Machin, Robert, 110

  Madagascar, first known to Europe, 102

  Madeira, discovered and named by the Portuguese, 165;
    nature of island, 166;
    visited by Cadamosto, 264

  Magellan, 125, 310

  Magnet, earliest mention of, 115

  Magnus the Good, 68

  Mandeville, Sir Henry, 105

  _Mappa Mundi_, Hereford, 120

  Maps, of fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries, 118

  Marabout, or Prophet Bird, 230

  Markland (Woodland), 57

  Massoudy, visited various countries, 19;
    discussion of problems, 20;
    greatest name of first age of Arabic geography, 21.

  Masts, Cape of, 238

  Mauro, Fra, Camaldolese chart of, 301

  Melli, negro empire of, 270;
    salt trade in, 271

  Menezes, Edward, 300

  Menezes, Pedro de, is left in command of Ceuta, 155

  Meymam, Ahude, 223, 224, 245

  Mythology, geographical, gradual development of, 7


  Noli, Antonio de, sails with Gomez, 297;
    gets the captaincy of Santiago, 298

  Nomimansa converted by Gomez, 293-295

  Norse, discoveries, 50, 51;
    early settlements, 54;
    farthest point of Northern advance in Europe, 55;
    race, type of, 69

  Northern, advance, lines of, 53;
    effects of invasions, 74

  Northmen, countries made known to Europe through, 67;
    definite advances into the unknown, 72


  Odjein, Aryn, or Arim, 8

  Ogane, 316

  Ohthere, 70;
    service of, to western geography, 72

  Olaf Trygveson, 68


  Pacheco, Gonsalo, unlucky expedition of, 225;
    meets Diaz on homeward voyage and turns back, 230

  Papal Court sends missions to convert Tartars, 90

  Payva, 316

  Pedro the Traveller, 136;
    joins in attack on Ceuta, 148-153;
    is knighted, 153;
    is made Duke of Coimbra and Lord of the Principality, 157;
    returns from travels, 168;
    becomes regent, 190;
    gives a charter to Henry, 201;
    gives a reward to explorers, 246;
    resigns the regency, 258;
    takes arms against Affonso, 259;
    marches on Lisbon and is killed, 260

  Philippa, Queen, character and death, 149

  Pilgrims, primitive, 34;
    pioneers of growth of Europe and Christendom, 76

  Pilgrim stage of European development, 42

  Pires, Gomes, goes on toward the Nile, 232;
    attacks natives, 234

  Po Fernando, 313

  Polo, Marco, makes journey to the East with uncles, 94;
    made commissioner of Imperial Council, 96;
    memoirs of, 96;
    heard and wrote of Madagascar and Zanzibar, 102;
    Herodotus of Middle Ages, 103;

  Polo, Nicolo and Matteo, traders to Crimea and Southern Russia, 93;
    make second journey to farthest East, 94;
    consulting engineers to Mongol Court, 96;
    dismissed, 101

  Pope, decides question of reviving African war, 181

  Portolani, superseded map of Edrisi, 27;
    drawn with aid of compass, 121

  Portolano, Laurentian, 118

  Portugal, chief points in story of, 123;
    guide of Europe into larger world, 125;
    mediæval history of, 126-133

  Portuguese give a value to the art and science of discovery, 145

  Prado De, 297, 298

  Prophet bird, or marabout, 230

  Ptolemy, chart of, 2;
    "Habitable Quarter" of the world, 12


  Rio Grande, 246;
    passed by Gomez, 289

  Rubruquis, William de, 92, 93


  St. George, 254, 255

  St. James, 284

  St. Michael, island of, discovered, 253

  St. Silvia, of Aquitaine, travels of, 33

  "Sacred Cape" of the Romans or Sagres, 160

  Sæwulf of Worcester, 81;
    pilgrimage of, 82;
    classes of pilgrim-crusaders in time of, 84

  Sagres, chosen home of Henry, 160;
    systematic study of applied science founded anew at, 162

  Santa Maria discovered, 169

  Santiago discovered by Gomez, 297

  Sanuto, Marino, Venetian map of, 118

  Senegal, reached by Cadamosto, 269;
    region about the gulf described by him, 273-275

  Sinbad Saga, 19

  Slate-land or Helluland, 56

  Slaves, beginning of trade in, as a part of European commerce, 207;
    description of sale of, 214, 215;
    treatment of, 215;
    excuse for trade in, 216

  Strabo, geography of, 5


  Tagaza, or the Gold-Market, 270

  Tangier, siege of, 183

  Tarik, the rock of (Gibraltar), 156

  Terceira, sighted, 253;
    Jacques de Bruges becomes captain, 254

  Theodosius, early pilgrim, 34

  Thorfinn Karlsefne, greatest of the Vinland sailors, 60

  Thorstein, third son of Red Eric, puts to sea, 59

  Thorvald Ericson, puts to sea, 57;
    voyages of, 58;
    death, 59

  Timbuctoo, inland route of merchants to, 270

  Tristam, Nuno, meets Antam Gonsalvez, 196;
    assists in capturing natives, 196-199;
    continues voyage and returns to Portugal, 199;
    sets out on another voyage, 204;
    sails into bay of Arguin, makes captives and returns, 205;
    makes a third voyage, 219;
    reaches Cape Palmar, 220;
    arms a caravel and sets sail, 240;
    is killed by Blackmoors, 241

  Trygveson, Olaf, 68


  Vallarte, his expedition and fate, 247

  Vaz, Tristam, sets out to explore as far as the coast of Guinea, 163;
    is rewarded, 166;
    heads three ships from Madeira in Lagos fleet, 229

  Vergil, Irish missionary, 40

  Vikings, highest type of explorers, 31;
    Norse, discoveries, conquests, and colonies, beginning of European
        expansion, 50;
    voyages of, 52;
    struggle with Esquimaux, 58;
    rename places visited, 65;
    work on south and south-west not one of exploration, 66;
    type of all, 69;
    credit due, for discoveries, 72;
    their principalities in time of Alfred, 73

  Vinland, discovery of, 57;
    renamed, 60;
    visited and abandoned by Thorfinn, 61;
    recolonised by Freydis, 62;
    fragmentary notices of, 63


  "Wanderers," Lisbon, account of, 23

  William de Rubruquis, sent by St. Louis on errand of conversion and
        discovery, 92;
    interest of his work, 93

  Willibald, 44

  Wulfstan, 70;
    tells of voyages, 71;
    service of, to western geography, 72


  Yacout, the Roman, _Dictionary_ of, 26

  Yang-Tse-Kiang, 96


  Zarco, John Gonsalvez, sets out to explore as far as the coast of
        Guinea, 163;
    his voyages, 164-166;
    returns to Madeira, 166;
    sends his caravel under his nephew with Lagos fleet, 229;
    the voyage, 236-239;
    same caravel sent out again, 243

The Story of the Nations.

MESSRS. G. P. Putnam's Sons take pleasure in announcing that they have in
course of publication, in co-operation with Mr. T. Fisher Unwin, of
London, a series of historical studies, intended to present in a graphic
manner the stories of the different nations that have attained
prominence in history.

In the story form the current of each national life is distinctly
indicated, and its picturesque and noteworthy periods and episodes are
presented for the reader in their philosophical relation to each other
as well as to universal history.

It is the plan of the writers of the different volumes to enter into the
real life of the peoples, and to bring them before the reader as they
actually lived, labored, and struggled--as they studied and wrote, and
as they amused themselves. In carrying out this plan, the myths, with
which the history of all lands begins, will not be overlooked, though
these will be carefully distinguished from the actual history, so far as
the labors of the accepted historical authorities have resulted in
definite conclusions.

The subjects of the different volumes have been planned to cover
connecting and, as far as possible, consecutive epochs or periods, so
that the set when completed will present in a comprehensive narrative
the chief events in the great STORY OF THE NATIONS; but it is, of
course not always practicable to issue the several volumes in their
chronological order.

The "Stories" are printed in good readable type, and in handsome 12mo
form. They are adequately illustrated and furnished with maps and
indexes. Price, per vol., cloth, $1.50 Half morocco, gilt top, $1.75

The following volumes are now ready (Jan., 1895):

   "    "    " ROME. ARTHUR GILMAN.
   "    "    " THE JEWS. Prof. JAMES K. HOSMER.
   "    "    " CHALDEA. Z.A. RAGOZIN.
   "    "    " GERMANY. S. BARING-GOULD.
   "    "    " NORWAY. HJALMAR H. BOYESEN.
   "    "    " SPAIN. Rev. E.E. AND SUSAN HALE.
   "    "    " HUNGARY. Prof. A. VÁMBÉRY.
   "    "    " CARTHAGE. Prof. ALFRED J. CHURCH.
   "    "    " PERSIA. S.G.W. BENJAMIN.
   "    "    " ANCIENT EGYPT. Prof. GEO. RAWLINSON.
   "    "    " ALEXANDER'S EMPIRE. Prof. J.P. MAHAFFY.
   "    "    " ASSYRIA. Z.A. RAGOZIN.
   "    "    " THE GOTHS. HENRY BRADLEY.
   "    "    " IRELAND. Hon. EMILY LAWLESS.
   "    "    " HOLLAND. Prof. J. THOROLD ROGERS.
   "    "    " MEXICO. SUSAN HALE.
   "    "    " PHOENICIA. Prof. GEO. RAWLINSON.
   "    "    " EARLY BRITAIN. Prof. ALFRED J. CHURCH.
   "    "    " RUSSIA. W.R. MORFILL.
   "    "    " SICILY. E.A. FREEMAN.
   "    "    " POLAND. W.R. MORFILL.
   "    "    " PARTHIA. Prof. GEORGE RAWLINSON.
   "    "    " JAPAN. DAVID MURRAY.
   "    "    " SOUTHERN AFRICA. GEO. M. THEAL.
   "    "    " VENICE. ALETHEA WIEL.
   "    "    " THE CRUSADES. T.S. ARCHER and C.L. KINGSFORD.

Heroes of the Nations.



A series of biographical studies of the lives and work of a number of
representative historical characters about whom have gathered the great
traditions of the Nations to which they belonged, and who have been
accepted, in many instances, as types of the several National ideals.
With the life of each typical character will be presented a picture of
the National conditions surrounding him during his career.

The narratives are the work of writers who are recognized authorities on
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will present picturesque and dramatic "stories" of the Men and of the
events connected with them.

To the Life of each "Hero" will be given one duodecimo volume,
handsomely printed in large type, provided with maps and adequately
illustrated according to the special requirements of the several
subjects. The volumes will be sold separately as follows:

Cloth extra                                      $1.50
Half morocco, uncut edges, gilt top               1.75
Large paper, limited to 250 numbered copies for
  subscribers to the series. These may be obtained
  in sheets folded, or in cloth, uncut edges.     3.50

The first group of the Series comprises the following volumes:

     Nelson, and the Naval Supremacy of England. By W. CLARK Russell,
     author of "The Wreck of the Grosvenor," etc.

     Gustavus Adolphus, and the Struggle of Protestantism for Existence.
     By C.R.L. FLETCHER, M.A., late Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford.

     Pericles, and the Golden Age of Athens. By EVELYN ABBOTT, M.A.,
     Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford.

     Theodoric the Goth, the Barbarian Champion of Civilisation. By
     THOMAS HODGKIN, author of "Italy and Her Invaders," etc.

     Sir Philip Sidney, and the Chivalry of England. By H.R. FOX-BOURNE,
     author of "The Life of John Locke," etc.

     Julius Cæsar, and the Organisation of the Roman Empire. By W. WARDE
     FOWLER, M.A., Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford.

     John Wyclif, Last of the Schoolmen and First of the English
     Reformers. By LEWIS SERGEANT, author of "New Greece," etc.

     Napoleon, Warrior and Ruler, and the Military Supremacy of
     Revolutionary France. By W. O'CONNOR MORRIS, sometime Scholar of
     Oriel College, Oxford.

     Henry of Navarre, and the Huguenots in France. By P.F. WILLERT,
     M.A., Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford.

     Cicero, and the Fall of the Roman Republic. By J.L. STRACHAN
     DAVIDSON, M.A., Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford.

     Abraham Lincoln, and the Downfall of American Slavery. By NOAH

     Prince Henry (of Portugal) the Navigator, and the Age of Discovery.
     By C.R. BEAZLEY, Fellow of Merton College, Oxford.

     Julian the Philosopher, and the Last Struggle of Paganism against
     Christianity. By ALICE GARDNER, Lecturer on Ancient History in
     Newnham College.

     Louis XIV., and the Zenith of the French Monarchy. By ARTHUR
     HASSALL, M.A., Senior Student of Christ Church College, Oxford.

     To be followed by:

     Saladin, the Crescent and the Cross. By STANLEY LANE-POOLE.

     Joan of Arc. By MRS. OLIPHANT.

     The Cid Campeador, and the Waning of the Crescent in the West. By
     H. BUTLER CLARKE, Wadham College, Oxford.

     Charlemagne, the Reorganiser of Europe. By Prof. GEORGE L. BURR,
     Cornell University.

     Moltke, and the Founding of the German Empire. By SPENSER

     Oliver Cromwell, and the Rule of the Puritans in England. By
     CHARLES FIRTH, Balliol College, Oxford.

     Alfred the Great, and the First Kingdom in England. By F. YORK
     POWELL, M.A., Senior Student of Christ Church College, Oxford.

     Marlborough, and England as a Military Power. By C.W.C. OMAN, A.M.,
     Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford.

     Frederic the Second, the Wonder of the World. By A.L. SMITH, of
     Balliol College, Oxford.

     Charles the Bold, and the Attempt to Found a Middle Kingdom. By R.
     LODGE, M.A., Fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford.

     Alexander the Great, and the Extension of Greek Rule and of Greek
     Ideas. By Prof. BENJAMIN I. WHEELER, Cornell University.




       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note:

   A footnote for the anchor next to the "List of Maps" was not
   found in the print edition.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Prince Henry the Navigator, the Hero of Portugal and of Modern Discovery, 1394-1460 A.D. - With an Account of Geographical Progress Throughout the Middle Ages As the Preparation for His Work." ***

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