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Title: History of Geography
Author: Howarth, Osbert John Radcliffe, Keltie, John Scott
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "History of Geography" ***

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[Illustration: “A Missionary looking over the edge of the world at the
point where Heaven and Earth meet.”

(_From an old print._)]




  O. J. R. HOWARTH, M.A.,


  WATTS & CO.,


This is not a history of geographical exploration, though the leading
episodes in the advance of our knowledge of the face of the Earth are
necessarily referred to in tracing the evolution of geography as a
department of science. That is the object of this volume as one of a
series dealing succinctly with the history of the various sciences.
We are not concerned to discuss whether Geography is entitled to be
considered as a science or not. It is hoped that in the attempt to tell
the story of its evolution up to the present day it will be evident
that it is as amenable to scientific methods as any other department
of human knowledge, and that it performs important functions which are
untouched by any other lines of research. I use the first person plural
because I am greatly indebted to Mr. O. J. R. Howarth in coming to my
help after I had accumulated much of the material, but was seriously
delayed owing to a great increase in my official duties. The greater
share of whatever merits the book may possess ought to be awarded to
Mr. Howarth.

I am indebted to Mr. E. A. Reeves’s interesting little book on _Maps
and Map-making_ for many of the illustrations.

                                                J. SCOTT KELTIE.

_July 2, 1913._



  BEGINNINGS                                                           1


  THE GEOGRAPHY OF THE GREEKS AND ROMANS                               8


  THE DARK AGE                                                        33


  THE MEDIÆVAL RENASCENCE                                             42




  THE NEW WORLD                                                       59


  THE FAR EAST AND THE DISCOVERY OF AUSTRALIA                         68




  JAMES COOK AND HIS SUCCESSORS                                       87


  MEASUREMENT, CARTOGRAPHY, AND THEORY, 1500–1800                     90


  THE NINETEENTH CENTURY: AFRICAN RESEARCH                           107




  THE NINETEENTH CENTURY AND AFTER: THE POLES                        122


      GEOGRAPHICAL SCIENCE                                           135

  SHORT BIBLIOGRAPHY OF GEOGRAPHY                                    147

  INDEX                                                              149



  FIG.                                                              PAGE
   1.--TAHITIAN MAP                                                    2


   3.--THE WORLD ACCORDING TO HERODOTUS B.C. 450                      15

   4.--THE WORLD ACCORDING TO PTOLEMY                              28–29


   6.--BEATUS’S MAP                                                   38

   7.--THE HEREFORD MAP                                               47


   9.--SCAPH                                                          91

  10.--ASTROLABE                                                      91

  11.--QUADRANT                                                       92

  12.--CROSS-STAFF                                                    94

  13.--DAVIS’S BACK-STAFF                                             95

  14.--PRETORIUS’S PLANE-TABLE                                        96

  15.--RAMSDEN’S THEODOLITE                                           97

  16.--MODERN FIVE INCH TRANSIT THEODOLITE                            98

  17.--THE WORLD ACCORDING TO MERCATOR (1587)                        100



We need not attempt any elaborate definition of Geography at this
stage; it is hoped that a fairly clear idea of its field and functions
may arise during the following brief summary of its history and
evolution. The old-fashioned definition, “A description of the earth,”
is serviceable enough if accepted in its widest sense. Geography may
be regarded as the mother of the sciences. Whatever was the origin
of man, whether single or multiple, and wherever he emerged into
manhood, he was a wanderer, an explorer, from the first. Necessity
compelled him to make himself familiar with his environment and its
resources, and as the race multiplied emigration became compulsory.
The more that relics of primitive humanity are brought to light, the
further back must man’s earliest wanderings be dated. The five thousand
years of the old Biblical chronology must be multiplied a hundred
times, and still we find that half a million years ago our primitive
forefathers must have travelled far from the cradle of the race. They
were unconscious geographers. Their conceptions of the earth and of
its place in the universe are unknown to us; it is not impossible to
infer something of them by analogy of ideas existing to-day among
more or less primitive peoples, though to do so is beyond our present
scope. Yet it may be said that certain root-ideas of geographical
theory and practice must surely date from the earliest period of
man’s capacity for observation. Thus the necessity for describing or
following a particular direction presupposes the establishment of a
definite standard--the face would be turned towards the position of
some familiar object; then in that direction and the opposite, and to
the right hand and the left, four such standards would be found, and
would become the “cardinal points.” The value, for this purpose, of
so patent a phenomenon as the rising and setting of the sun must have
been impressed upon human intelligence at an elementary stage. Again,
map-making is not very far removed from a primitive instinct. Modern
travellers have described attempts at cartography by the North American
Indians, the Eskimo, and the Maori and other less advanced inhabitants
of the Pacific Islands.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.--Tahitian map.]

It is again beyond the scope of the present summary of the development
of geographical knowledge among European peoples to attempt to give
any detailed history of exploration; it is only possible to deal
with the salient episodes, and these mainly in so far as they have
influenced man’s general conception of the earth. Nevertheless, ages
before the existence of any documentary evidence of its development
geographical knowledge must have advanced far in other lands. America
was “discovered” probably thousands of years before Columbus stumbled
against the New World, or even the Norsemen had set foot in “Vineland”;
it had time, before the Spaniards swarmed over it, to become the seat
of civilizations whose origin is far beyond knowledge. It is worth
noticing for our particular purpose that the European conquerors found
evidence of highly developed geographical methods both in Central
America and in Peru; the native maps were intelligible to them, and
the Peruvian Incas had even evolved the idea of relief maps. China,
again, a great power in early ages, possessed knowledge of much of
central Asia; India was the seat of powerful States and of a certain
civilization; Babylonia and Egypt were working out their destinies, and
had their own conceptions of the earth and the universe, long before
the starting-point of the detailed investigation within our present

But the names of Babylonia and Egypt bring us nearer to that
starting-point. The history of Europe dawns in the eastern
Mediterranean, and so does the history of geography. It has, however,
to be premised that connection existed, in very early times, between
the eastern Mediterranean circle and the lands far beyond. When princes
of Iranian stock (to cite a single illustration) are found established
on the confines of the Levant as early as the fifteenth century B.C.,
it may be realized that the known radius from the Mediterranean centre
was no short one. Much earlier than this--even in the fourth millennium
B.C.--astronomy, a science of the closest affinity to geography, was
well organized in Babylonia, and there is evidence for a cadastral
survey there. Clay tablets dating from more than two thousand years
B.C. show the work of the Babylonian surveyors.

The Egyptians worked along similar lines. Examples of their map-work
include a plan, in the museum at Cairo, showing the basin of the
lake Mœris, with its canal and the position of towns on its borders,
together with notes giving information about these places; and, in
Turin, a map of the Wadi Alaiki, where the Nubian goldmines were
situated; and this map may date from the earlier half of the fourteenth
century B.C.

Meanwhile, in the Ægean lands and from Sicily to Cyprus, at points
principally but not invariably insular or coastal, and especially
in Crete, communities grew up that developed a high standard of
civilization, to which the general name of Ægean is given. It appears
that a central power became established in Crete about the middle
of the third millennium B.C., and that an active oversea trade was
developed in the Ægean and the eastern Mediterranean during the ensuing
thousand years. As for the knowledge of the mainland which came to
be called Europe, it is suggested that the Ægean civilization was
assailed, about the fifteenth century B.C., by invaders from the north,
and was practically submerged, probably by a similar movement, five
hundred years later; and invasion presupposes intercourse.

The Phœnicians, next taking the lead in Mediterranean maritime trade,
must have extended knowledge of the inhabited world, even though they
left the reputation of secretiveness in respect of their excursions
(a natural and not uncommon characteristic of pioneer traders). A
Semitic people, they seem to have emigrated from the Persian Gulf in
detachments, and established independent settlements on the Levantine
littoral. Tyre was their chief trading city. They provided the
commercial link between east and west. Their penetration of the western
Mediterranean and even of the Straits of Gibraltar is assigned to the
earliest period of their activities. They established relations not
only with the Greeks and other Mediterranean peoples, but also with
central European traders; they are said, for example, to have dealt in
amber brought from the Baltic overland to the Adriatic and to the mouth
of the Rhone. They founded colonies in Cyprus, Sicily, and elsewhere as
far as the west of Spain, where Gades (Cadiz) was established perhaps
about 1100 B.C. Thence they carried their enterprises far to the north.
If they did not actually exploit the tin of Cornwall, they probably
knew of Britain. One of the greatest enterprises of antiquity, if we
may trust Herodotus, who was, however, sceptical, was conducted by
Phœnician navigators under the auspices of Necho, king of Egypt, about
600 B.C. Even before this they brought from distant lands, it may be
the Malay peninsula or it may be what is now Rhodesia, gold and other
presents for King Solomon. If the Phœnicians had really found their
way as far as the Zambezi and the country on the south, they may well
have conjectured that it would be possible to sail round Africa. At any
rate, if the story as told by Herodotus is true, Necho was convinced
that Africa could be circumnavigated. The Phœnician navigators sailed
down the Red Sea, and in autumn landed on the coast and sowed a crop
of wheat; when this was reaped, they started again and made their way
south round the Cape of Good Hope, and so northward, entering the
Mediterranean in the third year. At one part of their course they
had the sun on their right, which would be natural, though Herodotus
regarded this as evidence of the incredibility of the narrative. There
is no inherent impossibility in such an expedition, but it led to no
direct results; no further effort was made to round the continent for
twenty centuries.

The Phœnicians founded Carthage about 850 B.C. (though an earlier
trading post occupied the site), and the Carthaginians carried out
trading enterprises on their own account from their central point of
vantage on the North African coast. Some time after Necho’s expedition
(probably about 500 B.C.) they sent out two distant expeditions. One
of these, under Hanno, appears to have consisted of a very large
fleet, and to have been intended to establish trading posts along the
west coast of Africa, which was already known to the Carthaginians.
Certain details are furnished which serve to identify points at which
he touched, and it is generally agreed that he got as far south as the
neighbourhood of the Bight of Benin. Almost simultaneously Himilco
made a voyage north along the west coast of Europe. He appears to have
visited Britain, and mentions the foggy and limitless sea to the west.

Information obtained by such means as this cannot have become in any
sense the common property of the period. But there would be no mean
supply of geographical data at the disposal of traders on the one hand,
and at least of a few philosophers and generally well-informed persons
on the other, at a period long anterior to that at which it is possible
to begin our detailed history. Whatever tendency there may have been
on the part of the Phœnicians, and no doubt their predecessors, to
preserve their commercial secrets, there is no necessity to suppose
that traders in distant lands did not describe these lands to those
with whom they immediately dealt. The links in the commercial chain
would then become links in a chain of geographical knowledge. This
supposition granted, geographers may be prepared to risk the charge of
temerity if they recognize and enjoy, as an exquisite description of
the unbroken summer daylight on some northern fjord-coast, the picture
of the Læstrygons’ land in _Odyssey_, X.: “Where herdsman hails
herdsman as he drives in his flock, and the other who drives forth
answers the call. There might a sleepless man have earned a double
wage, the one as neatherd, the other shepherding white flocks: so near
are the outgoings of the night and of the day.” And again, “the fair
haven, whereabout on both sides goes one steep cliff unbroken, and
jutting headlands over against each other stretch forth at the mouth of
the harbour, and strait is the entrance ... no wave ever swelled within
it, great or small, but there was a bright calm all around.”[1] Here
are words which on their face indicate hearsay in the Mediterranean
concerning Scandinavia in the Homeric age. Again, the gloomy home of
the Cimmerians, at the uttermost limit of the earth, suggests hearsay
of the arctic night. As to Homeric geography generally, it may be
said briefly that the lands immediately neighbouring to the Ægean
are well known, though there is little evidence of knowledge of the
inhospitable interior of Asia Minor; something is understood of the
tribes of the interior of Europe to the north; the riches of Egypt and
Sidon are known; mention is made of black men, and even of pygmies, in
the further parts of Africa; the western limit of anything approaching
exact knowledge is Sicily. The earth is flat and circular, girt about
by the river of Ocean, whose stream sweeps all round it.

    [1] _Trans._ S. H. Butcher and A. Lang.

Thus we have found geographical knowledge, so far as it is possible
to trace its acquisition at all, to have been acquired for purely
commercial purposes, and it remained for the Greeks to seek for such
knowledge for its own sake. It has been well said that the science of
geography was the invention of the Greeks.



The birthplace of Greek geographical theory is to be found, not in
Greece proper, but in Asia Minor. Miletus, a seaport of Ionia, near the
mouth of the Mæander, became the leading Greek city during the seventh
to the sixth centuries B.C., trading as far as Egypt and throwing off
colonies especially towards the north, on the shores of the Hellespont
and the Euxine. It was thus an obvious repository for geographical
knowledge, besides being a famous centre of learning in a wider sense.
Thales of Miletus (640–546 B.C.), father of Greek philosophers,
geometers, and astronomers, may have learnt astronomy from a Babylonian
master in Cos, and became acquainted with Egyptian geometry by
visiting that country; he applied geometrical theory to the practical
measurement of height and distance. He has been wrongly credited with
the conception of the earth as a sphere. That conception is actually
credited to Pythagoras, who, born in Samos probably in 582 B.C.,
settled in the Dorian colony of Crotona in Southern Italy about 529
and founded the Pythagorean school of philosophy. He (or his school),
however, evolved the correct conception of the form of the earth rather
by accident (so far as concerns any scientific consideration) than
by design, for the Pythagorean reasoning was abstract in nature, in
distinction from that of the Ionian school, which sought material
explanations for the phenomena of the universe. The Pythagoreans
(whose view does not greatly affect the later history of geographical
theory) conceived the earth as a globe revolving in space, with other
planets, round an unseen central fire whose light was reflected by the
sun, just as the moon reflects the sun’s light. Later the philosopher
Parmenides, of Elea in Italy (_c._ 500 B.C.), considered the universe
to be composed of concentric spheres or zones consisting of the primary
elements of fire and darkness or night. Anaximander (611-_c._ 547
B.C.), a disciple of the more practical Ionian school, and a pupil or
companion of Thales, conceived an earth of the form of a cylinder.
He is said to have introduced into Greece the gnomon, a primitive
instrument for determining time and latitude, and to have made a map.
The first actual record of a Greek or Miletan map, however, occurs
half a century after his time, when in 499 B.C. Aristagoras, tyrant of
Miletus, asked aid of Cleomenes of Sparta against Persia, and showed
him a map, engraved on bronze, of the route of his proposed expedition.
Anaximenes, of Anaximander’s school, gave the earth an oblong
rectangular form.

The physical division of land into continents, though obvious,
presupposes the existence of a certain measure of geographical theory.
Still more obvious as a primitive division would be a division simply
between “my land” and “yours.” But there was a clear necessity at a
very early period for names to distinguish, generally, the lands which
lay on one side and the other of the Ægean-Mediterranean waters. It may
well be that the names of Europe and Asia did not possess precisely
this application in their original forms. Their derivation has been
assigned to an Asiatic source; they signify on this view the lands
respectively of darkness or sunset and of sunrise or light--that is
to say, the lands towards west and towards east. The earliest known
Greek reference to Europe, moreover, does not indicate on the face of
it a distinction from Asia, though it does indicate a distinction from
lands separated from it partly or wholly by water. The Homeric hymn
to Apollo, which may be dated in the eighth or seventh century B.C.,
refers to dwellers in the rich Peloponnese and in Europe and in the
sea-girt islands--albeit in place of “Europe” some scholars would read
a word signifying simply “mainland.” The name of Europe, if admitted
here, is taken to mean no more than northern Greece, and would thus
lend some colour to an early tradition that it was derived from a
Macedonian city called Europus. However this may be, it is easy to
conceive that the name of Europe, being at no time given to a territory
with defined frontiers, was capable of an elastic application, which
would be gradually extended, or (as is more probable under primitive
conditions of geographical knowledge) would remain so vague as to
permit of no clear definition.

But when the names of continents emerge in Greek usage they afford
the necessary distinction between the lands on either side of the
Ægean-Mediterranean. They so emerge in the 6th–5th centuries B.C.,
and the distinction appears by that time to have been perfectly
familiar, though the precise application, as will be seen, was a matter
of controversy. The poet Æschylus (525–456 B.C.), who, by the way,
was also a traveller, possibly to Thrace, certainly to Sicily, was
acquainted with the distinction, as appears, for example, from passages
in the historical drama of the _Persæ_, which deals with the failure
of Xerxes’s invasion of Europe from Asia, and his retreat across the
Hellespont. The distinction would hardly have been introduced into
a stage-play if it had not been commonly recognized. In _Prometheus
Unbound_, again, Æschylus refers to the river Phasis (Aras) as the
boundary between Europe and Asia. Finally, Herodotus states in an early
chapter of his work that the Persians appropriate to themselves Asia
and the barbarian races inhabiting it, while they consider as separate
Europe and the Greek race, and he does not find it necessary to offer
any explanation of the names here. At a later stage the continental
distinction appears to have been based on or associated with a
distinction between temperate and hot lands.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.--The World as supposed to have been conceived by

Hecatæus of Miletus (_c._ 500 B.C.) has been hailed as the father of
geography on the ground of his authorship of a Periodos, or circuit
of the earth, the first attempt at a systematic description of the
known world and its inhabitants. But even if he wrote such a work,
evidence has been adduced that the extant fragments of it belong to
a later forgery. However, he was a Miletan and a traveller, besides
a statesman. The map which is supposed to have accompanied his work
maintained the old popular idea of the earth as a circular disc,
encircled by the ocean. Greece was the centre of the world, and the
great sanctuary of Delphi was the centre of Greece. If this Periodos
is taken as a forgery, there is a parallel case in the Periplus of
the Mediterranean attributed to Scylax of Caryanda, a contemporary of
Hecatæus. If Scylax wrote any such work, in its extant form it is a
century and a half later than his time. He is said to have explored the
Indus at the command of Darius Hystaspis, and to have returned by the
Indian Ocean to the Red Sea.

Herodotus of Halicarnassus (_c._ 484–425 B.C.) was a historian, but was
widely travelled, and understood the importance of a knowledge of the
geography of a country, and its bearings on the history of its people.
He only introduces geographical information in so far as it throws
light on the history with which he is dealing, or because it seemed to
him of special interest, or as a report of curious information obtained
from the countries which he visited; but he has certainly some more
exact information about the restricted world of which Greece was the
centre than any of his predecessors. He visited Egypt and the Greek
colony of Cyrene, on the coast of what is now Tripoli. There is reason
to believe that in Asia he got as far as Babylon on the Euphrates, and
perhaps as far as Susa beyond the Tigris. He crossed the Euxine to
the northern shore as far as Olbia on the Borysthenes, and probably
went round to the south-east coast to the country of the Colchians,
whose characteristics he describes as if from personal knowledge.
He does not seem to have got very far west in the Mediterranean,
though he spent the latter part of his life in southern Italy. There
is little doubt that he visited several of the Grecian islands. But
apart from the information about the countries round the Mediterranean
which he collected personally, his history contains material from
various sources concerning the countries and peoples in Europe, Asia,
and Africa. This information, on the whole, is of the vaguest kind,
and shows that the Greeks whom Herodotus may be taken to represent
were only groping their way with regard to a knowledge of the world
outside the limits of their own restricted sphere. This vague knowledge
included a considerable section of western Asia as far as the Caspian
Sea and the river Araxes. Herodotus had also heard of India and of
the Indus river, and had a fair knowledge of the Persians, the Medes,
and the Colchians, as also of part at least of Arabia. Eastwards, in
what might be called Central Asia, he had heard of the Bactrians and
Sogdians to the south of the Jaxartes (Syr-darya, the northern of
the two great affluents of the Sea of Aral), and of the Massagetæ,
Issedones, Arimaspians, and other races or peoples; those to the north
of the Jaxartes being included, according to Herodotus, in Europe,
which he took to extend from the Pillars of Hercules (Strait of
Gibraltar) to the Hellespont and up the Phasis (Rion) river, from its
mouth in the Black Sea, to the Caspian. He also divided Asia from Libya
(Africa) along the axis of the Red Sea, and was thus in conflict with
others who had divided Europe from Asia at the Tanais, and Asia from
Libya at the Nile. He would not permit a theoretical boundary-line to
“bisect a nationality,” as the Nile does.

[Illustration: Fig. 3.--The World according to Herodotus B.C. 450.]

It may be well to examine Herodotus’s geographical knowledge in some
detail, as representing the general knowledge possessed by a student
(increased by his own travels) as distinct from that possessed by
traders and colonists in different particular directions. His knowledge
of Europe proper was contained within rather narrow limits. He knew,
from personal knowledge, or from information obtained from merchants
and colonists familiar with the shores of the Euxine (Black Sea),
of the country lying to the north of that sea for some distance, of
the rivers which flowed into it from the north and from the west,
and of various peoples either settled in or wandering over the land
that is now mainly included in Russia. His notions of the comparative
dimensions of the Euxine and of the Mæotis Palus (Sea of Azov) are
altogether erroneous, as might have been expected; but he knew (though
in the main vaguely) of the Tanais (Don), the Borysthenes (Dnieper),
and other rivers which flow into those seas. The Ister (Danube) he knew
as a river of considerable importance, but he made it rise in Spain
and flow north-east and east through the greater part of Europe. He
conceived it as corresponding to some extent in the direction of its
course with that of the Nile on the other side of the Mediterranean. He
had some vague notion of the Iberians and of the Celts, as inhabiting
the country to the north of the Pillars of Hercules. He knew something
of the country lying to the north of Greece, Illyria, Thessaly, and
Thrace, and the Rhodope mountains. He has much to tell of the
Scythians inhabiting the country north of the Black Sea, but it is
difficult to make out exactly to what race they belonged and whither
they had wandered; they may have been the forerunners of the Slav
peoples. Of Europe to the north of the Danube, and of the Scythian
country, he had no information of any importance. He did not believe
in the Hyperboreans, nor did he credit the statement that there was
any sea north of Europe. He has a good deal to say about Africa. He
had been up the Nile as far as the first cataract to the old city
of Elephantine, but above that his information is vague and largely
erroneous. He knew of the great bend which the Nile takes to the west
above Elephantine, and had heard of Meroe on the other side of that
bend; but his notion of the length of Africa was so erroneous that,
instead of carrying the Nile south into the interior of the continent,
he made it rise far to the west and run eastwards before it turned
north at Meroe. But he at least controverted the view that it rose
in the ocean itself to the south--a belief based possibly on some
rumour, transmitted through many lips, of the existence of great lakes
towards its headwaters. As for a river flowing west-and-east, in the
west of the continent, he had heard of such a river in a story of five
Nasamonian youths who travelled south from the shore of the Syrtis,
crossed the desert for many days, and were at last taken captive by
black men of small stature, who carried them to a city on the banks of
this river, whence they were subsequently allowed to return. It has
been eagerly discussed what truth underlies this story, and whether
the river was the Niger in its upper course; but at best the account
added little to the knowledge of distant Africa. The idea of a pygmy
people dwelling towards the southern shore of the ocean is older than
the Iliad in which it is found (III, 3). Herodotus’s conception of the
shape of Africa did not carry its southward extension much beyond the
latitude of Cape Guardafui. He discarded the popular conception of the
round earth, regarding it as longer from east to west than from north
to south. The philosopher Democritus of Abdera (born _c._ 470–450)
exhibited the same conception in a map which he constructed.

An important episode in the progress of a more accurate knowledge of
the world of the Greeks was the Retreat of the Ten Thousand under
Xenophon in 401–400 B.C. The younger Cyrus had made a great expedition
from Sardis, in western Asia Minor, eastwards through the Cilician
Gates to the Euphrates, and along the course of that river to the
neighbourhood of Babylon. He was accompanied by a band of Greek
mercenaries, who, after his defeat at Cunaxa, began the retreat of
which Xenophon left a graphic account, containing what must have been
to the Greeks much new information concerning the region from the
junction of the Tigris and Euphrates northwards past Lake Van and
through the mountains of Armenia, north and west to the shores of the
Black Sea at Trapezus (Trebizond), and along the south coast of the
Black Sea, partly by sea and partly by water, to Byzantium. Xenophon’s
story is an illustration of the well-known fact that war is one of the
chief means of promoting geographical knowledge. This will appear more
clearly in the next important episode in the story of exploration--the
campaign of Alexander the Great.

In the interval there were one or two writers from whose work
something is to be gathered of Greek geographical knowledge and theory
about the middle of the fourth century. The philosopher Plato (427–347
B.C.) may be referred to here in connection with his story, based on an
Egyptian tradition, of the great island of Atlantis, that land which
plays so important a part in later mythical geography. In the Egyptian
story it lay just beyond the Pillars of Hercules, and adjacent to
it was an archipelago. This would aid its later identification with
the Canaries, though it came also to be connected with America and
other known lands besides, as well as giving name to an island in the
Atlantic Ocean, the disproof of whose existence may almost be called
modern. From Plato’s account of Atlantis as the home of a powerful
people who in early times invaded the Mediterranean lands, it has also
been sought to associate the tradition with Crete at the period of the
Ægean civilization mentioned in the first chapter.

Some fragments exist of the writings of the historian Ephorus of Cyme
in Æolis (_c._ 400–330 B.C.). He seems to have endeavoured to cover
the whole field of the world as known to the Greeks, and conceived the
four most distant regions of the earth to be occupied on the east by
Indians, on the south by Ethiopians, on the north by Scythians, and on
the west by Celts. The last he considered as occupying all Spain, as
well as Gaul. Strabo (p. 24) commended his geographical work and his
skill in separating myth from history. A document of this period is
the Periplus, already referred to as known under the name of Scylax.
This class of work became more and more common as navigation developed,
and corresponded in some measure to the modern Admiralty guide or
pilot. The Periplus is confined mostly to the regions known to the
Greeks bordering the Mediterranean. From the Pillars of Hercules the
writer follows the north coast eastwards, including the Adriatic and
the Euxine as far as the mouth of the Tanais, which he regards as the
continental boundary. He then follows the Levantine coast, the north
African coast westward, and the west African coast as far as the island
of Cerne. He incidentally makes what is regarded as the earliest extant
mention of Rome; but his notions of rivers and other features away from
the coast are generally erroneous.

Aristotle (384–322 B.C.), in two of his extant works, the
_Meteorologica_ and the treatise on the Heavens, revealed something of
his ideas on physical geography and the figure of the earth and its
relations to the heavenly bodies. He believed the earth to be a sphere
in the centre of the universe, because that was a form which matter
gravitating towards a centre would necessarily assume, also because the
shadow cast by the earth on the moon during an eclipse is circular. He
accepted the conclusion that the circumference of the earth was 400,000
stadia (nearly 46,000 miles). His views with reference to the cosmical
relations of the earth were the same as those adopted by Eudoxus of
Cnidus (_fl._ middle fourth century), but he did his best to prove
them. He adopted, however, the prevalent view that the habitable world
was confined to the temperate zone between the tropics and the arctic
regions. He believed there must be a temperate zone in the southern
hemisphere, though he did not suggest that it must be inhabited. In
the _Meteorologica_ he treats of such subjects as weather, rain, hail,
earthquakes, etc., and their causes. He recognized that changes took
place in the relations of land and sea. His knowledge of the origin and
course of rivers and their relation to mountain systems was confused,
and mainly erroneous; and it would seem that little progress had been
made in geographical knowledge since the time of Herodotus. In the work
of Aristotle’s successor, Theophrastus of Lesbos (_c._ 372–287), an
important department of geographical study--that of distribution--finds
a place in its particular application to plants.

Alexander the Great (356–323 B.C.), King of Macedon, however, during
the last few years of his life, made possible by his campaigns a
greater extension of Greek geographical knowledge than had taken
place almost since Homeric times. When he passed eastward through
Mesopotamia, by Babylon, Susa, and Persepolis, and through Media to the
southern shore of the Caspian Sea, he was in a region which, though
an ancient cradle of civilization, had been till then only vaguely
known to the Greeks. Beyond that he entered new country, peopled by
Herodotus and others with dubious tribal names. He came almost into
the heart of Central Asia, founding a city on the upper course of the
Jaxartes. Passing southwards through Bactria and across formidable
ranges of mountains such as the Hindu Kush, he struck the upper course
of the Indus, made his way down to its delta, and would have proceeded
right into the heart of India and followed the Ganges to its mouth but
for his mutinous troops. He returned through the north of Baluchistan
and Persia to Ecbatana, and so homeward. He also sent a member of his
staff, Nearchus, by sea along the coast of Baluchistan and Persia, in
order to define it and to ascertain the extent of the Persian Gulf.
Dicæarchus of Messana, a pupil of Aristotle, who died early in the
third century B.C., used the geographical results of Alexander’s
expeditions, including the distances obtained by his bematists, or
measurers by pacing. Dicæarchus wrote a topography of Greece, and also
drew on a map a parallel or equator, for the first time, so far as is
known, along the length of the Mediterranean and, with a distorted idea
of their relative directions, along the Taurus and Himalayan ranges.
Before his time, and probably contemporaneously with Alexander’s
campaigns, Pytheas of Massilia (Marseilles) visited (practically
discovered) Britain, and made mention of Thule, six days’ voyage north
of it, having perhaps heard of the Orkneys and Shetlands. As these
islands, however, are at no such great distance as is here suggested
from the nearest point of Britain, the name of Thule has been variously
taken to represent some part of Norway, the Faeröe, or Iceland: it
certainly seems by some later writers to be applied to Scandinavia,
and in literary usage came to signify the uttermost north. Pytheas
also obtained an idea of the Baltic Sea, and is considered by some to
have entered it; he is stated to have reached the River Tanais; but
if that is to be considered as one of the north European rivers, and
not the known Tanais of the Black Sea basin, its identity is doubtful.
Pytheas was a trained astronomer; he was one of the first to calculate
latitudes, and had that of Massilia nearly correct; he heard of the
unbroken summer daylight and winter darkness of the far north, and he
noted various features of geographical interest, such as the decrease
in the number of different grain crops observed as he travelled
northward. He appears, in fact, from the references in other authors,
which alone furnish us with knowledge of his work, in the light of a
scientific traveller of a type rare in his time.

Mathematical geography was carried a long step forward by Eratosthenes
(_c._ 276–194 B.C.), a native of Cyrene, who became chief librarian at
Alexandria under Ptolemy III Euergetes. He calculated the circumference
of the earth. He considered Syene to be situated on the tropic (which
it was not, precisely), because at noon on the day of the summer
solstice the sun appeared to shine directly down a deep well there.
He therefore observed the zenith distance of the sun at Alexandria
at the same time, and obtained his result from this and the measured
distance between Alexandria and Syene. His result was to make the
earth’s circumference only about one-seventh greater than it actually
is. He also estimated the size of the habitable earth (œcumene), and
considered it, as a result, to be about double as long from west to
east as it was broad from north to south. But his estimate of the
distance from what is now the extremity of Brittany to the known
eastern limit of India was about one-third too great. On a map of
the world he drew seven parallels, using the few points of which the
latitudes had been worked out, and also seven meridians at irregular
distances apart. Hipparchus (middle and second half of the second
century), an astronomer, native of Nicæa in Bithynia, who worked in
Rhodes, drew an elaborate series of parallels, and made the division
into 360 degrees; the spaces between the lines he called climata, or
zones. The problem presented by meridians was more difficult, for there
was no instrument for the calculation of longitude like the gnomon for
that of latitude. A well-recognised line was that taken to lie from the
mouth of the Danube to that of the Nile--Herodotus had used this--and
southward up the latter river; but not only the line itself, but also
the ideas of intermediate points lying on it, were rather far from the

Eratosthenes in his writings also dealt with the history of geography
and with physical geography. This last branch attracted a number of
students about this period and later, as, for example, Agartharchides
or Agatharchus of Cnidus (middle of the second century B.C.). Crates of
Mallus, in the first half of the same century, expressed the view of
the Stoic philosophers that the spherical earth was divided into four
inhabited quarters--the Œcumene (the known world), the Antipodes, the
Periœci, and the Antœci. Posidonius the Stoic (_c._ 130–50 B.C.), among
his studies in various departments of knowledge, included such subjects
as the ocean, volcanoes, and earthquakes; he observed the interaction
of the sun and moon in their influence on tides. He recalculated the
circumference of the earth, but obtained an underestimate considerably
further from the truth than Eratosthenes’s overestimate; and, owing
to his high scientific reputation, his error persisted in much later
work. Posidonius, before settling at Rhodes, had travelled widely
in Africa, Spain, and western Europe generally; and both he and
Agartharchides, like other writers of this period, and Aristotle before
them, recognized the importance of the human side of geography, and the
influence of physical environment on the political and social _régime_.
Polybius (_c._ 204–122 B.C.) of Megalopolis in Arcadia, historian,
statesman, and military commander, was inspired by extensive travel
to introduce the results of topographical and geographical studies
throughout his history. Among travellers who rank more nearly among
explorers there may be mentioned at this period Eudoxus of Cyzicus
(fl. _c._ 130 B.C.), who went on a trading expedition to India, in
command of a fleet which was despatched by Ptolemy Euergetes of
Egypt with the specific object of exploring the Arabian Sea. Eudoxus
subsequently tried without success to circumnavigate Africa, making at
least two voyages along the east coast. Finally, it must be remembered
that at this period the extension of the knowledge of the world was
mainly due no longer to Greek, but to Roman, activities, and Roman
conquests were pushed beyond the confines of accurate Greek knowledge
in various directions. Much geographical material was made available
by writers on Roman military expeditions. Thus Pompey was accompanied
in the Caucasian region by Theophanes of Mytilene, as historian of his
campaigns; Julius Cæsar wrote his own account of lands into which he
carried his arms (Gaul, etc.).

From all this it appears that, according to the lights of knowledge at
the time, a fair conception existed of geographical study along the
main lines which it follows to-day. There was therefore occasion for a
general review of the whole subject; and this occasion was seized by
Strabo, a native of Amasia in Pontus, who was born _c._ 63 B.C., and
died in the second or third decade of the following century. He was
educated partly at Rome, but his language and outlook were Greek. He
travelled much, as far as Etruria, the Black Sea, and the borders of
Ethiopia, as well as in Asia Minor, though he knew comparatively little
of Greece. His geography, which was not finally completed till towards
the close of his life, was the first attempt at covering the whole
geographical field--mathematical, physical, and human--and his range
was thus wider than that of Eratosthenes. Strabo used the recent Roman
authorities to some extent, such as Cæsar’s Commentaries (in part)
and a map of the Roman Empire by M. Vipsanius Agrippa, son-in-law of
Augustus, which was set up in Rome; and he also preferred the authority
of Polybius to that of Pytheas, but his sources were mostly Greek.
His appreciation of them was not always wise. He ranked the Homeric
poems highly, but discredited Herodotus, who on some points had better
information than he. He added nothing to the mathematical branch, in
which Eratosthenes was his master. He thus accepted the spherical
form of the earth, its dimensions as laid down by his predecessors,
and its division into five zones. He recognized Hipparchus’s view
that further astronomical observations were essential to precision in
earth-measurement and the position of points on the surface; but it was
outside his province to add to those existing. His work in the physical
field, however, improved upon that of his predecessors, and his surveys
of the features and products of the various lands must have been
singularly valuable for reference. The apportionment of the seventeen
books of his geography is not without interest as a rough guide to the
distribution of available material and to the author’s outlook. He
devoted two books to introductory matter, to Spain and France two, to
Italy two, to northern and eastern Europe one, to Greece and adjacent
lands three, to the main divisions and remoter parts of Asia one, to
Asia Minor three, to India and Persia one, to Syria and Arabia one, to
Egypt and the rest of Africa one.

Rome did not carry on the Greek tradition of the study of geographical
theory. H. F. Tozer, quoting J. Partsch, writes: “It has been aptly
remarked that the task which Eratosthenes set himself of measuring
the earth by means of the heavenly bodies, and that of Agrippa, who
measured the Roman provinces by milestones, may be taken as typical
of the genius of the two nationalities respectively.” Thus Pomponius
Mela, purporting to survey the world in his _De Chorographia_ (written
_c._ 50 A.D.), followed the coast and described various countries in
passing, but by no means all, and added very little to geographical
knowledge at large. Pliny the Elder (_c._ 23–79) devoted three books
and part of another of his _Historia Naturalis_ to geography; but
his geography may (at least in considerable part) be compared with
the arid text-book of a generation ago, though in some instances his
descriptions (as of features in Palestine, Syria, and Armenia) are
valuable. As bearing on the quotation made above, it may be said here
that the famous Roman system of road building gave rise to two classes
of road-books (as they may be termed), one consisting of lists of
stations and distances, such as the Antonine Itinerary (probably, in
its original form, of the late third or fourth century), the other
diagrammatic, such as the Peutinger Table (probably of the first half
of the third century, though named after a scholar of the sixteenth),
on which roads, stations, and other details were presented in a
map-like form, but independently of true scale or direction. The Roman
agrimensores were skilled surveyors.

It is not, then, surprising that the two great theoretical geographers
next to be considered are not associated with the capital of the
Roman Empire. Of the work of Marinus of Tyre nothing is known beyond
what is recorded by his immediate successor, Ptolemy, who used and
acknowledged his results--as far as concerned the Mediterranean fully,
and in respect of other countries to a modified extent. Ptolemy,
mathematician, astronomer, and geographer, was a native of Egypt, who
worked at or in the neighbourhood of Alexandria in the second century.
His geographical book was called _Geographike Syntaxis_. He carried
mathematical geography far beyond the standard of his predecessors.
He used the theoretical division of the globe into five zones by
the equator and the tropics, adopted Hipparchus’s division of the
equator into 360 degrees, and worked out a network of parallels of
latitude and meridians of longitude, first thus applying these terms
in their technical sense. In mapping the habitable world he used the
Fortunate Isles, beyond the western confines of Europe and Africa, as
the location of his prime meridian. The errors which resulted from
the vague idea as to the position of these islands (the Canaries
and Madeira), and from the fact that Ptolemy followed Posidonius’s
underestimate of the circumference of the globe and made his degree at
the equator equal to 500 instead of 600 stadia,[2] have been very fully
analysed, but cannot be even summarized here.

    [2] Fifty instead of sixty geographical miles.

[Illustration: PTOLEMÆUS ROMÆ 1490.

Fig. 4.--The World according to Ptolemy.]

[Illustration: Fig. 4. (left side)]

[Illustration: Fig. 4. (right side)]

Ptolemy had a strong tendency to exaggerate the size of the great
land-masses--his Europe extended too far west (and the Mediterranean
was made too long in consequence); his Africa was too wide, especially
towards the south; his Asia was vastly exaggerated in its eastern
extension, and many details, even in the Mediterranean area, were made
too large. Ptolemy followed his predecessors in using the parallel of
36° N. as the axial line of the Mediterranean. It passes through the
Straits of Gibraltar, the island of Rhodes, and the Gulf of Alexandria,
and was theoretically prolonged eastward along the supposed line
of the Taurus mountains and the range known to lie north of India.
In respect to this line there were remarkable inaccuracies in laying
down the coasts of the Mediterranean and in fixing the position of the
points upon them. The sea itself was made not only too long, but too
broad; Byzantium and the Black Sea were carried too far north, and the
size of the sea of Azov was immensely exaggerated. On the other hand,
Ptolemy restored the correct view, held by Herodotus, of the Caspian
as an inland sea, and knew that the great river Volga entered it. Yet
again, he knew nothing of Scandinavia, or of the land-locked Baltic
Sea, marking only a small island of Scandia, possibly by confusion
between the Scandinavian mainland and some Baltic island. But his idea
of the British Isles may be taken as fairly correct, if allowance be
made for their remoteness. He laid down some parts of the coast very
fairly, but oriented the major axis of Scotland more nearly from east
to west than from north to south; he also placed Ireland wholly more
northerly than Wales. There is plenty of evidence in Ptolemy’s work
of a growth of knowledge of remote lands, though much of it is vague,
if not actually unintelligible to us. Thus in Asia he had an idea
of the great central mountain ranges (Pamir, Tian-shan, etc.), for
silk-traders had by now established trans-continental routes to China.
Ptolemy had also some conception of the south-eastern coasts, which
had probably been seen by Greek mariners as far as southern China. But
he wholly misunderstood the form of the east of the continent, for
beyond the Golden Chersonese (Malay Peninsula) there lies a vast gulf,
the eastern shore of which represents his view of China, extending
southward far beyond the equator, and facing west. Again, he had no
conception of peninsular India--unless, indeed, his huge island of
Ceylon (Taprobane) was drawn so by some confusion with the peninsula,
as it was certainly also confused with Sumatra. Yet it would seem that
he might have gathered a more accurate idea of India from the Periplus
of the Erythræan Sea, a guide to navigators dated about the year 80.
This work furnished sailing directions from the Red Sea to the mouth
of the Indus and the coast of Malabar, following the Arabian coast,
although the possibility of crossing the open sea with the assistance
of the monsoon was realized at a still earlier date. And the Periplus
distinctly indicates the southward trend of the Indian coast-line.

Roman penetration of Africa gave Ptolemy some new details; he also
conceived the Nile as formed by two headstreams arising in two lakes,
possibly on the strength of some hearsay of the facts, and he marked
the Mountains of the Moon in remoter Africa, which again suggests
hearsay of the heights of Ruwenzori, Kenya, and others. The Romans had
penetrated Ethiopia, and possibly the region of Lake Chad, and Ptolemy
also used other sources of information about North Africa which are
unknown from previous writers, but are completely vague and impossible
to follow. Of the shape of the continent he was almost completely
ignorant; he just realized that an indentation occurs in the Gulf
of Guinea, but gave it nothing like its proper value, and carried
the coast thence south-westward till the continent is broader at the
southern limit of his knowledge than it is at the north.

Ptolemy’s work on physical features was on the whole poor, and he
neglected the human side of geography. Discarding the idea of the
circumfluent ocean, he supposed the extension of unknown lands
northward in Europe, eastward in Asia, and southward in Africa, beyond
the limits in which he attempted to portray their outlines; and he even
suggested a land connection between south-eastern Asia and southern
Africa. Before his time the precision of mathematical method had far
surpassed that of the topographical material to which it was applied.

Pausanias, a Greek probably of Lydia and about contemporary with
Ptolemy, wrote a description (_Periegesis_) of Greece, which, apart
from the archæological value which is its chief interest, contains
references to various phenomena of physical geography, while as a
detailed topographical work it stands alone in the literature of which
an outline has thus far been given.



From this point it becomes necessary to vary the treatment of our
subject hitherto followed. With the breakup of the Roman Empire and
the establishment of Christianity the old learning was obliterated.
Religion became the central fact of intellectual exercise, and, except
in so far as Christian doctrine and Holy Scripture involved reference
to natural phenomena, every branch of natural science was withered by
the breath of theology. The first serious assaults of the barbarian
invader were made on the frontiers of the Roman Empire in the fourth
century A.D.; in 330 the seat of government was transferred from Rome
to Byzantium, and at the close of the century the empire was divided
into eastern and western parts. It has often been pointed out that
these events did more than mark the beginning of the disruption of
the Roman Empire; they also mark the parting of the ways of eastern
and western European religion and culture. In the west it became
the function of Christianity to teach and civilize peoples untaught
and uncivilized; but, limited and intolerant as was its outlook
upon natural science generally, it discarded the learning of the
pre-Christian era. We have now to inquire how geography was affected by
this attitude towards secular learning.

It is true that the habit of travel, so far from being forgotten, was
even fostered by missionary work and the practice of pilgrimage.
Again, opportunities for the extension of geographical knowledge were
provided by various episodes in the history of the centuries with
which we are now concerned; thus Procopius, the historian of the
Persian, Vandal, and Gothic wars of the epoch of the Roman (Byzantine)
emperor Justinian in the sixth century, had ample opportunities for
geographical description and used them well. Justinian even despatched
an expedition to China (which returned thence). But the geographical
theorists of the period now under review had little if any concern with
contemporary travellers’ results.

The Christian cosmographers, having found in a spiritual sense a new
heaven and a new earth, were at pains to create them in a scientific
sense also. It was their aim to reconcile geographical theory with
the literal sense of Holy Scripture, and they were not only unable
to explain, but were (for the most part) willing to disprove,
pre-Christian theory by that light. Thus Lactantius Firmianus (_c._
260–340), becoming converted, denied the possibility of the sphericity
of the earth or the existence of antipodes. On the other hand, this
conception died hard, for it was maintained by pagan writers at this
time--as, for instance, Martianus Capella, who, writing in the third or
fourth century, followed such authorities as Ptolemy and Pythagoras.
And these pre-Christian views must have caused some of the Christian
authors to doubt, for they left unsettled such questions as that of the
earth’s shape, on the plea that they formed no part of the Christian
doctrine; an instance of this attitude is provided by St. Basil the
Great of Cæsarea (_c._ 330–379) in his treatise on the Hexaemeron (Six
Days of the Creation).

[Illustration: Fig. 5.--The World according to Cosmas Indicopleustes.]

One of the principal popular attractions of geography has always
been its function of describing the wonders of distant lands, and in
Julius Solinus Polyhistor (probably of the third century) we have a
typical geographer of the marvellous, who in his _Collectanea Rerum
Memorabilium_ drew upon Pliny, Pomponius Mela, and many earlier authors
for a description of the wonders of the world, and became himself
regarded as a high authority. With such influences at work on the study
of geography, the genesis of the theories of Cosmas Indicopleustes
becomes perhaps less surprising than the theories themselves. He was a
merchant of Alexandria, and a traveller (as his surname is inaccurately
intended to record) in the Red Sea and the ocean beyond, who, thus
fortified in geographical study, became a monk and wrote his _Christian
Topography_ about the middle of the sixth century, in opposition to
the pre-Christian theories. Under his pen the inhabited earth became
a flat, rectangular oblong surrounded by oceans. At the north is a
conical mountain round which the sun (which is some forty miles in
diameter and at no great distance from the earth) revolves, passing
about the summit in summer, so that it is hidden from the earth for
a shorter time daily than in the winter, when it passes about the
base. Again, in such conditions as have been indicated, it is at least
intelligible that a responsible writer should accept a mountain 250
miles high, as is stated of Mount Pelion by Dicuil, an Irish monastic
scholar who completed his _De Mensura Orbis Terræ_ in 825. He, however,
was little else than a compiler, and in the manner of his kind made
an ill choice of sources. Among them, however, he refers to surveys
made by Julius Cæsar, Augustus, and one of the emperors Theodosius;
the originals thus referred to are unknown. To mention the various
Churchmen and others who, though in no sense geographers, were expected
to deal with the theories of the earth and the universe in connection
with their religious doctrines, would make but a tedious list.

The view of the sphericity of the earth was not wholly lost.
Certain expressions of the Venerable Bede (_c._ 672–735), even if
he did not specifically formulate the theory, were capable of that
construction, although in 741 we find Virgilius, the Irish bishop of
Salzburg, attacked by the Pope for his assertion of the existence of
antipodes (or at least an assertion that may bear that construction).
Nevertheless, these theories made headway, and from the eleventh
century they became more and more acceptable to leaders of learning.
Adam of Bremen accepted them; he is also an important figure in
other departments of geography. He flourished in the second half of
the eleventh century; his history is a specially valuable authority
for the Baltic lands and other parts of Scandinavia and Russia. Its
fourth book is a _Descriptio Insularum Aquilonis_, for which there was
no little material, for not only had holy men from Ireland visited
the Orkneys, Shetlands, Faeröe, and Iceland in the sixth and seventh
centuries, but the Norsemen had entered upon their period of colonizing
activity; besides Great Britain and Ireland they had reached Iceland
in 874, Greenland a century later, and Vinland in 1000; and this last,
that much-debated[3] landfall situated somewhere on the North American
coast south-west of Greenland, is first mentioned by Adam of Bremen. A
similar appreciation of north European geography had been shown by King
Alfred the Great, who in translating (and freely editing) earlier works
had introduced much of the knowledge acquired down to his own time.

    [3] Not only so in modern times; at least one Scandinavian
        geographer, of the end of the thirteenth century, was
        prepared to recognize it as belonging to Africa.

[Illustration: Fig. 6.--Beatus’s Map.]

Monastic cartography did not keep pace with theory. The disputed
habitable land beyond the confines of the known world, and separated
from it by the impassable torrid zone (a classical conception),
appeared in maps of the seventh and eighth centuries. Apart from this
(and it came to be generally admitted) we have rectangular oblong maps
like that of Cosmas, and circular maps, out of which was evolved the
diagrammatic form of a =T= within an =O=, where the =T= represented
the Mediterranean, the Tanais, and the Nile, its upright showing the
westward extension of the sea, and the cross-stroke the two rivers,
to left and right respectively, so that the west was at the bottom
of the map. Europe lay within the left-hand angle of the =T=, Africa
in the right-hand angle; Asia was the half circle above it. The holy
city of Jerusalem lay “in the midst of the nations.” Some maps, again,
gave the earth an oval form. In all, the habitable earth was still
surrounded by ocean. In the far east sometimes appeared Paradise.
This feature and the unknown habitable world above mentioned were
both shown in the map of Beatus, a Spanish priest (_c._ 730–798), who
illustrated his _Commentaria in Apocalypsin_ with one of the earliest
known Christian maps of the world, several copies of which, dating from
the tenth to the thirteenth centuries, are preserved. In this map the
“known” habitable world appears as a dome-shaped mass with its flat
base to the south, forming the northern shore of a strait separating
it from the unknown southern land. The known world is broken for more
than half its breadth by the vast gulf of the Mediterranean, which
has two great arms reaching far northward; the Caspian Sea is a gulf
opening into the north-east part of the circumfluent ocean, in which
are set islands in an orderly ring all round the world; all sense of
direction in the flow of rivers is awry, and topographical accuracy is,
of course, entirely wanting.

What early Christianity lost by looking askance at classical theory
the Arabs, after the establishment of Muhammadan power in the seventh
century, in great measure gained, for they were free of scruple as
regarded the earlier learning, and eager for knowledge. Early in the
ninth century the Caliph Al-Mamun of Bagdad gave a strong impulse to
geographical and kindred studies. He caused translations to be made of
Ptolemy’s astronomical and geographical works, and of those of other
ancient authorities, among whom was Marinus of Tyre. Muhammad ben
Musa, librarian of Bagdad, compiled a _Description of the World_, or
gazetteer of place-names with their positions, on the Ptolemaic model.
Degrees were measured in Syria and Mesopotamia. Among Arab descriptive
works the first which survives is that of Suleiman, a merchant, who
made voyages to India and China in the middle of the ninth century. In
the first half of the following century Masudi travelled widely--to
India and Ceylon, probably to China, to Madagascar, to the Caspian,
and in Syria and Egypt. His work, the _Meadows of Gold and Mines of
Precious Stones_, is an example of the application of the results of
travel and personal observation to history; he was commonly compared
with Pliny. The Muhammadan demand for geographical works at this period
appears to have been great, from the fact that Abu Zaid’s work, written
about 921, was revised thirty years later by Istakhri, who travelled
all through the Muhammadan lands, in his _Book of Climates_ (or Zones);
and this was again revised and extended by Ibn Haukal in 977 in his
_Book of Roads and Kingdoms_.

A more important figure is Idrisi (_c._ 1099–1154), an Arab of Spanish
birth, who was probably educated at the great centre of learning,
Cordova. He travelled in North Africa and Asia Minor, and, settling
in Sicily, made a celestial sphere and a map of the world in silver
for King Roger II. Idrisi conceived a substitute for a projection by
dividing the inhabited world into seven climates or zones between the
equatorial line and the arctic region; each of these was divided into
eleven equal parts by perpendicular lines. The squares thus formed
were used (to the disregard of natural or political divisions) in a
description of the earth carried out by Idrisi for the king, which is
noteworthy as having been put together, at least in part, from the
reports of an organized system of observers, who were despatched at
Roger’s order to various countries. Arabian cartography, however, so
far as is known, was primitive. Yet the Arab astronomers made some
close meridianal determinations--an error of only three degrees between
Toledo and Bagdad, for example, and a calculation of the major axis of
the Mediterranean which was very near the truth.

Before leaving this period it is worth remarking how commercial
activity had not only developed within, but had circumscribed the
European area. The Arabs, penetrating eastward into Asia, came in
contact with traders from north and western Europe using a route which,
from the eighth century, passed “from India through Novgorod to the
Baltic; and Arab coins found in Sweden prove how closely the enterprise
of the Arabs and the Northmen intertwined” (H. R. Mill). Thus ways were
prepared for the advancement of geographical knowledge when the science
should emerge from its stagnation.



It was, in fact, a desire to extend both commerce and Christian
religion into the far eastern lands which led to the rescue of
geographical study from the evil state into which it had fallen. The
Crusades form a group of incidents of no less geographical than of
historical importance. Apart from their religious significance, they
were undertaken with the object of discovering new routes by which the
wealth of the east could be brought into commercial exchange with that
of the west; and in connection with their religious significance they
gave rise to a period of Christian missionary endeavour in the east.
Both movements worked together to bring about the result of a discovery
of Asia, so far as Europe was concerned, only less novel and important
than the discovery of the New World by Columbus and his successors.
Of the many travellers whose records assisted in this discovery a few
may be mentioned as examples. The first whose journeys resulted in a
noteworthy addition to knowledge of the Mongol Empire was Joannes de
Plano Carpini, an Italian of Umbria, who led a catholic mission sent
in 1245 by Pope Innocent IV to the Mongols shortly after their great
invasion of eastern Europe. He was followed in 1253–55 by William of
Rubruquis, a Franciscan, who was sent to Tartary by King Louis IX, and
whose account is in many respects more valuable than that of Carpini.
We may turn aside here to remark that the great philosopher, Roger
Bacon (_c._ 1214–94), freely quoted Rubruquis in the geographical
section of his _Opus Majus_. This work, and that of Albertus Magnus
of Swabia (_c._ 1206–80), the student of Aristotle, exemplify the
revival of interest in geographical theory along lines not dictated by
Christian in opposition to pagan doctrines. Bacon revived Aristotle’s
opinions as to the spherical form of the earth. He held that the sea
did not cover three quarters of the globe, and that there must needs be
lands unknown, to the south, east, and west of the known world, from
which they must be separated only by narrow waters.

A traveller who followed new lines on the return of his expedition to
the east was Hayton, King of Lesser Armenia, in 1224–69, whose journey
was described by a member of his retinue. It led him (returning)
through the Urumtsi region and the Ili valley, the neighbourhood of the
modern Kulja and Aulie-ata, the Syr-darya valley, Samarkand, Bokhara,
Merv, and northern Persia. Next follows the greatest name among the
eastern travellers of this period, and one of the greatest among all;
that of the Venetian Marco Polo (_c._ 1254–1324). His father Nicolo
and his uncle Maffeo had travelled, before his birth, to China and
established friendly relations with Kublai Khan. That ruler sent them
back to Europe to ask the Pope to despatch a large embassy to his
court, for he was anxious to extend his relations with the western
world and his knowledge of western life. There was a long delay owing
to an interregnum in the papacy, nor were the brothers able to obtain
the large following the Khan had desired; but they started back to
China themselves in 1271, and Marco accompanied them. They proceeded
by way of Badakshan, the Pamirs, Kashgar, Yarkand, Khotan, Lop-nor
(where they covered ground not again travelled by a European for five
centuries), and the desert of Gobi. Marco Polo rose in favour at the
court of the Khan. Among many activities he was employed on a mission
to the Indies, and no opportunity arose for him to return home until
1292. He was then sent to accompany a Persian embassy on its return
journey by sea, by way of Sumatra and India. The journey entailed long
delays, and Marco only reached Venice in 1295. He subsequently dictated
his experiences while a captive in Genoa, having been taken prisoner
in a naval encounter between Genoa and Venice at Curzola in 1298. They
were taken down by a fellow-captive of literary ability, Rusticiano of
Pisa. His geographical achievements have been thus summarized[4]:--

    [4] Yule and Beazley’s article on “Polo” in _Ency. Brit._ (11th
        ed.), vol. xxii.

  Polo was the first traveller to trace a route across the whole
  longitude of Asia, naming and describing kingdom after kingdom
  which he had seen; the first to speak of the new and brilliant
  court which had been established at Peking; the first to reveal
  China in all its wealth and vastness, and to tell of the nations
  on its borders; the first to tell more of Tibet than its name,
  to speak of Burma, of Laos, of Siam, of Cochin-China, of Japan,
  of Java, of Sumatra and other islands of the archipelago, of the
  Nicobar and Andaman Islands, of Ceylon and its sacred peak, of
  India but as a country seen and partially explored; the first
  in mediæval times to give any distinct account of the secluded
  Christian empire of Abyssinia, and of the semi-Christian island of
  Sokotra, and to speak, however dimly, of Zanzibar, and of the vast
  and distant Madagascar; while he carries us also to the remotely
  opposite region of Siberia and the Arctic shores, to speak of
  dog-sledges, white bears, and reindeer-riding Tunguses.

Among Polo’s successors were John of Montecorvino (_c._ 1247–1328),
a Franciscan, who became Archbishop of Peking, and wrote the first
valuable account of the Coromandel coast of India about 1291; and
Jordanus, a French Dominican, who, having carried Catholicism into
India about 1320, improved even upon Polo’s account of the general
geography, climate, and products of the peninsula. Another Franciscan
who was also a skilled observer both in China and India was Odoric of
Pordenone (_c._ 1236–81).

It may be worth recalling the difficulties which stood in the way of
immediately making use of the work of travellers and students at this
period. Printing was not to come into use in Europe for a century yet.
Scribes, no doubt, tended to pay most attention to works of the most
popular sort, and it is, therefore, no matter for wonder if the works
of conscientious travellers, such as we have been describing, did
not obtain anything like a wide circulation within a short period of
their production. On the other hand, a work which did obtain very wide
favour, judged by the standard of the time, was that much-discussed
account of wholly, or very largely, imaginary experiences and wonders
which appeared first in French about 1357–71 under the name of Jean de
Mandeville, or, in the more familiar English form, Sir John Mandeville.
This is an account in the nature of a parody of the work of Odoric
and other eastern travellers, in the sense that the writer took their
facts and substituted or superimposed his own fictions. It is a matter
for discussion how far his work was based, if it were based at all, on
independent travel and research; yet it contains something of interest
to students of the history of geography, if only as an opportunity for
the exercise of their imagination--as, for example, when the writer
tells a story of a man who started forth from his home and travelled
always eastward, until at last he reached it again, thus encircling
the globe. The difficulties in the way of disseminating knowledge will
similarly account for the fact that, although the great Arab traveller
Ibn Batuta has his place in this period, he in no way affected European
geographical study. He was a native of Tangier (1304–78), who occupied
thirty years of his life in travel, covering extraordinary distances in
west, south, and east Asia, and in Africa, and wrote valuable accounts.
Egypt, Arabia, and Palestine, Syria, Asia Minor, and Persia, the
territories north of the Black Sea and the Caspian, were all well known
to this wanderer, who also sailed through the Red Sea and along the
East African coast, visited many parts of India, the Maldive Islands,
Ceylon, Sumatra, and China, and closed his career as a traveller with
journeys through Spain and across the Sahara to Timbuktu. His journeys
are estimated to have amounted to more than 75,000 miles. Modern
criticism has proved the remarkable accuracy of his descriptions of
many lands and places; but they were unknown to contemporary Europe,
and, indeed, until the last century.

[Illustration: Fig. 7.--The Hereford Map.]

It may be said that if a traveller’s results did immediately come to
be quoted as authoritative, it was in a measure accidental. We have
already mentioned the use of the results of Rubruquis by his brother
Franciscan, Roger Bacon; but Marco Polo’s results, for example,
do not appear to have had any influence on cartography for about
half-a-century. An excellent example of mediæval cartography, before
these results and others like them began to show their influence
on maps, is provided by the celebrated map preserved in Hereford
Cathedral, made about 1280 by Richard of Haldingham. Here is the world
still shown as a round disk, with little conception of the form of the
Mediterranean and its branch seas; while even the British Isles and
north-west Europe are strangely distorted to fit the circle. Such is an
illustration of the conception of the world still existing in western
Europe. Few maps of special areas survive from this period, but that
of Great Britain accompanying the work of the famous historical writer
Matthew Paris (1259) is an example. It reveals, on the whole, a better
idea of the internal features of the land than of its coasts and its
shape, which somewhat resembles a fool’s-cap. There are also local maps
of Palestine; and that country, it may be added here, is the subject of
the earliest extant Christian map, in the form of a mosaic on the floor
of a church in Madaba, in Syria: it dates from the sixth century. The
Crusades would naturally give rise to a demand for maps of Palestine,
and they also gave rise to a class of work which may be compared to the
modern guide-book.

[Illustration: Fig. 8.--Chart of the Mediterranean, 1500, by Juan de la

But among maps of special regions the most notable are those known as
Portolano maps, which were sailing charts accompanying the Portolani,
or sailing directions for the Mediterranean Sea. These, no doubt,
existed long before the Crusades, in connection with which they first
come to our knowledge. They are in most respects remarkably accurate.
They are distinguished by groups of rhumb-lines radiating from a series
of centres, and marked usually with the initials of the names of the
principal winds. As the accuracy of these maps was probably improved
largely as the mariners’ compass came into use, it may be mentioned
that the first European notice of the use of that instrument is
provided by the English scientist Alexander Neckam (1157–1217) of St.
Albans, foster brother to King Richard I. From his mention it appears
by this time to have been a familiar object. The chief centres for
the production of Portolano maps were naturally those identified in
an important degree with over-sea commerce; such were Genoa, Venice,
Ancona, and Majorca, while the seamen of Catalonia were also prominent
at this period. These maps were in some cases extended to cover lands
and seas beyond the immediate Mediterranean area, and even the whole
world. World maps were usually circular with Jerusalem as a centre,
and, in contrast to their accuracy in respect of the Mediterranean,
they were not distinguished as a rule for much regard to the best
sources of information, though for that we have already adduced some
measure of excuse. The map of the world by Petrus Vesconte of Genoa
(_c._ 1320) shows the Mediterranean and the Black Seas well, the Nile
fairly, the Caspian indifferently, Scandinavia badly. A mountain range
extends west and east across almost the whole of northern Europe and
central Asia; rivers drain southward to the Black Sea from this; the
Indian Ocean appears as a gulf; the south-eastward extension of the
African coast is retained, and the peninsular form of India is not
realized. Subsequent cartographers disagreed on such points as this
last. Thus in a Florentine map of about 1350, called the Laurentian
or Medicean Portolano, the west coast of India is well shown, and the
influence of Marco Polo’s travels is to some degree apparent. This map,
moreover, has other details of interest, such as the first appearance
in any known map of the Azores and the islands of Madeira with their
modern names. The Catalan map of 1375 recognizes the peninsular form
of India for the first time, and Marco Polo’s results are shown to be
thoroughly appreciated; and yet a century later the old errors as to
the form of India and Ceylon persist even in a map so excellent in many
directions as that of Fra Mauro (1457).



There were obvious geographical and historical reasons why the kingdom
of Portugal should furnish the important series of incidents in the
expansion of geographical knowledge which now claims attention.
The Arab power in the Iberian peninsula had been broken, and the
Portuguese monarchy had established itself during the twelfth century.
The Arab mantle of the explorer descended upon Portuguese shoulders.
The small kingdom has a large extent of coastline; and not only is
communication with Europe by land through the passes at either end of
the Pyrenees comparatively difficult, but between those passes and
Portugal were Spanish states, with which Portuguese relations were by
no means amicable. Thus there was little opportunity for the commercial
expansion of Portugal except over-seas.

The first important figure in the history of this expansion is that of
Prince Henry, surnamed the Navigator (1394–1460), fifth son of King
John I. His objects were to extend Portuguese commercial interests
mainly in West Africa, and also, it would appear, to discover new
lands, if they were to be discovered, to the west of those Atlantic
islands which formed the limit of knowledge to the west from very early
times. Even the knowledge of the islands themselves was indefinite
enough; so that when, in or about 1415, Henry began sending his
seamen to the Canaries and later to the Madeira and the Azores, he
was inspiring, if not actual discovery, at any rate the acquisition
of largely new information. Between 1415 and 1431 colonization and
trade had already begun to be established in some of the islands;
and, though the Portuguese navigators did not forestall Columbus, it
is likely that they conceived the possibility of a westward route to
the Far East. Prince Henry’s residence from 1438 to 1460 was Sagres,
which consequently became a centre for geographical research, for
he gathered about him expert cartographers and instructors for his
navigators, whom he supplied with the best obtainable instruments,
maps, and information: he used not only European but also Arab sources.
With regard to the West African coast, he experienced some years of
comparative failure; but from 1444 explorations here were rapidly
extended, and a few of the leading navigators and explorers who worked
under Prince Henry’s direction and after his death may be mentioned.
In 1443 John Fernandez travelled inland in the district of Rio de
Oro, and collected valuable information about the resources, physical
conditions, and people of the south-west part of the Sahara. He made
further journeys in 1446–47. Diogo Gomez, in 1448, made his way up the
Gambia river. Alvise Cadamosto, a Venetian in Prince Henry’s service,
was working in 1455 south of the Senegal; and in 1456 he visited, and
probably actually discovered, the Cape Verde Islands. His accounts
of his voyages were full and valuable, and he also dealt with the
explorations of Pedro de Cintra, in 1461 or 1462, to Sierra Leone and
the Gold Coast. Gomez made a voyage to the Cape Verde Islands in 1462;
but he is most notable as chronicler of the life-work of Prince Henry.

King John II built on the prince’s foundations. In 1482 he sent out
Diogo Cão, who discovered the Congo and ascended it for a short
distance, and subsequently saw the coast of Angola as far as 13° 26´
S. at Cape Santa Maria. On a second voyage (1485–1486) he penetrated
still further south, to Cape Cross. He erected pillars at various
points on the coast--a practice followed by some of his successors;
and some of these monuments have been found and preserved. In a voyage
in 1486 or 1487–88 Bartolomeu Diaz extended the knowledge of the west
coast nearly five degrees beyond Cão’s furthest, reaching 26° 38´ S.
He was then driven south by high winds and storms, turned east, and
found no land; he therefore steered north again, and struck the coast
of what is now the Cape Province at Mossel Bay. Continuing eastward, he
reached the Great Fish River, and was able to realize that the coast
was now trending north-easterly, and that the southernmost point of
the continent had been turned; but his crew were surfeited with their
dangers, and insisted on returning. The important cape which he had
discovered he is generally stated to have named Cabo Tormentoso, the
Cape of Storms; and the story goes that King John, recognizing the
importance of the discovery to the future object of a sea-route to the
East, changed the name to the Cape of Good Hope. But there is good
reason to believe that the happier name was given by Diaz himself. It
had been one of the wishes of Prince Henry, and was one of the objects
of the voyage of Diaz, to establish communication with a Christian
king of whose powers rumours reached the west coast of Africa from
the interior, and who was known under the name of Prester John. In
1487 Pedro or Pero de Covilhão and Alphonso Payva were sent, partly
with the same object, by way of the Mediterranean. They visited Egypt,
and after many wanderings came to Aden, whence Covilhão proceeded to
Calicut and Goa in India, and, returning thence, travelled south along
the East African coast as far as Sofala. He then journeyed in the coast
lands of Arabia, and visited Mecca and Medina, and finally, entering
Africa, proceeded to the court of Prester John in Abyssinia, where he
was well treated, but from which he was never allowed to return home.
Payva, meanwhile, had travelled into Ethiopia, and had died there.

The journey to India by way of the Cape of Good Hope was completed
in due course in the last decade of the century; but earlier in that
same decade the New World had been discovered by Columbus, and the
era opened by these two tremendous incidents may be more fittingly
considered in the following chapter; while for the moment some
consideration may be given to the state of cartography and theory at
the time when Columbus was planning his voyage.

The works of Ptolemy can have been known to few in the original Greek
at this time, and for many centuries before. When, therefore, the
translation of his Geography into Latin, originally undertaken by
Emanuel Chrysoloras, a Byzantine scholar who settled in Italy, was
completed in 1410 by his pupil Jacobus Angelus, these two students
lit a beacon in the course of geographical study. The translation,
which is usually identified with the name of Angelus alone, was issued
under the title of Cosmography instead of Geography. It would appear
that Angelus, of whose life apart from this work little is known,
not only dealt with the text, but also did the maps into Latin. In a
short time there was no lack of copies of the work, and it was soon
found necessary to add to the maps at certain points where they failed
to represent knowledge which was by this time in possession of the
translators. Already about 1424 Claudius Clavus Swartha had constructed
in Italy a map which showed the north-westward extension of knowledge
as far as Greenland; the curious orderly curves by which the coastlines
are represented frankly acknowledge the draughtsman’s lack of detail.
About 1470 Nicolaus Germanus, often known erroneously as Donis,
produced a manuscript edition of Ptolemy, with maps magnificently
illuminated and on improved projections. He also added new maps, and
it has been said of the collection that, as far as concerns methods of
drawing, it is the prototype of all subsequent atlases (Nordenskjöld).
An edition, probably of 1472, if not later, though it is dated
earlier, reveals the use of a conical projection with meridians and
parallels drawn across the maps; and, as points of some interest in
comparison with modern maps, it may be added that the seas are green,
the mountains blue, and other parts of the land red and yellow. The
Florentine edition in verse, of about 1480, by Francesco Berlinghieri,
contained an important series of new printed maps, including Italy,
France, Spain, and Palestine.

Although the extension of knowledge to the north-west, as has been
mentioned, attracted considerable attention on the part of the editors
of Ptolemy, the recent Portuguese discoveries in West Africa did not,
apparently, do the same. In an edition, for instance, of 1486, made
at Ulm, a geographical description of the north-west lands, including
Greenland, was furnished, and there were quoted the latitude and
longitude of 183 places in northern Europe and Greenland; but there
was no evidence that the conception of the southern limit of the
habitable world by Ptolemy was understood to be now proved wholly
erroneous by the Portuguese discoveries.

On the other hand, the appreciation of Portuguese labours appeared
earlier, as was natural, in Portolano maps. That of Andrea Bianco
(1448) drew probably on a Portuguese original, showing the West African
coast as far as Cape Verde. On the world map of Fra Mauro, already
referred to, the Portuguese discoveries are mentioned in an inscription
of considerable length.

In connection with prevailing ideas as to what lands lay in the
Atlantic beyond the certain knowledge of men, it may be observed that
the conception of a continent or island of Atlantis was very old, and
there were other mythical lands which were also given places in distant
parts of the ocean. Portolano maps of the fourteenth and fifteenth
centuries show the island of Brazil lying to the west of Ireland, an
island named Mam to the south of Brazil, and, still further away in
the ocean, and to the south again, a large island in the form of a
parallelogram, which bore the name of Antillia, and appears as early as

The sphericity of the earth, as has been seen, was revived as a theory
by Bacon and Albertus; and to these inquirers may now be added the name
of Cardinal d’Ailly (d. 1422), whose work, entitled _Imago Mundi_, may
be mentioned because it is known to have been in the possession of
Columbus. His copy still exists.

A name closely identified with Columbus’s preconceived ideas as to
the voyage to the Indies by way of the western ocean, and his efforts
to obtain recognition for them, is that of Paolo del Pozzo Toscanelli
(1397–1482), a Florentine mathematician, astronomer, and cosmographer,
whose advice was asked by King Alphonso V. of Portugal as to the
probability of this western route. He sent the king a statement and
a chart in support of Columbus’s ideas. The chart is lost; but the
author describes it as showing the Indies opposite and to the west
of Ireland and Africa, together with the islands which were known to
lie off the coast of the Asiatic mainland, and certain known landing
places. A globe made in 1492 by Martin Behaim, of Nuremberg, is usually
cited as giving the best existing representation of the views as to the
extent of the Atlantic, and the route across it, at the moment when
Columbus began his first voyage. Behaim had lived in Portugal, and had
a high scientific reputation at court. He had probably visited the
more northerly parts of the west coast of Africa and also the Azores,
though he claimed to have a much more extensive first-hand knowledge,
as having accompanied Diogo Cão. It is doubtful if he did so; but if he
did, he made but little use of his opportunity. His representation of
the west coast of Africa is not accurate; and for the rest, although
he had the chance, and apparently an unusually favourable one, of
carrying the results of Portuguese research into Europe, he made poor
use of it. He was obsessed by Ptolemaic ideas; he showed in a modified
form the old south-eastward extension of Africa, with Madagascar and
Zanzibar as two great islands lying off it, Zanzibar being south of
Madagascar. He also modified, but still retained, the Ptolemaic idea of
the non-peninsular form of India and the exaggerated size of Ceylon.
He gave a gross representation of the Malay Peninsula, and in general
ignored Marco Polo’s results, and those of other Asiatic travellers.
His representation of Scandinavia was indifferent, and even that of
the Mediterranean was below the level of the Portolano maps. As regards
the width of the Atlantic Ocean between Europe and Asia, he appears to
have followed Toscanelli; and he showed the mythical island of Antillia
and also that of St. Brandon (the existence of which on maps was an
outcome of the fabled wanderings of a holy man of Ireland in the sixth
century) in mid-ocean between the Euro-African and the Asiatic coasts.

Such was the view of the ocean barrier which lay between Columbus and
the attainment of his ideal. It serves as a reminder, which, in view of
the results he obtained, is sometimes necessary, that that ideal was
the discovery, not of new lands, but of a new route to lands already



The period which witnessed, among other great achievements, the
discovery of a new hemisphere, and included the voyages of Columbus,
Gama, and Magellan, besides many of an importance only secondary
to these, has been called the most brilliant in human history. The
exaggeration, if such it be, is excusable; certainly in the department
of geographical history no other period shares the peculiar lustre of
this. Christopher Columbus (1446–1506) was born of humble parentage
at Genoa. He went early to sea, and was attracted to Lisbon no doubt
by the reputation of the Portuguese as navigators. He had voyaged to
the eastern Mediterranean, to the Guinea Coast, and in the north as
far, perhaps, as Iceland. It is not until 1484 that we find his great
scheme of the crossing of the Atlantic to Asia matured and laid before
the King of Portugal. It was refused by him; it was rejected also in
Genoa, Venice, England, and France. Then he presented it at Madrid, and
it was examined by a quasi-expert committee, which pronounced against
it; but at last it came under the notice of Queen Isabella, and by her
was taken up. Columbus obtained three ships, and sailed on August 3,
1492, from Palos, himself in command of one vessel, the others under
Martin Alonzo and Vicente Yañez Pinzon. The expedition touched at the
Canaries in September, and the story of its subsequent progress is
well known--how difficulties were encountered in the Sargasso Sea, how
the hearts of the crew failed them, how Columbus was driven to give
them false reckonings of the position of the ships, but was at last
enabled to point out to them signs of neighbouring land in the flotsam
of the waters, and how at length land was actually sighted on October
11, and on the following day a landing in state was effected on an
island to which the name of San Salvador was given, and which is now
usually identified with Watling Island of the Bahamas. Columbus did not
then, or at any time afterwards, suppose that he had done otherwise
than reach some part of the archipelago off Asia. On the present voyage
he observed a number of the West Indian islands, and he returned to
Spain in March, 1493, to meet with a magnificent reception.

Among the effects of Columbus’s discoveries was the necessity which
was immediately found for delimiting the spheres in which Portuguese
and Spanish explorations respectively should be prosecuted. In the
existing state of geographical theory it may be supposed that a
satisfactory delimitation was no easy matter to obtain, and, indeed,
the line which was chosen was found, in fact, impossible to demarcate.
It was determined under the treaty of Tordesillas (June 7, 1494), which
followed upon a pronouncement contained in two papal bulls of the
previous year, that to Spain should belong islands discovered west of a
north-and-south line drawn 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde Islands,
and that Portugal might claim all lands lying east of this line. The
rule gave rise to such difficulties that Portugal is found later making
a claim upon Brazil, while Spain did the same upon the Moluccas.

In 1493 Columbus led a new and much larger expedition to the scene of
his triumph. There was now no lack of enthusiasm to be of his company.
On November 3 Dominica was reached; the Antilles were subsequently
surveyed, and Hispaniola or Haiti, which had been discovered on the
first expedition, was again visited. Jamaica was found, the south coast
of Cuba was traced--though this island was taken for a peninsula--and
it is possible that the mainland of Central America was seen. Columbus
returned in 1496 to Spain, and set out on his third voyage in 1498.
Holding a more southerly course than before, he came to Trinidad,
and subsequently recognized the neighbourhood of continental land by
observing a current of fresh water of considerable strength in the
open sea; this was from the mouth of the Orinoco. The settlers in
the new colonies met with many difficulties, and created more. There
was much hostility towards Columbus, and he was doubtless restrained
from accomplishing much which might have been accomplished if his
followers had been wholly loyal. On his last voyage, in 1502–4, his
aim was to penetrate right through the archipelago and to complete the
circumnavigation of the world. After coasting along Cuba he turned
south, and came upon the coast of Honduras, which he followed for
nearly four months before he was compelled to return to Spain. Within a
few days of his arrival there, he lost his great patroness by the death
of Isabella, and he himself passed the remaining months of his life in
comparative neglect.

Voyagers hastened to follow him across the Atlantic. The work of those
who, like Cabot and Cortereal, added a knowledge of the north-eastern
coasts of the new continent to the discoveries of the time, will be
considered more appropriately in connection with the exploration of
the arctic region, and the attempt to solve the long-lived problem of
the north-west passage (Chapter VIII). The year 1500 and the first few
years of the new century were only less notable than that of Columbus’s

Vicente Yañez Pinzon came of a wealthy Andalusian family, of which
several members were well-known navigators--Vicente himself and two
brothers, Martin and Francisco, had assisted Columbus. He, in command
of an expedition in 1499–1500, was the first Spaniard to cross the
Equator, discovered the Brazilian coast at Cape San Agostinho, added
300 miles to the known coast of South America, and found the mouth of
the Amazon. The Portuguese Cabral, who has been commonly hailed as the
discoverer of Brazil, actually reached its coast some three months
after Pinzon, having been driven far from his course round the Cape
of Good Hope to the Indian seas in the wake of Vasco da Gama (Chapter
VII). In the following years many expeditions crossed the Atlantic
for discovery and conquest. Pinzon continued his travels in 1507–09,
and in the course of them, in company with Juan Diaz de Solis, sailed
south along the Brazilian coast, and is said to have passed without
recognizing the great estuary of the Rio de la Plata.

Into this period fall the much-discussed voyages of Amerigo Vespucci,
who, if he were indeed a geographical charlatan, as the greater
weight of opinion (though it is rather delicately balanced) appears
to stigmatize him, is one of the most remarkable examples of a type
which, at periods of keen public interest in exploration, has been not
uncommon; even modern instances may come into the memory. Vespucci, a
native of Florence (1451–1512), came into Spanish service as a naval
contractor, and claimed to have himself made a voyage in 1497, which,
if the distances and positions quoted by him were accurate, would
have extended into the Pacific and as far as the coast now belonging
to British Columbia, and would moreover have brought him within sight
of the American mainland before any other navigator of this period.
He also gave accounts of three later voyages (two in Portuguese
service), abundant in equally or more improbable statements, as that
he approached within thirteen degrees of the south pole. If he lied,
he was rewarded with something more than the transient fame which
others of his kind have usually had to exchange for notoriety. Martin
Waldseemüller, professor of cosmography at St. Dié, is credited with
the first suggestion that the new continent should take its name from
Amerigo, while the hero himself died in the enjoyment of the Spanish
office of chief pilot. It must be remembered that at this period of
constant fresh discoveries it was almost impossible to form any true
conception of the relative importance of the work of different men;
and as it was not then the habitual practice of explorers to address
themselves immediately on their return to the task of writing down
their experiences, Vespucci’s narratives were eagerly seized upon as
furnishing a trustworthy account of the new world.

It was not until after the first decade of the sixteenth century
that the Spaniards, who were to play so large a part in the history
of America, began to interest themselves in the penetration of the
continent itself, as distinct from the islands in the Caribbean Sea.
The voyage of Juan Ponce de Leon, who was obsessed with one of the
romantic stories of the period, telling of an island to the north
which held the secret of eternal youth, resulted in the acquisition
of Florida in 1512--the first Spanish possession in North America. In
the next year, 1513, Vasco Nuñez de Balboa, a Spanish adventurer who
had conquered an American kingdom with his sword, almost accidentally
made the great discovery of the Pacific Ocean from the elevation of “a
peak in Darien.” After Nuñez had triumphantly taken possession of the
whole sea in the name of Spain, and had returned with his news, others
hastened to follow him, the most successful being Gil Gonçalez de
Avila, who arrived at Nicaragua in 1523. The discovery of the Gulf of
Mexico and of Yucatan was delayed even longer than that of the Pacific
shore: it was not until 1517 that Hernandez de Cordova touched at the
peninsula. But in the next year it and the gulf were explored with some
thoroughness by Juan de Grisalva, who brought back to the governor of
Cuba the first news of a civilized race living in Mexico, building
great cities and rich in gold, to awaken the cupidity of the Spanish

One great question, however, remained unsolved: the western route to
Asia was still to seek. To the voyagers of the early sixteenth century
it must have seemed as though the oceans of the world were divided in
two by a mighty land barrier, stretching from pole to pole. Apart from
the unexpected glimpse of the seas on the other side obtained at the
isthmus, nothing was known of the length or width of the new continent,
until the problem was solved by Fernao de Magalhães (Magellan) in one
of the most remarkable voyages recorded. He set sail from Spain in
1519, and after arriving at the mouth of the Rio de la Plata, which was
already known, he began a careful search of the unknown coast to the
south, always looking for the opening which might lead him to the west.
In November of the same year Magellan rounded the southern extremity
of the mainland, and sailed joyfully through the straits which bear
his name, between the continent and the Fuegian archipelago. He and
his men believed that now their journey lay behind them; a few days
more with a favouring wind, and they expected to see again lands known
to men, some point of the islands of eastern Asia. The wind favoured
them indeed, and the name “Pacific,” given by Magellan[5] to the ocean,
records his gratitude; but the land was far to seek, and it was not
until ninety-nine days had passed, and his crew were come to the last
stages of starvation, that he reached the Mariannes, and from thence
came in ten days to the Philippines. Not only had he sailed half round
the globe since he left the shores of the New World, but he had passed
among the many scattered groups of islands in that part of the ocean
without ever sighting land. He was not destined to enjoy his success,
for he died in a skirmish on Matan, one of the Philippine Islands, and
the news of the first circumnavigation of the globe was brought home by
his subordinate, Sebastian del Cano.

    [5] Another story attributes this name to Vasco Nuñez’ native

Now that the sea-way to the western coasts of America was pointed out,
the outline of the continent became fairly known, and the interior was
being gradually covered with landmarks, by the end of the sixteenth
century. Under the energetic direction of Cortez, the Spaniards had
conquered Mexico. By 1533 his emissaries had arrived at the Gulf of
California; in 1541 New Mexico was explored, and by 1571 it was
possible to construct the admirable map of Mexico which figures in
Ortelius’s Atlas (1579). In South America Francisco Pizarro and his
three brothers, with Diego Almagro and Hernando de Luque, had worked
with such daring good-fortune that the whole of the Empire of the Incas
was conquered for Spain, and in 1535 Chile was added to it. After
the first conquest, great tracts of country were explored and taken
possession of--first the valleys of the Andes and the country which was
named New Granada, then the whole coast between the Straits of Magellan
and Peru; and in 1541 Francisco de Orellana, who had separated himself
from a disastrous expedition led by Gonzalo Pizarro over the Andes from
Quito, made a stupendous journey right down the River Amazon. In 1539
Hernandez de Soto, longing for another Peru to conquer, and full of
the fables of treasure and precious metals which were rife everywhere
in those days of great discoveries, started on a long and courageous
battle to win for himself and his followers the land lying between the
Gulf of Mexico and the River Ohio. He penetrated Arkansas; but he was
eventually killed, and his followers driven from the country.

Other nations were working to conquer territories for themselves in
other parts of the continent. The King of France, Francis I, sent
Jacques Cartier on four separate voyages between 1533 and 1543, and
he sailed up the river of St. Lawrence to the spot where Montreal now
stands; but little colonization was done till the beginning of the
following century. From France also came several colonies of Huguenots,
sent out by Admiral Coligny between 1555 and 1564, one to Brazil and
two to Florida, which were all attacked and destroyed. To England
belongs the honour of the second circumnavigation of the world.
Francis Drake rounded Cape Horn, and proved that Tierra del Fuego did
not form part of the southern continent, as suggested by Magellan’s
discovery. He sailed up and down the whole of the western coast, and
across the Pacific to the Philippines, returning to England in 1580. He
was followed in 1585 by another Englishman, Sir Thomas Cavendish, who
also sailed round the world.

Although there remained vast tracts unknown in America, the main
features of the continent had been determined. The French, under the
able guidance of Samuel Champlain, were rapidly settling in Canada,
and exploring far and wide, from Hudson Bay to Louisiana. England was
occupying the country between the Alleghany mountains and the sea. The
Spaniards were multiplying in South America. But the only expedition
undertaken in a scientific spirit which resulted in the acquisition
of valuable knowledge was the exploration of the Amazon by Pedro
Texeira in 1639. The history of America after the end of the sixteenth
century is concerned rather with colonization than with discovery.
It was rapidly partitioned among English, French, Spaniards, and
Portuguese. Occupation of North America was slowly pushed forward,
and the continent more or less provisionally mapped. For many years
the United States and Canada have had their regular surveys, and in
time the northern half of America will be as well mapped as Europe.
The States of South America, with the exception of the Argentine and
Chile, are much more backward, and there remain, notwithstanding the
work of Humboldt (1799–1804) and other scientific explorers in later
years, especially around the Upper Amazon, large areas which are still
a virgin field for the explorer.



In the meantime the Portuguese had at last won the sea route to India
by way of the Cape of Good Hope, through the agency of Vasco da Gama
(1464–1524), a native of Sines. He started from Lisbon in July, 1497.
He was accompanied by a pilot who had been with Diaz, and he had a map
on which the Portuguese discoveries on the African coast were shown so
far as they extended. On November 22 he sailed round the Cape of Good
Hope; by Christmas he reached a point beyond the furthest limit of
Diaz, and named it Natal. Continuing northerly along the coast he met
with a number of Arab settlements and a hostile reception from some of
them; but from one he obtained a pilot across the Indian Ocean, and he
reached Calicut on May 20, 1498, after a voyage of ten months and ten
days. This is not the place to discuss the commercial and political
difficulties which supervened upon the endeavours of the Portuguese
to draw to themselves a share of the rich trade of the Indies; but
Gama made a second successful voyage with this object in 1502–03, and
subsequently became viceroy in India in the year of his death.

In 1511 the important town of Malacca was taken by the Portuguese, and
became the starting-point for many journeys in all directions--first
to Sumatra, Java, and the Philippines; in 1512 to the Moluccas, and
in 1516 to Canton, and by 1520 a Portuguese embassy was established at
Peking. After that exploration proceeded apace in the Malay islands
and on the coast of China; and Borneo, New Guinea, and Celebes rapidly
became important trade centres, though Japan was not reached till the
beginning of the following century, when in 1542 a Portuguese sailor,
Antonio de Mota, was driven to its shores. Some years later a mission
was sent there by St. Francis Xavier, which brought back the first
trustworthy accounts of the new country.

The Portuguese and Spanish ascendancy in the Malay Archipelago lasted
until 1595; in the following year a Dutch fleet, under Cornelis
Houtman, came to blows with the Portuguese off the coast of Java;
in 1602 the Dutch East India Company was incorporated, and during
the following decade Dutch influence was strongly established in the
Archipelago. With this epoch in far eastern history is connected
the discovery of Australia. At what early period the native peoples
of the east--Malays, and even Chinese--had acquired knowledge of
Australia, and what was the extent of that knowledge, it is impossible
to determine; but Marco Polo had happened upon rumours of a southern
continent. In the following chapter we shall discuss the early European
conception of that continent, which gave rise to a wider problem in
which the discovery of Australia is merely incidental.

A landing on Australian soil has been claimed for the French navigator
Paulmyer, Sieur de Gonneville, in 1503, and Guillaume le Testu of
Provence is asserted to have sighted the coast in 1531. There were
certainly, about 1527–39, French pirates in the Malay Archipelago.
There are similar early Portuguese claims to the first view of the
island-continent. When Torres had passed through the strait which
bears his name, south of New Guinea, in 1606, and when, in the same
year, the crew of a Dutch vessel, the _Duyfken_, effected a landing in
the Gulf of Carpentaria, the first definite steps were taken towards
the exploration of Australia. By 1665 the Dutch had worked out and
charted a general sketch of most of the western seaboard; in 1696
William de Vlamingh re-charted a large part of it with fair accuracy.
In the meantime, in 1642, Abel Janszoon Tasman had sailed from Batavia
to Mauritius, thence south-eastward, till he struck the southern and
eastern coasts of Tasmania, whence he passed on to obtain the first
sight of New Zealand. The exploration of the Australian coasts from the
direction of the Pacific belongs to following chapters.

During this period England began to interest herself in the East Indian
trade, and the great efforts which were made to reach Eastern Asia by
way of the arctic region will be discussed in the following chapter. In
1591 James Lancaster made an adventurous voyage to the Malay Peninsula;
the formation of the East India Company followed. In 1600 Lancaster,
in its employ, started again for the East, and laid the foundations
of English commerce in the Spice Islands, visiting the Nicobars,
Sumatra, and Java. He was accompanied on this voyage by Davis, famous
for his work in the Arctic, who was killed on a further voyage in
Eastern waters in 1605. The work of the East India Company led to the
undertaking of many important voyages of discovery. In 1607 Captain
Hawkins travelled to Agra and the court of the great Mogul, and a
factory was started in Japan in 1613. The men in the employ of the East
India Company were not, however, the first Englishmen to reach Japan:
William Adams, a trader, had been forced to anchor off the island of
Kiu-shiu in 1600. He had been very kindly received, but had not been
allowed to return home. Permission, however, was at length granted to
him, and, after helping to found an English settlement in Japan, he
spent the rest of his life in the service of the East India Company. On
one of the early expeditions sent out by the trading company in 1612,
under Captain Best, the first foothold of the British in India was
gained by the establishment of factories.

During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Englishmen were also
playing a prominent part in the gradual lifting of the veil which
lay over Central and Western Asia. Between 1558 and 1579 traders in
London made great efforts to open up to commerce the countries round
the Caspian Sea, of which vague reports had been brought back by
travellers, and embassies were sent to Bokhara, Persia, and Russia.
Anthony Jenkinson did much to advance the knowledge of Persia by his
journey as an accredited representative of Queen Elizabeth in 1579;
Christopher Burroughs traded across the Caspian Sea at the end of the
century, and Sir Anthony and Robert Shirley stayed at the court of the
Shah of Persia. During the seventeenth century Persia, Syria, and Asia
Minor were visited by many travellers, who brought back many tales
of the new and strange countries, but added little to the store of
geographical knowledge.

Up to the end of the seventeenth century, the only people to bring
any news of China and Tibet were missionaries, of whom several made
adventurous journeys from India. Tibet had been visited by Friar Odoric
in 1325; but the next European to enter it was Antonio Andrada, in
1624. Between 1685 and 1687 P. Tachard journeyed to Cochin-China and
Tongking, and made a number of astronomical observations, from which
he was able to prove the gross errors in the longitudes of Ptolemy,
which were still in use. After permission to enter the empire of China
was granted in 1553 to the Jesuits, much valuable geographical work
was done by them throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
During the seventeenth century the Russians were gradually pushing
towards China by way of Siberia. In 1581 a Cossack made himself master
of the country round the lower course of the River Irtish; early in the
next century the Sea of Okhotsk was reached by Russian hunters; in the
middle of the century the River Amur was navigated to the sea; and by
its end Kamchatka had been explored, and a treaty had been concluded
with the rulers of China. In 1768 and the following years an organized
exploration of the whole of the Russian Empire was undertaken. Both the
coasts and the inland provinces of Siberia were surveyed from Novaya
Zemlya as far as the Sea of Okhotsk.

By the end of the seventeenth century the general outlines of the
coast of Asia were known, though much of the interior was still
unexplored. Such knowledge of central Asia as was acquired during that
and the preceding century was mainly due to the travels of European
missionaries following Andrada--Fra Desideri and Fra Freyre (1715), and
Orazio della Penna (who was in Lhasa from 1735 to 1747), were among
those who entered Tibet, while others actually carried out surveys
in China in 1708–18 under the direction of the Emperor Kang-hi. The
Dutchman Samuel van der Putte passed thirty-seven years of his life in
Asia, and travelled widely, but at his death (1745) left no narrative.
At the close of the century English missions began to make their way
into Tibet from India. George Boyle led one in 1774, and Captain Turner
another in 1783. English and French traders were opening up Persia in
the eighteenth century, and in Arabia the principal journey was that
of Carsten Niebuhr (1762–67), sole survivor of a Danish scientific



_(a) Arctic: The North-East and North-West Passages._

Although polar exploration is not very directly associated with
geographical theory at large, it has been associated with certain
individual geographical theories which occupy important positions
in our history as having held the minds of men for long periods,
and as owing their proof or disproof to some of the most noteworthy
exploits in the story of exploration. There is sometimes a tendency
to suppose that polar, or at any rate arctic, exploration has always
been concerned mainly with the attempt to penetrate as far north as
possible along one meridian or another, and that any discoveries made
_en route_ have been merely incidental. But the mere desire to set a
more northerly or southerly limit to human travel, and ultimately to
reach the Poles, really belongs to a relatively late period in the
history of arctic and antarctic work. Taking arctic exploration first,
we find that its object was in its early stages mainly commercial; from
that object there naturally developed a desire to extend geographical
knowledge, and, lastly, the extension of many branches of scientific
knowledge was served by that particular branch of exploratory work.

Some reference has already been made to the early knowledge of arctic
lands acquired by Scandinavian seamen, who in the second half of the
ninth century had carried not only their commercial explorations but
also their actual rule round the North Cape and as far as the White
Sea. At this period they also reached Iceland; but they had been
preceded there by holy men from Ireland, as is stated by Dicuil about
825. In the tenth century Greenland became known to the Norwegians, and
during its ninth decade Eric the Red visited the western coast of that
land, and colonization and more or less regular intercommunication were
carried on thereafter until the early part of the fifteenth century.
In the year 1000 Leif Ericsson reached that part of the North American
coast which he named Vinland. A second expedition under Thorfinn
Karlsefne reached the same coast by way of Labrador and Newfoundland,
but these discoveries were not followed up. In the northerly direction
Spitsbergen was found by the close of the twelfth century, and, in the
easterly, Novaya Zemlya a little later.

We have already seen something of the effect which these discoveries
had upon European geographical studies and cartography; and it has been
pointed out that their effect is still more to be observed when, in
that brilliant final decade of the fifteenth century which witnessed
the triumphs of Columbus and Gama, John Cabot was despatched by a
company of Bristol merchants across the Atlantic, and reached Cape
Breton and Nova Scotia as some believe, or at least Newfoundland, for
at Bristol many Scandinavian merchants were settled, and doubtless
helped to inspire this and succeeding journeys. A second journey
was made by Cabot in 1498, and in 1500 to 1501 a Portuguese, Gaspar
Cortereal, visited eastern Greenland and Newfoundland, and these
voyages had the incidental result of opening up the important
Newfoundland fisheries. But the ultimate object of exploration in this
direction, which now and for a long succeeding period possessed the
minds of men, was to discover a north-west passage which was held to
exist and to be feasible for commerce between Europe and the Indies;
and we shall presently see that a similar north-east passage along the
north coast of Europe itself and Asia to the same goal was no less
eagerly sought after. Cortereal may have seen the opening of Hudson’s
Strait, and, though he was lost on a second voyage (as was his brother
who sought him), the possibility of finding a practicable north-west
passage attracted the Portuguese as well as others, but only for a
little while--their instincts like their interests led them southward,
not northward.

We cannot here detail all the work of explorers who, in the sixteenth
century and after, extended discovery in one or another of these
directions; nor, indeed, in the case of some of the earlier journeys,
do the records admit of doing so. It is thus probable that in the
second half of the sixteenth century Portuguese sailors had anticipated
Henry Hudson in acquiring considerable knowledge of Hudson Bay, but it
is not possible to say how far they had penetrated it. In 1558 Nicolo
Zeno of Venice put forth a forged narrative of a fictitious journey
which he attributed to an ancestor of his own. He attached a map to
it, and showed thereon an imaginary land named Frisland to the south
of Greenland, and other equally false details which set many later
travellers and geographers astray. Sir Martin Frobisher, holding that
the discovery of the North-West passage was the crowning piece of
exploratory work remaining to reward the adventurer, secured Queen
Elizabeth’s and other powerful interests, and led an expedition to
the north-west in 1576. Zeno’s map put him wrong when he discovered
Eastern Greenland and thought it to be Frisland, and he subsequently
reached the southern part of Baffin Land; but this was supposed to be
Greenland. He made a second voyage in 1578. Frobisher’s successor, John
Davis, another explorer of high scientific standing, misinterpreted
some of Frobisher’s results, as other geographers did, thus placing
Frobisher Strait not in Baffin Land but in Greenland, where it long
appeared in maps. Davis made voyages in 1585, 1586, and 1587. He passed
along Davis Strait, and explored both its eastern and its western
shores, extending the knowledge of the west coast of Greenland on
his third voyage as far north as 72° 41´. Henry Hudson, in his two
earlier voyages in 1607 and 1608, was concerned with the seas of the
north-east, and we shall consider them later. But in 1610 he sailed
west and entered Hudson Bay, where, after many sufferings, he was
set adrift by a mutinous crew and was lost. Following him Sir Thomas
Button, in 1612, became acquainted with the west coast of the bay, and
maintained the belief, which was upheld for more than a generation
following, that the North-West passage to the Indies would be found
to open from this coast. In 1615 and 1616 William Baffin made a
voyage which brought within men’s knowledge the channels which ramify
northward and westward from the head of Baffin Bay; but this knowledge
was not appraised at its true value; indeed, even the authenticity
of his work came to be doubted, notable though the voyage was for
many important discoveries, including, among others, remarkable
magnetic observations, for in Smith’s Sound Baffin discovered the
greatest known variation of the compass. His explorations carried
him more than three hundred miles beyond Davis’s northern limit. In
spite of these discoveries, which gave no impulse towards theoretical
discussion of the North-West passage along right lines, and in spite
of the opportunity for investigation to the west of Hudson Bay by the
early servants of the Hudson’s Bay Company, which was established in
1670, the theory that the passage lay westward from that bay was still
alive in 1722, when the voyage of John Scroggs, in search of two ships
previously lost, was held to prove the existence of a strait leading
into the Pacific; but in 1742 Christopher Middleton made further
acquaintance with the inlets on the west shore of the bay, and later in
the century some of the servants of the Company began to arrive at a
conception of the north-westward extension of the continent. Thus about
1770 Samuel Hearne reached its arctic shore by way of the Coppermine
River, and in 1789 Alexander Mackenzie came to the mouth of the great
river which bears his name. The North-West passage had now ceased to
be sought as a highway of commerce, though as a matter of scientific
interest James Cook, on the third of his great voyages (1776), which
will be dealt with in a later chapter, was instructed to find it from
the Pacific, but was stopped by the ice in 70° 41´, beyond Bering
Strait, having been the first English navigator to observe the western
extremity of Alaska, which had, however, been known for a century or
more to the Russians.

The exploration for the North-East passage, though of considerably
greater importance to commerce, was hardly of equal importance with
that of the North-West passage from our present standpoint, for it
could scarcely have been preceded by that complete ignorance which
the voyages to the North-West just mentioned did so much to dispel.
Some general idea of the coasts of northern Europe, based upon early
Scandinavian and possibly Russian work, may be supposed to have existed
even when, in 1484, the Portuguese are said to have endeavoured to
find a route in this direction to the Indies, and when in the first
half of the following century the feasibility of such a route came to
be seriously discussed in England. From that country an expedition,
in the arrangement of which Sebastian, son of John Cabot, took a
leading part, started in 1553 under Sir Hugh Willoughby, with Richard
Chancellor commanding one of the ships. Willoughby was lost on the Kola
peninsula; Chancellor succeeded in entering the White Sea, travelled
to Moscow, and made arrangements for the opening of a commercial route
between England and northern Russia. The Muscovy Company of merchants
was founded; and, after Chancellor had been lost on a second expedition
in 1555, the Company sent out one of his companions, Stephen Borough,
in 1556, with the river Ob as his goal. From this voyage information
was first disseminated about the Kola region and Novaya Zemlya, though
these had been known long previously to Russian fishermen and hunters.
The Company also sent out Arthur Pet and Charles Jackman in 1580.
They entered the Kara Sea, but only Pet returned. At this period the
Dutch entered the field; they were trading in the White Sea towards
the end of the century, and in 1582 Olivier Brunel, and in 1594 and
1596 William Barents and others, penetrated far eastward. In 1596 an
expedition with Barents as pilot discovered Spitsbergen, and one of
the ships proceeded eastward to Novaya Zemlya, where Barents died; but
the rest of the party withstood the winter and won their way back to
the Lapland coast in boats. It was found that Russian trading vessels
were making regular journeys to the Ob and the Yenisei, and in the two
following centuries the Russians were chiefly instrumental in extending
knowledge of the northern coast of Asia. In 1648 Simon Dezhnev may
have passed through the strait which afterwards bore the name of Vitus
Bering. In 1735 the northernmost promontory of Siberia was rounded in
sledges by Lieutenant T. Chelyuskin, and his name was given to it; and
in 1728 and 1740 Bering explored both the strait and the sea which bear
his name.

Meanwhile Henry Hudson had done for the Muscovy Company and for England
what Barents had done for the Dutch, for in 1607 he reached a point on
the east coast of Greenland in 73° N., studied the conditions of the
ice between that country and Spitsbergen, and discovered the island
afterwards called Jan Mayen. In 1608 he made similar investigations of
the ice from Spitsbergen to Novaya Zemlya, and he was again in the same
seas before proceeding to the west to discover the Hudson river and the
strait and bay which, as we have seen, were also given his name. Upon
the work of Hudson and Barents followed the celebrated whale fisheries
of Spitsbergen and elsewhere, with which we have little direct concern
in this history; but when, in the second half of the seventeenth
century, these fisheries, as far as British enterprise was concerned,
reached the height of their prosperity, geographical research was
encouraged along the lines which this industry gave opportunity to
follow, for a reward of £5,000 was offered in 1776 to any ship which
should first sail northward of 89° N. Though the prize was not then
won, the foundations of scientific research in the arctic were firmly
laid by able and intelligent captains of the whaling ships, among
whom William Scoresby is pre-eminent through his voyage as far as 81°
12´ 42´´ N., in 1806, his exploration of the east coast of Greenland
from 75° to 69° N. in 1822, and his admirable _Account of the Arctic

_(b) Antarctic: the Great South Land._

The leading interest of arctic exploration thus far, in connection
with our present study, has been seen to be concerned with the opening
of sea routes, by north-west and north-east, from Europe to Asia. The
story of antarctic discovery, on the other hand, brings into prominence
a problem of far different character which we have already had occasion
to notice incidentally. It might be labelled as the problem of the
Fifth Continent, though its origin dates from a period long before
the discovery of the fourth. We have seen how the conception of a
spherical earth was supported on grounds of speculative philosophy by
the Pythagoreans, and proven by the observations of Aristotle. We have
met with the Stoic conception of the four land-masses, one in each of
the “four quarters” of the globe, of which but one, the _œcumene_, was
known. Here, then, was the material already for an antarctic problem.
There can be no doubt that its solution was regarded in ancient times
as beyond the limit of human endeavour, because the passage of the
torrid zone was held impossible in spite of those rumours of far
southerly voyages, to which we have referred, and which might otherwise
have pointed the way to further discovery.

We pass over the period when the antipodean theory was maintained only
by the freest of Christian thinkers, and resume the antarctic story
at the point where Bartolomeu Diaz demonstrated by experience that
the torrid climatic belt is not impassable, and entered a temperate
belt to the south of it. After this, the discovery of Brazil, the
frequent enforced voyages south of the Horn by mariners driven thither
by storms, and the exploration of the Pacific, are all intimately
associated with the antarctic problem. Spanish and Portuguese
voyagers at the beginning of the sixteenth century revealed Brazil as
continental land; a Portuguese expedition in 1514 reported the southern
extremity of South America to be in 40° S., and asserted that the coast
of a southern continent was observed beyond this. Ferdinand Magellan,
again, passing in 1521 through the straits which bear his name, between
the South American mainland and Tierra del Fuego, proved nothing as to
the continental or insular character of the latter; but the general
tendency of geographical theory favoured the idea of a continent. It
took various shapes. We find its coastline roughly coincident with the
Antarctic Circle according to Leonardo da Vinci’s globe constructed
in 1515; this was at least a better estimate of its extent than that
of Orontius of 1531, wherein the west of Terra Australis (“lately
discovered but not yet fully known,” as it is ingenuously labelled)
approaches close to the southern American promontory about 55° S.,
runs thence eastward between 50° and 60° S. to the south of Africa,
extends northward to the latitude of southern Madagascar in the Indian
Ocean, where the “region of Brazil” is found, and to the south-east of
Malaysia reveals a vast peninsula (Regio Patalis), which has suggested
some obscure conception of the existence of Australia. A little later,
in the middle of the century, New Guinea took its place as a northward
promontory of the southern continent, after the discovery of part of
its coast by Inigo Ortis de Retes, a Spanish navigator.

Pursuing the course of Pacific exploration so far as it affects the
Antarctic problem, we find that after Mendaña’s researches in that
ocean had resulted in the discovery of some of its many islands, his
Portuguese pilot on his second voyage, Pedro Fernandez de Quiros, was
inspired to petition for the command of a great expedition to the
South Land, obtained his desire by promising the Pope and the King of
Spain an untold expansion of their realms, respectively spiritual and
temporal, and sailed in 1605 from Callão to discover an island of the
group afterwards known as the New Hebrides, from which he returned
satisfied in the belief of having performed his self-allotted task,
and having taken possession of his “Australia del Espiritu Santo” in
the name of his masters. Torres, his companion in command, proceeded
through Torres Strait, and thus cut off New Guinea from the supposed
continent, as afterwards Tasman did Australia itself, crowning the
work of the Dutch navigators who had gradually unveiled the western
shores of that vast island, working from the direction of the Malay
Archipelago (Chapter VII). Tasman proceeded to discover the west coast
of New Zealand, which thereupon succeeded to the position formerly
occupied in the minds of the theorists by Java, New Guinea, and
Australia as the northward extension of the Antarctic continent in
these seas. Such ideas died hard: at the end of the previous century
the conception of even Java as continental land survived, after a
number of voyagers had sailed the seas to the south of it.

During this period a number of vessels, mainly those of English
buccaneers, on passing through the Straits of Magellan had suffered
the common fate of being caught by northerly storms and driven to
the south. Little enough, however, emerges from their exiguous and
indefinite records excepting vague pictures of peril from tempest
and ice. Thus Sir Francis Drake was carried to about 57° S. in 1578,
and afterwards made northward to discover some of the islands of the
Fuegian archipelago; but even these took their place on the maps as
part of the southern mainland; and it may be added that the same fate
befell the remote and tiny Easter Island when it was observed by Edward
Davis more than a century later--if Easter Island was indeed his
landfall; his observations were not sufficiently definite to enable
us now to determine. The Dutchmen Jacob Lemaire and Willem Cornelis
Schouten, however, successfully aimed at discovering a passage into the
Pacific south of the Straits of Magellan, saw and named Cape Horn, and
passed across the ocean through the Paumotu and Tongan archipelagoes
by New Pomerania to the East Indies in 1615–17. To an intervening
date (1598) is assigned the disputed episode of the voyage of a ship
commanded by Dirk Gerrits, one of a Dutch squadron which was said
to have been driven south to 64° and there to have fallen in with a
mountainous snow-clad coast, identified later with the South Shetland
Islands. The story is typical of the uncertainty and misunderstanding
associated with all the early southern voyages; it seems probable
that Kaspar Barlæus, who in 1622 translated into Latin a history of
the “Doings of the Spaniards in America,” was misled by the confusion
of a later voyage of one of Gerrits’s shipmates (in the account of
which, however, no mention occurs of a far southern land) with that
of Gerrits himself. However this may be, another mythical point was
duly established on the mythical coast-line of the Antarctic continent
running westward athwart the southern Pacific. And the old theory held
its place in spite of the strong proofs adduced by William Dampier,
during his voyage round the world in 1699–1701, of the inaccuracy of
the continental coast as laid down according to the cartographers’
theories. Dampier, after sharing to the full in the adventures of the
buccaneers in the Pacific, was under the orders of the admiralty on
this voyage, in the course of which he approached Australia directly
from the Cape of Good Hope, and made careful explorations in the
Shark’s Bay area of the west coast. In 1721 Jacob Roggeveen, leading an
expedition on behalf of the Dutch East India Company, was satisfied of
the neighbourhood of land about 64° S., south of Tierra del Fuego; and
subsequently, after voyaging north-westward into the Pacific and (as
is generally supposed) discovering Samoa, believed that he had located
promontories of the long-sought continent.

Even the British naval explorers, John Byron in 1765 and Samuel Wallis
and Philip Carteret in 1767, had it in command to continue the search.
The French were now taking a share in Pacific exploration, and Louis
Antoine de Bougainville in 1768 passed across the Pacific by way of the
Paumotu, Society, Samoan, and New Hebrides groups to the south coast of
New Guinea. But these and other voyages only served to add to the map
the archipelagoes of the Western Pacific, when they did not actually
cause confusion by imperfect position-finding and by the practice of
successive voyagers of renaming islands previously discovered.

The French voyager Lozier Bouvet, supplied with vessels by the
French East India Company, sailed in 1738 to discover the continent,
and battled long and bravely with the Antarctic ice about 55° S.
for no positive reward save the discovery of Bouvet Island (whose
insularity, however, he himself did not recognize) and the negative
one of abolishing the imaginary coastline from the chart of the
South Atlantic. Hope of future great discoveries was revived by the
observation of the Marion and Crozet islands during the expedition
under Marion-Dufresne in 1772; but the chapter closes with the bitter
disappointment of Yves de Kerguelen-Trémarec, who, after a first voyage
in 1772, during which a too vivid imagination led him to regard his
discovery of the island now called Kerguelen as revealing the “central
mass of the Antarctic continent,” and a land of promise, was hopelessly
disabused on his second visit (1773) to that inhospitable shred of
land, whose name he changed from Southern France to the Land of



The name of Captain James Cook stands above those of all others
who voyaged in the southern half of the globe, for he finally laid
to rest the myth of the southern continent, and brought the first
definite news to the world of the great island of Australia and of
New Zealand. His first voyage was undertaken under the auspices of
the Government in 1768 with the object of observing under the most
favourable circumstances the transit of Venus, and was thus not
primarily one of exploration. An immense amount of work was done,
however; the transit was successfully observed at Tahiti, and the
Society Islands were discovered. Six months were spent in a thorough
exploration of the coast of New Zealand, and of 2,000 miles of the
east coast of New Holland, or Australia. Thence he sailed to Batavia,
and proved what Torres had stated in 1607, that New Guinea was not, as
had been supposed, a part of Australia. In 1772 he started on another
journey under Government auspices, designed for the special purpose of
finally solving the question of the southern continent. This object
was thoroughly accomplished, as Cook sailed from the Cape of Good Hope
to New Zealand, passing twice within the Antarctic circle on the way,
and thence he sailed three times across the Pacific. He first cruised
about to the south-west of New Zealand, reaching as high a latitude
as 71°, and finally touching at Easter Island. He then visited for
the first time New Caledonia, Norfolk Island, and the Isle of Pines,
besides gaining a clearer knowledge of the Marquesas, New Hebrides, and
Tonga groups, and again reached New Zealand. Finally he voyaged from
New Zealand to Tierra del Fuego and the Cape of Good Hope, exploring
and touching at many little-known points. This journey, from which he
returned in 1775, was remarkable as much for Cook’s splendid success
in combating scurvy, the scourge of ocean travellers, as for the great
discoveries made. During the long voyage, equalling three times the
circumference of the earth, only one life was lost, and this striking
result of his precautions did much to encourage and help explorers who
followed after him.

Cook’s third voyage, which was undertaken primarily with the idea
of forcing a way through the north-west passage, has already been
mentioned in the chapter on Polar Exploration. But it must be noticed
here that on his way to the Arctic region, besides revisiting many
of his previous discoveries and finding the larger islands of the
Cook Archipelago, he sighted for the first time since the sixteenth
century the Hawaiian group. These important islands are supposed to
have been discovered by the Spaniard Gaetano in 1555, but had long
been forgotten; it was here that Cook was murdered by the natives in
1779. His work was of extreme importance in several directions: he made
known to the world a larger area of the globe than perhaps any other
man before or since; he overcame the disease which had previously been
one of the greatest obstacles in the way of explorers, and he laid the
foundation of the British Australasian Empire. It is said that had he
returned from his last voyage he would have received honour from the
King; it would have been due, and overdue.

Cook’s work in the Pacific was ably carried on after his death by
several other explorers, of whom the best known was J. F. G. de la
Pérouse, who set out in 1785 to fill in the gaps left by Cook on his
voyages, and particularly to explore the great sea between North-west
America and Japan. He made a successful exploration of Manchuria and
the islands to the north of Japan, which were then little known, and he
visited Petropavlovsk in Kamchatka, whence he sent home the journals
of his voyage. He then voyaged to the east of Australia, touching at
Samoa, and reached Botany Bay. Then disaster overtook the expedition,
and no one returned to tell how its members perished somewhere to the
north of the New Hebrides. In 1791 d’Entrecasteaux set out to search
for La Pérouse; and though he was unsuccessful, he advanced to a large
extent the knowledge of the islands north-east of Australia. During the
following hundred years many explorers and scientists worked in the
Pacific, filling in the gaps left by the pioneers in the region. In
1803 the Russians came on the field, with Adam Krusenstern, followed
by Otto von Kotzebue (1816), and Fabian von Bellingshausen (1819–21).
The French followed in 1818 with L. C. D. de Freycinet, and later
with Louis Duperrey and Dumont d’Urville. In 1839 the first important
American expedition sailed under Charles Wilkes. Much scientific work
for purposes of research was carried on in Oceania in the nineteenth
century; but with the exception of the famous “Challenger” expedition
(Chapter XIV) it is beyond the scope of this book.



It is characteristic of our history that a gap, almost entirely
unbridged, exists between the early period and the sixteenth century
in the story of the development of methods of precision in determining
geographical position. We have already referred to early efforts to
estimate the size of the earth, and in this connection have mentioned
that simple instrument of unknown origin, the gnomon. Aristarchus
improved upon the mere upright rod whose shadow was measured, by
setting one upright in a bowl, the length of the rod and the radius of
the bowl being equal; by means of this instrument, which was called
the scaph, the angle of altitude could be read on a scale of circles
inscribed on the inside of the bowl. Among other early instruments were
the astrolabe, an invention attributed to Hipparchus, which served
mariners and others down to the seventeenth century; the diopter, which
appears to have resembled an alidade mounted on a stand, and may be
regarded as a prototype of the theodolite; and Ptolemy’s rods, or the
triquetum, in which a rod working upon two others, one vertical while
the other pointed to the observed object, enabled the angular zenith
distance to be read. It is true that some additions to this list of
instruments were made by, or for the benefit of, mediæval mariners
before the pregnant period about the beginning of the sixteenth
century. Thus the less cumbrous quadrant was early brought into use,
to the partial displacement of the circle of the astrolabe. The
cross-staff, for measuring the angle between the horizon and the sun,
is first described, so far as is known, in 1342.

[Illustration: Fig. 9.--Scaph.]

[Illustration: (Front.) (Back.)

Fig. 10.--Astrolabe.]

[Illustration: Fig. 11.--Quadrant.]

But it was not until the sixteenth century that the study of the
earth’s size and figure began again to attract attention. The fact
that it did so, and the interest that was thereafter maintained in
this investigation, stand in the first instance to the honour of
French science. The Spanish and Portuguese congress which attempted
in 1524 to lay down the boundary fixed under the Pope’s award as
separating the areas of Spanish and Portuguese dominion in the new
world--a line lying 370 leagues west of the Cape Verd Islands--failed
utterly; the length neither of a degree nor of a league could be agreed
upon. Jean Fernel (1497–1558) in France, however, made measurements
by calculation from the revolutions of a carriage wheel and by means
of quadrant observations, and reached a fair estimate of a degree. A
Dutchman, Willibrord Snell, who published his results in 1617, laid the
foundation of modern methods of survey by applying to the measurement
of an arc between Alkmaar and Bergen-op-Zoom the system of a series
of triangles and the trigonometrical computation of the distance.
During the century which intervened between the labours of Fernel and
of Snell, it is clear that interest was waking in the development of
precise methods of land-surveying, for the compass was probably first
applied to this work at the beginning of the period; in 1571 we find
Leonard Digges introducing in England an instrument which represented
the theodolite at an early stage; and Jean Pretorius at Wittenberg
in 1590, and Philip Danfrie in France in 1597, with his graphometer,
foreshadowed that most valued equipment for detailed survey work, the

[Illustration: Fig. 12.--Cross-staff.]

An arc was measured and the length of the degree calculated in
England by Richard Norwood in 1633–37. Important improvements in
instruments appear about this time. Thus François Vernier introduced
in 1630 the microscopic attachment named after him the vernier,
through which close and accurate reading of scales may be made. In
1643 appeared Torricelli’s barometer, and in 1648 Pascal, in France,
applied the principle of the difference of atmospheric pressure at
different elevations to the measurement of height above sea-level.
A little later follows the application of the telescope to surveying
instruments. In 1669 Jean Picard, measuring an arc in France, used a
quadrant fitted with a telescope in which crossed wires were inserted,
providing lines and a point (the intersection of the wires) in the
field of observation, for the purpose of ensuring accuracy. Meanwhile,
in 1657, Christian Huygens, a Dutch scientist, introduced (if he did
not actually invent) the pendulum clock; and Jean Richer, using one
in the course of astronomical work undertaken in South America for
the French Academy of Sciences, found that the pendulum regulated to
beat seconds in Paris failed to do so in Cayenne. This opened up the
problem of the deviation of the earth’s figure from the true sphere;
Sir Isaac Newton had argued such deviation to exist from mathematical
theory associated with the rotation of the earth, and Huygens himself
also investigated the question. Their conclusions, and that to be drawn
from Richer’s pendulum observation, represented the earth as an oblate
spheroid, or (in simpler expression) as somewhat flattened at the
poles, the polar diameter being shorter than the equatorial. On this
showing, a degree measured, let us say, in the north should be longer
than one measured nearer the equator; but J. and D. Cassini, in the
course of an extensive triangulation in France in 1684–1718, obtained
an opposite result. Their measurements were subsequently proved
inaccurate, but not before much controversy had arisen as to whether
the earth is a prolate spheroid (as their results would go to prove),
or oblate, as held by Newton and Huygens; and the French Academy had
despatched expeditions to Peru and to Lappland, there to measure
arcs for comparison. The Peruvian arc was measured by Pierre Bouguer
and Charles de la Condamine in 1735–45, in the face of difficulties
sufficiently reflected by the length of time occupied and by the fact
that they fell out over the work and published separate accounts of it;
the Lappland arc was worked out by P. L. M. de Maupertuis and his party
in 1736–37.

[Illustration: Fig. 13.--Davis’s Back-staff.]

[Illustration: Fig. 14.--Pretonius’s Plane-table.]

It may be noticed that the difficulties of Bouguer and De la Condamine
included troubles with untrustworthy instruments; but during the
following half-century, while geodetic work proceeded apace in France,
and was also carried on by measurements in South Africa, North America,
and Italy, instruments making for greater precision were being

[Illustration: Fig. 15.--Ramsden’s Theodolite.]

The instruments and data available during the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries had been fairly effective in skilled hands for
the observation of latitude, but observations for longitude remained
very difficult. Regiomontanus had prepared ephemerides for 1474–1506,
and Columbus used them; Peter Apianus made a series for 1521–70, but
the results continued to be far from accurate till the appearance of
Kepler’s Rudolphine Tables in 1526. Harrison’s work on the chronometer
had been anticipated as early as 1530 by Gemma Frisius, who indicated
the possibility of using a clock in determining longitude; but even
Huygens’s clock was not found effective for this purpose. In 1735,
however, John Harrison’s first chronometer appeared, and afforded
the accurate measurement of time under varying conditions which is
essential to the calculation of longitude. About 1737 Jonathan Sission
produced a theodolite, and later in the century Ramsden’s greatly
improved theodolite (actually a pioneer instrument, greatly though its
type was afterwards modified in detail) was constructed and brought
into use in the trigonometrical survey of England and Wales, which was
begun in 1784.

[Illustration: Fig. 16.--Modern five-inch transit Theodolite.]

Meanwhile in this period cartography underwent an evolution from
ancient to modern methods. It is impossible here to attempt any
catalogue of even the principal cartographers, and the work of a few
must be taken as typical. In the earlier part of the period (sixteenth
century) the marine chart was still the most generally valuable of
the cartographer’s wares; but he was already extending his stock in
other directions. Thus Gerhard Kremer (1512–94), more famous under the
name of Mercator, is principally known for his chart of the world
on the familiar rectangular projection which bears his name; but his
other activities, besides the production of an atlas, included that
of maps of various special areas; and he carried out survey work
himself in Flanders as the basis of a map of that territory, which
he produced in 1540. Not only the projection named after him, but
also the secant conical, are usually attributed to Mercator. Edward
Wright, a mathematician of Cambridge, produced the first English
map on Mercator’s projection, which indeed has been stated to be
actually Wright’s own invention; on this map we should observe the
omission of various imaginary and erroneous details common to maps of
the period--notably the southern continent. But the renewal of the
study of map-projection was mainly owing to German mathematicians,
such as Werner of Nuremberg, and Apianus, in the first two decades
of the century. In Mercator’s work there are to be observed various
tendencies towards modern practice, such as the abolition of the old
small sketches or miniatures representing towns and divers other
subjects, and the introduction of symbols. On the other hand, the
period of the application of criticism by the cartographer to the data
before him was not yet come. Mercator was content to supplement data,
where imperfect, by imagination; and that tendency is to be observed
in other work of the period, as, for example, in the astonishing
conception of the hydrography of Africa set forth by F. Pigafetta in
1591. However, the application of criticism and prompt attention to
new sources of information soon became recognized as cartographers’
duties. Thus, Nicolas Sanson of Abbeville, who founded a famous
map-making establishment in 1627, made a common practice of citing
his authorities; and again, promptly upon the work of Jean Picard
(noticed above) and others, in the determination of positions from 1669
to the end of the century, there followed the production of a map of
France corrected according to these observations, which were also used
in other French publications. On some of these appears--first about
1674--the earliest rude representation of relief by hachures, though
the old practice of the cartographer, of drawing relief in a species
of perspective, and thereby making a molehill on his map out of a
mountain in nature, was by no means yet superseded. It was more than
half-a-century later that the cartographers hit upon the contour-line.
M. S. Cruquius adopted this method of showing relief on a chart of the
Merwede in 1728; P. Buache similarly showed the depths of the English
Channel in 1737; J. G. Lehmann used contours as the proper scientific
basis of hachuring in 1783, and a contoured map of France was produced
in 1791 by Dupain-Triel. The atlas of Germany, begun by a famous
cartographer of Nuremberg, Homann, and published in 1753, illustrates
successive stages in the evolution of hill-shading; for the earliest
map in the series, dating from thirty-five years earlier, shows the
first endeavour to differentiate the shading according to the steepness
of slope. In the meantime the use of maps had already been recognized
in some of the many special departments of geographical science from
which they are now inseparable. For example, the variation of the
compass had been mapped by C. Burrus early in the seventeenth century,
and was more effectively worked out by the famous astronomer E. Halley
in 1683. A. Kircher, again, took an early step in the department of
oceanography by mapping currents and other features of the oceans in

[Illustration: Fig. 17.--The World according to Mercator (1587).]

From what has been written above, it may be inferred, and justly so,
that Holland and France led the way in the development of cartography
from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century. But by the end of the
sixteenth century and throughout the seventeenth the mapping of most
of the western European countries was rapidly extended, as in Germany,
Austria, Switzerland, and Italy, in Denmark and Scandinavia, and in
the British Isles. German local mapping ranked high, as appears from
the collection in Ortelius’s Theatrum Orbis (1570) and from Mercator’s
map of Germany (1585), both of which show the superiority of the
cartographical material available for Germany. A large number of maps
were based on original survey work. As early as 1566 a map of Bavaria
by Philip Bienewitz, on a scale approximating (in terms of our survey)
to two and a quarter miles to an inch, gave the results of a regular
survey of remarkable accuracy for the period. Such was also the case
(to select an example at home) with Christopher Saxton’s atlas of
England and Wales (1574–79), in which the maps are about an inch to
three miles in scale. This work marked the beginning of an important
period in the history of British maps; Timothy Pont’s maps of Scotland
appeared about 1608, and John Speed’s, of the British Isles on about
the same scale as Saxton’s, in 1610. Hollar adopted a smaller scale
(about five miles to the inch) in his maps of England and Wales dated
1644. These were of service in the Civil War, and the importance of
military requirements in furthering the extension of organized survey
work--which will appear in its subsequent history--is early exemplified
in a survey of Ireland made under an Act of 1653; though this, the
first British cadastral survey, was not a preliminary but a result of
military operations, for it was made in connection with the parcelling
of Irish lands among those who took part in the suppression of Irish
rebellion. Again, the Scottish rebellion of 1745 led directly to a
survey under Captain (afterwards General) Roy in 1747. It may be added
here that in later cadastral work Ireland again took precedence of
Great Britain: the six-inch survey begun in the former country in 1825
was nearly finished when that of Great Britain was undertaken in 1840.

France continued to lead the way in cartography in the eighteenth
century. The maps of G. Delisle (1675–1726) and of J. B. B. D’Anville
(1697–1782) were not merely confined to local work; they also included
the presentation of cartographical material for distant lands selected
according to truer scientific criteria. Thus D’Anville’s map of Africa,
though preserving a few old inaccuracies, did away with details which
were purely imaginary, and boldly revealed the then practically
complete ignorance of the interior by representing it almost wholly
as a blank. We may contrast this with earlier maps of the continent.
Thus Waldseemüller (1516) showed waterways running parallel with the
west coast, from north to south, and showed no conception of the Congo.
Gastaldi (1564) marked the Zaire (Congo); but this and an east-flowing
river and a branch of the Nile all flowed from a great central lake,
Zembere. Mercator established a definite parting of the Nile, the
Zaire, and the east-flowing system, though his ideas were still far
from the truth.

English cartographers of the eighteenth century were inspired by the
over-sea expansion of the empire to much good work beyond the home
shores. Thus J. F. W. Desbarres in 1774–79 made use of the nautical
surveys of James Cook and others in his Atlantic and North-American
work. Thomas Jefferys produced West Indian and American atlases at
the same time, and Aaron Arrowsmith founded a famous cartographical
establishment, the work of which was carried on for a century. Mention
is also due here of the work of Major James Rennell, who became
surveyor-general of Bengal in 1763, and covered that territory in
his atlas of Bengal (1779) on a scale of five miles to one inch, the
work depending mainly upon route surveys and being, of its kind,
extraordinarily good. The trigonometrical survey of England and Wales,
already referred to as begun in 1784, owed its origin to French
inspiration; for Cassini de Thury, who in 1740 had re-measured and
found incorrect the work of J. and D. Cassini in France, represented
the desirability of establishing a geodetic connection between Paris
and Greenwich, and General William Roy was appointed to supervize the
English work.

The revival of interest in earth-measurement and survey led directly to
the furthering of the study of theoretical geography. We have happened
already upon the names of Peter Apianus and Gemma Frisius in the
history of the mathematical branch of geography; these two--Apianus by
publishing in 1524 his _Cosmographicus Liber_, and Frisius by editing
and expanding that work under the title of _Cosmographia_--re-founded
the science on a mathematical basis, though they remained bound to
the Ptolemaic view of a sharp distinction between geography, the
general description of the world, and chorography, the particular
description of a region. There is, perhaps, something characteristic
in the insistence on this curiously arbitrary distinction; there has
been sometimes a tendency to narrow the view of the field of “pure”
geography on the part of workers labouring in one corner of it and
turning their backs upon the rest. Indeed, at this very period is
found another _Cosmographia_, to which its author added the epithet
“universalis,” wherein the now familiar view of geography as a human
and political field of study appeared, to the no less familiar
exclusion of the mathematical aspect; for Sebastian Münster, in his
work published in 1544, neglected the mathematical side entirely,
modelling his work on that of Strabo. Philip Cluverius, again, in his
_Introduction to Universal Geography_ (1624), preserves the distinction
between geography and chorography, albeit but one out of his six
books deals with the earth at large, while in the rest countries are
treated in detail, the human aspect being closely studied. Nathanael
Carpenter of Oxford, however, threw over the distinction in so far
as he recognized that neither geography, as distinguished by earlier
writers from chorography, nor chorography itself, nor topography
(under which term were classified the closer descriptions of smaller
areas than those which belonged to chorography), was anything more
than a part of a whole. Therefore, he divided his _Geography_ (1625)
into “spherical” and “topical” parts, the first dealing with the
mathematical side, the second with different divisions of the earth
according to physical, not political, considerations; his work is thus
notable as indicating his realization of the function of geographical
study which follows from those of measurement and description--namely,
that of the correlation of phenomena. In 1650 appeared the _Geographia
Generalis_ of Bernhard Varenius, who died, still a young man, in that
year. He laid down a broad division of the subject into general and
special parts. His general part was sub-divided so as to include,
firstly, the shape, size, and general physical characteristics of the
earth, the distribution of land and water, land forms and hydrography;
secondly, the astronomical and mathematical aspects, such as zones,
latitude and longitude, the investigation of which was carried further
in the third sub-division, which was comparative, dealing in this
manner with data previously adduced. Varenius did not himself take up
the special part of geography, though he defined it as also falling
into three sub-divisions, the first of which should deal with the
position, boundaries, physical features, and natural products of a
country, the second with celestial and atmospheric conditions, and the
third with the human element. This last was (as it still is) a popular
branch of the subject which, for his own part, he would not have
admitted; he held pure geography to be a matter apart from political
and social considerations. But here was a geographical framework which,
as H. R. Mill has pointed out, “was capable of accommodating itself
to new facts, and was indeed far in advance of the knowledge of the
period.” Being so, its worth was by no means generally recognized at
first, although in 1672 Sir Isaac Newton put forth an annotated English
edition for use in connection with lectures of his own. “The method
included a recognition of the causes and effects of phenomena, as
well as the mere fact of their occurrence, and for the first time the
importance of the vertical relief of the land was fairly recognized.”
The work found its place in time; the French and Dutch geographers,
as well as the English, had it in their own tongues, and it became a
standard, not only for the century of its original production, but for
the next also.



Since the later years of the eighteenth century geographical knowledge
has been extended in the manner of a great railway system. The main
lines of exploration will provide the subject of this and following
chapters; with the ramification of branch lines we can hardly concern
ourselves here. Taking one consideration with another, Africa may be
termed the most important area of geographical conquest during this
latest period of our history. The opening of the interior of that
continent was long delayed for geographical reasons which have often
been insisted upon. The difficulty of inland communication, the fact
that the rivers do not offer uninterrupted highways, the barrier of
the tropical forests, the unhealthiness of many parts both of the
coast lands and of the interior, which modern science is only now
fighting--such are the disabilities against which exploration had to
contend, to which must be added the lack of commercial instinct in
many of the native peoples, and their unhappy experiences of the early
slave-trading, and the labour-recruiting which has in some instances
provided its modern counterpart.

During the larger part of the eighteenth century hardly any progress
was made with the exploration of Africa. The west coast was still a
resort of traders for slaves and gold, but very little attempt was
made even to acquire further territory. In the middle of the century,
however, the Turkish dislike of intruders was somewhat allayed, owing
partly to the growth of the coffee trade, and it became more easy for
travellers to enter Egypt. In 1770 James Bruce started on the task,
which he had been anxious to undertake for many years, of searching
for the Nile sources. He was courteously received by the ruler of
Abyssinia, and after finding and mapping the source of the Blue Nile,
he traced it to its junction with the White Nile at Khartum. On his
return he was disgusted when it was proved to him by D’Anville (whose
map, based on a critical judgment of data, was considerably more
correct than Bruce’s) that he had been anticipated by the Portuguese
Jesuits. He delayed the publication of his results for seventeen years,
and when they appeared, though they constitute a remarkable description
of Abyssinia and its inhabitants, they were universally disbelieved.

Towards the end of the century two causes operated for the revival of
interest in African affairs--firstly, the foundation of the African
Association in 1788, and, secondly, the removal by Napoleon’s conquest
of Egypt of the obstacles placed in the way of travellers by Moslem
fanatics. In 1795 Mungo Park, a Scotchman, started under the auspices
of the African Association to explore the Niger. He travelled up the
Gambia River, and after extraordinary difficulties reached the Niger
at Sebu, and traced its course for three hundred miles. He had been so
long away that he had been given up for dead, and his exploits, carried
through with such success, aroused great enthusiasm. Unhappily, his
second journey, undertaken in 1805, ended in disaster; he and all who
were with him except one guide perished, after descending the Niger
for about one thousand miles towards the coast, and only just failing
to solve the problem of its outflow. In 1798 Francisco de Lacerda, a
Portuguese explorer, lost his life on the Zambezi, and early in the
nineteenth century Africa was actually crossed for the first time (so
far as is known), by two Portuguese traders, from Mozambique to the
west coast.

During the first half of the nineteenth century, when the European
nations had been roused first to protest against and then to abolish
the slave trade, a great deal of valuable work was done to increase the
knowledge of Africa, especially by Englishmen. In 1823 W. Oudney, who
was sent out as consul to Bornu, and H. Clapperton penetrated to Lake
Chad, previously unvisited by any white man, and Clapperton afterwards
explored the flourishing civilization of Bornu and Hausaland. He died
on a second journey undertaken to open up trade with the Sultan of
Sokoto; but in 1830 his servant on this last journey, Richard Lander,
succeeded in solving one of the many problems which were beginning to
present themselves to students of the continent--the question of the
outlet of the Niger. He started from the Guinea coast, and followed
the course of the river from Bussa to its mouth in canoes. Much good
work was done also by A. G. Laing, who was the first European to visit
Timbuktu (in 1826), but was killed there. R. Caillié, who succeeded in
reaching the city in 1828, was the first to return from it in safety,
which he did by crossing the Sahara to Tangier. H. Barth, who had
already travelled all through North Africa, and had ascended the Nile
to Wady Halfa, started in 1850 on a trading mission under the auspices
of the British Government to the states of Central Africa; both his
companions died, but Barth carried through alone a brilliant journey,
in the course of which he travelled from Lake Chad to Timbuktu, and
studied minutely many of the ancient civilized states of the region.
Thus the geography of Senegal and the Niger had been largely cleared up
by 1850. The great questions which remained untouched were those of the
sources of the Nile and the Congo. By 1850 Abyssinia and the greater
tributaries of the Nile were pretty well known, through the work of
naturalists and travellers, the efforts of Austrian missionaries,
who had established stations down to Gondokoro on the Nile, and the
interest taken in exploration by Mahomed Ali, ruler of Egypt under
the Turks. But the seventy miles of rapids above Gondokoro, and the
fierce people of the Bari tribe who lived there, had prevented the
acquisition of any but the most meagre knowledge of the upper reaches
of the Nile beyond that point. The problem was now approached from a
different direction. For some time missionaries had been working at
Zanzibar, finding the natives there more tractable than in Abyssinia,
the original field of their labours; and two of their number, L. Krapf
and T. Redmann, had seen and sent home accounts of snow-mountains
under the Equator--Kilimanjaro and Kenya--and also of the great lakes,
which they imagined to be all parts of an enormous inland sea. Since
the annexation of Aden by the British Government in 1839, moreover,
officers of the English army stationed there had shown an interest
in the exploration of the African coast opposite them; and in 1854
R. F. Burton got permission to try to reach the centre of Africa
through Somaliland, with T. H. Speke. Burton first made a courageous
and successful journey to the walled city of Harar in Abyssinia; but
the more important stage of the expedition was unsuccessful owing to
the suspicions of the Somalis. For thirty years after this Somaliland
remained unexplored, and Burton and Speke, inspired by the accounts of
the Zanzibar missionaries, devoted themselves to the discovery of the
source of the Nile. They arrived at Zanzibar in 1856, and penetrated
without much difficulty to the great plateau of Unyamwezi, where the
Arab traders received them kindly, and thence to Lake Tanganyika.
Burton was forced through illness to allow Speke to continue the
work without him, and the latter saw, though from a distance, the
waters of the Victoria Nyanza. Though he underestimated its size, he
was convinced that here was the answer to the question of the Nile
source; but Burton, jealous of his success, refused to credit it, and
endeavoured to prove that the Victoria Nyanza was nothing but a great
swamp. In 1860, however, Speke set out again, with J. A. Grant, and
verified and enlarged his previous discoveries. In face of immense
difficulties due to mutinous porters and suspicious and warlike
chiefs, he succeeded in making a rapid survey of the Victoria Nyanza,
in exploring the unknown country of Uganda, and in finding the Ripon
Falls, where the Victoria Nile leaves the lake. In spite of the great
gaps in Speke’s knowledge, his ideas on the relative importance of the
Nile tributaries and of the geography of the lakes were very accurate,
and the honour of settling the old question of its source must be given
to him. Speke and Grant were met on their return at Gondokoro on the
Nile by Samuel Baker, who had come with help and reinforcements for
them, and he took up the work of definitely locating the Albert Nyanza,
of which Speke had heard various accounts. Though he and his wife
passed through terrible dangers and difficulties, they completed their
task, finding the Albert Nyanza, and journeying along the Victoria Nile
as far as the Murchison Falls. The importance of Baker’s discovery,
however, was somewhat vitiated by his erroneous judgment of the size
of the Albert Nyanza, which he made far too large; he, like the other
explorers who had gone before him, saw nothing of the great snow-range.

In other parts of Africa valuable work was being done. David
Livingstone was always a missionary first, but his explorations form a
nobler memorial than those of any other African traveller. He had been
working in Africa since 1840; in 1849 he crossed the Kalahari desert,
and reached Lake Ngami; and in 1852 he started on a great journey up
the Zambezi, discovering the Victoria Falls, and crossing to the west
coast; and returning followed the Zambezi to its mouth on the east
coast, thus taking the first steps to fill a great blank which had
previously existed on the map of Africa. Between 1858 and 1864 he did
much good work in the exploration of Lake Nyasa and the lower Zambezi,
and incidentally made splendid efforts to stop the trade in slaves
which was still carried on in that region. But it is his last journey,
which took the form of an expedition to discover the watershed between
Lake Nyasa and Lake Tanganyika, that is of paramount interest from the
geographical standpoint. He started from Zanzibar in 1866; and, in
spite of continual and serious illness, he travelled from Lake Nyasa to
Lake Tanganyika, discovered lakes Mweru, Mofwa, and Bangweulu, and also
the river Lualaba, which he took for the upper part of the Nile. He was
cheered and encouraged by meeting with H. M. Stanley in 1871, who had
been sent out to him with money and servants; but in 1873 he died, worn
out by his constant travels, and still searching for the “fountains”
which he believed to form the ultimate source of the Nile.

In 1874 Stanley undertook and carried through in the face of terrible
difficulties one of the most remarkable and valuable journeys in the
history of African exploration. He settled the question as to the
relative importance of the Albert Nyanza and the Victoria Nyanza,
discovered the Mwuta Nzige (Lake Albert Edward), and crossed Africa
from east to west, starting from Zanzibar and travelling down the
Lualaba from the point where Livingstone had left it to its mouth,
thus proving it to be the upper level of the Congo. This great journey
opened up the hitherto unknown country in the centre of Africa, and
led directly to the formation of the Congo Free State. Stanley had
been preceded at Nyangwe, the point of departure for the voyage down
the Congo, by Lovett Cameron, who failed, however, to follow the river
throughout its course, and reached the coast to the south of its mouth.
In 1884 Joseph Thomson supplemented Stanley’s work by his journey to
Mounts Kilimanjaro and Kenya through Masailand to Victoria Nyanza.
Wissmann and other German explorers (1881–6) did much for a knowledge
of the great southern tributaries of the Congo, while Wissmann in
1881–2 crossed the continent from west to east. It has been frequently
crossed since. Stanley’s expedition up the Congo to rescue Emin Pasha
(1887–89) opened up the great Central Africa forest with its pigmies,
extended our knowledge of Lake Albert Edward and its outlet the
Semliki, which flowed into the Albert Nyanza, and revealed the great
snowy range of Ruwenzori, which was ascended and mapped by the Duke of
the Abruzzi in 1906.

While the problems of Central Africa were thus being elucidated, the
exploration of the nine great rivers which form the Bahr-el-Ghazal,
the chief tributary of the Nile, was attracting much attention, the
most valuable work being done by Georg Schweinfürth, who mapped the
river with high accuracy. The Nile above Gondokoro was also surveyed
by English officers; the Sahara and the Sudan were widely explored by
G. Rohlfs and G. Nachtigal between 1860 and 1875, and the connection
of the river Welle with the Congo system was established by W. Junker,
who also travelled in the Sudan from 1875 to 1886. The British during
this period were pushing their way northward from South Africa, and
emigrants were flocking to the goldfields and diamond mines. The French
have spread their explorations over the Sahara and their territories in
the Sudan and West Africa. From the date of Stanley’s return African
history underwent a rapid change. The period of driving the main lines
of exploration through the continent was over, and a new era began in
which branch lines could be laid down, and colonial expansion could
take place along them. The continent is now partitioned among the
European Powers, and has been more or less provisionally mapped; but
it will take long years of survey and scientific investigation before
its features, its resources, its peoples, and its possibilities are
adequately known.



The beginning of the nineteenth century was signalized by the
initiation of the great trigonometrical survey of India, and the
first half-century was a period of much important geographical and
anthropological work within that empire, but to no great extent beyond
its boundaries, though in 1808 a mission penetrated to the sources of
the Ganges, and Baluchistan and Afghanistan were in some part explored
by officials of the East India Company. But the physical problems of
the heart of the continent were left to a later period--those, for
instance, concerned with the trans-Himalayan region (as viewed from
India), including Tibet, eastward that region so important in the
hydrography of the continent, where the river systems of China and
Burma take their rise, northward the deserts of Mongolia and Turkestan,
westward the nodal mountain-region of the Pamirs, and the area which
long concealed the sources of the Brahmaputra (Tsanpo) and the rivers
of Punjab. In spite of the endeavours of the Tibetans to hold inviolate
the secrets of their land--in great measure successful so far as their
capital, Lhasa, was concerned--the Indian native surveyors, such as
Nain Singh, Krishna, and Ugyen Gyatso, were able to penetrate the
country, and even Lhasa itself; their work covered the period 1863–82.
And the last quarter of the century provides a wonderful record of
continuous exploration in Tibet, as will appear from the mere quotation
of names and dates--P. Bonvalot and Prince Henry of Orléans, 1886–87;
W. W. Rockhill, 1888 and 1891; Hamilton Bower, 1891–92; Dutreuil de
Rhins and F. Grenard, 1893–94; St. George Littledale, 1895; Captains
W. S. Wellby, 1896, and H. H. P. Deasy, 1896, whose work was afterwards
extended by Captain C. G. Rawling and by Sir M. A. Stein; and Sven
Hedin, 1896–98, 1899–1902, 1906–08, whose last journey revealed the
existence, long suspected, of the great mountain system north of the
upper Tsan-po. This list is by no means exhaustive, nor can be that of
the Russians who worked from the opposite direction, from their own
territory; their leader was Nicolai Prjevalsky, who in 1871–73 and in
1876 worked in the Tsaidam region and made the first contribution to
the mapping of the important hydrographical area above referred to, and
in 1879 studied the vast physical changes which have taken place in
Central Asia within historic times, and form one of the most remarkable
geographical problems in the world. He continued his work in 1883–85,
and was followed by Pevtsov and Roborovsky (1889 and 1894), P. K.
Kozlov, Potanin, and many others. The names of Russian scientists, such
as Baron A. Kaulbars and L. Griesbach, are also associated with the
problems of the Aral and Caspian depressions. The former extensions of
human settlement over areas now covered by the Central Asian deserts
has been brought to light in great measure through the researches of
Sven Hedin, and especially of Sir M. A. Stein. The general result of
all these investigations has been to modify profoundly, even during the
present generation, preexisting ideas of the physical geography of the
central region. Nor should we overlook the work of recent travellers
in China proper, a broad canvas on which outlines had been sketched
earlier; but details remained, and still in great part remain, to be
filled in, though Ferdinand Baron von Richthofen, in the course of his
seven journeys in 1868–72, left few districts entirely unvisited.

The problem of the former existence of flourishing communities in areas
now desert, and of the causes of the change, has a partial counterpart
in southern Arabia. The modern period of Arabian exploration began
earlier than that of Central Asia. The journeys of J. Halévy (1869),
E. Glaser (1889), and J. T. Bent (1893) in the south were primarily
archæological in purpose. In other parts of the peninsula the work of
J. L. Burckhardt (1815), Sir R. F. Burton, Captain G. F. Sadlier, W. G.
Palgrave, Charles Doughty, Wilfrid Blunt, C. Huber, Musil, Leachman,
and others, has made it possible to lay down at least the position
of the chief towns and settlements, and the main physical outlines,
with close accuracy, save in the Dahna or great desert of the southern
interior, which remains untrodden.

The detailed exploration of Australia began from Sydney, the earliest
settlement, and was directed along the coast rather than towards the
interior, the penetration of which was difficult. George Bass, after
a short expedition inland, was accompanied by Matthew Flinders in
exploring the coast of New South Wales as far as the George River
and Hat Hill towards the end of the eighteenth century; in 1797–98
Bass Strait was found to separate Tasmania from the mainland, and
that island was circumnavigated. Bass was subsequently lost in
South America; but Flinders extended the work in 1801–03, when,
having sailed from England, he worked from King George Sound at the
south-west of Australia right round the south, east, and north coasts
as far as Arnhem Bay, west of the Gulf of Carpentaria, and would have
accomplished more but for the unseaworthiness of his ship. Flinders
was not only a competent explorer, but also a man of theories: he
took the limestone cliffs of the Great Australian Bight (south coast)
for coral reefs, and when he entered Spencer Gulf he thought of a
northward strait connecting with the Gulf of Carpentaria, and conceived
an Australian archipelago; nor was he wholly disabused until he had
definitely located the heads of both gulfs. A number of important
inlets, such as Port Phillip, Keppel Bay, and Port Bowen, were
thoroughly investigated by him, and he also surveyed the Great Barrier
Reef. And the substitution of the name of Australia for New Holland is
due to a suggestion of his. His unfinished survey of the western shores
was completed by Captain P. P. King in voyages between 1817 and 1822.

The accident of a drought in 1813 drove some of the Sydney settlers
to look for new pastures in the hinterland. The divide between the
short eastward and the long westward drainage systems was surmounted
with difficulty; a road to the point where the town of Bathurst
afterwards grew up was promptly made, and an arresting geographical
problem confronted the investigators when the westward-flowing rivers
Macquarie and Lachlan were found. Lieutenant Oxley, R.N., attempting to
follow the Lachlan in 1815, was presently brought to a halt by great
swamps. He struck south to avoid them, and narrowly missed discovering
the Murrumbidgee river, before he turned back to carry to Sydney the
conviction that the westward drainage generally was lost in swamps
fringing an inland sea. Cunningham found a route from this coast up
to the rich Liverpool Plains, towards the north of New South Wales,
in 1823; but for the most part exploration was temporarily directed
to the south-west, and Hamilton Hume and Hovell in 1824–25 took an
inland route from New South Wales to the south coast on the west side
of Port Phillip. This inlet was not recognized by them; they returned
to report that they had seen the coast-land, and found it good, further
to the east at Western Port; settlers who visited that district on
their recommendation were disappointed, and the development of the
Victoria coast-lands received a set-back in consequence of this error.
Cunningham in 1828 opened the route from the coast at Brisbane to the
downs of the south Queensland hinterland. In the same year a new phase
was entered in the solution of the problem of the far interior, when
Charles Sturt, carrying with him Oxley’s conviction of the existence
of an inland sea, journeyed inland at a season of drought to find
the Macquarie river losing itself on the dry plains, and the Darling
flowing salt. He attributed this fact to an admixture of sea-water, and
set down the interior of the continent as a desert. In the following
year he settled the problem of the drainage of the Murrumbidgee,
Lachlan, and Murray rivers by following them to the mouth of the Murray
in Lake Alexandrina (south coast); and although he now held that the
waters of the Darling were included (as they are) in this system, it
was still doubted whether there was a divide between north and south
flowing waters about the central latitude of New South Wales, where,
in the interior, high ground was known to exist. Sir Thomas Mitchell
settled this question by a great journey in 1836, which, among other
results, immediately threw open to settlement the fertile country
about Port Phillip, hitherto, as we have seen, neglected through the
misunderstanding of Hume and Hovell.

The larger problems of Australian geography were thus early settled,
though there was (as even now there is in some parts) a multitude of
details to be filled in. But the leading questions awaiting solution
by explorers now become economic rather than purely geographical. Thus
we find Dr. Leichhardt’s first expedition (1844), from Moreton Bay
in southern Queensland by the Burdekin, Mitchell, and Roper rivers
to Port Essington, inspired by the conception of an overland route
between Sydney and a northern seaport. He was lost (and the mystery
of his fate was never solved) in 1848 in attempting a crossing of the
continent from east to west, and Kennedy’s expedition in the same year,
in attempting to cross northern Australia, also met with disaster,
where A. C. Gregory succeeded in 1855–56. The penetration of the
interior from the south and the crossing to the north had attracted
travellers before this; Eyre in 1840 had discovered the series of
salt lakes and swamps which he lumped together under the name of Lake
Torrens, while Sturt in 1845 added little to Eyre’s discoveries,
and, after failing to penetrate the Stony Desert to the north, put a
temporary period to explorations in that quarter. Babbage in 1856 and
Parry in the following year obtained more accurate knowledge of the
Lake Torrens region, and Goyder in 1857 reported a great freshwater
lake which was found later to have been conceived out of some shallow
pools and visions of the mirage. J. M. Stuart’s six expeditions
from south to north in 1858–61 added much to exact knowledge; that
of Robert Burke and William Wills in 1860–61, ill-managed as it was
and ending in the death of the leaders, obtained a fame in excess
of its scientific value; but other expeditions sent in search of it
achieved better results, and incidentally made clear the danger of
assessing the worth of some of the inland districts on the report of
one traveller who might have come upon them at an unfavourable season.
Thus J. McKinlay in 1861 brought word of fertile lands which Sturt had
condemned as desert. The many journeys through the interior of Western
Australia--such as those of J. S. Roe (1836), the brothers Gregory,
H. M. Lefroy (1863), Sir J. Forrest (various expeditions in and
after 1869), Warburton (1873), and Ernest Giles (first crossing from
Adelaide to Perth by an inland route, 1875)--though often of extreme
importance from an economic point of view, whether concerned with the
discovery of pastoral lands or of gold or other mineral fields, can
only be referred to here as having gradually opened up the detailed
knowledge of this part of the continent, and as having redeemed it
in part from a reputation for complete inhospitality, until we have
now a trans-continental railway planned to connect the systems of
south and of western Australia. The exploration of the Kimberley and
north-western areas of the state was delayed until the latter half of
the last century.



_(a) Arctic_

Following the new enthusiasm for Arctic exploration undertaken for
purely scientific purposes, the British Government despatched three
expeditions between 1773 and 1779. The first, under Captain Phipps,
was stopped by ice off the north-west of Spitsbergen; the second, that
of James Cook with the vessels _Discovery_ and _Resolution_, sent to
search for either a north-west or a north-east passage by the Bering
Sea route, met, as has been seen (Chapter VIII.), with a measure of the
success characteristic of his work, but his death at Hawaii put an end
to the hope that further research in the Arctic lay before him, and the
voyage continued under the command of Captain Clarke was carried only a
little north of the 70th parallel in the ice-bound Bering Strait, where
Clarke also died. Till 1815 little was done to elucidate the still
unsolved question of the north-west passage, owing to the disturbed
state of Europe and America, but the offer of a reward (the result of
the exertions of Sir John Barrow in 1818) of £20,000 for the discovery
of the passage and £5,000 for reaching 89° N., led to the sailing of
expeditious to the American Arctic region under Lieut. J. Franklin,
Captain Ross, and Lieut. E. Parry. Ross on his first voyage took
Baffin Bay and Lancaster Sound to be land-locked on the north, and thus
missed his chance of forcing the passage.

Parry in two voyages, on the results of which he gained the £5,000
reward, succeeded in passing through Lancaster Sound, and reaching and
naming Melville Island, thus proving Baffin’s discoveries. Meanwhile
Franklin attempted to reach the north shores of America by land;
he explored 550 miles of the coast and discovered and named Cape
Turnagain, though he and his party suffered great privations on the
return journey. Then the energies of explorers were directed towards
combining the results obtained by Parry and Franklin; further stretches
of the north coast of America were explored, and Point Barrow was
reached in Bering Strait. In 1829 an expedition was undertaken by
Captain John Ross and his nephew James Clark Ross; the opening of the
passage was again missed (though the most northerly part of America
was passed), and it was not discovered till 1851 by Kennedy on his
search for Franklin. J. C. Ross, however, fixed the position of the
north magnetic pole on this voyage of five years’ duration, and other
valuable observations were made. The work of tracing the northern
shores of America was nearly finished by 1847, chiefly by travellers in
the Hudson Bay Company’s service. During this period the north coast of
Siberia had also been traced almost in its entirety by the Russians,
though they had not succeeded in rounding the most northerly point.

In 1845 Sir John Franklin started on the voyage from which neither
he nor any of his companions returned. It is not known exactly what
he achieved before he was lost, but he came nearer to accomplishing
the north-west passage than anyone before him. The expeditions of
Sir John Richardson, Dr. John Rae, and others, sent by land in search
of his party, filled in the last gap in the northern coast-line of
America. The different expeditions, under McClintock and others, sent
by sea in the fifties for the same purpose not only decided the fate
of Franklin’s party and extended knowledge over a vast area, but also
at last rounded the north of America. The passage found by Kennedy in
1851 was traversed in 1853 by McClure, though part of the journey was
made by travelling over the ice. An expedition under Captain Inglefield
determined the northern point of Smith Sound. Elisha Kent Kane extended
the knowledge of Grinnell Land and Greenland towards the north, and
opened the way to others who followed the waterways he discovered.
In 1871 Charles Hall sailed 250 miles up Smith Sound and reached the
hitherto inaccessible polar sea; he touched a more northerly point than
had previously been reached by any ship (82° 11´ N.).

Stirred to action by these fine achievements of the Americans, England
sent out the important expedition under Captain George Nares in
1875 which obtained very valuable scientific observations, taken on
the frozen polar sea, and under Albert Markham reached the furthest
point north yet attained--83° 20´ N.--after battling with immense
difficulties caused by bad conditions of the ice and scurvy. Meanwhile
much good work had been done in the Arctic from the old world. A purely
scientific expedition had been sent to the Spitsbergen seas as early
as 1827 from Norway; but from then till 1858 the work of exploration
was chiefly carried on by the men engaged in the seal-hunting and
fishing, in the interests of their trade. Before 1872, however,
several Scandinavian expeditions which visited Spitsbergen and
Greenland brought back valuable scientific results. The most noteworthy
expedition of this period, however, was Austrian; it was captained
by Lieutenant Julius Payer, who had previously been on an expedition
in Greenland. He and Lieutenant Weyprecht sailed in 1871 to search
for the north-east passage. They were beset by ice off Novaya Zemlya,
and drifted till they came to a mountainous country which they called
Franz Josef Land. They believed it to consist of two large masses of
land, instead of perceiving it to be an archipelago, and much of the
country they thought they saw has been since proved not to exist. Franz
Josef Land was not visited again till 1880, when a large part of it
was surveyed by the Englishman Leigh Smith. The north-east passage
was made in 1879 by A. E. Nordenskiöld, who accomplished the journey
which led so many before him to failure without loss of life or vessel,
and almost in one season. He had made several previous voyages in
Greenland and Spitsbergen; he had also twice successfully reached the
Yenisei through the Kara Sea. Captain Joseph Wiggins, an Englishman,
also made several voyages through the Siberian seas, which, together
with Nordenskiöld’s accomplishment of the north-east passage (1878–9),
proved the route to the mouth of the Yenisei to be practicable from a
commercial standpoint. Fired by Nordenskiöld’s example, the Danes made
several remarkable journeys to the interior of Greenland.

A new interest was given to polar research by the establishment of
the international circumpolar stations in 1883. The idea was mooted
first by Weyprecht, and eventually twelve expeditions of various
nationalities were sent out to erect observatories at different
points within the polar circle, so that simultaneous and continuous
observations might be taken. A great deal of valuable work was done.
An American expedition, led by Lieutenant A. W. Greely (1881–4), to
Grinnell Land almost perished from starvation.

Greenland was crossed for the first time by Fridtjof Nansen in 1888. In
1886, and again from 1892 to 1895, Robert E. Peary, an American civil
engineer, made several brilliant journeys in Greenland, and extended
the knowledge of the country more than two degrees to the north. It
was Nansen and Peary who were destined to draw the veil from the great
polar area itself, towards which so many fruitless journeys were made.
From 1817 onwards many voyages were undertaken with the object of
reaching the pole--as by Parry, Scoresby, Markham, and Jackson from
England, Nordenskiöld from Sweden, and Koldewey from Germany. These
explorers mostly started from Spitsbergen; but Nansen worked on an
original plan--that of utilizing the drift of ice, which had been
proved to take place right across the polar sea, to carry his ship with
it. The plan was so far successful that the _Fram_ passed from the New
Siberian islands right over to Spitsbergen in three years, without,
however, reaching a higher latitude than 85° 55´ N. Nansen, with
Lieutenant Johansen, made a dash northwards from this point, reaching
86° 5´ N., the “farthest north” attained up to that date; he met with
Frederick Jackson’s expedition in Franz Josef Land, and returned
safely to Norway. This brilliant journey led to no discovery of land
in the polar basin, which proved to consist of a sea of great depth,
increasing towards the pole. The Duke of Abruzzi’s expedition in 1899
reached 86° 34´ N.

Meanwhile much good work was being done in other directions in
extending Arctic research. Franz Josef Land was explored, chiefly
by Austrian, British, and American expeditions. Nathorst, a Swede,
circumnavigated the Spitsbergen archipelago in 1898, and discovered and
mapped King Oscar Fjord in Greenland in the following year. Sverdrup,
Nansen’s friend and companion, sailed up Jones Sound and charted many
previously unknown parts in 1899 and the following years. The story of
a continent existing to the north of Bering Strait and extending right
across the pole to Greenland, which was believed by many explorers,
was disproved by De Long in his ill-fated voyage in the _Jeannette_ in
1879, during which the whole party perished, though the ship’s books
were afterwards found. This voyage and the journeys of the ships sent
in search of De Long proved that north of Siberia lay an ocean dotted
with islands. Much work was done in exploring the New Siberian Islands
by the Russian, Toll, who lost his life in an effort to reach the most
northerly and unknown portion of the group. In 1903–4 Amundsen in the
_Gjöa_ undertook an expedition to the North Magnetic Pole, where he
carried out a continuous series of observations for two years with
important scientific results. He returned by Bering Strait, thus for
the first time completing the navigation of the North-west Passage.
The Danes worked hard at charting the east coast of Greenland, and the
outline of the north-eastern extremity of the country was accurately
delineated for the first time by the expedition of L. Mylius Erichsen
(1905–07), on which he and his companions perished, though their
splendid records and observations were found by a relief expedition.
The crowning achievement of reaching the pole itself was accomplished
in 1909 by Peary, after several previous journeys. He had spent four
consecutive winters in the Arctic regions exploring Smith Sound and
the north of Greenland, from 1899 to 1902; and in 1905 he had again
attempted to reach the pole by Smith Sound and Grant Land, touching
87° 6´ N. At or near the pole there was no land to be seen, and the
sea was 1,500 fathoms deep. Thus there remains no Arctic problem of
the first magnitude to-day. The main outline of the Arctic region as a
great and deep sea surrounded by the northern shores of Europe, Asia,
America, and Greenland, is known, though there is still a large portion
of the polar basin north of Alaska as yet untouched by explorers. Here,
however, some high authorities believe that a considerable extent
of land remains to be discovered beyond the Beaufort Sea. Even now
maps show a doubtful coast-line some fifty miles due north of Point
Barrow, and in 1913 an expedition left Canada under Stefansson with the
solution of this problem as its main object.

_(b) Antarctic._

In the Antarctic an important voyage, which supplemented Cook’s work,
was undertaken in 1819 by Fabian von Bellingshausen. He succeeded in
sailing half round the Antarctic circle, keeping to high southern
latitudes all the way, and voyaging within the circle for considerable
distances. He found the first land seen within the Antarctic circle,
Peter Island, and, later, Alexander Island; he discovered the Traverse
Islands, and on his return in 1821 touched at the South Shetland
Islands, and met there sealers, by one of whom, William Smith, the
islands had been discovered in 1819. In the next year, 1822, the
South Orkney Islands were found and named by another sealer. The
next voyager was James Weddell, who reached the highest latitude yet
attained, 74° 15’ S., in 1823. At his highest latitude he had clear
sea before him, but was forced to turn back by the approach of winter,
and returned with many interesting observations and collections. A
courageous journey was also made in 1831 by John Biscoe, a sealer, who
started out to search for land from the Sandwich Islands, and succeeded
in sailing for some months within the Antarctic circle in a higher
latitude than Bellingshausen, and sighted land which he named Enderby
Land. In spite of the sufferings he had endured and the death of the
greater number of his crew, he started again in the following year from
New Zealand, discovered Biscoe Islands, and took possession for England
of the land which he could see lying behind them; this was subsequently
named Graham Land. Biscoe was in the employ of an enterprising London
firm, the Enderby Brothers, and after the remarkable results which he
had achieved, they were encouraged to pursue their policy of directing
their captains to embrace every opportunity of exploration. In 1833 one
of them, John Kemp, found land to the east of Enderby Land, and in 1839
John Balleny discovered the islands named after him.

About 1835 general interest was aroused in Antarctic problems, and
three expeditions were prepared in England, France, and America to make
magnetic observations, and to explore as far as possible the southern
continent, now at length defined within reasonable limits. The French
expedition, under Dumont d’Urville, was the first to start in 1838, but
achieved little beyond the exploration of some land south of the South
Shetland Islands, which was called Louis Philippe Land. After wintering
in Tasmania, however, d’Urville decided on making a great effort to
reach the south magnetic pole, and though he failed in this, he found
a mountainous land which he named Adélie Land. The American expedition
under Charles Wilkes did not meet with any great success, hampered as
it was by quarrels among the officers and by unseaworthy ships; but
land was several times sighted at a distance, and on Wilkes’s return
controversy arose as to whether the honour of the discovery of this
southern continent belonged to the French or the American expedition.

The British expedition under Sir James Ross was the last to arrive on
the scene (in 1841); but it had the advantage of the others, in that
it had been specially equipped for Antarctic exploration; Ross’s ships
could brave dangers from which Wilkes and d’Urville had been compelled
to turn aside. He forced his way through the pack, and found a range
of high mountains trending southwards, which he called Victoria Land.
Following the land he came to the twin volcanoes, named Erebus and
Terror after his two ships, and was stopped at length by the great
ice barrier, running eastwards. During this remarkable journey Ross
reached latitude 78° 4´ S., the highest yet attained. He made two
further journeys, neither so successful as the first, though in 1842 he
sighted the land which was rediscovered, and named King Edward Land,
in the following century. After this no attempt worthy of mention was
made on the south polar region for thirty years. The _Challenger_
expedition in 1874 was not concerned with the attempt to penetrate very
far south (Chapter XIV.). The voyage in Antarctic waters, however, was
important from the information obtained as to the depth of the southern
ocean and other results which helped to prove the existence of a
considerable mass of land in the Antarctic region. This information
was supplemented by the observations of two of the international
circumpolar stations (to which reference has been made), which were
established in Tierra del Fuego and South Georgia in 1882; but it was
not until many years later that scientific interest was widely aroused
in the problem of the Antarctic continent, and from 1874 to 1898 the
only people to cross the Antarctic circle were sealers and whalers; but
in 1895 C. E. Borchgrevink landed from one of these vessels for the
first time on southern continental land near Cape Adare.

In 1898 three expeditions started south. The first, a Belgian
undertaking on board the _Belgica_, explored the coast to the north of
Graham Land, and brought back valuable collections; the second, from
Germany on the _Valdivia_, re-discovered Bouvet Island, whose position
had long been lost; the third, from England, under Borchgrevink on the
_Southern Cross_, landed the first party to winter in the Antarctic,
reached Mount Terror, and sailed along the Great Ice Barrier, reaching
latitude 78° S. In 1901 the problem was attacked for the first time
by means of land-exploration; a well-equipped expedition leaving
England in that year under Captain R. F. Scott voyaged along the
ice-barrier, and found and named King Edward Land, first seen by Ross.
Scott then proved Mount Erebus and Mount Terror to be on an island,
and wintered on shore. In the following southern summer Scott, with
Wilson and Shackleton, pushed southward and reached the latitude of
82° 17´, where the Great Ice Barrier reaches the foot of the lofty
plateau on which the south pole is placed. Other parties traversed the
ice-barrier in various directions, and much valuable scientific work
was done in geology, biology, meteorology, magnetism, and glaciation.
While Scott was in the Antarctic to the south of New Zealand, a German
expedition, under E. von Drygalski, on board the _Gauss_, was working
to the west of him, and had discovered and named Kaiser Wilhelm II.
Land. Two private expeditions were also in the Antarctic at the same
time, and the large number of synchronous meteorological and magnetic
observations thus taken formed a valuable contribution to the knowledge
of the southern continent. In 1903 a voyage was made by W. S. Bruce on
the _Scotia_, which is important for the exploration of an entirely
unknown sea lying between the tracks of Weddell and of Ross; the
latitude of 74° 1´ was reached. Though the land could not be attained,
its existence was proved by occasional glimpses and by the dredging up
of continental rocks, and the name of Coats Land was given to it. In
1904 J. B. Charcot, a French scientist, cruised along Graham Land and
found a new line of coast, which he named Loubet Land. Thus between
1902 and 1904 new land had been discovered in all the four quarters of
the Antarctic circle--King Edward Land by Scott, Kaiser Wilhelm Land by
Drygalski, Coats Land by Bruce, and Loubet Land by Charcot.

Lieutenant (afterwards Sir) E. H. Shackleton, who had accompanied
Scott, led an expedition to the south in 1908–9, which landed at the
foot of Mount Erebus. That mountain was ascended by Professor T. W. E.
David, who also, with Dr. D. Mawson, reached the south magnetic pole
in 72° 25´ S., 155° 16´ E. Shackleton himself led the famous march
which brought him to 88° 23´ S., 162° E., a great advance towards the
south pole itself, which might actually have been attained but for the
lack of food. The scientific results of the expedition were of high
value, and revealed the desirability of prosecuting researches in the
same field; and in 1910 Scott led a second expedition, with a larger
scientific staff than had ever been taken before, the main party of
which was landed at Cape Evans, McMurdo Sound. Of two other parties,
one was landed on the west side of the sound; another, which worked
at first from Cape Adare, was subsequently transferred to Terra Nova
Bay, Victoria Land. A considerable area was thus covered on this part
of the Antarctic coast, while Scott’s march upon the pole was designed
to follow Shackleton’s route. The splendour of success was outshone by
the splendour of disaster: Scott and four companions, having reached
the pole, died bravely on the return journey, overcome by adverse
conditions. The work of the expedition as a whole, taking that of the
other parties into account, was a brilliant scientific triumph.

The honour of first reaching the pole, however, fell to a Norwegian
explorer, Captain Roald Amundsen, who, leading a small but admirably
equipped expedition, succeeded in his endeavour at the end of 1911,
and he and Scott thus left the way open to research on the Antarctic
land-mass unhampered for the future by the natural desire to reach a
certain point upon it. In the same year expeditions (not specifically
concerned with the attainment of that point) were led south by the
German Lieutenant Filchner, whose immediate goal was Coats Land, in
the “Weddell” (or South American) quadrant, and by Dr. Mawson, whose
objective was Adélie Land, on the opposite flank of the continent,
while various projects are also under the consideration of other
voyagers, British and American. There is room for the work of all
these and more--the Antarctic region is now known as a vast land-area
fringed by deep seas separating it from the other continental masses.
Amundsen’s observations would seem to prove it a single homogeneous
mass, and not to be divided into two, or to consist in part of an
archipelago. It still remains to investigate the nature of any
geological relation between it and the other continents, to study the
extension and physiography of the great mountain ranges which are
known, and their relation to the polar plateau, and to deal with the
many other problems such as are suggested by observations already made
on the climate, the ice conditions, and the distribution of flora and
fauna--notably, in the last connection, the problem of the resemblances
which have been observed between Antarctic and Arctic forms of life.



As during a long period in the history of geography it was usual to
limit the connotation of the term, so, when a wider connotation came
to be recognized, there naturally followed the creation of certain
clearly-defined departments of study under distinguishing titles.
The whole structure of geography rests upon two great pillars--upon
exploration and upon measurement. With the main lines of exploration
we have dealt in preceding chapters, and we have carried that part
of our history which deals with precise measurement down to the
close of the eighteenth century and the institution of the ordnance
survey of Great Britain (Chapter X.). The early part of the sixteenth
century witnessed the birth of accurate land-measurement; the early
part of the nineteenth its re-birth as a function of organized
state-administration. The Indian trigonometrical survey, with which
the names of Col. W. Lambton and afterwards Sir George Everest are
associated, was begun in 1800; a famous survey of Switzerland,
coupled with the name of Gen. H. Dufour, was undertaken in 1809, one
of Austria-Hungary in 1816, one of France in 1817; what is now the
territory of the German Empire was already fairly represented on
local maps when a general survey was undertaken in 1878. Indeed, all
European countries may be said to be completely surveyed except certain
of the Balkan States, though Russia is much behind in this respect.
It must not be forgotten that the processes of close survey are slow:
the primary triangulation of Great Britain was only completed in 1858,
though the filling-in of details of course proceeded concurrently. And
the survey never stands still; there is always revisional work to do.

As concerns the British Empire, it has been an unrealized ideal that
a territory should be surveyed as soon as possible after occupation,
and it was not until 1905 that the defects and lack of system in the
mapping of British territories generally were sufficiently widely
realized to cause the creation of a Colonial Survey Committee as a
central advisory and supervisory body.

Geodetic survey steadily advanced during the nineteenth century, from
the work of Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel in East Prussia in 1838--of the
highest importance owing to the systematic accuracy of the observations
and their calculation (on the principle of “least squares”)--down to
the institution of the International Geodetic Association (Erdmessung),
which had its origin in a proposal of the Prussian General, J. J.
Baeyer, in 1862, and has headquarters near Potsdam, over twenty
European, American, and Asiatic countries being represented in it. The
accuracy of instruments has been carried far above the standard of
those referred to in an earlier chapter. As an illustration we have
only to trace the mechanical methods of measuring a baseline or other
distance on the surface, from that of counting the revolutions of a
wheel, up to that of employing rods of metal or other substance, or
chains--methods associated with the endeavour to compensate for or
overcome even the slight contraction or expansion of a rod, due to
variation of temperature, which might vitiate the results, culminating
in the discovery (in France in 1896) of invar, an alloy for practical
purposes invariable, when applied to the measurement of baselines by
means of such apparatus as that of E. Jäderin of Stockholm.

The work of the cartographer, as exemplified in atlases and small-scale
maps of general utility, has by no means in all cases followed the
high standard of the surveyor. Commercial considerations are not to
be overlooked; cheap and rapid methods of reproduction bring their
temptations as well as their advantages to bear upon cartography. Their
advantages are manifest; the map, whether as an adjunct to travel or
as a graphic illustration of a great variety of subjects, has become
a commodity of almost daily use. But in some countries, such as the
United States, the standard of cartography generally is as low as
that of the maps of the survey is high. The reduction and selection
of details from a large-scale survey for use on a small general map,
the methods of representing such details, the permissible limit of
generalizing them, the choice of colours--these and other aspects of
cartography really demand a scientific standard as exalted in its way
as that of the surveyor. That standard has been most firmly upheld
in Germany, in such geographical establishments as that founded by
Justus Perthes at Gotha in 1785, which publishes the famous general
atlas originally formed by A. Stieler in 1817–32, the physical atlas
of H. Berghaus (1838–42), and many other such works. Other names of
individual workers in the same field come readily to the mind--H.
Kiepert, A. Petermann, K. von Spruner, Behm, Supan, Langhans, Andree,
Debes, A. Ravenstein. The British and French lists are shorter, though
the names of John Bartholomew, W. and A. K. Johnston, Edward Stanford
and George Philip, Vivien de St. Martin, F. Schrader and Vidal de la
Blache must be remembered.

After many years of effort on the part of the International
Geographical Congress, a conference consisting of official delegates
from most civilized states met in 1909 to deliberate on the methods
to be adopted in the construction of an international map of the
world. After much discussion a series of regulations was drawn up to
be followed by each country in producing a map of its territories on
the scale of 1/1,000,000, or about sixteen miles to the inch. The
projection will, of course, be uniform, and altitudes are shown by
layers of different tints from sea-level upwards. Actual experience may
no doubt demand certain modifications, but it will be a great advantage
to have an authoritative map of the world on a strictly uniform plan.

As to the progress of geodesy in recent years, in 1899–1902 an arc was
measured in the extreme north in Spitsbergen, by Swedish and Russian
workers (P. G. Rosen, O. Bäcklund, and others), while Sir David Gill,
as director of the Royal Observatory in Cape Town, subsequently
initiated the measurement of a great arc in Africa along the meridian
of 30° E. These arcs are capable of connection through Asia Minor and
Europe, by which means a continuous measured arc of 105° would be
obtained. The arc of Quito (Peru) was re-measured in 1901–06 under the
direction of the French Academy of Sciences; a great arc in 98° in the
United States of America has been undertaken by the Coast and Geodetic
Survey, and these again are capable of ultimate connection. Other arcs
of special importance have been measured in Europe and India.

Geomorphology, though not accepted without demur as a definite branch
of science in itself, has at last come to be generally recognized as
a convenient term to connote the study of terrestrial relief. Elie
de Beaumont in 1852 enunciated with too great precision the theory
that similarity of orientation was a standard test of similarity
in the age and origin of the great mountain chains. Lowthian Green
in 1875 proposed his tetrahedral theory of the disposition of the
continents and the ocean basins, on the ground that a sphere undergoing
contraction tends to assume the form of a tetrahedron, or body enclosed
by four equal equilateral triangles. He applied this theory to the form
of the spherical earth at its present stage of contraction, indicated
how far it accounted for the present distribution of land and sea, and
attempted to give reasons for its failure to do so in certain respects.
Professor C. Lapworth in 1892 stated his theory of folding, according
to which the continents are the arches of vast folds in the crust of
the earth, and the ocean basins the troughs between them. E. Suess
has modified this view in his treatise _Das Antlitz der Erde_ (The
Face of the Earth), 1885–1901. Sir George Darwin invoked the effects
of tidal strain upon the crust, associating this with the form of the
continents. The subject, which has also been dealt with by Professors
J. W. Gregory and A. E. H. Love, M. Bertrand, A. de Lapparent, and A.
Supan, among others, has thus been approached from both the purely
physical and the mathematical standpoint, but the problem has not
reached its solution.

We have already given sufficient indication that the exact scope of
geography has not been found easy to define by common consent; that
fact does not lighten the task of tracing its development in the
nineteenth century. It is not inconceivable that on one view of the
subject this volume should have concluded with the preceding paragraph.
On the other hand, the new value attaching to the geographical
studies of distribution and environment makes it imperative to carry
the story further. These studies have not only been systematized in
themselves, but have become complementary of other sciences, and
thus we find the term “geography” incorporated in certain scientific
compounds--zoogeography or zoological distribution; anthropogeography,
the distribution of mankind; biogeography, the distribution of living
things generally--or perhaps more mercifully treated in such phrases
as “plant geography.” Zoogeography and plant geography are concerned
with the division of the earth’s surface into regions possessing
individual characteristics in regard to their fauna or flora. The
principle of regional division, indeed, has become a leading principle
of geographical research, in regard not only to fauna and flora, but to
man as well; to the physical characters of the land, and to climatic

The general tendency towards scientific specialization has resulted
in the erection, as it were, of separate laboratories for the study
of certain specific features of the physical earth, each with its
name-plate upon the door. From some of these--as from meteorology and
geology--the geographer, in the course of the studies we have just
outlined, borrows such data as are necessary to his purpose, and puts
them to his special uses. It is no part of a history of geography
to deal with that of meteorology or of geology, though both these
sciences are fundamentally geographical, owe an obvious debt to
exploration and travel, and make ample use of cartography. On the other
hand, there are some departments of research which, though standing
under their own names, are grouped perhaps more closely as offspring
of physical geography. Such are oceanography (the study of the sea),
limnology (the study of lakes), potamology (that of rivers). The last
term might be justified on the ground that it helps to lighten the
burden of different meanings which rests upon the term “hydrography”;
it at any rate defines a clear field of study which, in view of its
practical importance, has attracted much recent attention. The study
of lakes--the depth, movement, and composition of their waters,
the life in them, the physical nature of their basins--which was
practically initiated by Professor F. A. Forel’s investigations of Lake
Geneva published in 1892–94, has already a notable monument in the
bathymetrical survey of the Scottish fresh-water lochs, completed under
Sir John Murray’s direction in 1908.

The line between these various branches of science is for our present
purpose difficult to draw; but at the risk of a charge of arbitrary
treatment it appears pertinent to refer to certain facts in the
history of oceanography. As an organized department this is no less a
creation of the nineteenth century than others we have named. Among
ancient geographers there was certainly some speculation as to the
physical character of the seas, known and unknown. From a very early
period sounding in shallow waters has been recognized as a method
of navigation, and Strabo, for example, displays some knowledge of
the greater depths of the Mediterranean. But to mere navigation a
close study of the sea was not essential, and explorers with their
eyes fixed on distant lands were concerned merely to make the best
of their way over the intervening waters. It is not, therefore,
until towards the close of the eighteenth century, the period of
the scientific exploration of the Arctic region and of Cook’s great
voyages--exploration necessarily carried out mainly on shipboard--that
any systematic investigation of the deep seas is found. Phipps,
Scoresby, John and James Clark Ross, and especially the last, made deep
soundings; but the whole subject of oceanography may be said to have
been first organized by Matthew Fontaine Maury (1806–73), an American
naval officer, who, after his appointment to the United States Dépôt
of Charts and Instruments (which became the Hydrographic Office),
systematized the collection of navigators’ observations on winds and
currents, while his example inspired the establishment of similar
collections in other countries. He also devoted himself to the study of
the relief of the ocean floor, an investigation which was forwarded by
the invention of a compatriot, J. M. Brooke, of the United States Navy,
who introduced the principle of sounding in great depths by means of a
lead which was detached from the line on reaching the bottom, so that
the line might be easily hauled aboard. Maury published his _Physical
Geography of the Sea_ in 1855. Meanwhile the possibility of connecting
England and America by submarine telegraphic cable had been discussed
ten years earlier. Communication across the Channel with France had
been successfully established in 1851, and in 1856 the first signals
passed across the Atlantic. This first trans-oceanic cable survived
only for a little, but the investigation of the sea-floor had now
acquired a commercial as well as a scientific interest.

As early as 1834 Edward Forbes had made biological investigations
in the Irish Sea, and in 1841–42 in the Mediterranean; while in
1868–70 similar studies, together with soundings and observations
for water-temperature, salinity, and deposits, were carried on
in the British seas, the Bay of Biscay, and the Mediterranean by
investigators on board vessels of the Royal Navy--the _Lightning_,
_Porcupine_, and _Shearwater_. This and similar work elsewhere was
preparatory to the greatest of all marine scientific expeditions, that
of H.M.S. _Challenger_ in 1872–76. That vessel was commissioned at the
instigation of the Royal Society, in command of Captain (afterwards
Sir) George Nares, and a scientific staff under Sir C. Wyville Thompson
as director, and including Sir John Murray, H. N. Moseley, and J. Y.
Buchanan. The Atlantic was the first field of study, and was crossed
several times; the southern ocean was then traversed south-east and
east from Cape Town; the _Challenger_ was the first steamer to cross
the Antarctic circle, and afterwards proceeded into the Pacific. The
route now lay from Melbourne to New Zealand, Fiji, Torres Strait, the
Malay Archipelago, and Chinese and Japanese waters, after which the
Pacific was crossed from Yokohama by Honolulu and Tahiti to Valparaiso.
The homeward route lay by the Straits of Magellan, Montevideo,
Ascension Island, and the Azores. Every branch of oceanographical
research was fully dealt with in the fifty volumes of reports upon the
voyage. More lately other vessels of the British, American, German,
and other navies have been detailed for scientific research; and cable
laying has afforded additional opportunities. Mention must be made of
the Dutch expedition in the eastern Malay seas on board the _Siboga_
in 1899–1900, the work of the German surveying vessel _Planet_ in the
Pacific and elsewhere in 1906 and following years, and the Atlantic
expedition of Sir John Murray and Dr. Johan Hiort on the _Michael Sars_
in 1910. The observations of the last-named expedition, especially
on the distribution of life in the sea, are of the first importance.
Oceanographical work has remained an integral function of scientific
expeditions in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Among the names
of investigators which are specially identified with oceanography
(independently of other departments of geographical research) reference
is perhaps most justly due to those of Professor Alexander Agassiz
in the United States, and the Prince of Monaco. The establishment of
the International Council for the Study of the Sea in 1901, nominated
by nine European Governments, with its headquarters in Copenhagen,
was not only an outstanding event in the history of the science at
large, but also draws attention to one of its most important practical
applications, for the Council is specially concerned with the study and
improvement of the fisheries in the North Sea and other European waters.

The educational value of geography, as we have seen, was recognized in
a practical manner by Newton; and towards the close of the eighteenth
century physical geography was taken as a lecture-subject by the
philosopher Immanuel Kant at Königsberg, and by him was given exalted
rank as a “summary of nature.” Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859)
further systematized the theory of the control of land-forms and
climate over the distribution and habits of plants, animals, and man,
and was able to draw not only upon the collection of facts made by
other travellers, but also upon his own observations. His journey
in 1799–1802 in America, during which he explored the Orinoco and
discovered its connection with the Amazon through the Casiquiare, and
visited Cuba, Quito and Mount Chimborazo, and Mexico, was the practical
foundation of his scientific career. In the course of it he collected
material for his researches into temperature at different elevations,
into plant geography, terrestrial magnetism, volcanic phenomena, and
much besides, while he also travelled through Russia to the Yenisei in
1829. In the work of Karl Ritter (1779–1859) is found the importance of
establishing comparisons and investigating differences between similar
regions in different parts of the world. Oscar Peschel (1826–75)
corrected Ritter’s marked tendency to give excessive prominence
to historical detail. The exposition of theoretical geography was
carried on by Ferdinand von Richthofen, Hermann Wagner, and Friedrich
Ratzel; and with the work of these and other leaders in the school of
German geographical thinkers and teachers is associated the German
pre-eminence in cartography during the nineteenth century, in which
connection a passing tribute should be paid to Humboldt’s introduction
to cartographers of the principle of drawing upon maps lines to show
areas of equal temperature (isotherms), rainfall, etc.

Geography as an educational subject of widely-recognized value is
coming by its rights, though the majority of the last generation may
recall it as affording little else than superficial instruction in
the position of countries, places, mountains, and rivers. But now,
not only in Germany, but in Great Britain and elsewhere, it has
been widely adopted as an examination-subject in both primary and
secondary education, as well as for certain specific purposes, and
geographical chairs or lectureships have been established in a number
of universities. The fostering of geography as an educational subject
has been one of the great tasks, and that of furthering exploratory and
other research another, of the many geographical societies which have
been founded throughout the civilized world in the nineteenth century
and after. That of Paris in 1825, and that of Berlin in 1827, are the
oldest of these now flourishing, though with the Royal Geographical
Society in London (1830) was merged the older African Association.

The theory of evolution, as set forth by Charles Darwin, Alfred Russel
Wallace, Sir Joseph Hooker, and others in the middle of the nineteenth
century, has clearly the closest relationship with the geographical
theory of the control exercised by environment; it has become,
indeed, its fundamental principle. Darwin accompanied the _Beagle_
surveying expedition round the world in 1831–36, and his observations
during the voyage qualified him for his life-work. Wallace’s study
of the distribution of animals brings at once to the mind his line
of demarcation between faunal regions passing through the Malay
Archipelago. Hooker was prepared for his interest in plant geography
by his voyage with Ross to the Antarctic, by his travels in northern
India (1847–51), and other journeys of wide range. Such men were
geographers though their fame does not name them so. The application of
geographical method is either essential or at least valuable in every
branch of natural science; in itself it fulfils functions which the
other natural sciences, taken individually, do not, and that is its


A general history of geography (mainly, however, concerned with
exploration and mapping) is Vivien de Saint-Martin’s _Histoire de la
Géographie_ (Paris, 1873); a short historical review dealing more
especially with geographical theory will be found in H. Wagner’s
_Lehrbuch der Geographie_ (Leipzig, 1900). No English parallels to
these works are to be cited, but reference may be made to H. R. Mill’s
_International Geography_ (1897) and his article on “Geography” and
E. G. Ravenstein’s on “Map” in the _Encyclopædia Britannica_ (eleventh
edition). On the earliest period see E. H. Bunbury, _History of Ancient
Geography_ (2 vols., London, 1879), and H. F. Tozer, _History of
Ancient Geography_ (1897), in the Cambridge Geographical Series; on the
“dark age” and down to 1460, C. R. Beazley, _Dawn of Modern Geography_
(3 vols., London, 1897–1906); the sixteenth century is principally
covered by the voluminous literature on Columbus, such as Sir C. R.
Markham’s _Life of Christopher Columbus_ (London, 1892), E. J. Payne’s
_History of the New World called America_ (Vol. I., Oxford, 1892); on
the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, E. Heawood, _Geographical
Discovery in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries_ (Cambridge
Geographical Series, 1912). Some of the earlier theoretical works
have been cited in the text; a few modern works representative of the
various departments of geography may be mentioned here. Those of which
the prime purpose is description are represented by E. Reclus’s _La
Nouvelle Géographie Universelle_ (19 vols., Paris, 1876–95; there is
an English translation) and by _Stanford’s Compendium of Geography
and Travel_ (various authors.) F. Ratzel, _Anthropogeographie_
(2 vols., Stuttgart, c. 1891); Ellen C. Semple, _Influences of
Geographic Environment_ (London, 1911); E. Suess, _Das Antlitz der
Erde_ (translated as _The Face of the Earth_, Oxford, 1904); G. G.
Chisholm, _Manual of Commercial Geography_ (1890 and later editions);
and volumes of the Cambridge Geographical Series already referred to
may be taken as representative of various departments of geography
of which an outline has been attempted in the last chapter of this
book. A. R. Clarke’s _Geodesy_, the section of the article on “Map”
in the _Encyclopædia Britannica_ by the same writer, and Col. C. F.
Close, for projections, and H. M. Wilson’s _Topographic Surveying_
(New York and London, 1901) are to be referred to in the department of
mathematical geography, but this subject has to be pursued mainly in
official publications and scientific journals. For illustrations of
cartographical method it is unnecessary in order to study the highest
development of large-scale mapping to go beyond the Ordnance Survey of
Great Britain and (particularly as illustrating the layer system of
showing relief) the reduction therefrom by Bartholomew (Edinburgh),
whose cartographical methods in such special scientific applications
as meteorology, the distribution of population, etc., also render
it unnecessary to consider sources other than English. But for best
examples of the map-making art combined with the most careful use of
existing data in the compilation of topographical atlases, such a work
as Stieler’s Hand Atlas (Justus Perthes, Gotha) must be studied. There
are examples of cartographical work from all periods in E. A. Reeves’s
_Maps and Map-making_ (London, Royal Geographical Society, 1910),
a series of three lectures on the history and methods of surveying
and cartography. Ancient methods may be studied in several facsimile
atlases, such as A. E. Nordenskiöld’s (Stockholm, 1889). The student
of oceanography must consult the “Narrative” of the _Challenger_
expedition by Sir John Murray, forming two of the fifty volumes of the
Report of that great undertaking. Special treatises on the subject are
those by Otto Krümmel, _Handbuch der Oceanographie_; Murray and Hjört,
_The Depths of the Ocean_; Fowler, _Science of the Sea_ (elementary);
Richard, _L’Océanographie_; Thoulet, _L’Océan, ses Lois et ses
Problèmes_. On limnology (the study of lakes) see Forel’s _Handbuch der


  Abruzzi, Duke of, 114, 126

  Abu Zaid, 40

  Abyssinia, 44, 54, 108, 110, 111

  Adam of Bremen, 36

  Adams, William, 71

  Adare, Cape, 131

  Adélie Land, 130, 133

  Ægean civilisation, 4

  Æschylus, 10

  Afghanistan, 115

  Africa, 5, 7, 13, 27, 31, 39, 50, 51, 53, 55, 57, 99, 113,107–14

  African Association, 108, 146

  Agartharchides of Cnidus, 23

  Agassiz, Alexander, 144

  Agrippa, M. Vipsanius, 25

  Alaska, 78

  Albert Edward, Lake, 113

  ---- Nyanza, 111, 113

  Alexander Island, 128

  ---- the Great, 20

  Alfred the Great, 37

  Alleghany Mts., 67

  Almagro, Diego, 66

  Al-Mamun, Caliph, 39

  Alonzo, Martin, 59

  Amazon, River, 62, 66, 67

  America. _See_ North America, South America

  Amundsen, Capt Roald, 127, 133

  Amur, River, 72

  Anaximander, 9

  Anaximenes, 9

  Andrada, Antonio, 72

  Andree, 137

  Angelus, Jacobus, 54

  Angola, 53

  Antarctic regions, 81, 128–134

  Antilles, 61

  Antillia, 56, 58

  Antipodes, 23, 36

  Antœci, 23

  Antonine Itinerary, 26

  Apianus, Peter, 97, 99, 104

  Arabia, 13, 73, 117

  Arabs, 39

  Arctic regions, 44, 74, 122

  Aristagoras, 9

  Aristotle, 19

  Arkansas, 69

  Arrowsmith, Aaron, 104

  Asia, 9, 13, 20, 27, 39, 42, 71, 72

  Asia Minor, 7, 8, 71

  Astrolabe, 90

  Atlantis, 18, 56

  Australia, 69, 83, 85, 87, 89, 117–21

  Avila, Gil Gonçalez de, 64

  Azores, 50, 52

  Azov, Sea of, 14, 30

  Babbage, 120

  Babylonia, 3

  Bäcklund, O., 138

  Bacon, Roger, 43

  Baeyer, 77, 136

  Baffin Bay, 123

  ---- Land, 77

  ----, William, 77, 123

  Bahr-el-Ghazal, 114

  Baker, Samuel, 111

  Balboa, Vasco Nuñez de, 64

  Balleny, John, 129

  Baltic Sea, 21, 30, 41

  Baluchistan, 115

  Barents, William, 79

  Barlæus, Kaspar, 84

  Barrow, Pt., 123

  ----, Sir John, 122

  Barth, H., 109

  Bartholomew, John, 138

  Bass, George, 117

  ---- Strait, 117

  Batavia, 87

  Beatus, 39

  Beaufort Sea, 128

  Beaumont, Elie de, 139

  Bede, the Venerable, 36

  Behaim, Martin, 57

  Behm, 137

  Bellingshausen, Fabian von, 89, 128

  Bengal, 104

  Benin, Bight of, 6

  Bent, J. T., 117

  Berghaus, H., 137

  Bering Strait, 80, 122

  ----, Vitus, 80

  Berlinghieri, Francesco, 55

  Bertrand, M., 139

  Bessel, Friedrich Wilhelm, 136

  Best, Capt., 71

  Bianco, Andrea, 56

  Bienewitz, Philip, 102

  Biogeography, 140

  Biscoe Is., 129

  ----, John, 129

  Blache, Vidal de la, 138

  Black Sea, 14, 30, 49

  Blue Nile, 103

  Blunt, Wilfrid, 117

  Bonvalot, 116

  Borchgrevink, C. E., 131

  Bornu, 109

  Borough, Stephen, 79

  Borysthenes, River, 14

  Bougainville, Louis Antoine de, 85

  Bouguer, Pierre, 96

  Bouvet Is., 86, 131

  ----, Lozier, 86

  Bower, Hamilton, 116

  Boyle, George, 73

  Brahmaputra, River, 115

  Brazil, 56, 60, 62, 66, 82

  Britain, 5, 6, 21, 30, 37, 118

  Brooke, J. M., 142

  Bruce, James, 108

  ----, W. S., 132

  Brunel, Olivier, 79

  Buache, P., 101

  Buchanan, T. Y., 143

  Burckhardt, J. L., 117

  Burke, Robert, 121

  Burroughs, Christopher, 71

  Burrus, 101

  Burton, R. F., 110, 117

  Button, Sir Thomas, 77

  Byron, John, 85

  Cabot, John, 61, 75

  ----, Sebastian, 79

  Cabral, 62

  Cadamosto, Aloise, 52

  Cæsar, Julius, 24

  Caillié, R., 109

  California, Gulf of, 65

  Cameron, Lovett, 113

  Canada, 67

  Canary Islands, 18, 27, 52

  Cano, Sebastian del, 65

  Canton, 69

  Cão, Diogo, 53

  Cape of Good Hope, 5, 53, 68

  Cape Verde Islands, 52

  Carpentaria, Gulf of, 70, 118

  Carpenter, Nathanael, 105

  Carpini, Joannes de Plano, 42

  Carteret, Philip, 85

  Carthage, 5

  Cartier, Jacques, 66

  Cartography. _See_ Map-making

  Caspian Sea, 30, 39, 49, 71

  Cassini, J. and D., 95, 104

  Catalan map, 50

  Catalonians, 49

  Cavendish, Sir Thomas, 67

  Ceylon, 31, 50, 57

  Chad, Lake, 109

  Challenger, 130, 143

  Champlain, Samuel, 67

  Chancellor, Richard, 79

  Charcot, J. B., 132

  Chelyuskin, Lieut. T., 80

  Chile, 66

  China, 3, 30, 34, 43, 44, 71, 117

  Chorography, 104

  Chronometer, 97

  Chrysoloras, Emanuel, 54

  Cintra, Pedro de, 52

  Clapperton, H., 109

  Clarke, Capt., 122

  Cluverius, Philip, 105

  Coats Land, 132, 133

  Cochin-China, 72

  Columbus, Christopher, 56, 59

  Compass, 48

  Condamine, Charles de la, 96

  Congo Free State, 113

  ---- River, 53, 103, 113, 114

  Cook Archipelago, 88

  Cook, Captain James, 78, 87, 103, 122

  Coppermine River, 78

  Cordova, Hernandez de, 64

  Cortereal, Gaspar, 75

  Cortez, 65

  Covilhão, Pedro de, 53

  Crates of Mallus, 23

  Crete, 4, 18

  Cross-staff, 91

  Crozet Is., 86

  Cruquius, M. S., 101

  Crusades, 42, 48

  Cuba, 61

  Cunningham, 119

  Cyrus, 17

  Dahna, 117

  d’Ailly, Cardinal, 56

  Dampier, William, 85

  Danes, 125, 127

  Danfrie, 93

  D’Anville, J. B. B., 103, 108

  Darling, River, 119

  Darwin, Charles, 146

  ----, Sir George, 139

  David, T. W, E., 132

  Davis, Edward, 84

  ----, John, 70, 77

  ---- Strait, 77

  Deasy, Capt. H. H. P., 116

  Debes, 137

  Delisle, 9, 103

  De Long, 127

  Democritus of Abdera, 17

  d’Entrecasteaux, 89

  Desbarres, J. F. W., 103

  Desideri, Fra, 72

  Dezhnev, Simon, 80

  Diaz, Bartolomeu, 53, 82

  Dicæarchus of Messana, 20

  Dicuil, 36

  Digges, Leonard, 93

  Diopler, 90

  Dominica, 61

  Donis. _See_ Germanus

  Doughty, Charles, 117

  Drake, Sir Francis, 66, 84

  Drygalski, E. von, 132

  Dufour, Gen. H., 135

  Dupain-Triel, 101

  Duperrey, Louis, 89

  D’Urville, Dumont, 89, 129

  Dutch East India Co., 69

  Earth, figure of, 19, 22, 34, 36, 43, 81, 90, 94, 104

  Easter Island, 84

  East India Co., 70, 115

  ---- Indies, 68

  Egypt, 3, 7

  Elephantine, 16

  Emin Pasha, 113

  Enderby Bros., 129

  ---- Land, 129

  Ephemerides, 97

  Ephorus of Cyme, 18

  Equator, 21, 62

  Eratosthenes, 22

  Erebus, Mt., 130, 131

  Eric the Red, 75

  Erichsen, L. Mylius, 127

  Ericsson, Leif, 75

  Eskimo, 2

  Eudoxus of Cnidus, 19

  ---- of Cyzicus, 24

  Europe, 9, 13, 14, 27, 39

  Europus, 10

  Everest, Sir George, 135

  Eyre, 120

  Faeröe Islands, 37

  Fernandez, John, 52

  Fernel, Jean, 93

  Filchner, Lieut., 133

  Firmianus, Lactantius, 34

  Flinders, Matthew, 117

  Florida, 64, 66

  Forbes, Edward, 143

  Forel, F. A., 141

  Forrest, Sir J., 121

  Fortunate Isles, 27

  Franklin, J., 122, 123

  Franz Josef Land, 125, 127

  Freycinet, J. C. D. de, 89

  Freyre, Fra, 72

  Frisius, Gemma, 97, 104

  Frisland, 76

  Frobisher, Martin, 76

  ---- Strait, 77

  Gaetano, 88

  Gama, Vasco da, 68

  Gambia, River, 108

  Ganges, River, 115

  Gastaldi, 103

  Geodesy, 138

  Geomorphology, 139

  Germanus, Nicolaus, 55

  Gerrits, Dirk, 84

  Giles, Ernest, 121

  Gill, Sir David, 138

  Glaser, E., 117

  Gnomon, 9, 90

  Gold Coast, 52

  Gomez, Diego, 52

  Goyder, 120

  Graham Land, 129

  Grant, T. A., 111

  ---- Land, 128

  Graphometer, 93

  Great Australian Bight, 118

  ---- Ice Barrier, 130, 131

  Greeks, 8

  Greeley, Lieut. A. W., 126

  Green, Lowthian, 139

  Greenland, 37, 75, 76, 80, 124, 126, 127, 128

  Gregory, 121

  ----, A. C., 120

  ----, J. W., 139

  Grenard, F., 116

  Griesbach, L., 116

  Grinnell Land, 124, 126

  Grisalva, Juan de, 64

  Haiti, 61

  Halévy, J., 117

  Hall, Charles, 124

  Halley, E., 101

  Hanno, 6

  Harrison, John, 97

  Hausaland, 109

  Hawaii, 88

  Hawkins, Captain, 70

  Hayton, 43

  Hearne, Samuel, 78

  Hecatæus of Miletus, 11

  Hedin, Sven, 116

  Henry the Navigator, 51

  Herodotus, 5, 11, 23, 30

  Himilco, 6

  Hiort, Dr. Johan, 144

  Hipparchus, 22, 25

  Hispaniola. _See_ Haiti

  Hollar, 102

  Homann, 101

  Homer, 7

  Honduras, 61

  Hooker, Sir Joseph, 146

  Horn, Cape, 67, 82, 84

  Houtman, Cornelis, 69

  Howell, 119

  Huber, C., 117

  Hudson Bay, 67, 76, 80

  ---- Bay Co., 78, 123

  ----, Henry, 76, 80

  Humboldt, Alexander von, 67, 144

  Hume, Hamilton, 119

  Huygens, Christiaan, 94

  Ibn Batuta, 46

  Ibn Haukal, 40

  Iceland, 37, 75

  Idrisi, 40

  India, 3, 13, 20, 31, 44, 45, 50, 54, 57, 68, 69, 71, 115

  Indicopleustes, Cosmas, 35

  Inglefield, Captain, 124

  International Council for the Study of the Sea, 144

  ---- Geographical Congress, 138

  Ireland, 30, 37, 75, 102

  Irtish, River, 72

  Istakhri, 40

  Ister, River, 14

  Jackman, Charles, 79

  Jackson, Frederick, 126

  Jäderin, E., 137

  Jamaica, 61

  Jan Mayen Island, 80

  Japan, 69, 70

  Jefferys, Thomas, 104

  Jenkinson, Anthony, 71

  Jerusalem, 39, 49

  Jesuits, 72

  John of Montecorvino, 45

  Johnston, W. and A. K., 138

  Jones Sound, 127

  Junker, W., 114

  Justinian, Emperor, 34

  Kaiser Wilhelm II. Land, 132

  Kalahari Desert, 112

  Kamchatka, 72, 89

  Kane, Elisha Kent, 124

  Kant, Immanuel, 144

  Kara Sea, 79

  Karlsefne, Thorfinn, 75

  Kaulbars, Baron H., 116

  Kemp, John, 129

  Kennedy, 120, 123

  Kenya, Mt., 110, 113

  Kepler, 97

  Kerguelen Is., 86

  Kerguelen-Trémarec, Yves de, 86

  Kiepert, H., 137

  Kilimanjaro, Mt., 110, 113

  Kimberley, 121

  King, Capt. P. P., 118

  King Edward Land, 130, 131

  King George Sound, 117

  Kircher, A., 101

  Kola Peninsula, 79

  Koldewey, 126

  Kotzebue, Otto von, 89

  Kozlov, P. K., 116

  Krapf, L., 110

  Kremer, Gerhard. _See_ Mercator

  Krishna, 115

  Krusenstern, Adam, 89

  Kublai Khan, 43

  Labrador, 75

  Lacerda, Francisco de, 109

  Lachlan, River, 118, 119

  Laing, A., 9, 109

  Lambton, Col. W., 135

  Lancaster, James, 70

  ---- Sound, 123

  Langhans, 137

  Lapparent, A. de, 139

  Lapworth, C., 139

  Latitude, 21, 97

  Lauder, Richard, 109

  Leachman, 117

  Lefroy, H. M., 121

  Lehmann, J. G., 101

  Leichhardt, 120

  Lemaire, Jacob, 84

  Leon, Juan Ponce de, 63

  Le Testu, Guillaume, 69

  Lhasa, 72, 115

  Limnology, 141

  Littledale, St. George, 116

  Liverpool Plains, 119

  Livingstone, David, 112

  Longitude, 97

  Loubet Land, 132

  Louisiana, 67

  Louis Philippe Land, 129

  Love, A. E. H., 139

  Lualaba, River, 112

  Luque, Hernando de, 66

  McClintock, 124

  McClure, 124

  Mackenzie, Alexander, 78

  ---- River, 78

  McKinlay, T., 121

  McMurdo Sound, 132

  Macquarie, River, 118, 119

  Madagascar, 44, 57

  Madeira, 50, 52

  Magalhães, Fernao de, 64, 82

  Magellan. _See_ Magalhães

  Magnetic Pole, 123, 127

  Magnus, Albertus, 43

  Mahomed Ali, 110

  Malacca, 68

  Malay Archipelago, 44, 57, 68, 69, 70

  ---- Peninsula, 5

  Mam, Island of, 56

  Manchuria, 89

  Mandeville, Sir John, 45

  Maoris, 2

  Map-making, 2, 9, 12, 37, 41, 46, 54, 98, 137, 145

  Marianne Islands, 65

  Marinus of Tyre, 26, 40

  Marion-Dufresne, 86

  Marion Is., 86

  Markham, 126

  ----, Albert, 124

  Marquesas Is., 83

  Martianus Capella, 34

  Masailand, 113

  Masudi, 40

  Maupertuis, P. L. M. de, 96

  Mauro, Fra, 50, 55

  Maury, Matthew F., 14, 20

  Mawson, Dr. D., 132, 133

  Mediterranean, the, 3, 5, 37, 39, 48, 58, 143

  Melville Island, 123

  Mendana, 83

  Mercator, 98, 102, 103

  Meridian, 22, 41

  Meroe, 16

  Mexico, 64, 65

  Middleton, Christopher, 78

  Mill, H. R., 106

  Mitchell, Sir Thomas, 120

  Moeris, Lake, 3

  Moluccas, 60, 69

  Monaco, Prince of, 144

  Mongolia, 115

  Moseley, H. N., 143

  Mota, Antonio de, 69

  Mountains of the Moon, 31

  Muhammad ben Musa, 90

  Münster, Sebastian, 105

  Murray, River, 119

  ----, Sir John, 141, 143

  Murrumbidgee, River, 119

  Muscovy Company, 79, 80

  Musil, 117

  Nachtigal, G., 114

  Nain Singh, 115

  Nansen, Fridtjof, 126

  Nares, Sir George, 124, 143

  Nasamonian youths, the, 16

  Natal, 68

  Nathorst, 127

  Nearchus, 20

  Necho, 5

  Neckam, Alexander, 48

  New Caledonia, 88

  Newfoundland, 75

  New Granada, 66

  New Guinea, 69, 83, 87

  New Hebrides, 83, 85, 88

  New Pomerania, 84

  New Siberian Is., 127

  New South Wales, 117

  Newton, Sir Isaac, 94, 105, 144

  New Zealand, 70, 83, 87

  Nicaragua, 64

  Niebuhr, Carsten, 73

  Niger, River, 16, 108, 109

  Nile, River, 16, 31, 37, 49, 108, 110, 111

  Nordenskiöld, A. E., 125, 126

  Norfolk Is., 88

  Norsemen, 37

  North America, 2, 61, 67, 75

  North American Indians, 2

  North Cape, 75

  North-East Passage, 78

  North-West Passage, 76, 127

  Norwood, Richard, 93

  Nova Scotia, 75

  Novaya Zemlya, 72, 75, 80

  Ob, River, 80

  Oceanography, 141

  Odoric, 45, 71

  Œcumene, 22, 23

  Ohio, River, 66

  Okhotsk, Sea of, 72

  Orellana, Francisco de, 66

  Orinoco, River, 61, 145

  Orkney Islands, 37

  Orléans, Prince Henry of, 116

  Orontius, 82

  Ortelius, 65, 102

  Oudney, W., 109

  Oxley, Lieut., 118

  Pacific Ocean, 64, 65, 82, 83, 87

  Palestine, 48

  Palgrave, W. G., 117

  Pamirs, 115

  Paradise, 39

  Paris, Matthew, 48

  Park, Mungo, 108

  Parmenides, 9

  Parry (Arctic), 122, 126

  ---- (Australia), 120

  Pascal, 93

  Paulmyer, Sieur de Gonneville, 69

  Paumotu Is., 84, 85

  Pausanias, 32

  Payer, Lieut. Julius, 125

  Payva, Alphonso, 53

  Peary, Robert E., 126, 127

  Peking, 69

  Penna, Orazio della, 72

  Periodos (circuit of the earth), 12

  Periœci, 23

  Periplus, 12, 18

  ---- of the Erythræan Sea, 3

  Pérouse, J. F. D. de la, 89

  Persia, 71

  Persian Gulf, 20

  Perthes, Justus, 137

  Peru, 3, 66

  Peschel, Oscar, 145

  Pet, Arthur, 79

  Peter Is., 128

  Petermann, A., 137

  Peutinger Table, 26

  Pevtsov, 116

  Phasis, River, 11

  Philip, George, 138

  Philippine Islands, 65

  Phipps, Captain, 122, 142

  Phœnicians, 4

  Picard, Jean, 94, 101

  Pigafetta, F., 99

  Pines, Isle of, 88

  Pinzon, Vicente Yañez, 59, 62

  Pizarro, Francisco, 66

  Plane-table, 93

  Plato, 18

  Pliny the Elder, 26

  Polo, Marco, 43, 69

  Polybius of Megalopolis, 23

  Polyhistor, Julius Solinus, 35

  Pomponius Mela, 26

  Pont, Timothy, 102

  Portolano maps, 48, 50, 55

  Portuguese, 51, 55, 60, 68, 79, 108

  Posidonius the Stoic, 23, 72

  Potamology, 141

  Potanin, 116

  Prester John, 53

  Pretorius, Jean, 93

  Prjevalsky, Nicolai, 116

  Procopius, 34

  Ptolemy, 26, 39, 54, 72

  Putte, Samuel van der, 72

  Pygmies, 7, 17

  Pythagoras, 8

  Pytheas of Massilia, 21

  Quadrant, 91, 94

  Queensland, 119, 120

  Quiros, Pedro Fernandez de, 83

  Rae, Dr. John, 124

  Ramsden, 97

  Ratzel, Friedrich, 145

  Ravenstein, A., 137

  Rawling, Capt. G. C., 116

  Rebmann, T., 110

  Red Sea, 5, 35

  Regiomontanus, 97

  Rennell, Maj. James, 104

  Retes, Inigo Ortes de, 83

  Retreat of the Ten Thousand, 17

  Rhins, Dutreuil de, 116

  Rhodesia, 5

  Richard of Haldingham, 48

  Richardson, Sir John, 124

  Richer, Jean, 94

  Richthofen, Ferdinand, Baron von, 117, 145

  Rio de la Plata, 62

  Ripon Falls, 111

  Ritter, Karl, 145

  Roborovsky, 116

  Rockhill, W. W., 116

  Roe, J. S., 121

  Roggeveen, Jacob, 85

  Rohlfs, G., 114

  Romans, 24

  Rome, 19

  Rosen, P. G., 138

  Ross, Capt., 122, 123, 142

  ----, James Clark, 123, 142

  ----, Sir James, 130

  Roy, General, 103, 104

  Royal Geographical Soc., 146

  Russians, 72, 78, 80, 116

  Rusticiano of Pisa, 44

  Ruwenzori Mts., 113

  Sadlier, Capt. G. F., 117

  Sahara Desert, 52, 109, 114

  St. Basil the Great, 34

  St. Brandon, Island of, 58

  St. Francis Xavier, 69

  St. Lawrence River, 66

  St. Martin, Vivien de, 138

  Samoa, 85

  San Salvador, 60

  Sanson, Nicolas, 99

  Saxton, Christopher, 102

  Scandinavia, 7, 21, 30, 37, 49, 58, 75

  Scaph, 90

  Schouten, Willem Cornelis, 84

  Schrader, F., 138

  Schweinfürth, Georg, 114

  Scoresby, William, 81, 126, 142

  Scotland, survey, 103

  Scott, Capt. R. F., 131, 133

  Scroggs, John, 78

  Scylax of Caryanda, 12

  Semliki River, 113

  Senegal, 109

  Shackleton, Sir E., 131, 132

  Shetland Islands, 37

  Shirley, Sir Anthony and Robert, 71

  Siberia, 44, 72, 80

  Sicily, 7

  Sidon, 7

  Sierra Leone, 52

  Sission, Jonathan, 97

  Smith, William, 128

  ----, Leigh, 125

  ---- Sound, 78, 124, 128

  Snell, Willibrord, 93

  Society Is., 85, 87

  Sokoto, 109

  Solis, Juan Diaz de, 62

  Somaliland, 110

  Soto, Hernandez de, 66

  South America, 56, 62, 66, 67, 82

  Southern Continent, 81, 83

  South Orkney Is., 128

  South Shetland Is., 84, 128

  Spaniards, 60, 63

  Speed, John, 102

  Speke, T. H., 110

  Spitsbergen, 75, 79, 124, 127

  Spruner, K. von, 137

  Stanford, Edward, 138

  Stanley, H. M., 112, 113

  Stefansson, 128

  Stein, Sir M. A., 116

  Stieler, A., 137

  Stony Desert, 120

  Strabo, 18, 24, 141

  Stuart, J. M., 121

  Sturt, Charles, 119, 120

  Submarine cable, 142

  Sudan, 114

  Suess, E., 139

  Suleiman, 40

  Supan, A., 137, 139

  Surveying, 93, 102, 135

  Sverdrup, 127

  Swartha, Claudius Clavus, 55

  Sydney, 117

  Syene, 22

  Syria, 71

  Tachard, P., 72

  Tahiti, 87

  Tanais, River, 14, 21, 37

  Tanganyika, Lake, 111, 112

  Tasman, Abel Janszoon, 70, 83

  Tasmania, 70, 117

  Terror, Mt., 130, 131

  Texeira, Pedro, 67

  Thales of Miletus, 8

  Theodolite, 97

  Theophanes of Mytilene, 24

  Theophrastus of Lesbos, 20

  Thompson, Sir C. Wyville, 143

  Thomson, Joseph, 113

  Thule, 21

  Thury, Cassini de, 104

  Tibet, 44, 71, 73

  Tierra del Fuego, 67, 84

  Timbuktu, 109

  Toll, Baron, 127

  Tongan Archipelago, 84, 88

  Torrens, Lake, 120

  Torres, 70, 83

  ---- Strait, 83

  Torricelli, 93

  Toscanelli, Paolo del Pozzi, 56

  Traverse Is., 128

  Trinidad, 61

  Triquetum, 90

  Turkestan, 115

  Turnagain, Cape, 123

  Turner, Capt., 73

  Tyre, 4

  Uganda, 111

  Ugyen Gyatso, 115

  Unyamwezi, 111

  Varenius, Bernhard, 105

  Vernier, François, 93

  Vesconte, Petrus, 49

  Vespucci, Amerigo, 62

  Victoria, 119

  ---- Falls, 112

  ---- Land, 130, 133

  ---- Nile, 111

  ---- Nyanza, 111, 113

  Vinci, Leonardo da, 82

  Vineland, 37, 75

  Virgilius, Bishop of Salzburg, 36

  Vlamingh, William de, 70

  Volga, River, 30

  Wagner, Hermann, 145

  Waldseemüller, Martin, 63, 103

  Wallace, Sir Alfred Russel, 146

  Wallis, Samuel, 85

  Warburton, 121

  Watling Island, 60

  Weddell, James, 129

  Wellby, Capt. W. S., 116

  Welle, River, 114

  Werner, 99

  Western Australia, 121

  West Indies, 60

  Weyprecht, Lieut., 125

  Whale fisheries, 80

  White Nile, 108

  ---- Sea, 75, 79

  Wiggins, Capt. Joseph, 125

  Wilkes, Charles, 89, 130

  William of Rubruquis, 42

  Willoughby, Sir Hugh, 79

  Wills, William, 121

  Wilson, 131

  Wissmann, 113

  Wright, Edward, 99

  Xenophon, 17

  Yenisei, River, 80, 125

  Yucatan, 64

  Zambezi, River, 5, 109, 112

  Zanzibar, 44, 57, 110

  Zeno, Nicolo, 76

  Zoogeography, 140


Transcriber’s Notes

On pages 37 and 39, single-letters within equals signs, such as =T=,
were printed in sans-serif boldface. Throughout this eBook, italic text
is shown within _underscores_, and small-cap text is shown in ALL-CAPS.

Punctuation and spelling were made consistent when a predominant
preference was found in this book; otherwise they were not changed.

Simple typographical errors were corrected; occasional unbalanced
quotation marks retained.

Ambiguous hyphens at the ends of lines were retained; occurrences of
inconsistent hyphenation have not been changed.

Index not checked for proper alphabetization or correct page references.

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