A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 02 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 665 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 02.

About seven years before the decease of Don Henry, two voyages were made to the African coast by Alvise da Cada Mosto, a Venetian navigator, under the auspices of the Duke of Viseo; but which we have chosen to separate from the historical deduction of the Portuguese discoveries, principally because they contain the oldest nautical journal extant, except those already given in our First Part from the pen of the great Alfred, and are therefore peculiarly valuable in a work of this nature.  Their considerable length, likewise, and because they were not particularly conducive to the grand object of extending the maritime discoveries, have induced us to detach them from the foregoing narrative, that we might carry it down unbroken to the death of the great Don Henry.  These voyages, likewise, give us an early picture of the state of population, civilization, and manners of the Africans, not to be met with elsewhere.

To this we subjoin an abstract of the narrative of a voyage made by Pedro de Cintra, a Portuguese captain, to the coast of Africa, drawn up for Cada Mosto, at Lagos, by a young Portuguese who had been his secretary, and who had accompanied Cintra in his voyage.  The exact date of this voyage is nowhere given; but as the death of Don Henry is mentioned in the narrative, it probably took place in that year, 1463.

[1] So called from the number of hawks which were seen on these islands
    when first discovered, Acor signifying a hawk in the Portuguese
    language; hence Acores or Acoras, pronounced Azores, signifies the
    Islands of Hawks.—­Clarke.

[2] Peripl. of the Erythr.  Sea, 193.

[3] Hist. of the Disc. of India, prefixed to the translation of the Lusiad,
    I. 158.

CHAPTER IV.

ORIGINAL JOURNALS OF THE VOYAGES OF CADA MOSTO, AND PIEDRO DE CINTRA TO THE COAST OF AFRICA; THE FORMER IN THE YEARS 1455 AND 1456, AND THE LATTER SOON AFTERWARDS[1].

INTRODUCTION.

Alvise Da Cada Mosto, a Venetian, in the service of Don Henry of Portugal, informs us in his preface, that he was the first navigator from the noble city of Venice, who had sailed on the ocean beyond the Straits of Gibraltar, to the southern parts of Negroland, and Lower Ethiopia.  These voyages at Cada Mosto are the oldest extant in the form of a regular journal, and were originally composed in Italian, and first printed at Venice in 1507.  This first edition is now exceedingly scarce, but there is a copy in the kings library, and another in the valuable collection made by Mr Dalrymple.  These voyages were afterward published by Ramusio in 1613, and by Grynaeus in Latin.  The latter was misled in regard to the date; which he has inadvertently placed in 1504, after the death of Prince Henry, and even subsequent to the discovery of the Cape of Good Hope by Bernal Diaz.  Even Ramusio, in his introduction to the voyages of Cada Mosto, has made a mistake in saying that they were undertaken by the orders of John king of Portugal, who died in 1433.

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