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

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 778 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 02.
between the latitudes of 10 deg. and 50 deg. north; leaving a small strait or passage between its southern extremity and the Isthmus of Darien into the South Sea.  About twelve degrees west from Cuba the island of Zipangri is placed; and at least twenty degrees east from Cathay or China.  At sixteen degrees east from the northern end of Cuba, a large island is placed in the Oceanus Magnus or Atlantic, called Terra Cortesia; which the cosmographer seems to have intended to represent the kingdom of Mexico, recently discovered by Cortez; though placed almost in lat. 50 deg.  N. Perhaps this may be an error for Corterealis, an early navigator, who is said to have made discoveries on the eastern coast of North America.

In Africa there is an approximation towards its true shape; yet the Caput Viride, or Cape Verd, is placed to the north of the river Senegal, instead of between that river and the Gambia; and the sources of the Nile are brought down to lat. 15 deg.  S. at least twenty-two degrees too far to the southwards.

Asia, with India and China, are too much distorted for criticism.  Calicut is placed in the peninsula of Cambaya or Guzerate.  The Aurea Chersonesus and Regnum Malacha, or Malacca, are separated by a great gulf, while the latter is placed so low as 30 deg.  S. latitude.  This much may suffice for an account of the incorrect yet curious specimen of cosmographical knowledge which had been acquired by the learned in Europe about 300 years ago.

To these four letters we have added a short account of several curious circumstances relative to the trade of the Europeans with India at the commencement of the sixteenth century, or three hundred years ago; which, though not very accurately expressed, contains some curious information.

[1] Novus Orbis Grynaei, p. 94-102.

[2] Bibl.  Univ. des Voy.  I. 55, and V. 486.


Letter from the Venetian Envoy in Portugal to the Republic[1].

Most serene prince, &c.  Believing that your highness has been already informed by the most excellent legate, of all the memorable things which have occurred in this place, and particularly respecting the fleet so lately dispatched for India by the king of Portugal, which, by the blessing of God, has now returned with the loss of seven ships; as it originally consisted of fourteen sail, seven of which only have come home, the other seven having been wrecked in the voyage.  Their voyage was along the coasts of Mauritania and Getulia to Cape Verd, anciently called Experias; off which the islands called the Hesperides are situated.  From thence they explored lower Ethiopia towards the east, beyond which the ancients never penetrated.  They sailed along this eastern coast of Ethiopia to a line corresponding with the meridian of Sicily, about five or six degrees

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