Unknown Seas

Unknown Seas Ronald Watkins


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Unknown Seas


How Vasco da Gama Opened the East




The Portuguese Captains and the Passage to India: How Vasco da Gama Opened the East - ASIN: B004YKY9JK (First UK edition, November 10, 2003) - In the fifteenth century, the world beyond Europe began to emerge from myth and legend, and it was the Portuguese who led the way. They founded an empire that stretched from China to Brazil, and the peak of their achievement was Vasco da Gama's discovery of a sea route to India. Still today, landmarks, coastlines and currents around the world bear Portuguese names, and the oceans of the world are one vast watery grave for Portuguese seamen. For those who sailed beyond the known world life was harsh beyond measure. Yet the discoverers were not lured only by gold, precious stones and spices -- they were driven to colonise, to enslave, to bring their religion to the unconverted. Reconstructing journeys from contemporary logs and papers, this absorbing and wonderfully vivid account brings to life the captains driving their small ships, the ordinary seamen and the far-off, not always friendly traders they met.

'The Portuguese led the way. Still today, landmarks, coastlines and currents around the world bear Portuguese names, and the oceans of the world are one vast watery grave for Portuguese seamen. The reward they bequeathed was an empire that stretched from China to Brazil, and included much of Africa and Southern Asia. The peak of their achievement was Vasco da Gama's discovery of a sea route to India, and therefore to unimaginable wealth. Yet the discoverers were not lured only by gold, precious stones and spices. They were driven to colonise, to enslave, to bring the certainty of their religion to the unconverted, even to outflank the Muslims and re-conquer Jerusalem. Reconstructing journeys from contemporary logs and papers, Ronald Watkins chronicles the lengths to which they went, pioneering uncertain technologies, even modifying their ships en route to the Indies. This absorbing and wonderfully vivid account brings to life the captains driving their small ships over the horizon; and the far-off, not always friendly traders they met.He depicts the lives of the ordinary sailors, rarely seen, who suffered for trade, religion and imperial power and who forced European rivals to concede that only the Portuguese could find India'.'

'Eclipsed for us by Columbus's westward voyages on the one hand and post-colonial proprietary feelings towards Africa and India on the other, the explorations of 15th-century Portuguese navigators have not had the recognition they've deserved in Britain ! A gripping adventure narrative, this book makes a persuasive case for the reassessment of a crucial episode in history' -- Scotsman 20031122 'stirring stuff ... a fine read' |--| 'This book gives a well-organised account of Portuguese preparations for the expedition, and da Gama's exploits during his 2-year voyage 1497--99 ! The text flows well, and the accounts of his dealings with various groups who were none too co-operative are stirring stuff. It is a fine read' -- Naval Review

[About the Author] Ronald Watkins is the author of four previous works of non-fiction. He is a member of The Hakluyt Society and The Society for the History of Discoveries. He has travelled throughout South-east Asia, India, Mexico and Central America. He previously lived in Portugal where he was inspired to write this book. He now lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

Biografia, Autobiografia, Memórias / Aventura / Ensaios / Não-ficção / Geografia / História

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orffeus
cadastrou em:
23/04/2015 23:34:04
orffeus
editou em:
23/04/2015 23:47:57