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A Book of Discovery - The History of the World's Exploration, From the Earliest - Times to the Finding of the South Pole
by Margaret Bertha (M. B.) Synge
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[Frontispiece: PTOLEMY'S MAP OF THE WORLD, ORIGINALLY DRAWN ABOUT A.D. 150. From the first printed edition of 1472 (the first book to have printed maps) and the famous Rome edition of 1508. It is only necessary to compare this map with the mythical geography represented in a mediaeval map such as the Hereford map of the world, made eleven centuries later to recognise the extraordinary accuracy and scientific value of Ptolemy's geography.]



A BOOK OF DISCOVERY THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD'S EXPLORATION, FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES TO THE FINDING OF THE SOUTH POLE

By M. B. SYNGE, F.R.Hist.S. AUTHOR OF "THE STORY OF THE WORLD" "A SHORT HISTORY OF SOCIAL LIFE IN ENGLAND" ETC.

FULLY ILLUSTRATED FROM AUTHENTIC SOURCES AND WITH MAPS



LONDON: T. C. & E. C. JACK, LTD. 35 PATERNOSTER ROW, E.C., & EDINBURGH



INTRODUCTION

"Hope went before them, and the world was wide."

Such was the spirit in which the exploration of the world was accomplished. It was the inspiration that carried men of old far beyond the sunrise into those magic and silent seas whereon no boat had ever sailed. It is the incentive of those to-day with the wander-thirst in their souls, who travel and suffer in the travelling, though there are fewer prizes left to win. But

"The reward is in the doing, And the rapture of pursuing Is the prize."

"To travel hopefully," says Stevenson, "is a better thing than to arrive." This would explain the fact that this Book of Discovery has become a record of splendid endurance, of hardships bravely borne, of silent toil, of courage and resolution unequalled in the annals of mankind, of self-sacrifice unrivalled and faithful lives laid ungrudgingly down. Of the many who went forth, the few only attained. It is of these few that this book tells.

"All these," says the poet in Ecclesiastes—"all these were honoured in their generation, and were the glory of their times ... their name liveth for evermore."

But while we read of those master-spirits who succeeded, let us never forget those who failed to achieve.

"Anybody might have found it, but the Whisper came to Me."

Enthusiasm too was the secret of their success. Among the best of crews there was always some one who would have turned back, but the world would never have been explored had it not been for those finer spirits who resolutely went on—even to the death.

This is what carried Alexander the Great to the "earth's utmost verge," that drew Columbus across the trackless Atlantic, that nerved Vasco da Gama to double the Stormy Cape, that induced Magellan to face the dreaded straits now called by his name, that made it possible for men to face without flinching the ice-bound regions of the far North.

"There is no land uninhabitable, nor sea unnavigable," asserted the men of the sixteenth century, when England set herself to take possession of her heritage in the North. Such an heroic temper could overcome all things. But the cost was great, the sufferings intense.

"Having eaten our shoes and saddles boiled with a few wild herbs, we set out to reach the kingdom of gold," says Orellana in 1540.

"We ate biscuit, but in truth it was biscuit no longer, but a powder full of worms,—so great was the want of food, that we were forced to eat the hides with which the mainyard was covered; but we had also to make use of sawdust for food, and rats became a great delicacy," related Magellan, as he led his little ship across the unknown Pacific.

Again, there is Franklin returning from the Arctic coast, and stilling the pangs of hunger with "pieces of singed hide mixed with lichen," varied with "the horns and bones of a dead deer fried with some old shoes."

The dangers of the way were manifold.

For the early explorers had no land map or ocean chart to guide them, there were no lighthouses to warn the strange mariner of dangerous coast and angry surf, no books of travel to relate the weird doings of fierce and inhospitable savages, no tinned foods to prevent the terrible scourge of sailors, scurvy. In their little wooden sailing ships the men of old faced every conceivable danger, and surmounted obstacles unknown to modern civilisation.

"Now strike your Sails ye jolly Mariners, For we be come into a quiet Rode."

For the most part we are struck with the light-heartedness of the olden sailor, the shout of gladness with which men went forth on these hazardous undertakings, knowing not how they would arrive, or what might befall them by the way, went forth in the smallest of wooden ships, with the most incompetent of crews, to face the dangers of unknown seas and unsuspected lands, to chance the angry storm and the hidden rock, to discover inhospitable shores and savage foes. Founded on bitter experience is the old saying—

"A Passage Perilous makyth a Port Pleasant."

For the early navigators knew little of the art of navigation.

Pytheas, who discovered the British Isles, was "a great mathematician." Diego Cam, who sailed to the mouth of the Congo, was "a knight of the King's household." Sir Hugh Willoughby, "a most valiant gentleman." Richard Chancellor, "a man of great estimation for many good parts of wit in him." Anthony Jenkinson, a "resolute and intelligent gentleman." Sir Walter Raleigh, an Elizabethan courtier, and so forth.

It has been obviously impossible to include all the famous names that belong to the history of exploration. Most of these explorers have been chosen for some definite new discovery, some addition to the world's geographical knowledge, or some great feat of endurance which may serve to brace us to fresh effort as a nation famous for our seamen. English navigators have been afforded the lion's share in the book, partly because they took the lion's share in exploring, partly because translations of foreign travel are difficult to transcribe. Most of these stories have been taken from original sources, and most of the explorers have been allowed to tell part of their own story in their own words.

Perhaps the most graphic of all explorations is that written by a native of West Australia, who accompanied an exploring party searching for an English lad named Smith, who had been starved to death.

"Away, away, away, away; we reach the water of Djunjup; we shoot game. Away, away, away through a forest away, through a forest away; we see no water. Through a forest away, along our tracks away; hills ascending, then pleasantly away, away, through a forest away. We see a water—along the river away—a short distance we go, then away, away, away through a forest away. Then along another river away, across the river away. Still we go onwards, along the sea away, through the bush away, then along the sea away. We sleep near the sea. I see Mr. Smith's footsteps ascending a sandhill; onwards I go regarding his footsteps. I see Mr. Smith dead. Two sleeps had he been dead; greatly did I weep, and much I grieved. In his blanket folding him, we scraped away the earth. The sun had inclined to the westward as we laid him in the ground."

The book is illustrated with reproductions from old maps—old primitive maps, with a real Adam and Eve standing in the Garden of Eden, with Pillars of Hercules guarding the Straits of Gibraltar, with Paradise in the east, a realistic Jerusalem in the centre, the island of Thule in the north, and St. Brandon's Isles of the Blest in the west.

Beautifully coloured were the maps of the Middle Ages, "joyous charts all glorious with gold and vermilion, compasses and crests and flying banners, with mountains of red and gold." The seas are full of ships—"brave beflagged vessels with swelling sails." The land is ablaze with kings and potentates on golden thrones under canopies of angels. While over all presides the Madonna in her golden chair.

The Hereford Mappa Mundi, drawn in the thirteenth century on a fine sheet of vellum, circular in form, is among the most interesting of the mediaeval maps. It must once have been gorgeous, with its gold letters and scarlet towns, its green seas and its blue rivers. The Red Sea is still red, but the Mediterranean is chocolate brown, and all the green has disappeared. The mounted figure in the lower right-hand corner is probably the author, Richard de Haldingham. The map is surmounted by a representation of the Last Judgment, below which is Paradise as a circular island, with the four rivers and the figures of Adam and Eve. In the centre is Jerusalem. The world is divided into three—Asia, "Affrica," and Europe. Around this earth-island flows the ocean. America is, of course, absent; the East is placed at Paradise and the West at the Pillars of Hercules. North and South are left to the imagination.

And what of the famous map of Juan de la Cosa, once pilot to Columbus, drawn in the fifteenth century, with St. Christopher carrying the infant Christ across the water, supposed to be a portrait of Christopher Columbus carrying the gospel to America? It is the first map in which a dim outline appears of the New World.

The early maps of "Apphrica" are filled with camels and unicorns, lions and tigers, veiled figures and the turrets and spires of strange buildings—

"Geographers in Afric maps With savage pictures fill their gaps."

"Surely," says a modern writer,—"surely the old cartographer was less concerned to fill his gaps than to express the poetry of geography."

And to-day, there are still gaps in the most modern maps of Africa, where one-eleventh of the whole area remains unexplored. Further, in Asia the problem of the Brahmaputra Falls is yet unsolved; there are shores untrodden and rivers unsurveyed.

"God hath given us some things, and not all things, that our successors also might have somewhat to do," wrote Barents in the sixteenth century. There may not be much left, but with the words of Kipling's Explorer we may fitly conclude—

"Something hidden. Go and find it. Go and look behind the Ranges— Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you. Go!"

Thanks are due to Mr. S. G. Stubbs for valuable assistance in the selection and preparation of the illustrations, which, with few exceptions, have been executed under his directions.



CONTENTS

CHAP. PAGE I. A LITTLE OLD WORLD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 II. EARLY MARINERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 III. IS THE WORLD FLAT? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 IV. HERODOTUS—THE TRAVELLER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 V. ALEXANDER THE GREAT EXPLORES INDIA . . . . . . . . . . . 35 VI. PYTHEAS FINDS THE BRITISH ISLES . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 VII. JULIUS CAESAR AS EXPLORER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 VIII. STRABO'S GEOGRAPHY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 IX. THE ROMAN EMPIRE AND PLINY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 X. PTOLEMY'S MAPS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 XI. PILGRIM TRAVELLERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 XII. IRISH EXPLORERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83 XIII. AFTER MOHAMMED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 XIV. THE VIKINGS SAIL THE NORTHERN SEAS . . . . . . . . . . . 93 XV. ARAB WAYFARERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98 XVI. TRAVELLERS TO THE EAST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107 XVII. MARCO POLO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 XVIII. THE END OF MEDIAEVAL EXPLORATION . . . . . . . . . . . . 126 XIX. MEDIAEVAL MAPS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133 XX. PRINCE HENRY OF PORTUGAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138 XXI. BARTHOLOMEW DIAZ REACHES THE STORMY CAPE . . . . . . . . 150 XXII. CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155 XXIII. A GREAT NEW WORLD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165 XXIV. VASCO DA GAMA REACHES INDIA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 171 XXV. DISCOVERY OF THE SPICE ISLANDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180 XXVI. BALBOA SEES THE PACIFIC OCEAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . 190 XXVII. MAGELLAN SAILS ROUND THE WORLD . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195 XXVIII. CORTES EXPLORES AND CONQUERS MEXICO . . . . . . . . . . 205 XXIX. EXPLORERS IN SOUTH AMERICA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 215 XXX. CABOT SAILS TO NEWFOUNDLAND . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 224 XXXI. JACQUES CARTIER EXPLORES CANADA . . . . . . . . . . . . 228 XXXII. SEARCH FOR A NORTH-EAST PASSAGE . . . . . . . . . . . . 235 XXXIII. MARTIN FROBISHER SEARCHES FOR A NORTH-WEST PASSAGE . . . 245 XXXIV. DRAKE'S FAMOUS VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD . . . . . . . . . 249 XXXV. DAVIS STRAIT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 259 XXXVI. BARENTS SAILS TO SPITZBERGEN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 265 XXXVII. HUDSON FINDS HIS BAY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 273 XXXVIII. BAFFIN FINDS HIS BAY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 280 XXXIX. SIR WALTER RALEIGH SEARCHES FOR EL DORADO . . . . . . . 285 XL. CHAMPLAIN DISCOVERS LAKE ONTARIO . . . . . . . . . . . . 290 XLI. EARLY DISCOVERERS OF AUSTRALIA . . . . . . . . . . . . . 296 XLII. TASMAN FINDS TASMANIA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 302 XLIII. DAMPIER DISCOVERS HIS STRAIT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 306 XLIV. BEHRING FINDS HIS STRAIT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 312 XLV. COOK DISCOVERS NEW ZEALAND . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 319 XLVI. COOK'S THIRD VOYAGE AND DEATH . . . . . . . . . . . . . 330 XLVII. BRUCE'S TRAVELS IN ABYSSINIA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 339 XLVIII. MUNGO PARK AND THE NIGER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 348 XLIX. VANCOUVER DISCOVERS HIS ISLAND . . . . . . . . . . . . . 357 L. MACKENZIE AND HIS RIVER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 362 LI. PARRY DISCOVERS LANCASTER SOUND . . . . . . . . . . . . 365 LII. THE FROZEN NORTH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 372 LIII. FRANKLIN'S LAND JOURNEY TO THE NORTH . . . . . . . . . . 382 LIV. PARRY'S POLAR VOYAGE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 388 LV. THE SEARCH FOR TIMBUKTU . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 391 LVI. RICHARD AND JOHN LANDER DISCOVER THE MOUTH OF THE NIGER 399 LVII. ROSS DISCOVERS THE NORTH MAGNETIC POLE . . . . . . . . . 403 LVIII. FLINDERS NAMES AUSTRALIA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 410 LIX. STURT'S DISCOVERIES IN AUSTRALIA . . . . . . . . . . . . 419 LX. ROSS MAKES DISCOVERIES IN THE ANTARCTIC SEAS . . . . . . 428 LXI. FRANKLIN DISCOVERS THE NORTH-WEST PASSAGE . . . . . . . 432 LXII. DAVID LIVINGSTONE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 440 LXIII. BURTON AND SPEKE IN CENTRAL AFRICA . . . . . . . . . . . 450 LXIV. LIVINGSTONE TRACES LAKE SHIRWA AND NYASSA . . . . . . . 456 LXV. EXPEDITION TO VICTORIA NYANZA . . . . . . . . . . . . . 460 LXVI. BAKER FINDS ALBERT NYANZA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 467 LXVII. LIVINGSTONE'S LAST JOURNEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 474 LXVIII. THROUGH THE DARK CONTINENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 486 LXIX. NORDENSKIOLD ACCOMPLISHES THE NORTH-EAST PASSAGE . . . . 501 LXX. THE EXPLORATION OF TIBET . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 511 LXXI. NANSEN REACHES FARTHEST NORTH . . . . . . . . . . . . . 521 LXXII. PEARY REACHES THE NORTH POLE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 530 LXXIII. THE QUEST FOR THE SOUTH POLE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 536

DATES OF CHIEF EVENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 545 INDEX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 549



COLOURED ILLUSTRATIONS

Ptolemy's Map of the World about A.D. 150 . . . . . . Frontispiece Taken from the first printed edition of 1472 and the Rome edition of 1508.

FACING PAGE The Polos leaving Venice for their Travels to the Far East . . . 118 From a Miniature at the head of a late 14th century MS. of the Travels of Marco Polo, in the Bodleian Library, Oxford.

The Hereford Mappa Mundi of 1280 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134 The original, made by RICHARD DE HALDINGHAM, Prebendary of Hereford, hangs in the Chapter House Library, Hereford Cathedral.

Map of the World drawn in 1500, the first to show America . . . . 168 By JUAN DE LA COSA.

The Dauphin Map of the World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 234 Made by PIERRE DESCELLIERS 1546, by order of Francis I. for the Dauphin (Henri II.) of France.

Barents's Ship among the Arctic Ice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 270 From a coloured woodcut in Barents's Three Voyages (De Veer), published in 1598.

Ross's Winter Quarters in Felix Harbour . . . . . . . . . . . . . 404

The First Communication With Eskimos at Boothia Felix, 1830 . . . 404 From Drawings by ROSS in the Narrative of his Expedition to the North Magnetic Pole, A Second Voyage in Search of a North-West Passage, 1829-33.

Shackleton's Ship, the Nimrod, among the Ice in McMurdo Sound . 538 From The Heart of the Antarctic (published by Heinemann), by kind permission of Sir ERNEST SHACKLETON.



BLACK & WHITE ILLUSTRATIONS

FACING PAGE The Unrolling of the Clouds: the World as known at the time of Homer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

The Unrolling of the Clouds: the World as known at the time of Ptolemy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74

The Unrolling of the Clouds: the World as known at the end of the 13th century . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120

The Best Portrait of Columbus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158 From the original Painting by an unknown artist in the Naval Museum, Madrid.

The Unrolling of the Clouds: the World as known at the time of Columbus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 166

Amerigo Vespucci . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170 From the Sculpture by GRAZZINI at the Uffizi Gallery, Florence.

Ferdinand Magellan, the first Circumnavigator . . . . . . . . . . 198 From the Engraving by FERDINAND SELMA.

Sir Francis Drake, the first Englishman to sail round the World . 252 After the Engraving attributed to HONDIUS.

The Unrolling of the Clouds: the World as known at the time of Drake . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 258

Karakakova Bay, where Captain Cook was murdered . . . . . . . . . 334 From the Engraving in the Atlas to COOK'S Voyages.

The Unrolling of the Clouds: the World as known at the time of Cook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 336

Mungo Park . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 350 From the Engraving in PARK'S Travels into the Interior of Africa, 1799.

Search for a North-West Passage: Parry's Ships cutting through the Ice into Winter Harbour, 1819 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 370 From a Drawing by WILLIAM WESTALL, A.R.A., of a Sketch by Lieut. BEECHEY, a member of the expedition. From PARRY'S Journal of a Voyage for the Discovery of the North-West Passage.

Lhasa and the Potala . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 520 From a Photograph by a member of Younghusband's Expedition to Thibet.

At the North Pole . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 534 From the Photograph in Admiral PEARY'S book The North Pole.

Captain Roald Amundsen taking Sights at the South Pole . . . . . 544 From a Photograph.

Acknowledgment is due to the courtesy of Mr. John Murray and the Illustrated London News for the photograph taken at the South Pole, facing page 544; to Admiral Peary for that taken at the North Pole, facing page 534; and to Sir Ernest Shackleton and Mr. Heinemann for the colour-plate of the Nimrod. Permissions have also been granted by Mr. John Murray (for illustrations from Livingstone's books and Admiral McClintock's Voyage of the Fox); by Messrs. Macmillan (for the colour-plate of the Polos leaving Venice, from the Bodleian); and by Messrs. Sampson, Low, Marston, & Co. (for illustrations from Sir H. M. Stanley's books).



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS IN THE TEXT

PAGE The Garden of Eden with its Four Rivers . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 From the Hereford Map of the World.

Babylonian Map of the World on Clay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 In the British Museum.

The oldest known Ships: between 6000 and 5000 B.C. . . . . . . . 4 From a pre-Egyptian Vase-painting.

Egyptian Ship of the Expedition to Punt, about 1600 B.C. . . . . 7 From a Rock-carving at Der el Bahari.

The Ark on Ararat, and the Cities of Nineveh and Babylon . . . . 8 From LEONARDO DATI'S Map of 1422.

A Phoenician Ship, about 700 B.C. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 From a Bas-relief at Nineveh.

Map of the Voyage of the Argonauts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

The Pillars of Hercules, as shown in a Mediaeval Map . . . . . . 20 HIGDEN'S Map of the World. 1360 A.D.

The Pillars of Hercules, as shown in the Anglo-Saxon Map of the World, 10th century . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

A Greek Galley, about 500 B.C. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 From a Vase-painting.

Jerusalem, the Centre of the World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 From the Hereford Map of the World, 13th century.

A Merchant-Ship of Athens, about 500 B.C. . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 From a Vase-painting.

The Coast of Africa, after Ptolemy (Mercator's Edition), showing Hanno's Voyage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

A Sketch Map of Alexander's Chief Exploratory Marches from Athens to Hyderabad and Gaza . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

Alexandria in Pizzigani's Map, 14th century . . . . . . . . . . . 44

North Britain and the Island of Thule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 From MERCATOR'S edition of Ptolemy's Map.

A Portion of an old Roman Map of the World, showing the roads through the Empire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 From the Peutinger Table.

The World-Island according to Strabo, 18 A.D. . . . . . . . . . . 65

Hull of a Roman Merchant-Ship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 From a Roman model at Greenwich.

A Roman Galley, about 110 A.D. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 From Trajan's Column at Rome.

The First Stages of a Mediaeval Pilgrimage, London to Dover . . . 78 From MATTHEW OF PARIS'S Itinerary, 13th century.

Jerusalem and the East . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 From MATTHEW OF PARIS'S Itinerary, 13th century.

Ireland and St. Brandon's Isle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85 From the Catalan Map, 1375.

The Mysterious Isle of St. Brandon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 From MARTIN BEHAIM'S Map, 1492.

The World-Map of Cosmas, 6th century . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 The oldest Christian Map.

The Mountain of Cosmas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91

A Viking Ship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 From Professor MONTELIUS'S book on Scandinavian archaeology.

A Khalif on his Throne . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99 From the Ancona Map, 1497.

A Chinese Emperor giving Audience, 9th century . . . . . . . . . 100 From an old Chinese MS. at Paris.

The Scene of Sindbad's Voyages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 From EDRISI'S Map, 1154.

Sindbad's Giant Roc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 From an Oriental Miniature Painting.

Jerusalem and the Pilgrims' Ways to it, 12th century . . . . . . 109 From a Map of the 12th century at Brussels.

Two Emperors of Tartary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110 From the Catalan Map, 1375.

A Tartar Camp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111 From the Borgian Map, 1453.

Initial Letter from the MS. of Rubruquis at Cambridge . . . . . . 113

How the Brothers Polo set out from Constantinople with their nephew Marco for China . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116 From a Miniature Painting in 14th century Livre des Merveilles.

Marco Polo lands at Ormuz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117 From a Miniature in the Livre des Merveilles.

Kublai Khan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119 From an old Chinese Encyclopaedia at Paris.

Marco Polo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123 From a Woodcut in the first printed edition of MARCO POLO'S Travels, 1477.

A Japanese Fight against the Chinese at the time when Marco Polo first saw the Japanese . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125 From an ancient Japanese Painting.

Sir John Mandeville on his Travels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127 From a MS. in the British Museum.

An Emperor of Tartary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129 From the Map ascribed to SEBASTIAN CABOT, 1544.

A Caravan in Cathay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131 From the Catalan Map, 1375.

The Turin Map of the World, 8th century . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134

A T-map, 10th century . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135

A T-map, 13th century . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135

The Kaiser holding the World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136 From a 12th-century MS.

The "Anglo-Saxon" Map of the World, drawn about 990 A.D. . . . . 137 From the Cotton MSS. in the British Museum.

Africa—from Ceuta to Madeira . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141 From FRA MAURO'S Map, 1457.

The Voyage to Cape Blanco from Cape Bojador . . . . . . . . . . . 142 From FRA MAURO'S Map, 1457.

A Portion of Africa illustrating Cadamosto's Voyage beyond Cape Blanco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146 From FRA MAURO'S Map, 1457.

Sketch of Africa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147 From FRA MAURO'S Map of the World, 1457.

Negro Boys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151 From CABOT'S Map, 1544.

The West Coast of Africa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153 From MARTIN BEHAIM'S Map, 1492.

The Parting of Columbus with Ferdinand and Isabella, 3rd August 1492 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156 From DE BRY'S account of the Voyages to India, 1601.

Columbus's Ship, the Santa Maria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158 From a Woodcut of 1493, supposed to be after a Drawing by COLUMBUS.

Columbus landing on Hispaniola . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160 From a Woodcut of 1494.

The first Representation of the People of the New World . . . . . 163 From a Woodcut published at Augsburg between 1497 and 1504.

The Town of Isabella and the Colony founded by Columbus . . . . . 166 From a Woodcut of 1494.

Vasco da Gama . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 173 From a contemporary Portrait.

Africa as it was known after da Gama's Expeditions . . . . . . . 175 From JUAN DE LA COSA'S Map of 1500.

Calicut and the Southern Indian Coast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 177 From JUAN DE LA COSA'S Map, 1500.

The Malabar Coast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183 From FRA MAURO'S Map.

A Ship of Albuquerque's Fleet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185 From a very fine Woodcut in the British Museum.

A Ship of Java and the China Seas in the 16th century . . . . . . 187 From LINSCHOTEN'S Navigatio ac Itinerarium, 1598.

One of the first Maps of the Pacific . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 193 From DIEGO RIBERO'S Map, 1529.

Magellan's Fleet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 197 From MERCATOR'S Mappe Monde, 1569.

A Ship of the 16th century . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 199 From AMORETTI'S translation of Magellan's Voyage round the World.

"Hondius his Map of the Magellan Streight" . . . . . . . . . . . 201 From a Map by JODOCUS HONDIUS, about 1590.

The first Ship that sailed round the World . . . . . . . . . . . 203 Magellan's Victoria, from HULSIUS'S Collection of Voyages, 1602.

Hernando Cortes, Conqueror of Mexico . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 207 After the original Portrait at Mexico.

The Battles of the Spaniards in Mexico . . . . . . . . . . . . . 213 From an ancient Aztec Drawing.

Pizarro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 217 From the Portrait at Cuzco.

Peru and South America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219 From the Map of the World, 1544, usually ascribed to SEBASTIAN CABOT.

Peruvian Warriors of the Inca Period . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 223 From an ancient Peruvian Painting.

Part of North America, showing Sebastian Cabot's Voyage to Newfoundland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 225 From the Map of 1544, usually ascribed to CABOT.

Jacques Cartier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229 From an old Pen-drawing at the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris.

Canada and the River St. Lawrence, showing Quebec . . . . . . . . 231 From LESCARBOT'S Histoire de la Nouvelle France, 1609.

New France, showing Newfoundland, Labrador, and the St. Lawrence 233 From JOCOMO DI GASTALDI'S Map, about 1550.

Ivan Vasiliwich, King of Muscovie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 239 From an old Woodcut.

Anthony Jenkinson's Map of Russia, Muscovy, and Tartary . . . . 242-3 Published in 1562.

Greenlanders as seen by Martin Frobisher . . . . . . . . . . . . 247 From Captain BESTE'S Account of Frobisher's Voyages, 1578.

Sir Francis Drake . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 249 From HOLLAND'S Heroologia, 1620.

The Silver Map of the World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 252 From Medallion in British Museum.

The Silver Map of the World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 253 From Medallion in British Museum.

The Golden Hind at New Albion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 255 From the Chart of Drake's Voyages.

The Golden Hind at Java . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 257 From the Chart of Drake's Voyages.

An Eskimo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 261 From a Water-colour Drawing by JOHN WHITE, about 1585.

A Ship of the late 16th century . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 266 From Ortelius, 1598.

Nova Zembla and the Arctic Regions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 267 From a Map in DE BRY'S Grands Voyages, 1598.

Barents in the Arctic—"Hut wherein we wintered" . . . . . . . . 269 From DE VEER'S Account of the Voyages of Barents, 1598.

Hudson's Map of his Voyages in the Arctic . . . . . . . . . . . . 275 From his Book published in 1612.

A Ship of Hudson's Fleet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 277 From his Voyages, 1612.

Baffin's Map of his Voyages to the North . . . . . . . . . . . . 283 From original MS., drawn by BAFFIN, in the British Museum.

Sir Walter Raleigh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 287

Raleigh's Map of Guinea, El Dorado, and the Orinoco Coast . . . . 289 From the original Map, drawn by RALEIGH, in British Museum.

The first Settlement at Quebec . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 291 From CHAMPLAIN'S Voyages, 1613.

The Defeat of the Iroquois by Champlain . . . . . . . . . . . . . 293 From a Drawing in CHAMPLAIN'S Voyages, 1613.

An early Map of "Terra Australis" called "Java la Grande" . . . . 297 From the "Dauphin" Map of 1546.

The Wreck of Captain Pelsart's Ship, the Batavia, on the Coast of New Holland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 301 From the Dutch account of PELSART'S Voyages, 1647.

Van Diemen's Land and two of Tasman's Ships . . . . . . . . . . . 304 From the Map drawn by TASMAN in his "Journal."

Dampier's Ship, the Cygnet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 309 From a Drawing in the Dutch edition of his Voyage Round the World, 1698.

Dampier's Strait and the Island of New Britain . . . . . . . . . 311 From a Map in DAMPIER'S Voyages, 1697.

Chart of Behring's Voyage from Kamtchatka to North America . . . 317 From a Chart drawn in 1741 by Lieut. WAXELL.

The Island of Otaheite, or St. George . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 321 From a Painting by WILLIAM HODGES.

A Maori Fort on the Coast between Poverty Bay and Cape Turnagain 323 From an Engraving in the Atlas to COOK'S first Voyage.

Captain Cook's Vessel beached at the Entrance of Endeavour River 327 From an Engraving in the Atlas to COOK'S first Voyage.

Captain James Cook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 333 From the Painting by DANCE in the Gallery of Greenwich Hospital.

Port Jackson and Sydney Cove . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 337 From the Atlas to the Voyage de l'Astrolabe.

A Nile Boat, or Canja . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 341 From BRUCE'S Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile.

An Arab Sheikh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 343 From BRUCE'S Travels.

The Camp of Ali, the Mohammedan Chief, at Benown . . . . . . . . 353 From a Sketch by MUNGO PARK.

Kamalia, a Native Village near the Southern Course of the Niger . 355 From a Sketch by MUNGO PARK.

A Native Woman washing Gold in Senegal . . . . . . . . . . . . . 356 From a Sketch by MUNGO PARK, made on his last expedition.

Vancouver's Ship, the Discovery, on the Rocks in Queen Charlotte's Sound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 360 From a Drawing in VANCOUVER'S Voyage, 1798.

Parry's Ships, the Hecla and Griper, in Winter Harbour . . . 369 From a Drawing in PARRY'S Voyage for the North-West Passage, 1821.

The North Shore of Lancaster Sound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 371 From a Drawing in PARRY'S Voyage for the North-West Passage, 1821.

A Winter View of Fort Enterprise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 375 From a Drawing, by WILLIAM BACK, in Franklin's Journey to the Polar Sea, 1823.

Franklin's Expedition to the Polar Sea on the Ice . . . . . . . . 377 From a Drawing, by WILLIAM BACK, in Franklin's Journey to the Polar Sea, 1823.

An Eskimo watching a Seal Hole . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 379 From a Drawing in PARRY'S Second Voyage for a North-West Passage, 1824.

Fort Franklin, on the Great Bear Lake, in the Winter . . . . . . 383 From a Drawing in FRANKLIN'S Second Expedition to the Polar Sea, 1828.

Franklin's Expedition crossing Back's Inlet . . . . . . . . . . . 385 From a Drawing, by Lieut. BACK, in Franklin's Second Expedition to the Polar Sea, 1828.

The Boats of Parry's Expedition hauled up on the Ice for the Night . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 389 From a Drawing in PARRY'S Attempt to Reach the North Pole, 1828.

Major Denham and his Party received by the Sheikh of Bornu . . . 393 From a Drawing by Major DENHAM.

The first European Picture of Timbuktu . . . . . . . . . . . . . 397 From a Drawing in CAILLE'S Tomboctou, 1829.

Richard and John Lander paddling down the Niger . . . . . . . . . 401 From a Drawing in the account of LANDER'S Travels, 1835.

The Rosses on their Journey to the North Magnetic Pole . . . . . 407 From a Drawing in ROSS'S Second Voyage for a North-West Passage, 1835.

"Somerset House," Ross's Winter Quarters on Fury Beach . . . . . 409 From a Drawing in ROSS'S Second Voyage for a North-West Passage, 1835.

Matthew Flinders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 411

Cape Catastrophe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 415 From FLINDERS' Voyages.

The Huts of the Crew of the Porpoise on the Sandbank, Wreck Reef . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 418 From FLINDERS' Voyages.

Captain Sturt at the Junction of the Rivers Darling and Murray . 423 From the Narrative of Sturt's Expedition.

The Burke and Wills Expedition leaving Melbourne, 1860 . . . . . 425 From a Drawing by WILLIAM STRUTT, an acquaintance of Burke.

Burke and Wills at Cooper's Creek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 426 From a Woodcut in a contemporary Australian account of the expedition.

Part of the Great Southern Ice Barrier . . . . . . . . . . . . . 431 From ROSS'S Voyage in the Antarctic Regions.

Eskimos at Cape York watching the approach of the Fox . . . . . 434 From McCLINTOCK'S Voyage in Search of Franklin.

The Three Graves on Beechey Island . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 435 From McCLINTOCK'S Voyage in Search of Franklin.

Exploring Parties starting from the Fox . . . . . . . . . . . . 437 From McCLINTOCK'S Voyage in Search of Franklin.

Livingstone, with his Wife and Family, at the Discovery of Lake Ngami . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 441 From LIVINGSTONE'S Missionary Travels.

The "Smoke" of the Zambesi (Victoria) Falls . . . . . . . . . . . 447 After a Drawing in LIVINGSTONE'S Missionary Travels.

Burton in a Dug-out on Lake Tanganyika . . . . . . . . . . . . . 451 After a Drawing by BURTON.

Burton and his Companions on the march to Victoria Nyanza . . . . 453 From a Humorous Sketch by BURTON.

The Ma-Robert on the Zambesi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 457 After a Drawing in LIVINGSTONE'S Expedition to the Zambesi.

M'tesa, King of Uganda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 462 From SPEKE'S Journey to Discover the Source of the Nile.

The Ripon Falls on the Victoria Nyanza . . . . . . . . . . . . . 463 From SPEKE'S Journey to Discover the Source of the Nile.

Captains Speke and Grant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 465

Baker and his Wife crossing the Nubian Desert . . . . . . . . . . 469 From BAKER'S Travels.

Baker's Boat in a Storm on Lake Albert Nyanza . . . . . . . . . . 471 From BAKER'S Albert Nyanza.

The Discovery of Lake Bangweolo, 1868 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 479 From LIVINGSTONE'S Last Journals, by permission of Mr. John Murray.

Livingstone at Work on his Journal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 481 From a Sketch by H. M. STANLEY.

Livingstone entering the Hut at Ilala on the Night that he Died . 483 From LIVINGSTONE'S Last Journals, by permission of Mr. John Murray.

The last Entries in Livingstone's Diary . . . . . . . . . . . . . 484

Susi, Livingstone's Servant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 485 From a Sketch by H. M. STANLEY.

Stanley and his Men marching through Unyoro . . . . . . . . . . . 489 From a Sketch, by STANLEY, in Through the Dark Continent.

"Towards the Unknown": Stanley's Canoes starting from Vinya Njara . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 495 From Through the Dark Continent.

The Seventh Cataract—Stanley Falls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 496 From Through the Dark Continent.

The Fight below the Confluence of the Aruwimi and Livingstone Rivers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 497 From a Sketch, by STANLEY, in Through the Dark Continent.

Nordenskiold's Ship, the Vega, saluting Cape Chelyuskin . . . . 505 From a Drawing in HOVGAARD'S Nordenskiold's Voyage.

Menka, Chief of the Chukches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 507

The Vega frozen in for the Winter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 509 From a Drawing in HOVGAARD'S Nordenskiold's Voyage.

The Potala at Lhasa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 513 From KIRCHER'S China Illustrata.

Dr. Nansen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 525 After a Photograph.

The Ship that went Farthest North: the Fram . . . . . . . . . . 527 From a Photograph.



A BOOK OF DISCOVERY



CHAPTER I

A LITTLE OLD WORLD

No story is complete unless it begins at the very beginning. But where is the beginning? Where is the dawn of geography—the knowledge of our earth? What was it like before the first explorers made their way into distant lands? Every day that passes we are gaining fresh knowledge of the dim and silent past.

Every day men are patiently digging in the old heaps that were once the sites of busy cities, and, as a result of their unwearying toil, they are revealing to us the life-stories of those who dwelt therein; they are disclosing secrets writ on weather-worn stones and tablets, bricks and cylinders, never before even guessed at.

Thus we read the wondrous story of ancient days, and breathlessly wonder what marvellous discovery will thrill us next.

For the earliest account of the old world—a world made up apparently of a little land and a little water—we turn to an old papyrus, the oldest in existence, which tells us in familiar words, unsurpassed for their exquisite poetry and wondrous simplicity, of that great dateless time so full of mystery and awe.

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was waste and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep: and the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.... And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God ... divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament.... And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear.... And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas."

Thus beautifully did the children of men express their earliest idea of the world's distribution of land and water.

And where, on our modern maps, was this little earth, and what was it like? Did trees and flowers cover the land? Did rivers flow into the sea? Listen again to the old tradition that still rings down the ages—

"And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden ... and a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became four heads. The name of the first is Pison ... and the name of the second river is Gihon; the name of the third river is Hiddekel (Tigris). And the fourth river is Euphrates."



Now look at a modern map of Asia. Between Arabia and Persia there is a long valley watered by the Tigris and Euphrates, rivers which rise in Armenia and flow into the Persian Gulf. This region was the traditional "cradle of the human race." Around and beyond was a great world, a world with great surging seas, with lands of trees and flowers, a world with continents and lakes and bays and capes, with islands and mountains and rivers.

There were vast deserts of sand rolling away to right and to left; there were mountains up which no man had climbed; there were stormy seas over which no ship had ever sailed. But these men of old had never explored far. They believed that their world was just a very little world with no other occupants than themselves. They believed it to be flat, with mountains at either end on which rested a solid metal dome known as the "firmament."

In this shining circle were windows, in and out of which the sun would creep by day and the moon and stars by night. And the whole of this world was, they thought, balanced on the waters. There was water above, the "waters that be above the firmament," and water below, and water all round.



Long ages pass away. Let us look again at the green valley of the Euphrates and Tigris. It has been called the "nursery of nations"—names have been given to various regions round about, and cities have arisen on the banks of the rivers. Babylonia, Mesopotamia, Chaldea, Assyria—all these long names belonged to this region, and around each centres some of the most interesting history and legend in the world.

Rafts on the river and caravans on the land carried merchandise far and wide—men made their way to the "Sea of the Rising Sun," as they called the Persian Gulf, and to the "Sea of the Setting Sun," as they called the Mediterranean. They settled on the shores of the Caspian Sea, on the shores of the Black Sea, on the shores of the Red Sea. They carried on magnificent trade—cedar, pine, and cypress were brought from Lebanon to Chaldea, limestone and marble from Syria, copper and lead from the shores of the Black Sea.

And these dwellers about Babylonia built up a wonderful civilisation. They had temples and brick-built houses, libraries of tablets revealing knowledge of astronomy and astrology; they had a literature of their own. Suddenly from out the city of Ur (Kerbela), near the ancient mouth of the Euphrates, appears a traveller. There had doubtless been many before, but records are scanty and hard to piece together, and a detailed account of a traveller with a name is very interesting.

"Abram went ... forth to go into the land of Canaan.... And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the South. And there was a famine in the land. And Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there." He would have travelled by the chief caravan routes of Syria into Egypt. Here about the fertile mouth of the Nile he would have found an ancient civilisation as wonderful as that to which he was accustomed in Babylonia. It was a grain-growing country, and when there was famine in other lands, there was always "corn in Egypt"—thanks to the mighty life-giving Nile.

But we must not linger over the old civilisation, over the wonderful Empire governed by the Pharaohs or kings, first from Memphis (Cairo) and then from the hundred-gated Thebes; must not linger over these old pyramid builders, the temple, sphinxes, and statues of ancient Egypt. Before even Abram came into their country we find the Egyptians famous for their shipping and navigation. Old pictures and tombs recently discovered tell us this.



On the coast of the Red Sea they built their long, narrow ships, which were rowed by some twenty paddlers on either side, and steered by three men standing in the stern. With one mast and a large sail they flew before the wind. They had to go far afield for their wood; we find an Egyptian being sent "to cut down four forests in the South in order to build three large vessels ... out of acacia wood."

Petrie tells us of an Egyptian sailor who was sent to Punt or Somaliland "to fetch for Pharaoh sweet-smelling spices." He was shipwrecked on the way, and this is the account of his adventures—

"'I was going,' he relates, 'to the mines of Pharaoh and I went down on the sea on a ship with a hundred and fifty sailors of the best of Egypt, whose hearts were stronger than lions. They had said that the wind would be contrary, or that there would be none. But as we approached the land the wind rose and threw up high waves. As for me, I seized a piece of wood; but those who were in the vessel perished, without one remaining. A wave threw me on an island; after that I had been three days alone without a companion beside my own heart, I laid me in a thicket, and the shadow covered me. I found figs and grapes, all manner of good herbs, berries and grain, melons of all kinds, fishes and birds. I lighted a fire and I made a burnt-offering unto the gods. Suddenly I heard a noise as of thunder, which I thought to be that of a wave of the sea. The trees shook and the earth was moved. I uncovered my eyes and I saw that a serpent drew near; his body was as if overlaid with gold, and his colour as that of true lazuli.'

"'What has brought thee here, little one, to this isle, which is in the sea and of which the shores are in the midst of the waves?' asked the serpent.

"The sailor told his story kneeling on his knees, with his face bowed to the ground.

"'Fear not, little one, and make not thy face sad,' continued the serpent, 'for it is God who has brought thee to this isle of the blest, where nothing is lacking and which is filled with all good things. Thou shalt be four months in this isle. Then a ship shall come from thy land with sailors, and thou shalt go to thy country. As for me, I am a prince of the land of Punt. I am here with my brethren and children around me; we are seventy-five serpents, children and kindred.'

"Then the grateful sailor promised to bring all the treasures of Egypt back to Punt, and 'I shall tell of thy presence unto Pharaoh; I shall make him to know of thy greatness,' said the Egyptian stranger.

"But the strange prince of Punt only smiled.

"'Thou shalt never more see this isle,' he said; 'it shall be changed into waves.'"

Everything came to pass as the serpent said. The ship came, gifts were lavished on the sailor from Egypt, perfumes of cassia, of sweet woods, of cypress, incense, ivory tusks, baboons, and apes, and thus laden he sailed home to his own people.



Long centuries after this we get another glimpse at the land of Punt. This time it is in the reign of Queen Hatshepsu, who sent a great trading expedition into this famous country. Five ships started from Thebes, sailing down the river Nile and probably reaching the Red Sea by means of a canal. Navigation in the Red Sea was difficult; the coast was steep and inhospitable; no rivers ran into it. Only a few fishing villages lay along the coasts used by Egyptian merchants as markets for mother-of-pearl, emeralds, gold, and sweet-smelling perfumes. Thence the ships continued their way, the whole voyage taking about two months. Arrived at Punt, the Egyptian commander pitched his tents upon the shore, to the great astonishment of the inhabitants.

"Why have ye come hither unto this land, which the people of Egypt know not?" asked the Chief of Punt. "Have ye come through the sky? Did ye sail upon the waters or upon the sea?"

Presents from the Queen of Egypt were at once laid before the Chief of Punt, and soon the seashore was alive with people. The ships were drawn up, gang-planks were very heavily laden with "marvels of the country of Punt." There were heaps of myrrh, resin, of fresh myrrh trees, ebony and pure ivory, cinnamon wood, incense, baboons, monkeys, dogs, natives, and children. "Never was the like brought to any king of Egypt since the world stands." And the ships voyaged safely back to Thebes with all their booty and with pleasant recollections of the people of Somaliland.



In spite of these little expeditions the Egyptian world seemed still very small. The Egyptians thought of the earth with its land and sea as a long, oblong sort of box, the centre of which was Egypt. The sky stretched over it like an iron ceiling, the part toward the earth being sprinkled with lamps hung from strong cables lighted by night and extinguished by day. Four forked trunks of trees upheld the sky roof. But lest some storm should overthrow these tree trunks there were four lofty peaks connected by chains of mountains. The southern peak was known as the "Horn of the Earth," the eastern, the "Mountain of Birth," the western, the "Region of Life," the northern was invisible. And why? Because they thought the Great Sea, the "Very Green," the Mediterranean, lay between it and Egypt. Beyond these mountain peaks, supporting the world, rolled a great river, an ocean stream, and the sun was as a ball of fire placed on a boat and carried round the ramparts of the world by the all-encircling water.

So we realise that the people living in Babylonia about the river Euphrates, and those living in Egypt about the river Nile, had very strange ideas about the little old world around them.



CHAPTER II

EARLY MARINERS

The law of the universe is progress and expansion, and this little old world was soon discovered to be larger than men thought.

Now in Syria—the highway between Babylonia and Egypt—dwelt a tribe of dusky people known as Phoenicians. Some have thought that they were related to our old friends in Somaliland, and that long years ago they had migrated north to the seacoast of that part of Syria known as Canaan.

Living on the seashore, washed by the tideless Mediterranean, they soon became skilful sailors. They built ships and ventured forth on the deep; they made their way to the islands of Cyprus and Crete and thence to the islands of Greece, bringing back goods from other countries to barter with their less daring neighbours. They reached Greece itself and cruised along the northern coast of the Great Sea to Italy, along the coast of Spain to the Rock of Gibraltar, and out into the open Atlantic.

How their little sailing boats lived through the storms of that great ocean none may know, for Phoenician records are lost, but we have every reason to believe that they reached the northern coast of France and brought back tin from the islands known to them as the Tin Islands. In their home markets were found all manner of strange things from foreign unknown lands, discovered by these master mariners—the admiration of the ancient world.



"The ships of Tarshish," said the old poet, "did sing of thee in thy market, and thou wast replenished and made very glorious in the midst of the seas; thy rowers have brought thee into great waters; the east wind hath broken thee in the midst of the seas."

All the world knew of the Phoenician seaports, Tyre and Sidon. They were as famous as Memphis and Thebes on the Nile, as magnificent as Nineveh on the Tigris and Babylon on the Euphrates. Men spoke of the "renowned city of Tyre," whose merchants were as princes, whose "traffickers" were among the honourable of the earth. "O thou that art situate at the entry of the sea," cries the poet again, when the greatness of Tyre was passing away, "which art a merchant of the people from many isles.... Thy borders are in the midst of the seas; thy builders have perfected thy beauty. They have made all thy ship-boards of fir trees ... they have taken cedars of Lebanon to make masts for thee. Of the oaks of Basan have they made thy oars.... Fine linen with broidered work from Egypt was that which thou spreadest forth to be thy sail.... The inhabitants of Sidon ... were thy mariners; thy wise men were thy pilots."

As time goes on, early groups round the Euphrates and the Nile continue, but new nations form and grow, new cities arise, new names appear. Centuries of men live and die, ignorant of the great world that lies about them—"Lords of the eastern world that knew no west."

England was yet unknown, America undreamt of, Australia still a desolate island in an unknown sea. The burning eastern sun shone down on to vast stretches of desert-land uninhabited by man, great rivers flowed through dreary swamps unrealised, tempestuous waves beat against their shores, and melancholy winds swept over the face of endless ocean solitudes.

And still, according to their untutored minds, the world is flat, the world is very small and it is surrounded by ever-flowing waters, beyond which all is dark and mysterious.

Around the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, revealed by the boundless energy and daring skill of the Phoenicians, there were colonies along the coasts of Africa and Europe, though they were not yet called by their names. They have discovered and explored, but they have kept their information to themselves, and they have specially refused to divulge their voyages to the Greeks.

A story is told at a later date than this of a Phoenician shipmaster who was bound for the Tin Islands, when he suddenly discovered that he was being followed by a strange ship evidently bent on finding out where these unknown islands lay. The Phoenician purposely ran his ship on to a shoal in order to keep the secret of the discovery. When he returned home his conduct was upheld by the State!

But though the Phoenicians have left us no record of their travels and voyages, they had been the carriers of knowledge, and it was from them that the Greeks learnt of "the extreme regions of the world" and of the dim "far west." Indeed, it is highly probable that from the Phoenicians they got material for their famous legend of the Argonauts and their adventures in the Black Sea. Though the story is but legendary, and it has been added to with the growing knowledge of the world, yet it gives an idea of the perils that beset the sailors of those remote ages and of their limitations.

And again we must remind ourselves that both the Phoenicians and early Greeks had, like the Egyptians and Babylonians, childish ideas as to the form of the earth. To them it was a circular plane, encircled by the ocean, which they believed to be a broad, deep-running river flowing round and round the world. Into this ocean stream ran all the rivers and seas known to them. Over the earth was raised a solid firmament of bronze in which the stars were set, and this was supported on tall pillars "which kept the heaven and the earth asunder."

The whole delightful story of the Argonauts can be read in Kingsley's "Heroes." It is the story of brave men who sailed in the ship Argo, named after the great shipbuilder Argos, to bring back the Golden Fleece from Colchis in the Black Sea.

Nowhere in all the history of exploration have we a more poetical account of the launching of a ship for distant lands: "Then they have stored her well with food and water, and pulled the ladder up on board, and settled themselves each man to his oar and kept time to Orpheus' harp; and away across the bay they rowed southward, while the people lined the cliffs; and the women wept while the men shouted at the starting of that gallant crew." They chose a captain, and the choice fell on Jason, "because he was the wisest of them all"; and they rowed on "over the long swell of the sea, past Olympus, past the wooded bays of Athos and the sacred isle; and they came past Lemnos to the Hellespont, and so on into the Propontis, which we call Marmora now." So they came to the Bosphorus, the "land then as now of bitter blasts, the land of cold and misery," and a great battle of the winds took place.



Then the Argonauts came out into the open sea—the Black Sea. No Greek had ever crossed it, and even the heroes, for all their courage, feared "that dreadful sea and its rocks and shoals and fogs and bitter freezing storms," and they trembled as they saw it "stretching out before them without a shore, as far as the eye could see."

Wearily they sailed on past the coast of Asia; they passed Sinope and the cities of the Amazons, the warlike women of the east, until at last they saw the "white snow peaks hanging glittering sharp and bright above the clouds. And they knew that they were come to Caucasus at the end of all the earth—Caucasus, the highest of all mountains, the father of the rivers of the East. And they rowed three days to the eastward, while the Caucasus rose higher hour by hour, till they saw the dark stream of Phasis rushing headlong to the sea and, shining above the treetops, the golden roofs of the Child of the Sun."

How they reached home no man knows. Some say they sailed up the Danube River and so came to the Adriatic, dragging their ship over the snowclad Alps. Others say they sailed south to the Red Sea and dragged their ship over the burning desert of North Africa. More than once they gave themselves up for lost, "heartbroken with toil and hunger," until the brave helmsman cried to them, "Raise up the mast and set the sail and face what comes like men."

After days and weeks on the "wide wild western sea" they sailed by the coast of Spain and came to Sicily, the "three-cornered island," and after numerous adventures they reached home once more. And they limped ashore weary and worn, with long, ragged beards and sunburnt cheeks and garments torn and weather-stained. No strength had they left to haul the ship up the beach. They just crawled out and sat down and wept, till they could weep no more. For the houses and trees were all altered, and all the faces which they saw were strange; and their joy was swallowed up in sorrow while they thought of their youth and all their labour, and the gallant comrades they had lost. And the people crowded round and asked them, "Who are you that sit weeping here?"

"We are the sons of your princes, who sailed away many a year ago. We went to fetch the Golden Fleece and we have brought it back." Then there was shouting and laughing and weeping, and all the kings came to the shore, and they led the heroes away to their homes and bewailed the valiant dead. Old and charming as is the story of the Argonauts, it is made up of travellers' tales, probably told to the Greeks by the Phoenicians of their adventures on unknown seas.

The wanderings of Ulysses by the old Greek poet Homer shows us that, though they seldom ventured beyond the Mediterranean Sea, yet the Greeks were dimly conscious of an outer world beyond the recognised limits. They still dreamt that the earth was flat, and that the ocean stream flowed for ever round and round it. There were no maps or charts to guide the intrepid mariners who embarked on unknown waters.

The siege of Troy, famous in legend, was over, and the heroes were anxious to make their way home. Ulysses was one of the heroes, and he sailed forth from Asia Minor into the AEgean Sea. But contrary winds drove him as far south as Cape Malea.

"Now the gatherer of the clouds," he says, in telling his story, "aroused the North Wind against our ships with a terrible tempest, and covered land and sea alike with clouds, and down sped night from heaven. Thus the ships were driven headlong, and their sails were torn to shreds by the might of the wind. So we lowered the sails into the hold in fear of death, and rowed the ships landward apace."

Throughout all ages Cape Malea has been renowned for sudden and violent storms, dreaded by early mariners as well as those of later times.

"Thence for nine whole days was I borne by ruinous winds over the teeming deep; but on the tenth day we set foot on the land of the lotus-eaters who eat a flowery food."

Now ten days' sail to the south would have brought Ulysses to the coast of North Africa, and here we imagine the lotus-eaters dwelt. But their stay was short. For as soon as the mariners tasted the "honey-sweet fruit of the lotus" they forgot their homes, forgot their own land, and only wanted to stay with the "mild-eyed melancholy lotus-eaters."

"They sat them down upon the yellow sand, Between the sun and moon upon the shore; And sweet it was to dream of Fatherland, Of child, and wife, and slave; but evermore Most weary seem'd the sea, weary the oar, Weary the wandering fields of barren foam. Then someone said: 'We will return no more'; And all at once they sang, 'Our island home Is far beyond the wave; we will no longer roam.'"

"Therefore," said Ulysses, "I led them back to the ships, weeping and sore against their will, and dragged them beneath the benches. Soon they embarked and, sitting orderly, they smote the grey sea water with their oars. Thence we sailed onward, stricken at heart. And we came to the land of the Cyclops."

No one knows exactly where the land of the Cyclops is. Some think it may be Sicily and the slopes of Mount Etna facing the sea.

The famous rock of Scylla and whirlpool of Charybdis, known to the ancients as two sea-monsters, near the Straits of Messina, next claimed his attention. Let us see how Ulysses passed them.

"We began to sail up the narrow strait," he says, lamenting. "For on the one side lay Scylla and on the other mighty Charybdis sucking down the salt sea water. Like a cauldron on a great fire she would seethe up through all her troubled deeps, and overhead the spray fell on the top of either cliff—the rock around roared horribly, and pale fear gat hold on my men. Toward her, then, we looked, fearing destruction; but Scylla meanwhile caught from out my hollow ships six of my company. They cried aloud in their agony, and there she devoured them shrieking at her gates, they stretching forth their hands to me in their death struggles. And the most pitiful thing was this, that mine eyes have seen of all my travail in searching out the paths of the sea."

Some have thought that the terrifying stories of Scylla, Charybdis, and the Cyclops were stories invented by the Phoenicians to frighten travellers of other nations away from the sea that they wished to keep for themselves for purposes of trade.

It would take too long to tell of the great storm that destroyed the ships and drowned the men, leaving Ulysses to make a raft on which he drifted about for nine days, blown back to Scylla and Charybdis and from thence to the island of Ogygia, "in the centre of the sea." Finally he reached his home in Ithaca so changed, so aged and weather-worn, that only his dog Argus recognised him.

This, very briefly, is Homer's world-picture of a bygone age, when those who were seized with a thirst for travel sailed about the Mediterranean in their primitive ships, landing on unnamed coasts, cruising about unknown islands, meeting strange people, encountering strange adventures.

It all reads like an old fairy tale to us to-day, for we have our maps and charts and know the whereabouts of every country and island about the tideless Mediterranean.



CHAPTER III

IS THE WORLD FLAT?

Still, although the men of ancient time were learning fast about the land and sea, they were woefully ignorant. Hesiod, a Greek poet, who lived seven hundred and fifty years before the Christian era, declared that the world was flat, and the ocean stream or the "perfect river," as he called it, flowed round and round, encompassing all things.

Still, there was something beyond the water—something dim, mysterious, unknowable. It might be the "Islands of the Blest"; it might be the "sacred isle." One thing he asserted firmly: "Atlas upholds the broad Heaven ... standing on earth's verge with head and unwearied hands," while the clear-voiced Hesperides guarded their beautiful golden apples "beyond the waters of Ocean."

"Hesperus and his daughters three That sung about the golden tree."

But who thinks now of the weary Titan doomed for ever to support the ancient world on his head and hands, when the atlas of to-day is brought forth for a lesson in geography?

About this time comes a story—it may be fact or it may be fiction—that the Phoenicians had sailed right round Africa. The voyage was arranged by Neco, an enterprising Egyptian king, who built his ships in the Red Sea in the year 613 B.C. The story is told by Herodotus, the Greek traveller, many years afterwards.

"Libya," he says, "is known to be washed on all sides by the sea, except where it is attached to Asia. This discovery was first made by Neco, the Egyptian king, who sent a number of ships manned by Phoenicians with orders to make for the Pillars of Hercules (now known as the Straits of Gibraltar), and return to Egypt through them and by the Mediterranean Sea. The Phoenicians took their departure from Egypt by way of the Erythraean Sea, and so sailed into the Southern Ocean. When autumn came (it is supposed they left the Red Sea in August) they went ashore, wherever that might happen to be, and, having sown a tract of land with corn, waited until the grain was fit to cut. Having reaped it, they set sail, and thus it came to pass that two whole years went by, and it was not till the third year that they doubled the Pillars of Hercules and made good their voyage home. On their return they declared (I, for my part, says Herodotus, do not believe them, but perhaps others may) that in sailing round Libya they had the sun upon their right hand. In this way was the extent of Libya first discovered."



To modern students, who have learnt more of Phoenician enterprise, the story does not seem so incredible as it did to Herodotus; and a modern poet, Edwin Arnold, has dreamed into verse a delightful account of what this voyage may have been like.

Ithobal of Tyre, Chief Captain of the seas, standing before Neco, Pharaoh and King, Ruler of Nile and its lands, relates the story of his two years' voyage, of the strange things he saw, of the hardships he endured, of the triumphant end. He tells how, with the help of mechanics from Tarshish, Tyre, and Sidon, he built three goodly ships, "Ocean's children," in a "windless creek" on the Red Sea, how he loaded them with cloth and beads, "the wares wild people love," food-flour for the ship, cakes, honey, oil, pulse, meal, dried fish and rice, and salted goods. Then the start was made down the Red Sea, until at last "the great ocean opened" east and south to the unknown world and into the great nameless sea, by the coast of that "Large Land whence none hath come" they sailed.

Ithobal had undertaken no light task; contrary winds, mutiny on board, want of fresh water, all the hardships that confront the mariner who pilots his crews in search of the unknown. Strange tribes met them on the coast and asked them whither they went.

"We go as far as the sun goes As far as the sea rolls, as far as the stars Shine still in sky. To find for mighty Pharaoh what his world Holds hidden."

South and ever south they sailed, "day after day and night succeeding night, close clinging to the shore." New stars appeared, lower and lower sank the sun, moons rose and waned, and still the coast stretched southwards till they reached a "Cape of Storms" and found the coast was turning north. And now occurred that strange phenomenon mentioned by Herodotus, that while sailing westwards the sun was on their right hand. "No man had seen that thing in Syria or in Egypt."

A year and a half had now passed away since they left home, but onward to the north they now made their way, past the mouth of the golden waters (Orange River), past the Congo, past the Niger, past the island of Gorillas described by Hanno, who explored the west coast under Neco either before or after this time, until at last the little Phoenician ships sailed peacefully into the Mediterranean Sea.

"Here is the Ocean-Gate. Here is the Strait Twice before seen, where goes the Middle Sea Unto the Setting Sun and the Unknown— No more unknown, Ithobal's ships have sailed Around all Africa. Our task is done. These are the Pillars, this the Midland Sea. The road to Tyre is yonder. Every wave Is homely. Yonder, sure, Old Nilus pours Into this Sea, the Waters of the World, Whose secret is his own and thine and mine."

It will ever remain one of the many disputed points in early geography whether or not Africa was circumnavigated at this early date. If the Phoenicians did accomplish such a feat they kept their experiences a secret as usual, and the early maps gave a very wrong idea of South Africa. On the other hand, we know they had good seaworthy ships in advance of their neighbours.



"I remember," says Xenophon, "I once went aboard a Phoenician ship, where I observed the best example of good order that I ever met with; and especially it was surprising to observe the vast numbers of implements which were necessary for the management of such a small vessel. What numbers of oars, stretchers, ship-hooks, and spikes were there for bringing the ship in and out of the harbour! What numbers of shrouds, cables, ropes, and other tackling for the ship! What a vast quantity of provisions were there for the sustenance and support of the sailors!" Captain and sailors knew where everything was stowed away on board, and "while the captain stood upon the deck, he was considering with himself what things might be wanting in his voyage, what things wanted repair, and what length of time his provisions would last; for, as he observed to me, it is no proper time, when the storm comes upon us, to have the necessary implements to seek, or to be out of repair, or to want them on board; for the gods are never favourable to those who are negligent or lazy; and it is their goodness that they do not destroy us when we are diligent."



There is an old story which says that one day the Greeks captured a Phoenician ship and copied it. However this may be, the Greeks soon became great colonisers themselves, and we have to thank a Greek philosopher living in Miletus, on the coast of Asia Minor, for making the first map of the ancient world. Of course, the Babylonians and Egyptians had made maps thousands of years before this, but this Greek—Anaximander introduced the idea of map-making to the astonished world about the year 580 B.C. What was the map like? It was "a bronze tablet, whereupon the whole circuit of the Earth was engraved with all its seas and rivers."

This is all we know. But this map-making Greek was famous for another idea in advance of his time. He used to study the heavens and the earth, and after much study he made up his mind that the earth was round and not flat. He taught that the world hung free in the midst of the universe, or rather in the midst of the waters. The centre of the earth was at Delphi. In the world of legend there was a reason for this. Two eagles had been let loose, one from the eastern extremity of the world, the other from the west, and they met at Delphi—hence it was assumed that Delphi was at the centre of the world. And Delphi at this time was such a wonderful city. On the slopes of Mount Parnassus it stood high on a rock—on the heights stood the temple of Apollo with its immense riches, its golden statue of the great god, and its ever-smoking fire of wood.



In the same way, in those days of imperfect geography, as we hear of Delphi being the centre of the Greek world, so we hear of Jerusalem being considered the central point of the world.

"This is Jerusalem," says Ezekiel, "in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her." In the Mappa Mundi (thirteenth century) in Hereford Cathedral, Jerusalem is still the centre of the earth.

Following close on these ideas came another. It, too, came from Miletus, now famous for its school of thought and its searchers after truth.

A Tour of the World is the grand-sounding title of the work of Hecataeus, who wrote it about 500 years B.C. It contains an account of the coast and islands of the Mediterranean Sea and an outline of all the lands the Greeks thought they knew. In the fragments that have come down to us, the famous old geographer divides both his work and the world into two parts. One part he calls Europe, the other Asia, in which he includes Africa bounded by the river Nile. He held that these two parts were equal. They were divided from one another by the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, and the Caspian Sea, while round the whole flat world still flowed the everlasting ocean stream.



CHAPTER IV

HERODOTUS—THE TRAVELLER

The greatest traveller of olden times now comes upon the scene—Herodotus, the Greek, the "Father of History."

He is a traveller as well as a writer. He has journeyed as one eager for knowledge, with a "hungry heart" and a keen, observant eye. He tells us what he has seen with his eyes, what he has heard with his ears. He insists that the world is flat, he acknowledges that it is divided into two parts—Europe and Asia; but he can afford to laugh at those who draw maps of the world "without any sense to guide them," in which they make the whole world round as if drawn with a pair of compasses, with the ocean stream running round it, making Europe and Asia of equal size.

His first journey is to Egypt.

"I speak at length about Egypt," he says, "because it contains more marvellous things than any other country—things too strange for words. Not only is the climate different from that of the rest of the world and the rivers unlike any other rivers, but the people also, in most of their manners and customs, reverse the common practice of mankind. The women are employed in trade and business, while the men stay at home to spin and weave. Other nations in weaving throw the woof up the warp, but an Egyptian throws it down. In other countries, sons are constrained to make provision for their parents; in Egypt it is not only the sons, but the daughters. In other countries the priests have long hair; in Egypt their heads are shaven. Other nations fasten their ropes and hooks to the outside of their sails, but the Egyptians to the inside. The Greeks write and read from left to right, but the Egyptians from right to left."

After sailing for some seven hundred miles up the river Nile from the coast, past Heliopolis, the once famous city of Ancient Egypt, past Memphis, the old capital, past Thebes, with its hundred gates, to Elephantine, the "ivory island," opposite to what is now Assuan, he is more than ever puzzled about its course and the reason of its periodical floods.

"Concerning the nature of the river, I was not able to gain any information from the priests. I was particularly anxious to learn from them why the Nile, at the commencement of the summer solstice, begins to rise and continues to increase for a hundred days—and why, as soon as that number is past, it forthwith retires and contracts its stream, continuing low during the whole of the winter until the summer solstice comes round again. On none of these points could I obtain any explanation from the inhabitants, though I made every inquiry."

The sources of the Nile entirely baffled Herodotus as they baffled many another later explorer long years after he had passed away. "Of the sources of the Nile no one can give any account, since the country through which it passes is desert and without inhabitants," he explains, his thirst for knowledge unsatisfied. Some priest volunteers this explanation. On the frontiers of Egypt are two high mountain-peaks called Crophi and Mophi; in an unfathomable abyss between the two rose the Nile. But Herodotus does not believe in Crophi and Mophi; he inclines to the idea that the Nile rises away in the west and flows eastward right across Libya.

He travelled a little about Libya himself, little realising the size of the great continent of Africa through which he passed. Many a strange tale of these unknown parts did he relate to his people at home. He had seen the tallest and handsomest race of men in the world, who lived to the age of one hundred and twenty years—gold was so abundant that it was used even for the prisoners' chains—he had seen folks who lived on meat and milk only, never having seen bread or wine.



Some thirty days' journey from the land of the lotus-eaters he had found tribes who hunted with four-horse chariots and whose oxen walked backwards as they grazed, because their horns curve outwards in front of their heads, and if they moved forwards these horns would stick in the ground.

Right across the desolate sandy desert of the north, Herodotus seems to have made his way. The "region of the wild beasts" must have been truly perilous, "for this is the tract," he says, "in which huge serpents are found, and the lions, the elephants, the bears, and the horned asses."

He also tells us of antelopes, gazelles, asses, foxes, wild sheep, jackals, and panthers. There is no end to the quaint sights he records. Here is a tribe whose wives drive the chariots to battle, here another who paint themselves red and eat honey and monkeys, another who grow their hair long on the right side of their heads and shave it close on the left. Back through Egypt to Syria went our observant traveller, visiting the famous seaport of Tyre on the way. "I visited the temple of Hercules at that place and found two pillars, one of pure gold, the other of emerald, shining with great brilliancy at night." That temple was already two thousand three hundred years old.

Herodotus makes some astounding statements about various parts of the world. He asserts that a good walker could walk across Asia Minor, from north to south, in five days, a distance we know now to be three hundred miles! He tells us that the Danube rises in the Pyrenees Mountains and flows right through Europe till it empties its waters into the Black Sea, giving us a long and detailed account of a country he calls Scythia (Russia) with many rivers flowing into this same Black Sea.

But here we must leave the old traveller and picture him reading aloud to his delighted hearers his account of his discoveries and explorations, discussing with the learned Greeks of the day the size and wonders of the world as they imagined it.

News travelled slowly in these bygone days, and we know the Phoenicians were very fond of keeping their discoveries secret, but it seems strange to think that Herodotus never seems to have heard the story of Hanno the Carthaginian, who coasted along the west of North Africa, being the first explorer to reach the place we know as "Sierra Leone."

Hanno's "Periplus," or the "Coasting Survey of Hanno," is one of the few Phoenician documents that has lived through the long ages. In it the commander of the expedition himself tells his own story. With an idea of colonising, he left Carthage—the most famous of the Phoenician colonies—with sixty ships containing an enormous number of men and women.

"When we had set sail," says Hanno shortly, "and passed the pillars (of Hercules) after two days' voyage, we founded the first city. Below this city lay a great plain. Sailing thence westward we came to a promontory of Libya thickly covered with trees. Here we built a temple to the Sea-god and proceeded thence half a day's journey eastward, till we reached a lake lying not far from the sea and filled with abundance of great reeds. Here were feeding elephants and a great number of other wild animals. After we had gone a day's sail beyond the lakes we founded cities near to the sea."

Making friends with the tribes along the coast, they reached the Senegal River. Here they fell in with "savage men clothed with the skins of beasts," who pelted them with stones so that they could not land. Past Cape Verde they reached the mouth of the Gambia, "great and broad and full of crocodiles and river-horses," and thence coasted twelve days to the south and again five days to the south, which brought them to Sierra Leone—the Lion Mountain as it was called long years after by the Portuguese.

Here Hanno and his party landed, but as night approached they saw flames issuing from the island and heard the sound of flutes and cymbals and drums and the noise of confused shouts.

"Great fear then came upon us; we sailed therefore quickly thence much terrified, and passing on for four days found at night a country full of fire. In the middle was a lofty fire, greater than all the rest, so that it seemed to touch the stars. When day came on we found that this was a great mountain which they called the chariot of the gods." They had a last adventure before they turned homewards at what they called the Isle of Gorillas. Here they found a "savage people" (Gorillas) whom they pursued, but were unable to catch. At last they managed to catch three. "But when these, biting and tearing those that led them, would not follow us, we slew them and, flaying off their skins, carried them to Carthage."

Then abruptly this quaint account of the only Phoenician voyage on record stops. "Further," says the commander, "we did not sail, for our food failed us."



Further knowledge of the world was now supplied by the Greeks, who were rapidly asserting themselves and settling round the coast of the Mediterranean as the Phoenicians had done before them. As in more ancient days Babylonians and Egyptians had dominated the little world, so now the power was shifting to the Greeks and Persians. The rise of Persia does not rightly belong to this story, which is not one of conquest and annexation, but of discovery, so we must content ourselves by stating the fact that Persia had become a very important country with no less than fifty-six subject States paying tribute to her, including the land of Egypt. Efforts to include Greece had failed.

In the year 401 B.C. one Artaxerxes sat on the throne of Persia, the mighty Empire which extended eastwards beyond the knowledge of Greeks or Phoenicians, even to the unknown regions of the Indus. He had reigned for many years, when Cyrus, his brother, a dashing young prince, attempted to seize the throne. Collecting a huge army, including the famous Ten Thousand Greeks, he led them by way of Phrygia, Cilicia, and along the banks of the Euphrates to within fifty miles of the gates of Babylon. The journey took nearly five months, a distance of one thousand seven hundred miles through recognised tracks. Here a battle was fought and Cyrus was slain.

It was midwinter when the Ten Thousand Greeks who had followed their leader so loyally through the plains of Asia Minor found themselves friendless and in great danger in the very heart of the enemy's country.

How Xenophon—a mere Greek volunteer, who had accompanied the army from the shores of Asia Minor—rose up and offered to lead his countrymen back to Greece is a matter of history. It would take too long to tell in detail how they marched northward through the Assyrian plains, past the neighbourhood of Nineveh, till they reached the mountain regions which were known to be inhabited by fierce fighters, unconquered even by the powerful Persians.

Up to this time their line of retreat had followed the "royal road" of merchants and caravans. Their only chance of safety lay in striking north into the mountains inhabited by this warlike tribe who had held out amid their wild and rugged country against the Persians themselves. They now opposed the Greeks with all their might, and it took seven days of continuous fighting to reach the valley which lay between them and the high tableland of Armenia. They crossed the Tigris near its source, and a little farther on they also crossed the Euphrates not far from its source, so they were informed by the Armenians. They now found themselves some five or six thousand feet above sea-level and in the midst of a bitter Armenian winter. Snow fell heavily, covering all tracks, and day after day a cold north-east wind, "whose bitter blast was torture," increased their sufferings as they ploughed their way on and on through such depths of snow as they had never seen before.

Many died of cold and hunger, many fell grievously sick, and others suffered from snow-blindness and frostbite.

But Xenophon led his army on, making his notes of the country through which they were toiling, measuring distances by the day's march, and at last one day when the soldiers were climbing a steep mountain, a cry, growing louder and more joyous every moment, rent the air—

"Thalassa! Thalassa! The sea! The sea!"

True enough, on the distant horizon, glittering in the sunlight, was a narrow silver streak of sea—the Black Sea—the goal of all their hopes. The long struggle of five months was over; they could sail home now along the shores of the Black Sea. They had reached the coast near the spot Colchis, where the Argonauts landed to win the Golden Fleece long centuries before.

In a work known as the Anabasis, Xenophon wrote the adventures of the Ten Thousand Greeks, and no geographical explorer ever recorded his travels through unknown countries more faithfully than did the Greek leader of twenty-three hundred years ago.



CHAPTER V

ALEXANDER THE GREAT EXPLORES INDIA

Still greater light was shed on the size of the world by Alexander the Great on his famous expedition to India, by which he almost doubled the area of the world known to the people of his time. It was just sixty years after Xenophon had made his way right across Asia to the shores of the Black Sea when Alexander resolved to break, if possible, the power of the Persians.

The great Persian Empire extended from the shores of the Mediterranean right away to the east, far beyond the knowledge of the Greeks. Indeed, their knowledge of the interior of Asia was very imperfect, and Alexander's expedition was rather that of an explorer than of a conqueror. How he overthrew the Persians and subdued an area as large as Europe in the space of twelve years reads like a romance rather than fact, and it is not for us to tell the story in detail. Rather let us take up the story, after Alexander has fought and conquered the Persians twice, besieged Tyre, taken the Phoenician fleet, occupied Egypt, marched across the desert and crossed the Euphrates, passed over the plain and followed the Tigris to near Nineveh, where he crossed that river too, fought another famous battle over the Persians, which decided the fate of King and Monarchy and opened to him the capitals of Babylon and Susa, wherein the immense treasures of the Persian Empire were stored. King of all Asia, he sat on the throne of the Persian kings under a golden canopy in the palace of Persepolis.

So far the whole expedition was over country known, if imperfectly, to the Greeks. Now we have to follow the conquering hero more closely as he leads us into an unknown land away to the east, known as "the farthest region of the inhabited world towards the east, beyond which lies the endless sandy desert void of inhabitants." And all the while the great land of India lay beyond, and beyond again was China, and away far over the ocean sea lay America—and they knew it not.

Alexander was a young man yet, only twenty-six. It was four years since he had left Europe, and in that short time he had done wonders. He had conquered the whole western half of the Persian Empire. Now he resolutely turned his face to the unknown east and started forth on an expedition of exploration.

Following the main highway from Media, which to-day leads from Teheran, capital of modern Persia, into the land of the Turkomans and the borders of Russia, he found himself between the great salt desert and the mountains, which to-day mark the frontier of Persia. Suddenly, to his great surprise, the Caspian Sea came into sight. It seemed about the same size as the Black Sea, and he concluded it was connected with the Sea of Azof, though the men of his day were certain enough that it was the most northern of four great gulfs connected with the outer ocean which flowed round the world.

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