Pytheas and the Circumnavigation of Britain

PytheasIn about 325 BCE, Pytheas of Missalia conducted one of the first great voyages of discovery when he sets out into the land of the Celts to find the legendary island of Britain. In the process, he would circumnavigate the island – and even (according to some) – discover Iceland.

Below is a map showing the route of Pytheas on his journey. This does not show the overland route – which would have bypassed the Pillars of Hercules. It also shows some speculative routes to Iceland and into the Baltic Sea. The map may not be perfect, but it gives a decent look at Pytheas’ probably travel route.

Pytheas Route

Resources

While there is not a lot of information about Pytheas available, here’s a list of a few of the better resources that I found.

Pytheas

Statue of Pytheas outside the Palais de la Bourse, Marseilles.

All image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Christopher Columbus – Part 7

Christopher Columbus and the Lunar EclipseIt has taken seven episodes, but we come to the conclusion of our series on Christopher Columbus. In this final episode, Columbus begins stranded on the island of Jamaica. He must survive the ordeal, plus orchestrate a rescue for him and his crew. Find out about this – plus we discuss the legacy of perhaps the most famous explorer in history.

Below is a map of Columbus’ fourth voyage.

Fourth Voyage of Columbus

Resources for this Podcast

Christopher Columbus is one of the most written about explorers. There are many wonderful sources to draw from – and I’ll just share some of the big ones that I have used for this podcast.

Columbus: The Four Voyages by Laurence Bergreen is an excellent biography of Columbus – and one of the more recent.

Admiral of the Ocean Seas: A Life of Christopher Columbus by Samuel Eliot Morison is one of the granddaddies of great explorer biographies. Morison retraced Columbus’ voyages in 1939-40 and wrote this expansive biography of the man.

The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus was one of the most influential books about the navigator. Written in 1828, it is available for free online.

Writings of Christopher Columbus provides a collection of letters written by Columbus that have survived to this day. Available for free online.

Journal of Christopher Columbus details the Admiral’s first voyage. It is available for free online.

Wikipedia links:

All images courtesy of Wikipedia.

Christopher Columbus – Part 6

Christopher ColumbusPart 6 in our series on Christopher Columbus takes the Admiral back to the New World for a fourth time. However, instead of going to govern a colony, Columbus is on a voyage of discovery. The year is 1502, and Columbus has been tasked by the king and queen of Spain to find a route to Asia. He departs with four ships and sets out on what might be his greatest venture.

The final voyage of Columbus will take him through hurricanes to the shores of Central America as he uncovers more of the emerging lands, including Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.

Fourth Voyage of Columbus

Christopher Columbus – Part 5

Christopher ColumbusIn part 5 of our series on Christopher Columbus, the Admiral heads back to the New World. This time, he goes in search of lands that were rumored to be south of his previous discoveries. Columbus would survive the tropical doldrums and a tidal wave while becoming the first Europeans to reach the continent of South America.

After his excursions around South America, Columbus would return to Hispaniola to find the island in open revolt against him and his brothers.

Related Links

Below is the route of Columbus’ third voyage to the New World.

Third Voyage of Columbus

Images courtesy of Wikipedia.

Christopher Columbus – Part 4

columbus-hispaniola
Columbus lands in Hispaniola

In part 4 of our series on Christopher Columbus, we follow the intrepid Genoese mariner as he sets out to find the Asian mainland. He will explore Cuba and Jamaica, before returning to Hispaniola.

Back in La Isabella, Columbus will begin a campaign to subjugate the native population – a campaign that will

Below is a map of Columbus’ second voyage.

Columbus_second_voyage

Images courtesy of Wikipedia.

Christopher Columbus – Part 3

columbus-painting
The Inspiration of Christopher Columbus by Jose Maria Obregon.

In part 3 of our series on Christopher Columbus, the Genoese explorer sets out for the New World on his second voyage.

This time, he has 17 ships and 1,200 men. Columbus will reach many new areas of the Caribbean, including Dominica, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, before returning to fortress of La Navidad – which he had established on his first voyage.

However, he will soon find that governing a colony is far more difficult than he ever imagined.

Below is a map of Columbus’ second voyage.

Columbus_second_voyage

All images courtesy of Wikipedia.

Christopher Columbus – Part 2

landing of columbus
The Landing of Columbus by John Vanderlyn. (Wikipedia)

In August of 1492, Christopher Columbus set out on what would be the most important voyage of discovery in the history of the world. Columbus’ voyage would be the first of four to the New World.

Part 2 of our series, covers the events surrounding Columbus’ historic voyage – a voyage that will alter the physical and political landscapes of the world.

Columbus_first_voyage

This map portrays the route of Columbus. The specific locations are rough guesses, but they should convey the basic path that Columbus and his ships traveled.

Images: Courtesy of Wikipedia