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

Christopher Columbus – Part 1

christopher-columbusThis is the first part in our series on one of the most famous explorers in history – Genoese mariner Christopher Columbus.

In this first part, we examine Columbus’ early life, and then his attempts to find a backer for his scheme to sail west – into the unknown – as a way to reach the fabled eastern lands of China, Japan, India and the Spice islands.

Below is the famous map of the world as depicted by astronomer Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli. It shows a much smaller world than reality – and would help convince Columbus that reaching Asia was possible by sailing west.

toscanelli-map

Images courtesy of Wikipedia.

Francisco de Orellana and the Exploration of the Amazon River – Part 2

Francisco_de_Orellana-bustFrancisco de Orellana heads down the Amazon River in a bid to return to civilization. Little does he know that he is about to begin one of the most amazing journeys in the annals of exploration.

His epic trek will include a battle with the legendary Amazons, encounters with cannibals, near starvation and much, much more.


orellana-river-map

Journey of Francisco de Orellana 


Sources

The best book I found on Orellana was River of Darkness: Francisco Orellana’s Legendary Voyage of Death and Discovery Down the Amazon by Buddy Levy. It’s a well-written adventure that was my go-to source for this podcast.

Relación del nuevo descubrimiento del famoso río grande que descubrió por muy grande ventura el capitán Francisco de Orellana según la transcripción de don Toribio Medina is a version of Orellana’s tale as written by Father Gaspar de Carvajal – the priest who accompanied Orellana down the Amazon. This version is in Spanish (I could not find an English language version).

Wikipedia Links:

All images courtesy of Wikipedia.

Francisco de Orellana and the Exploration of the Amazon River – Part 1

Francisco_de_OrellanaIn part 1 of our latest podcast, Francisco de Orellana and Gonzalo Pizarro head over the Andes in search of El Dorado – the City of Gold. Instead, the two conquistadors only find hardship and death.

While Pizarro will attempt a torturous return over the Andes, Orellana will strike out east on a 4,000 mile journey down the Amazon in a desperate bid to return to civilization.

The feat – sailing the entire Amazon River – is one of the greatest river explorations known to history.

orellana-river-map

Zheng He and the Chinese Treasure Fleet

Admiral_ZhengheExplorers latest episode takes a look at the legendary Chinese Treasure Fleet – and the man who commanded the fleet, Zheng He – which sailed the waters of southern Asia in the early 15th century. The Treasure Fleet consisted of hundreds of vessels – some more than 400 feet long. Over the course of about 30 years, the fleet would sail to Vietnam, Siam, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, the Spice Islands, Ceylon, India, Arabia and east Africa. It was an amazing tale – all made possible by Zheng He – a muslim eunuch was critical to the success of Ming Dynasty.

Zheng_He-map

Sources

The two best books on Zheng He and the Treasure Fleet that I found (in English) were Zheng He: China and the Oceans in the Early Ming Dynasty, 1405-1433 by Edward L. Dreyer and When China Ruled the Seas: The Treasure Fleet of the Dragon Throne, 1405-1433 by Louise Levathes. Both offers excellent, in-depth looks at our subject matter.

Zheng He on Wikipedia is worth the read, as well as their article on the Treasure Voyages.

Images courtesy of Wikipedia.