• John H. Parry
Part of the Documentary History of Western Civilization book series (DHWC)


The documents which comprise the greater part of this book are concerned with the process of maritime discovery. Most of them are either eyewitness accounts written by men who took part in voyages of discovery; or else comments by contemporaries who were in a position to assess their achievements. The voyages themselves were incidents in a persistent, determined, and ultimately successful European endeavor to establish direct contact, first with West Africa, subsequently with Asia; more specifically, to link individual centers in western Europe with places in India, the Indonesian islands, China, and Japan; places known or believed to exist, and reputed to be of high civilization and great commercial importance. The main purpose of the voyages was to discover, not new lands, but new routes to old lands. They reflected not only a keen commercial demand in Europe for goods of Oriental origin, but an intense curiosity among Europeans about the East itself.


Sixteenth Century Fifteenth Century Fourteenth Century Geographical Knowledge Eyewitness Account 


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List of Works Cited

  1. Francesco Balducci Pegolotti, ed. A. Evans: La practica della mercatura, Cambridge, Mass., 1936.Google Scholar
  2. H. Yule, ed.: Cathay and the Way Thither, 3 vols., 2nd edn, London, 1913–16.Google Scholar
  3. Marco Polo, ed. A. C. Moule and Paul Pelliot: The Description of the World, 2 vols., London, 1938.Google Scholar
  4. Pierre d’Ailly, trans. Edwin F. Keever: Imago Mundi, Wilmington N.C., 1948.Google Scholar
  5. Joannes de Sacro Bosco (John of Holywood), ed. Joaquin Bensaude: “Tractado da sphera do mundo,” in Regimento do astrolabio e do quadrante, Munich, 1914. (Facsimile edition of the unique Munich copy of the earliest printed navigation manual.)Google Scholar
  6. Claudius Ptolemaeus, ed. and trans. E. L. Stevenson: The Geography of Claudius Ptolemy, New York, 1932.Google Scholar
  7. Roger Bacon, ed. and trans. Robert B. Burke: Opus majus, Oxford, 1928.Google Scholar
  8. Ibn Battuta, ed. and trans. H. A. R. Gibb: The Travels of Ibn Battuta, vols. I and II, Cambridge, 1958–62.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1968

Authors and Affiliations

  • John H. Parry

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