Then the disappointing fact was realized: the head of a great gulf had been reached, and, beyond, the coast seemed to stretch endlessly southward.Yet, when King John II sought to establish two routes: the first, a land and sea route through Egypt and Ethiopia to the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean and, the second, a sea route around the southern shores of Africa, the latter an act of faith, since Ptolemy’s map showed a landlocked Indian Ocean.Henry’s captain, Diogo Cão, discovered the Congo River in 1482.
Eastward of this is Ptolemy’s India, with the huge island of Taprobane—a muddled representation of the Indian peninsula and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).
East again, as on the map of Henricus Martellus, the Malay Peninsula appears twice.
Henricus Martellus, published in 1492, shows the shores of North Africa and of the Gulf of Guinea more or less correctly and was probably taken from numerous seamen’s charts.
The delineation of the west coast of southern Africa from the Guinea Gulf to the Cape suggests a knowledge of the charts of the expedition of Bartolomeu Dias.
By the end of the decade, however, doubts of the validity of Columbus’s claim were current.
Interest was therefore renewed in establishing the sea route south by east to the known riches of India.They were some of the first people to set out and explore the world.They took all risks in the face of danger, and a lot of times when the odds were all set against them.Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.Join Britannica's Publishing Partner Program and our community of experts to gain a global audience for your work!In the 100 years from the mid-15th to the mid-16th century, a combination of circumstances stimulated men to seek new routes, and it was new routes rather than new lands that filled the minds of kings and commoners, scholars and seamen.First, toward the end of the 14th century, the vast empire of the Mongols was breaking up; thus, Western merchants could no longer be assured of safe-conduct along the land routes.Peninsular India (on which Cananor and Calicut are named) is shown; although too small, it is, however, recognizable.There is even an indication to the east of it of the Bay of Bengal, with a great river running into it. We apologize for any inconvenience, and thank you for your visiting.When we think of the European age of exploration, we remember names like Christopher Columbus and Marco Polo.