The evil implanted in man by nature spreads so imperceptibly, when the habit of wrong-doing is unchecked, he himself can set no limit to his shamelessness. — Cicero

Book of Discovery - M. B. Synge

Dates of Chief Events

The oldest known Ships6000-5000 (B.C.)
Expedition to Punt1600
Phoenician Expeditions700
Neco's Fleet built613
Anaximander, the Greek, invents Maps580
Hecatceus writes the First Geography500
Herodotus describes Egypt446
Hanno sails down West Coast of Africa450
Xenophon crosses Asia Minor401
Alexander the Great finds India327
Nearchus navigates the Indian Ocean326
The Geography of Eratosthenes240-196
Pytheas discovers the British Isles and Thule333
Julius Cesar explores France, Britain, Germany60-54
Strabo's Geography18 (A.D.)
Agricola discovers the Highlands83
Pliny's Geography 170
Ptolemny's Geography and Maps 159
The First Guide for TravellersFourth century
St. Patrick explores Ireland 432-493
St. Columba reaches the Orkney Isles563
St. Brandon crosses the AtlanticSixth Century
Willibald travels from Britain to Jerusalem721
The Christian Topography of CosmasSixth Century
Naddod the Viking discovers Iceland861
Erik the Red discovers Greenland985
Lief discovers Newfoundland and N. America1000
Othere navigates the Baltic Sea890
Mohammedan Travellers to China831
Edrisi's Geography1154
Benjamin of Tudela visits India and China1160
Carpini visits the Great Khan1246
William de Rubruquis also visits the Great Khan1255
Maflio and Niccolo Polo reach China1260-1271
Marco Polo's Travels1271—1295
Ibn Batuta's Travels through Asia1324-1348
Sir John Mandeville's Travels published1372
Hereford Mappa Mundi appeared1280
Anglo-Saxon Map of the World990
Prince Henry of Portugal encourages Exploration1418
Zarco and Vaz reach Porto Santo1419
Zarco discovers Madeira1420
Nuno Tristam discovers Cape Blanco1441
Gonsalves discovers Cape Verde Islands1442
Cadamosto reaches the Senegal River and Cape Verde1455
Diego Gomez reaches the Gambia River1458
Death of Prince Henry1460
Fra Mauro's Map1457
Diego Cam discovers the Congo1484
Bartholomew Diaz rounds the Cape of Good Hope1486
Martin Behaim makes his Globe1492
Christopher Columbus discovers West Indies1492
Columbus finds Jamaica and other Islands1493
Columbus finds Trinidad1498
Death of Columbus1504
Amerigo Vespucci finds Trinidad and Venezuela1499
First Map of the New World by Juan de la Cosa1500
Vasco da Gama reaches India by the Cape1497
Pedro Cabral discovers Brazil1500
Francisco Serrano reaches the Spice Islands1511
Balboa sees the Pacific Ocean1513
The First Circumnavigation of the World1519-1522
Cordova discovers Yucatan1517
Juan Grijalva discovers Mexico1518
Cortes conquers Mexico1519
Pizarro conquers Peru1531
Orcllana discovers the Amazon1541
Cabot sails to Newfoundland1497
Jacques Cartier discovers the Gulf of St. Lawrence1534
Sir Hugh Willoughby finds Nova Zembla1553
Richard Chancellor reaches Moscow via Archangel1554
Anthony Jenkinson crosses Russia to Bukhara1558
Pinto claims the discovery of Japan1542
Martin Frobisher discovers his Bay1576
Drake sails round the World1577-80
Davis finds his Strait1586
Barents discovers Spitzbergen1596
Hudson sails into his Bay1610
Baffin discovers his Bay1616
Sir Walter Raleigh explores Guiana1595
Champlain discovers Lake Ontario1615
Torres sails through his Strait1605
Le Maire rounds Cape horn1617
Tasman finds Tasmania1642
Dampier discovers his Strait1698
Behring finds his Strait1741
Cook discovers New Zealand1769
Cook anchors in Botany Bay, Australia1770
Cook discovers the Sandwich Islands1777
La Perouse makes discoveries in China 1785-88
Bruce discovers the source of the Blue Nile1770
Mungo Park reaches the Niger1796
Vancouver explores his Island1792
Mackenzie discovers his River and British Columbia1789-93
Ross discovers Melville Bay1818
Parry discovers Lancaster Sound1819
Franklin reaches the Polar Sea by Land1819-22
Parry's discoveries on North American Coast1822
Franklin navies the Mackenzie River1825
Beechey doubles Icy Cape1826
Parry attempts the North Pole by Spitzbergen1827
Denham and Clapperton discover Lake Tchad822
Clapperton reaches the Niger1826
Rene Caille enters Timbuktu1829
Richard and John Lander find the Mouth of the Niger1830
Ross discovers Boothia Felix1829
James Ross finds the North Magnetic Pole1830
Bass discovers his Strait1797
Flinders and Bass sail round Tasmania1798
Flinders surveys South Coast of Australia1801-04
Sturt traces the Darling and Murray Rivers1828-31
Burke and Wills cross Australia1861
Ross discovers Victoria Land in the Antarctic1840
Franklin discovers the North-West Passage1847
Livingstone crosses Africa from West to East184956
Burton and Speke discovered Lake Tanganyika1857
Speke sees Victoria Nyanza1858
Livingstone finds Lakes Shirwa and Nyassa1858-64
Speke and Grant enter Uganda1861
Baker meets Speke and Grant at Gondokoro1861
Baker discovers Albert Nyanza1864
Livingstone finds Lakes Meoro and Bangweolo1868
Stanley finds Livingstone1871
Livingstone dies at Ilala1873
Stanley finds the Mouth of the Congo1877
Nordenskiold solves the North-East Passage1879
Younghusband enters Lhasa1904
Nansen reaches Farthest North1895
Peary reaches the North Pole1909
Amundsen reaches the South Pole1911


Front Matter

A Little Old World
Early Mariners
Is the World Flat
Herodotus the Traveller
Alexander Explores India
Pytheas Finds British Isles
Julius Caesar as Explorer
Strabo's Geography
The Roman Empire and Pliny
Ptolemy's Maps
Pilgrim Travellers
Irish Explorers
After Mohammed
Vikings Sail Northern Seas
Arab Wayfarers
Travellers to the East
Marco Polo
Mediaeval Exploration Ends
Mediaeval Maps
Prince Henry of Portugal
Bartholomew Diaz
Christopher Columbus
A Great New World
Vasco da Gama Reaches India
Discovery of Spice Islands
Balboa Sees Pacific Ocean
Magellan Sails Round World
Cortes Conquers Mexico
Explorers in South America
Cabot Sails to Newfoundland
Cartier Explores Canada
Search for a Northwest Passage
Frobisher Searches for Passage
Drake's Famous Voyage
Davis Straight
Barents Sails to Spitzbergen
Hudson Finds His Bay
Baffin Finds His Bay
Raleigh Searches for El Dorado
Champlain and Lake Ontario
Discoverers of Australia
Tasman Finds Tasmania
Dampier Discovers a Straight
Behring Finds his Straight
Cook Discovers New Zealand
Cook's Third Voyage
Bruce in Abyssinia
Mungo Park and the Niger
Vancouver and his Island
Mackenzie and his River
Parry and Lancaster Sound
The Frozen North
Franklin's Land Voyage
Parry's Polar Voyage
The Search for Timbuktu
Landers Discover the Niger
Ross Discovers North Pole
Flinders Names Australia
Sturt's Discoveries in Australia
Ross in the Antarctic Seas
Franklin Discovers Passage
David Livingstone
Burton and Speke in Africa
Livingston Traces Nyassa
Expedition to Victoria Nyanza
Baker Finds Albert Nyanza
Livingstone's Last Journey
Through the Dark Continent
Nordenskiold's NE Passage
The Exploration of Tibet
Nansen Reaches Farthest North
Peary Reaches the North Pole
The Quest for the South Pole
Dates of Chief Events