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the same parallel, which he called the South Horn, supposed to be Cape de Tres Puntas. Mons. Gosselin, however, in his Researches into the Geography of the Ancients, (tom. i., p. 162, etc.) after a rigid examination of the Periplus of Hanno, determines that he had not sailed farther south than Cape Non. Pliny, who makes Hanno range the whole coast of Africa, from the Straits to the confines of Arabia, had never seen his Periplus, but took his idea from the works of Xenophon of Lampsaco. The Greeks surcharged the narration of the voyager with all kinds of fables, and on their unfaithful copies, Strabo founded many of his assertions. According to M. Gosselin, the itinerries of Hanno, of Scylax, Polybius, Statius, Sebosus and Juba ; the recitals of Plato, of Aristotle, of Pliny, of Plutarch, and the tables of Ptolemy, all bring us to the same results, and notwithstanding their apparent contradictions, fix the limit of southern navigation about the neighborhood of Cape Non, or Cape Bojador. The opinion that Africa was a peninsula, which existed among the Persians, the Egyptians, and perhaps the Greeks, several centuries prior to the Christian era, was not, in his opinion, founded upon any known facts ; but merely on conjecture, from considering the immensity and unity of the ocean ; or perhaps on more ancient traditions; or on ideas produced
by the Carthaginian discoveries, beyond the Straits of Gibraltar, and those of the Egyptians beyond the Gulf of Arabia. He thinks that there was a very remote period, when geography was much more perfect than in the time of the Phoenicians and the Greeks, whose knowledge was but confused traces of what had previously been better known. The opinion that the Indian Sea joined the ocean was admitted among the Greeks and in the school of Alexandria until the time of Hipparchus. It seemed authorized by the direction which the coast of Africa took after Cape Aromata, always tending westward as far as it has been explored by navigators. It was supposed that the western coast of Africa rounded off to meet the eastern, and that the whole was bounded by the ocean, much to the northward of the equator. Such was the opinion of Crates who had lived in the time of Alexander; of Aratus, of Cleanthes, of Cleomedes, of Strabo, of Pomponius Mela, or Macrobius, and many others. Hipparchus proposed a different system, and led the world into an error, which for a long time retarded the maritime communication of Europe and India. He supposed that the seas were separated into distinct basins, and that the eastern shores of Africa made a circuit round the Indian Sea, so as to join those of Asia beyond the mouth of the Ganges. Subsequent discoveries, instead of refuting this error, only placed the junction of the continents at a greater distance. Marinus of Tyre, and Ptolemy, adopted this opinion in their works, and illustrated it in their maps, which for centuries controlled the general belief of mankind, and perpetuated the idea that Africa extended onward to the south pole, and that it was impossible to arrive by sea at the coast of India. Still there were geographers who leaned to the more ancient idea of a communication between the Indian Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It had its advocates in Spain and was maintained by Pomponius Mela and by Isidore of Seville. It was believed also by some of the learned in Italy, in the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries; and thus was kept alive until it was acted upon so vigorously by Prince Henry of Portugal, and at length triumphantly demonstrated by Vasco de Gama, in his circumnavigation of the Cape of Good Hope.
IN remarking on the smallness of the vessels with which Columbus made his first voyage, Dr. Robertson observes, that, “in the fifteenth century the bulk and construction of vessels were accommodated to the short and easy voyages along the coast, which they were accustomed to perform.” We have many proofs, however, that even anterior to the fifteenth century there were large ships employed by the Spaniards, as well as by other nations. In an edict published in Barcelona, in 1354, by Pedro IV., enforcing various regulations for the security of commerce, mention is made of Catalonian merchant-ships of two and three decks, and from 8ooo to 12,000 quintals burden. In 1419, Alonzo of Arragon hired several merchant ships to transport artillery, horses, etc., from Barcelona to Italy, among which were two, each carrying one hundred and twenty horses, which it is computed would require a vessel of at least 600 tons. In 1463, mention is made of a Venetian ship of 7oo tons which arrived at Barcelona from England, laden with wheat. In 1497, a Castilian vessel arrived there being of 12,000 quintals burden. These arrivals incidentally mentioned among others of similar size, as happening at one port, show that large ships were in use in those days.” Indeed, at the time of fitting out the second expedition of Columbus, there were prepared in the port of Bermeo, a caracca of 1250 tons, and four ships of from 150 to 450 tons burden. Their destination, However, was altered, and they were sent to convoy Muley Boabdil, the last Moorish king of Granada, from the coast of his conquered territory to Africa. 4
It was not for the want of large vessels in the Spanish ports, therefore, that those of Columbus were of so small a size. He considered them best adapted to voyages of discovery, as they required but little depth of water, and therefore could more easily and safely coast unknown shores, and explore bays and rivers. He had some purposely constructed of a very small size, for this service ; such was the caravel which in his third voyage he despatched to look out for an opening to the sea at the upper part of the gulf of Paria, when the water grew too shallow for his vessel of one hundred tons burden.
The most singular circumstance with respect to the ships of Columbus is that they should be open vessels: for it seems difficult to believe that a voyage of such extent and peril should be attempted in barks of so frail a construction. This, however, is expressly mentioned by Peter Martyr in his Decades written at the time; and mention is made occasionally, in the memoirs relative to the voyages written by Columbus and his son, of certain of his vessels being without decks. He sometimes speaks of the same vessel as a ship and a caravel. There has been some discussion of late as to the precise meaning of the term caravel. The Chevalier Bossi, in his dissertations on Columbus, observes that in the Mediterranean, caravel designates the largest class of ships of war among the Mussulmans, and that in Portugal it means a small vessel of