The Story of Geographical Discovery

The Story of Geographical Discovery
How the World Became Known

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The Story of Geographical Discovery by Joseph Jacobs

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The Story of Geographical Discovery
How the World Became Known

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Book Excerpt

Discoveries, 3 vols., 1831; Vivien de Saint Martin, Histoire de la Géographie, 1873.]

CHAPTER I

THE WORLD AS KNOWN TO THE ANCIENTS

Before telling how the ancients got to know that part of the world with which they finally became acquainted when the Roman Empire was at its greatest extent, it is as well to get some idea of the successive stages of their knowledge, leaving for the next chapter the story of how that knowledge was obtained. As in most branches of organised knowledge, it is to the Greeks that we owe our acquaintance with ancient views of this subject. In the early stages they possibly learned something from the Phoenicians, who were the great traders and sailors of antiquity, and who coasted along the Mediterranean, ventured through the Straits of Gibraltar, and traded with the British Isles, which they visited for the tin found in Cornwall. It is even said that one of their admirals, at the comma