U15Notes - Unit 15 The Age of Exploration The Renaissance...

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Unit 15 The Age of Exploration The Renaissance gave man a broader view of the world. While rummaging through monasteries and old libraries in search of ancient texts, humanists found old maps, provoking a greater interest in the outside world. Ancient Greeks believed geography to be an important subject. Ptolemy was father of cartography (map making) and his maps were used during the Middle Ages Here is one of Ptolemy’s world maps: http://www.bl.uk/learning/images/mappinghist/large2296.html Most ancient maps underestimated the size of the ocean because one part the Bible suggests the world is primarily made of land. People living during the Middle Ages assumed the world was largely land The Renaissance glorified adventurous men. Odysseus traveled all over looking for adventure. Scholastics of the middle ages studied scripture within the confines of their homes, but Humanists recommended a more active lifestyle Marco Polo , an Italian explorer, was another inspiration for the Age of Exploration. He lived in the 13 th century and traveled along the silk road to China. The silk road was a trading route. Polo spent 24 years in China and wrote about his adventures Europe and Asia and Middle East were linked during the middle ages. Wealthy Europeans purchased goods from Africa and Asia and read travel stories. But in the 1400s, China closed itself off to foreigners, so Europeans looked for new places to trade and convert people to Christianity. North Africa was solidly Muslim Also had to find a new way to obtain Chinese goods like silk Men knew that the world was round, not flat. Greeks deduced this from the type of shadow that was cast upon the moon during an eclipse. Voyagers did not really fear that they would sail off the edge of the world But they did fear that the waters would get hotter as they went south and they could boil Spain and Portugal led the way in the Age of Exploration. They had the most successful explorers who competed against each other Motivations for age of exploration: Three G’s (Gold, God and Glory) Missionaries sought to convert new peoples to Christianity. Believed they were working for God by converting the heathens 1
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Sailors were by nature risk-takers who sought fame and glory – they received few of the riches, but they were adventuresome Explorers sought fame and glory Voyages tough. The most common problem faced by sailors was malnutrition like scurvy which is caused by a lack of vitamin C. Food spoiled and they were at sea for weeks or even months at a time Said one sailor, “It rotted my gums which gave out a black and putrid blood. My thighs and lower legs were black and grangrenous, and I was forced to use my knife each day to cut into the flesh in order to release this black and foul blood.” Sailors ate meat and bread, but this did not last long Portuguese were the first Europeans to explore the seas. They wanted to find a shorter route to India in order to find spices like salt, pepper and cinnamon For the past several hundred years, they had obtained these goods by trading with Muslims and Middle
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U15Notes - Unit 15 The Age of Exploration The Renaissance...

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