Talk:European exploration of Africa

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Only Portuguese?[edit]

Why Are all these guys Portuguese? I'm sure there were explorers of Africa who weren't Portuguese... 22:34, 1 January 2006

Of course there were. Add them! The Ogre 12:22, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Actually all early explorers of Africa and the route to India and SE Asia (the Indies) were Portuguese or under Portuguese command. There was also a Papal bull (that in those times was like a UN Security Council resolution for Catholics) that gave exclussive rights in that region to Portugal. That's why the Castilians accepted Colombus wild idea of sailing west and looking for an alternative route.
Only later would first Dutch and then English, French, Danes and Spaniards arrive to Africa and the much wanted route of the Indies.
The "classical" age of exploration of inland Africa belongs to the late 19th century and it was, of course, in the hands of the main European powers of the time, apart of some US citizens. -- 16:13, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
This above was me: --Sugaar 19:55, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

Article Expanded[edit]

It took me several hours but it's done. I've removed the "expand" tag but left the "wikify" one, as some stuff, specially the 19th century section (that was the only thing existing before) should be retouched surely.

The above was also by Sugaar. Excellent job, my friend! The Ogre 01:44, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
Indeed. Thanks, Ogre. It still needs a lot of Wikification, adding maps, images, improving specially the last sections. Etc. --Sugaar 04:51, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Style: copyediting[edit]

I've been reviewing all the text (except the last section that still needs a big push) and correcting all those silly changes in tense and other imperfections. Hopefully this qualifies to remove the copyedit banner but I'd like someone else to check before doing it. --Sugaar 18:06, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Copy edit[edit]

I'd like to help copy edit this page. I made some changes to it last night. I want to learn more about history, so thank you for the great article. But it sounds like you're sick of it so after I finish reading it, maybe I can write a summary paragraph for the beginning. So--let me know if I accidently change the meaning of anything!

Image missing?[edit]

Seems like ther is an image missing in the 19th century part?


Please see edit history for sections with areas of concern, which are indicated with hidden comments.

Gerard Way[edit]

This article refers to an explorer called 'Gerard Way' but the link is to the singer from My Chemical Romance of the same name. I don't know if this is because the link points to the wrong man or if it's a joke by a fan, so I can't fix it.

Courtesy of Gavla 15:57, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure either. A quick google search turned up nothing on any explorer Gerard it seems at first glance to be incorrect or vandalism. John Pouliot 04:30, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

"Totally outdated and partly racist"[edit]

That comment added to the side of the main source of most of the article (I made a large review/expansion, that still stands, some time ago [1] based precisely on that book, and little or nothing more) has left me baffled.

I wonder how a 1972 history book may be "outdated", in a field that has surely had little advances in these late decades (it's not genetics or even Paleolithic archaeology, if you know what I mean). I guess the book may be less adequate to write a comprehensive history of Africa article but for the matter of this article, that is intrinsecally more "Eurocentric" (it's not "Bantu" nor "Arab" nor "Chinese exploration of Africa") it's surely quite valid.

Also I don't know why the author of the comment thinks it's "partly racist".

In any case, disqualifying the main source of about 80% of the article is like disqualifying the article itself. Yet, I see that no significative changes have been made, what rather qualifies it. Also, it's surely inappropiate to add such kind of comments to a source in the article itself (another thing would be discussing it in this talk page), so I am deleting it. --Sugaar (talk) 06:50, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

India, America... and much more[edit]

The name of the article is European exploration of Africa, but in some point you can read India, America, etc. everything but Africa. IMHO it is a little bit OT... --Billyjack2008 22:04, 21 November 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Billyjack2008 (talkcontribs)

Article scope[edit]

why does this article limit itself to "European" exploration? Are European explorers somehow fundamentally different from other explorers? It is true that the exploration of Africa from the 15th to 19th centuries was mostly due to Europeans, but during Antiquity and the Middle Ages, Egyptian, Carthaginian and later Islamic explorers were rather more important than "European" ones, and I see no reason why they should be excluded from the scope of the article. --dab (𒁳) 17:24, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps European explorers aren't fundamentally different from other explorers, but I'd say that the European exploration of Africa, Asia, and North and South America which began in the Middle Ages and continued into the 20th century was different. It spawned at least five far-reaching empires and led to types of colonialism which changed various societies and cultures irrevocably and is still having an effect today. All of the other explorers you mention are appropriate topics for other articles, but perhaps not this article. 05:21, 4 June 2009 (UTC)


A user has asked me referrals on a recent edition of the article. Here you have them.

I regret not write better English and even inexperienced in Wikipedia

About the catalan expedition to Canary Islands there are very references. Here, you have a little explanation:

Les expedicions mallorquines, des de 1342, a les Illes Afortunades o Canàries

Sobre aquestes expedicions tampoc no disposam d’un diplomatari adient. Miquel Bonet va ser el qui, en el darrer quart del s. XIX, va encetar la publicació documental[3]. Però ha estat Elies Serra Ràfols[4] el qui amb més perseverança ha teixit el context més cabal a l’empresa, i li ha trobat les arrels lul·lianes, en la qual cosa Johannes Vincke[5] s’ha mostrat prou perspicaç. Posteriorment F. Sevillano Colom[6] i Gabriel Llompart n’han eixamplat l’horitzó, en el qual destriam la figura de Jaume III, amb les seves pretensions expansionistes. Una selecció documental més ampla, tot i que l’han enriquida autors posteriors, la va oferir Antonio Rumeu de Armas[7], autor de la monografia més completa sobre aquesta campanya.

A Mallorca era notícia coneguda que, ja en temps de Ramon Llull, els genovesos, devers 1312, i més tard els portuguesos[8], havien arribat a les illes Canàries, fins al punt que Angelí Dulcert, en la seva carta de 1339[9], ja va recollir el nom de les illes Lanzarotus Marocellus i Forte Ventura, marcades amb les armes de Gènova, com a mostra de domini. Després de les expedicions dels genovesos, passaren tres dècades, i l’any 1342, començaren les expedicions mallorquines cap a aquelles "illes noveylament trobades envés les parts de Occident", uns viatges que varen ser dels més fecunds en el món hispànic. Autoritzat pel lloctinent Roger de Rovenach, l’any 1342 va anar a "les illes de la Fortuna" el comerciant Francesc des Valers, "patró e capità", amb dues coques baionesques[10]. Aquest des Valers no sembla ser el mateix que va viatjar fins a Tartària i que encara vivia pel 1394[11]. Des Valers havia promès que, si conquistaven alguna d’aquelles illes, en reconeixerien com a príncep i senyor el rei de Mallorca, Jaume III.[12] És una pretensió expansionista del darrer monarca mallorquí que el treu de l’encongit monet de les disputes dinàstiques. Aitals ambicions se corresponien amb l’esplendor del comerç mallorquí dins la Mediterrània, i que també s’obria a les rutes atlàntiques, aixi com pel 1357, des de la Mar Negra un altre Francesc Desvalers s’encaminaria cap a la Tartària. La contemporània consolidació de la cartografia mallorquina és un exponent d’aquesta presència de naus illenques dins el món conegut pels mediterranis del s. XIV. Amb tot, per ara no podem concretar l’abast i la consistència d’aquells projectes de 1342, entre altres causes perquè, l’any següent, el rei Jaume III fou desposseït dels seus territoris. Tanmateix, els viatges a les costes africanes consten viatges diversos. Per exemple, Jaume Ferrer deixà la petja en el mapa d’Abraham Cresques, de 1375, pel seu viatge al Riu d’Or, el 1346.[13]

A més d’aquesta expedició, pel mateix mes d’abril, n’hi anaren tres més, que estan documentades, i potser n’hi hàgim d’afegir alguna just indirectament coneguda, com la que hi va menar Bernat Olzina[14]. Amb tot, desconeixem l’èxit que varen tenir[15], tret que feren esclaus més d’una dotzena de persones, de les quals parlarem més endavant. Tanmateix, encara que Pere III s’oposàs fortament a l’esclavització dels naturals de les Canàries, Ibn Khaldûn, pel 1377, sentí parlar dels esclaus que els "francs" havien caçat a aquelles illes a mitjan segle XIV. Se referia, òbviament als mallorquins i potser catalans, que practicaven aquell comerç inhumà[16]. La confusió entre francs i catalans de part dels esclaus, que informaren per l’Àfrica del Nord, res no té de sorprenent. Els francs eren molt més coneguts, a causa de l’imperi creat per Carlemagne; però no se’n coneixen expedicions marineres tan agosarades com les que ens ocupen.

[3] A. Rumeu de Armas, El obispado de Telde. Misioneros mallorquines y catalanes en el Atlántico, Madrid 1960, pp. 147-181 i F. Sevillano Colom, "Mallorca y Canarias", dins Hispania. Revista Española de Historia, 120 (1972), 141-148, han fet els reculls més amplis d’autoritzacions reials i papals.

[4] Elies Serra Ràfols, "Contribució catalana a la conquesta de Canàries", dins Revista de Catalunya, nº. 9 (1928) 42-51; "Juan de Bethencourt y Alfonso V de Aragón", dins Revista de Historia, (La Laguna) 1929.???; "Els catalans de Mallorca a les Illes Canàries", dins Homenatge a Rubió i Lluch. Miscel·lània d’estudis literaris, històrics i lingüístics, vol. III, Barcelona 1936; "Los mallorquines en Canarias", dins Revista de Historia. (Universidad de La Laguna.- Des de 1956: Revista de Historia canaria), 54-55 (1941), 195-209; "Más sobre los viajes catalano-mallorquines a Canarias", dins Revista de Historia, 16 (1943), 280-283; "La missió de Ramon Llull i dels missioners mallorquins del segle XIV", dins Monographica et Recensiones, 11 (1954), 169-175; "El redescubrimiento de las Islas Canarias en el siglo XIV", dins Revista de Historia canaria, 27 (1961), 219-234.

[5] Johannes Vincke, "Primeros tentativos misionales en Canarias", dins AST, 15 (1943), 291-301; "Comienzos de las misiones cristianas en las Islas Canarias", dins Hispania Sacra, 12 (1959), 193-207; "Die Evangelisation der Kanarischen Inseln im 14. Jahrhundert im geiste Raimund Lulls", dins Estudios Lulianos, 4 (1960), 309-314.

[6] F. Sevillano Colom, "Mallorca y Canarias", dins Hispania. Revista Española de Historia, 120 (1972), 128.

[7] A. Rumeu de Armas, El obispado de Telde. Misioneros mallorquines y catalanes en el Atlántico, Madrid 1960, pp. 147-181, amb 24 documents; "La exploración del Atlántico por mallorquines y catalanes en el siglo XIV", dins Anuario de Estudios Atlánticos, 10 (1964), 163-178. Pere-J. Llabrés Martorell, "La inspiración luliana de la misión mallorquina en las Canarias y la creación del obispado de Telde (1351)", dins Memoria Ecclesiae, 27 (2005),63-78, fa un resum de la primera obra de Rumeu de Armas, sense cap aportació nova.

[8] M. F. Núñez, Telde, Diócesis de, (Teldensis), dins DHEE, 4 (1975) 2542.

[9] Josep Mascaró Pasarius, La toponímia i cartografia antigues de les Illes Balears. Cartes de navegar i texts des del segle VI abans de Crist a l’any 1599, (Rafaubetx/4.- Lleonard Muntaner Editor), Palma 2000, pp. 34-42, sobre Dulcert i les seves cartes.

[10] Miguel Bonet, "Expediciones de Mallorca a las Islas Canarias (1342-1352)", dins Almanaque de el Diario de Palma, 1891, pp. 19-22, esp. 20-21, reproduït dins BSAL, 6 (1896), 285-288; F. Sevillano Colom, "Mallorca y Canarias", dins Hispania. Revista Española de Historia, 120 (1972), 123-148; Gabriel Llompart Moragues, Personajes mallorquines del 'trescientos' canario, dins Anuario de estudios atlánticos 19 (1973), 219.

[11] Rubió i Lluch, Diplomatari de l’Orient Català, nº. DCXLVII, 11-04-1394, pp. 675-676; vegeu, també, Llompart Moragues, Personajes mallorquines, Doc. I, 15-05-1350, pp. 224-230, testament de Francesc Desvalers, mercader i capità de l’expedició que anà a Canàries l’any 1342, cf. p. 221.

[12] Sevillano Colom, "Mallorca y Canarias", Doc. 1, 16-04-1342, p. 141; Gabriel Llompart Moragues, Notas sueltas sobre viajes y viajeros mallorquines a Canarias (siglo XIV), dins Anuario de estudios atlánticos 30 (1984), 386-387 i Llabrés i Martorell-Rosselló i Vaquer, Inca, p. 209.

[13] Mitjà, Abandó, p. 170.

[14] Rotger y Capllonch, Historia de Pollensa, II, p. 134.

[15] Sevillano Colom, "Mallorca y Canarias", pp.125-126, les diferencia amb claredat.

[16] Ibn Jaldún, Introducción a la historia universal (Al-Muqaddimah). Estudio preliminar, revisión y apéndices de Elías Trabulse, (Fondo de Cultura Económica) México 1997, Lib. I, C. 2, pp. 168-169: Primer clima. Este clima tiene, en su lado occidental, las islas Eternas (Aljalidat), afortunadas, adoptadas por Tolomeo como punto de partida, desde la cual cuenta las longitudes. Dichas islas se ubican en le mar Circundante, fuera de la tierra firme que hace parte de este clima, formando un grupo de islas numerosas, siendo las mayores y más conocidas tres. Se dice que son habitadas. Según tenemos entendido, algunas naves de los francos, habiendo tocado esas islas hacia mediados de la presente centuria, atacaron a los habitantes; los francos lograron botines y llevaron algunos prisioneros, que vendieron unos en las costas del Maghreb-el-Aqsa (Marruecos). Los cautivos pasaron al servicio del sultán, y al aprender la lengua árabe, dieron datos sobre su isla. Los aborígenes -decían-labraban la tierra con cuernos, el hierro les era desconocido; alimentábanse de cebada; sus ganados se componían de cabras; combatían con piedras, que arrojaban hacia atrás; su única práctica de devoción consistía en prosternarse ante el sol en el momento de su aparición. No conocían ninguna religión, y jamás misionero alguno les llevó alguna doctrina. Sólo el azar lleva a las islas eternas, porque nunca se llega allí ex-profeso. Cf. p. 174. Elies Serra Ràfols, "Los mallorquines en Canarias", dins Revista de Historia. (Universidad de La Laguna.- Des de 1956: Revista de Historia canaria), 54-55 (1941), 204-205.


The Majorcan expeditions since 1342, the Fortunate Islands or Canaries

On these expeditions we have neither an appropriate diplomatari. Miquel Bonet who was in the last quarter of century XIX, launched an ongoing documentary publication [3]. But it was Elias Serra Rafols [4] the one who has more perseverance over the tissue volume business, and has found roots ankit lianas, on which Johannes Vincke [5] was quite insightful. Later F. Sevillano Colom [6] and Gabriel Llompart have broadened the horizon, where the figure of destriam James III, with its expansionist tendencies. A wider selection of documents, although the authors have further enriched the offer was Antonio de Armas Rumeu [7], author of the most complete monograph on this campaign.

A news Mallorca was known that, in times of Ramon Llull, the Genoese, intelligence, 1312, and later the Portuguese [8], had reached the Canary Islands, to the extent that Dulcert Angel, in his letter of 1339 [ 9], has already collected the names of the islands and Fort Lanzarotus Marocellus Ventura, marked with the arms of Genoa, as a domain. After the expeditions of the Genoese, passed three decades, and in 1342, began expeditions shutters to those "islands noveylament found envés parts of the West," a travel were the most productive in the Hispanic world. Authorized by the lieutenant Roger Rovenach, in 1342 he went to the islands of Fortune "from the merchant Francisco Valero," captain and pattern, with two cakes baionesques [10]. Valero since this does not seem to be the same as he traveled to Tartary and still living by 1394 [11]. From Valero had promised that, if conquered some of these islands, to recognize as Mr. Prince and the King of Mallorca, James III. [12] It is an expansionist claim last monarch of the Majorcan removed from the reduced of monet dynastic disputes. Aitals ambitions are corresponded with the splendor of trade within the Mediterranean, Mallorca, and also opened to the Atlantic routes, and by 1357, from the Black Sea Francesc another Desvalers are heading towards cake. The consolidation of contemporary Majorcan cartography is a result of the presence of vessels within the island known for the Mediterranean s. XIV. However, we are unable to specify the scope and consistency of the 1342 draft, among other reasons because the following year, King James III was stripped of their territories. However, travel to the African coast are several trips. For example, Jaume Ferrer left the trace on the map of Abraham Cresques of 1375, on his trip to Rio de Oro, the 1346. [13]

In addition to this issue, the same month of April, three others went there, they are documented, and perhaps we've only just added some indirectly known, as there was Olzina Menara Bernat [14] . But know that the success they have [15], unless they made slaves more than a dozen people, of which we talk later. Although Peter III s'oposàs strongly al'esclavització nature of the Canary Islands, Ibn Khaldun, by 1377, heard talk of slaves that "Franks" had a bit these islands in the mid fourteenth century. It meant, of course, and perhaps the Majorcan Catalan, who practiced this inhuman trade [16]. The confusion between French and Catalan part of the slaves, to report to North Africa, nothing is surprising. The French were much more popular, because of the empire created by Carlemagne but no fishing expeditions are known as daring as those before us. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

The Google translation is predictably awful. About the only thing I've got from this is that the Majorcan Catalan were involved in the slave trade very early on. We really need some good sources in English or bilingual editors or both. Rivertorch (talk) 05:14, 4 June 2009 (UTC)


About the catalan expedition to Gold River there are also very references (in the previous comment you have some other). The first is the legend of map of Cresques in the Catalan Atlas:

The legend of map comment:

"Partich l'uixer d'en Jac Ferer per mar al Riu d'Or al jorn de Sen Lorenç. qui comptava X de agost i fo en l'any MCCCXLVI"

Translation: "the wessel of Jac[me] Ferer * departed by sea to go to the River of Gold in the day of Saint Lawrence, which was August 10 and was in the year 1346"

[Jacme Ferer = Jaume Ferrer in modern catalan]

Greetings — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Thanks. I'll check it out. Rivertorch (talk) 00:37, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Ok, thanks. About the question of the catalan expedition to the Gold River, here you have also other references on line: (page 28 and others) (page 29 and others) (chapter 58 and others),M1 (page 243 and others)

If you to investigate this topic to find in addition other surprises on maritime Catalan explorations on coast of Africa and islands. Not to be a chance that Enrique "the Navigator" was using later Catalans from Catalonia, Majorca and Valencia to direct Sagres's school. It is important to remember the great advance in cartography and technologies of navigation that to obtain in Middle Ages an essentially Mediterranean kingdom based on the navigation as the Crown of Aragon (the Catalano-Aragonese Kingdoms)


— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)


Please add SOMETHING about how africas phisical geography made exploration difficult for the Europeans! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:43, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

Roman redirect[edit]

I question the continued protection of the redirect of Roman exploration of sub-Saharan African to this page. I understand there were multiple issues (copyvio I assume? and sockpuppetry continuing such infractions) but the fact is that this page to which that page redirects to fails to cover the topic of Roman exploration of Africa at all in any capacity, which for the redirect to make sense this page needs to address what someone is looking for with that title. I suggest the most practical method of solving this problem is to unprotect the redirect page and add cursory information to get the page as a stub and which it would help in encouraging other productive editors to add more info. A stub is better than a protected redirect.Camelbinky (talk) 23:58, 10 September 2014 (UTC)