More indispensable than imaginable at the outset :
Henze, Dietmar. (Encyclopedia of the Discoverers and Explorers of the Earth.) In German. 5 vols. 1975-2004. 4to. 3694 pp. Skivertex vols.
Greatly designed compendium
on the development of knowledge from the beginnings towards the end of the 19th centuries as result of decades of research. Considering
“ those scientists, explorers and travelers who put together the mosaic of our geographical knowledge. Among these there are many
who appear only now from the darkness of being missing .
Cross references and summaries at the end of each and every article show the respective historical situation of discovery and exploration throughout … The work is an indispensable source. ”
And just the less known travelers filled the white spots of maps only created by the famous discoverers as Polo (here stretching over about 300 pages), Columbus (34 pp.), Cook (72 pp.) or Maghellan. For their expeditions only opened the view at the huge unknown areas which then – as far as it concerned the exploration – had to be scouted in painful spade-work and without the lure of the really big fame.
So the question for the growth of knowledge of earth and – foremost – the expression this found in cartography and geography are the central cardinal point of each of the as poignant as vivid articles.
And just the maps the seafarers brought home changed the shape of earth in the eyes of humanity the most distinctly as they added whole continents and explored and depicted their coasts again and again, always more accurately.
Final climax for the reader coming from the maritime side therefore the realization that in this connection seafaring may not be everything,
but without seafaring all would have been nothing .
And the world would have remained much, much smaller.
For with the exception of Marco Polo all discoveries were only made possible by seafaring. In Africa just as the New World or Oceanica. Even the farthest tip of Asia was first seen from the sea. And even the voyages deep into the interior of these new – or at least unknown – continents were of maritime nature for an important part: for they followed the great streams, may it be the St. Lawrence, the Amazon or La Plata to set the foot ashore for the further journey on land only there where any navigability ended. And do even this only in the consciousness – or at least in the hope – to have by the means of the ships a basis also providing for the necessary supply.
All this gathered finally a voyage of discovery of its own. Accomplished solo by Henze, as today – despite or just because of all the technical aids – barely imaginable and only comparable with the great encyclopedias of the Enlightenment.
And of a bearing corresponding to these .
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