The altitude of the sun and other heavenly bodies was determined using the astrolabe, an instrument invented by the ancient Greeks.
It's a requirement for mariners to plot their latitude, which is their precise position north or south of the equator.
Europeans borrowed technology from the East for their voyages.
Chinese inventions include gunpowder, the compass, and the sternpost rudder.
The lateen sail allowed European ships to tack against the wind.
The tradition of Judeo-Arabic mathematical and astronomical learning in Iberia was used in the advancement of cartography.
European sailors explored new territo ries using techniques and knowledge developed over centuries in China, the Muslim world, and trading centers along the Indian Ocean.
Portugal has a long history of navigation.
The Portuguese were denied access to western Europe by Spain, so they turned to the Atlantic.
Prince Henry, a younger son of the king, played a leading role in the early stages of Portuguese exploration.
Henry was dubbed "the Navigator" because of his support for the study of geography and navigation and for the annual expeditions he sponsored down the western coast of Africa.
The beginning of European overseas expansion was marked by Portugal's conquest of Ceuta.
Madeira was settled under Henry's direction in the 1420s.
The new phase of the migrations of European peoples was marked by the voyages of discovery.
The map shows the voyages of the most significant European explorers.
Take into account the routes and dates of the voyages shown.
By the time of Henry's death in 1460, sugar plantations on the Atlantic islands, the first arrival of enslaved Africans in Portugal, and new access to African gold had all been vindicated by his support for explora tion.
The Portuguese established trading posts and forts all the way to Timbuktu in Africa.
The flow of gold from Africa to Europe was controlled by Portugal.
The west coast of Africa was pushed further south by the Portuguese.
The Cape of Good Hope was rounded at the southern tip.
1469-1524) commanded a fleet in search of a sea route to India.
He brought spices and samples of Indian cloth back to Lisbon.
Every March, a Portuguese convoy set out for the Cape.
The entrance port for Asian goods into Europe was not without a fight.
The rich spice trade of the Indian Ocean was dominated by Muslim-controlled port city-states.
A number of these cities were conquered by the Portuguese in the 16th and 17th century.
The lives of Asian peoples were not affected by the acquisition of port cities and their trade routes.
Spain began the quest for an empire.
The Genoese ambition to circumvent Venetian and Portuguese trade was embod ied by the westward voyages of Christopher Columbus.
Columbus knew a lot about the sea.
He was familiar with the most advanced navigation innovations of his time as a mapmaker.
The success of his first voyage to the Americas, which took him across the Atlantic to the Caribbean in thirty-three days, owed a lot to his seamanship.
Columbus was a very religious man.
He shared in the religious and nationalist fervor surrounding the Spanish conquest of Granada.
He understood that Christianity was a missionary religion that should be carried to places that did not exist.
Columbus' primary goal was to find a direct ocean trading route to Asia, despite the fact that the spread of Christianity was an important goal.
The stories of Mandeville and Marco Polo inspired Columbus to go to the court of the Great Khan.
Columbus needed financing to start his voyage.
In 1492, he won the support of the Spanish monarchy after being rejected for funding by the Portuguese.
The Spanish crown agreed to give him one-tenth of the material rewards of the journey and viceroy over any territory he discovers.
Columbus and his smal fleet left Spain on August 3, 1492.
He arrived in the Bahamas on October 12, 1492.
Columbus thought he had found some smal islands off the east coast of Japan when he arrived in the Bahamas.
Columbus wrote a letter to Ferdinand and Isabel when he returned to Spain.
He thought he was in the Indies and used the name "Indians" for the inhabitants of the Americas.
Columbus believed that they could quickly be converted to Christianity.
Scholars have identified the inhabitants of the islands as the Taino people, who were speakers of the Arawak language and lived in Hispaniola and other islands in the Caribbean.
The Taino villagers reported the presence of gold and a great king.