Circumnavigation of Africa

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May 9th, 2017 at 3:06:39 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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Quote: Nareed
I don't get it.


"Cabo Falso Bojador is formed by several tall sand dunes ... A rocky shoal, with a least depth of 4.8m, extends up to 3 miles N of the cape. A rocky patch, with a least depth of 8m, lies about 2 miles W of the cape. The coast between Cabo Falso Bojador and Cabo Bojador, 10 miles SW, consists of a sandy beach fringed by rocks. Clumps of scrub top the sand dunes which stand about 0.5 mile inland of this beach. Heavy breakers have been observed along this coast at all times. Cabo Bojador, a very low point, is located 9.5 miles SW of Cabo Falso Bojador and is bordered on the S side by black rocks. From the N, the cape appears as a mass of red sand with a gradual slope towards the sea. From the W, the cape is difficult to identify, but from the S its extremity appears as a reef which dries in places and is marked by breakers even in calm weather."


Cape Bojador is difficult to pass only when sailing south. It was considered impenetrable for decades. The discovery of a passable route around Cape Bojador, in 1434, by the Portuguese mariner Gil Eanes made possible continued voyages to the south, even though it was still 65 years until a complete circumnavigation and a boat made it all the way from Portugal to India.

The Phoenicians sailed down the Red Sea and south on the eastern shore of Africa, around the tip an northward up the Western shore passing the Cape in a northward direction. Cape Bojador would not have been as difficult to pass in a northward direct since the cape would force a ship into deeper waters and avoided being smashed into the shallows.
May 9th, 2017 at 3:17:42 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 306
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Quote: Pacomartin
The Phoenicians sailed down the Red Sea and south on the eastern shore of Africa, around the tip an northward up the Western shore passing the Cape in a northward direction.


That's what I don't get. The Phoenicians owned the Mediterranean Sea. They had colonies all over its shores, and were surpassed only by their colony in Carthage. Any sailing expedition would depart from the Med, where they knew they could get supplies, assistance and even protection if needed. Why would they even think to sail from the Red Sea?

Did any Phoenicians ever sail the Red Sea?
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
May 9th, 2017 at 5:02:18 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 664
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Quote: Nareed
Why would they even think to sail from the Red Sea? Did any Phoenicians ever sail the Red Sea?




According to Herodotus, the first opening of the canal was under Persian king Darius the Great, who also directed the Phoenicians sailing around Africa.

The earliest reliably documented mention of the spherical Earth concept dates from around the 6th century BC when it appeared in ancient Greek philosophy but remained a matter of speculation until the 3rd century BC, when Hellenistic astronomy established the spherical shape of the Earth as a physical given.

Herodotus lived in the fifth century BC (c. 484c. 425 BC), before the spherical shape was established. So he was surprised by what the Phoenician texts who described the position of the sun while sailing across the southern part of Africa.
May 9th, 2017 at 5:53:08 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 306
Posts: 10278
Quote: Pacomartin
According to Herodotus, the first opening of the canal was under Persian king Darius the Great, who also directed the Phoenicians sailing around Africa.


Did Darius conquer Egypt? I know the Persians did (and perhaps they regretted it), but not necessarily Darius. He was busy with the other great powers of the time.

I can buy he conquered the Levant. He did conquer Israel and Judea along with other Babylonian possessions. Phoenicia was right there (and had all that fine cedar). The Hebrews were glad to be conquered, as Darius allowed them to return home from forced exile. His other subjects were perhaps less thrilled. Egypt was a constant irritant, much like Spain proved to be for Napoleon a few millennia later.

How did the Phoenicians feel about it?

I can buy that Darius would send them to sail the Red Sea, but likely not to circle Africa. More likely, he'd send them towards Asia.

Interesting map, BTW. I'd no idea the French called it "The Cairo." :)
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
May 9th, 2017 at 11:27:00 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 664
Posts: 7605
Actually, I have seen it credited to both Darius and Necho II as people who hired the Phoenicians.

Darius I c. 550486 BCE
Necho II of Egypt was a king of the 26th Dynasty (610 BC 595 BC).
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