Portuguese Roteiros, 1500-1700

By C.R. Boxer, published May 1934


The earliest extant Roteiro, a form of illustrated navigational guide, dates from 1506. As Portuguese sailors sailed to Brazil, around Africa and into the eastern seas, their new knowledge was documented in such works. The three examples produced by Dom Joaõ de Castro based on voyages between 1538 and 1541 set the standard for accuracy, and revealed Castro to be an innovative navigator. The author lists and discusses these and later Roteiros, including the first printed collection from the early 17th century. This article was inspired by an exhibition and accompanying lecture in Lisbon in 1934.

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Filed under: Atlantic | Other (Early Modern) | Indian Ocean
Subjects include: Science & Exploration

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