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Merchants and ExplorersRoger Barlow, Sebastian Cabot, and Networks of Atlantic Exchange 1500–1560$
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Heather Dalton

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199672059

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199672059.001.0001

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South America & the Exploration of the Rio de la Plata

South America & the Exploration of the Rio de la Plata

(p.89) 6 South America & the Exploration of the Rio de la Plata
Merchants and Explorers

Heather Dalton

Oxford University Press

The chapter follows Cabot’s voyage, examining events that led Cabot to abort plans to sail to the Moluccas via the Strait of Magellan. It describes the voyage down the coast of Brazil as Cabot abandoned querulous officers on a sandbank and lost his flagship in a storm. Once the fleet turned into the estuary of the Rio de la Plata or River Plate—known then as the Rio de la Solis—the voyage became an exploration of rivers and part of the Spanish conquest of South America. Barlow’s descriptions of the fauna, flora, and encounters with the Tupi-Guaraní, including a cannibal ‘feast’ predating Hans Staden’s record, are detailed in his manuscript, known as ‘A Brief Somme of Geographia’. The exploration was beset by conflict, disease, and starvation. After Cabot encountered Diego García de Moguer, he sent Barlow back to Spain to present his case and seek further funding.

Keywords:   Sebastian Cabot, Roger Barlow, Diego García de Moguer, Spanish conquest of South America, New World encounters, Rio de Solis, Rio de la Plata exploration, Tupi-Guaraní, Hans Staden, A Brief Somme of Geographia

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