Technology- The Astrolabe
The astrolabe is a very popular astronomical astronomical tool that is used to show how the sky looks at a specific place at a given time. The astrolabe was highly developed in the Islamic world by 800 and was introduced to Europe from Islamic Spain in the early 12th century. Since then the Astrolabe has been the most popular astronomical instrument in production. Several types of astrolabes have been made. By far the most popular type is the planispheric astrolabe. The planispheric astrolabe has a celestial sphere projected onto the plane of the equator. A typical astrolabe was made of brass and was about 6 inches in diameter, although variations of the astrolabe became larger and smaller. much larger and smaller ones were made. To use an astrolabe, you adjust the moveable components on the face of the astrolabe to a certain date and time. Once you set the astrolabe, much of the sky, is represented on the face of the instrument. Many people use the astrolabe to find the time during the day or night, find the time of a celestial event such as sunrise or sunset and as a handy reference of celestial positions. Astrolabes were also one of the basic astronomy education tools in the late Middle Ages. Old instruments were also used for astrological purposes.
A few days ago the historic Treaty of Tordesillas was signed by the representatives of Portugal and of Spain. This treaty, commissioned by Pope Alexander VI, draws the Line of Demarcation. This line in the middle of the Atlantic divides the world in half. The countries will not actually own halves of the world, but will have rights to trade and exploration in those parts that the other country will not have. Spain seems to have gotten the upper hand in the deal as they received the west half of the world. This half includes the unexplored lands of the new world. The explorers from the west have come back with tales of riches beyond imagination that just lie for the taking. On the other hand, Portugal receives the east side. This includes Europe and Asia. This line sets a clearly defined boundary, but we will see if the two parties actually honor the agreement they made.
Trade between the European countries and Africa are rapidly increasing each week. Many items from Africa, such as slaves, has risen considerably in the past years to the Portuguese and Spanish colonies in the Americas. The Hermit Empire is still closed for trading as well as Japan, who has recently closed its doors for trading. Lord McCartney has sailed to Japan to try and re-open these gates, but no word has come about the results of this journey.
Inter-contiential trade has also boomed through the Silk Road. The Manchu held Qing dynasty in China is still trading with Europe, but they are not accepting any of our products, as they just want gold and silver for their silk and porcelain. In other trading news, more and more resources in the Americas are discovered each day, such as cocoa beans and oranges. Ships to Japan should be reaching their destination in the next week or so
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An Italian explorer Christopher Columbus has died in Valladolid, Spain. Columbus was trying to find the West Indies but instead he had found South America. Later he explored the West Indies and Central America, but died depressed, feeling he had been mistreated by, King Ferdinand of Spain, his patron.
Vasco da Gama was an explorer born in Portugal in 1497. The king of Portugal wanted this tough navigator to find a route to the east. He became quite rich and successful when he succeeded in this. He then traveled back to the east twice and became the viceroy of India.
Ferdinand Magellan was an explorer born in Portugal. He was apart of many Portuguese expeditions in the east but after this he switched his allegiance to the king of Spain. He then went on a voyage to find riches and the spice islands of Indonesia. He almost circumnavigated the globe but died in the Philippines due to some angry natives. His ship and crew were the ones that survived the voyage.
Interviewer: This week we have the honor of being able to interview a Native American, named Atohi Nashoba. He will tell us all about how he feels about colonization in the Americas. So let's get right to it, Atohi, what would you like to say.
Atohi: The colonization of the Americas is a terrible thing. Ever since the explorers found America, terrible things have happened, my people have been enslaved, forced to work in mines, and sometimes even killed. Also the explorers have brought diseases that have killed our crops and killed our people. Tens of thousands have died from disease alone.
Interviewer: I have also heard that the Europeans have done nothing to stop this, is that true?
Atohi: Yes that is very true, the things that the explorers and their men have done to us is inhumane and needs stopped before we are all wiped out.
Interviewer: Well Atohi, thank you for your comments and we will see if we can help your people.
Atohi: Thank you.
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