- The term “discovery” as used in the phrase “Age of Discovery” has most often been used to describe how early modern Europeans came to realize the shape and layout of the world. Yet our readings have revealed that these discoveries also included an increasing knowledge of the world’s peoples and social networks, especially with regard to Maritime Asia. Review the assigned readings from the Journal of Vasco da Gama, the Suma Oriental, Lodovico di Varthema, and Magellan’s Voyage to find descriptions of different Asian societies and patterns of trade. Describe briefly the peoples and networks that the Europeans found in Asia. What kind of religious practices did they encounter? What kind of trade networks? Which locations seemed more appealing to the Europeans? Why? Give specific examples of the complex, interconnected world that these early explorers found in Maritime Asia.
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