Chapter

South America & the Exploration of the Rio de la Plata

Heather Dalton

in Merchants and Explorers

Published in print June 2016 | ISBN: 9780199672059
Published online August 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780191773747 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199672059.003.0007
South America & the Exploration of the Rio de la Plata

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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

Chapter.  9055 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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