500 year old astrolabe recovered

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500 year old astrolabe recovered

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okt 24, 2017, 12:47pm

Marine archaeologists recovered the navigational device from the Esmeralda, part of Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama's fleet, which sank in the Indian Ocean in 1503.


okt 24, 2017, 2:13pm

yeah !

okt 30, 2017, 1:18pm

As a point of interest, the Portuguese king whose emblems decorate this astrolabe, Dom Manuel I, is the same one who came into possession of a rhinoceros that inspired Albrecht Dürer's famous picture.

And the rhinoceros, like the astrolabe, was finally lost at sea.

okt 30, 2017, 2:54pm

A Rhino lost at sea ? Tell us more !

nov 1, 2017, 12:38am

Very cool!

nov 2, 2017, 3:33pm

>4 Macumbeira: The king of Portugal decided to make a present of his rhinoceros to the pope. Only the ship foundered off the coast of Italy.

nov 2, 2017, 4:48pm

: (

Maybe there was a Life of Pi situation...

nov 4, 2017, 8:33am

This link has the official account (in Portuguese).


Makes for an interesting story. It says that the rhino was a gift from the ruler of Diu (India) to Afonso de Albuquerque, commandant and representative of the Portuguese empire, whose request to build a fort was refused (peace offering of sorts?). As it was difficult to keep the animal in Goa, Albuquerque sent it to Lisbon as a gift to the king. It was told that D. Manuel, having heard rhinos and elephants to be mortal enemies, wanted to see for himself if it was true, staged a fight. The poor elephant fled in panic soon as it saw the rhino.

Wanting to impress the pope and gain his support, the king sent the rhino as a gift to Rome. It was dressed in a green velvet vest covered with golden roses and chrysanthemums. In the waters off Genoa, a violent storm sanked the ship and all in it perished, including the poor animal. The rhino could have swum but it was said that the anchor prevented this from happening. The dead animal, though, was recovered. The king ordered it stuffed and sent to the pope, anyway, as if nothing happened. But it seems it didn't impress the pope much (who was more fascinated with a previous gift, an elephant).

nov 4, 2017, 10:48am

Great ( sad ) story