2015, pp 105-131
Date: 28 Aug 2014
Naturalists, Geographers and Explorers
Jesuit missionaries brought to Europe knowledge of the geography, fauna and flora of the remote lands of Africa, Asia and of the newly discovered America. Acosta was the first to write a popular book about the natural history of America. He was followed by several others, such as Cobo with a general treatise, Acuña about the Amazon and Gumilla about the Orinoco. Geography was an important subject in Jesuit colleges. Especially important are the maps drawn by Jesuits of regions of Asia, America and Africa. Jesuit entered unknown land drew maps of them and made them known in Europe. Among the explorers, Goes made the trip from Goa to China and Gruber from Beijing to Rome by land. Jesuits were the first Europeans to enter Tibet and to travel to Ethiopia. Paez and Lobo discovered there the source of the Nile River. In America Jesuits were the first to travel through this continent from Canada to Patagonia. They were among the first to follow the courses of the rivers Amazon, Orinoco and Mississippi.