The age of exploration refers to a period of history that spans from the early 15th century to the early 17th century. During this time, Europeans took to the seas in search of new trade routes, knowledge, and sources of wealth. Some of the most famous explorers of this age include Christopher Columbus, Vasco de Gama, Henry the Navigator, Hernando de Soto, and Ferdinand Magellan. The journeys that explorers like these took had dramatic global implications that helped to shape the course of history. Up to this point in time, maritime exploration in Europe and around the Mediterranean was limited by how far they could travel from land. It was not until the Renaissance when novel technologies and ideas were developed that allowed for greater maritime expansion and exploration.
Sailing through the Ages Part 3: Age of Exploration
Replica world map from the age of exploration
Painting of a 15th century carrack