Pre-Portuguese references to Cape Verde

Jan 2014
1,734
Portugal
#1
Hello guys. I'm recently going into Cape Verdean history, and I'm looking for references of Cape Verde before the portuguese discovery.
I think there's no proof, but are there any speculation in african or european classical/medieval sources?
 
Jul 2019
547
New Jersey
#2
I don't think there are any, really. To the best of my knowledge, nobody since at least the Carthaginians' time succeeded in passing Cape Bojador, let alone making it down to the Cape Verde Islands. The ancient accounts of a circumnavigation of Africa (such as Herodotus' account of the expedition sent by Pharaoh Necho) don't give any geographical details of the lands encountered.
 
Likes: sparticulous

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,644
Portugal
#3
Hello guys. I'm recently going into Cape Verdean history, and I'm looking for references of Cape Verde before the portuguese discovery.
I think there's no proof, but are there any speculation in african or european classical/medieval sources?
Not that I am aware. Writting sources there aren't and as far as I know there also aren't archeological ones.

About speculations...
 
Jan 2014
1,734
Portugal
#4
Cape Verde may be referred to in the works "De choreographia" by Pomponius Mela and "Historia naturalis" by Pliny the Elder. They called the islands "Gorgades" in remembering the home of the mythical Gorgons killed by Perseus and afterwards - in typically ancient euhemerism - interpreted (against the written original statement) as the site where the Carthaginian Hanno the Navigator slew two female "Gorillai" and brought their skins into the temple of the female deity Tanit (the Carthaginian Juno) in Carthage.
According to Pliny the Elder, the Greek Xenophon of Lampsacus states that the Gorgades (Cape Verde) are situated two days from "Hesperu Ceras" - today called Cap-Vert, the westernmost part of the African continent. According to Pliny the Elder and his citation by Gaius Julius Solinus, the sea voyage time from Atlantis crossing the Gorgades to the islands of the Ladies of the West (Hesperides) is around 40 days.[citation needed]
The Isles of the Blessed written of by Marinos of Tyre and referenced by Ptolemy in his Geographia may have been the Cape Verde islands.[3]
What do you guys think about this speculations in wiki?
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,644
Portugal
#5
What do you guys think about this speculations in wiki?
Possibilities. More or less on the same level that the possibility that the reported Mansa Musa Atlantic expedition(s) fleet reached the islands (which is much more possible that it’s arrival to America).
 
Jan 2014
1,734
Portugal
#6
It is strange that (as in São Tomé) there aren't human presence before the Portuguese. In Cape Verde, I understand that some islands are just sand and rock, with almost no resources... But Santiago has many things to offer, and its less than 600 km from african coast.
Still, its understable that it nowhere near compared to São Tomé.
 
Jan 2014
1,734
Portugal
#7
I've read some interesting theories about the possibility that smoke columns from volcanic eruptions may had attracted curiosity from Morrocan sailors. And some speculate about those sailors stoping in Cape Verde to get salt (10th-11th century).

From Richard Lobban.
 
Mar 2013
3,654
#8
I will have to double check but wasn't the Phoenician expedition talking about the sky as seen from the southern hemisphere so it seems fairly realistic they passed the equator so past São Tomé but mostly likely Phoenician and most vessels would have hugged the coasts to a certain extent and discovering islands more than 600 miles offshore is a low possibility not to mention successfully navigating to them and back repeatedly plus seeing natural resources worth establishing a colony there so far from anything else.
 
May 2016
5,644
Portugal
#9
I will have to double check but wasn't the Phoenician expedition talking about the sky as seen from the southern hemisphere so it seems fairly realistic they passed the equator so past São Tomé but mostly likely Phoenician and most vessels would have hugged the coasts to a certain extent and discovering islands more than 600 miles offshore is a low possibility not to mention successfully navigating to them and back repeatedly plus seeing natural resources worth establishing a colony there so far from anything else.
You are referring to the Carthaginian expedition of Hanno, or the previous possible Phoenician-Egyptian circum-navigation of Africa at the orders of Necho II?

In any case, any references to islands are always hard to identify.

About the circum-navigation:

Herodotus on the First Circumnavigation of Africa - Livius

About Hanno:

Hanno the Navigator - Livius
Hanno the Navigator (3) - Livius