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Reisen in den Molukken, in Ambon, den Uliassern, Seran (Ceram) und Buru. Eine Schilderung von Land und Leuten

Nature volume 52, pages 217218 | Download Citation



THE Moluccas, the spice islands of the farthest east, were the most powerful magnets which drew the fleets of Portugal eastward around the Cape of Good Hope in the fifteenth century, and in the sixteenth induced Magellan to start on that voyage through his straits which culminated in the first circumnavigation of the globe. They were the most coveted lands on earth at the commencement of the history of modern discovery, the most eagerly sought for, first acquired, and the most firmly held of the colonies of Europe. Yet while the group has changed hands again and again without passing out of European ownership, the islands are still most imperfectly known. The system of exclusion which animated Portuguese, Spaniards, and Dutchmen alike, discouraged systematic exploration; and the works of such travellers as have recently made explorations in the islands, are for the most part locked up from the general reader in the Dutch language. In English, indeed, there is the matchless work of Wallace; but this, like several later English books on the Malay archipelago, is mainly concerned with the study of biological conditions.

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