This is the second edition in English of Richard Eden's (d.1576) work of 1555, which was the first collection of voyages in English. The core of this revised edition was still the translation of Peter Martyr's De orbe novo and Oviedo's History of the West Indies, however Willes added, for the first time in English, Martyr's fourth Decade which covers the voyages of Hernandez de Cordoba, Grijalva, and Cortes. This edition also includes Maffei's account of Japan and the first account in English of Pereira's description of China. The work also includes Eden's translation of Lodovico di Varthema's travels in 1503 to Arabia, including Mecca, and Medina (where Varthema became the first European to enter the city), Egypt, Persia, Syria, Ethiopia and East India.
Peter Martyr (1457-1526) was a contemporary and associate of Columbus, Vasco de Gama, Amerigo Vespucci and Ferdinand Magellan. This, and his privileged position within the Spanish Council for the Indies, placed Martyr in a position of unrivalled authority to construct an account of these explorers' discoveries.
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