Books: Cruise Into the Past

CONQUEST BY MAN (455 pp.)—Paul Herrmann—Harper ($6). This is a German scholar's fascinating survey of travel and discovery before Columbus. Author Herrmann has pulled together all sorts of odd bits of learned lore to show that "the world has been since early times almost as great and wide as in our own day." He tells why experts now think that Bronze Age drummers lugged oaken sample cases through north European forests, and how the Egyptians of 4,000 years ago rowed their galleys 4,000 miles south to the Zambezi River to fetch myrrh, frankincense and gold. The eleventh of Hercules' twelve...

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