8. Maritime expansions
There were were no maritime expansions into Eurasia, as opposed to out of it. Second, the peoples of Africa played only a limited role in the process. Carthage, by far the most important sea power ever located in Africa, was a Phoenician colony. The ancient Egyptians sailed the Red Sea, but went no farther. In early modern times many Africans crossed the Atlantic to the New World, but only as a result of being caught up in a slave trade initiated by Europeans. This maritime passivity of Africa is highlighted by the history of some of the islands that lie off its coasts. Madagascar remained uninhabited until colonized by a population from Borneo in the first millennium A.D., and it was only in the course of this settlement that an African element from the mainland appeared on the island. Unlike Madagascar, the Canary Islands off the coast of Morocco were settled from the mainland in ancient times, but contact was lost, as is shown by the fact that Islam did not reach the islands; it was the Europeans, not the North Africans, who rediscovered them in the later Middle Ages and conquered them in the course of the fifteenth century.