from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- Formerly Spice Islands (spīs)Moluccas A group of islands of eastern Indonesia between Sulawesi and New Guinea. Discovered in the early 16th century, the islands were settled by the Portuguese but taken in the 17th century by the Dutch, who used them as the basis for their monopoly of the spice trade.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- proper n. An archipelago in Indonesia.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a group of island in eastern Indonesia between Celebes and New Guinea; settled by the Portuguese but taken by the Dutch who made them the center for a spice monopoly, at which time they were known as Spice Islands
Sorry, no etymologies found.
This too was held to be most certain, that the islands which they call the Moluccas, in which all spices are produced, and are thence exported to Malacca, lay within the Spanish western division, and that it was possible to sail there; and that spices could be brought thence to Spain more easily, and at less expense and cheaper, as they come direct from their native place. "
The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803 — Volume 01 of 55 1493-1529 Explorations by Early Navigators, Descriptions of the Islands and Their Peoples, Their History and Records of the Catholic Missions, as Related in Contemporaneous Books and Manuscripts, Showing the Political, Economic, Commercial and Religious Conditions of Those Islands from Their Earliest Relations with European Nations to the Beginning of the Nineteenth Century
Of all the carnivorous animals of the Archipelago the only one found in the Moluccas is the Viverra tangalunga, which inhabits both Batchian and Bouru, and probably come of the other islands.
The Moluccas are the counterpart of the Philippines in their volcanic structure, their extreme fertility, their luxuriant forests, and their frequent earthquakes; and Bali with the east end of Java has a climate almost as dry and a soil almost as arid as that of Timor.
Four famous ways there be spoken of to those fruitful and wealthy islands, which we do usually call Moluccas, continually haunted for gain, and daily travelled for riches therein growing.
Of all the carnivorous animals of the Archipelago the only one found in the Moluccas is the Viverra tangalunga, which inhabits both Batchian and
This peculiarity is visible, not only when the Celebesian species are compared with their small-sized allies of Java and Borneo, but also, and in an almost equal degree, when the large forms of Amboyna and the Moluccas are the objects of comparison, showing that this is quite a distinct phenomenon from the difference of size which has just been pointed out.
The Moluccas are the counterpart of the Philippines in their volcanic structure, their extreme fertility, their luxuriant forests, and their frequent earthquakes; and Bali, with the east end of Java, has a climate almost as arid as that of Timor.
The Admiral Magalhaens depended chiefly on the naval skill of thirty of his Portuguese countrymen whom he took with him, as he did likewise on that of Serrano, who had served for many years in India, and for some time at the Moluccas, which islands they hoped to reach from the eastward, instead of their being approached, as before, from the west.
This island and several in a line to the south of it are known as the Moluccas, or Spice Islands.
[Footnote 99: Instead of one island, the Moluccas are a group of islands, the largest of which, Gilolo, is about 200 miles from N. to S.