In 1947, five years after Columbus's fateful journey to the New World the leader of a Portuguese mission to India passed away before the ships could leave Europe. Taking his place was a younger, less experienced seafarer: his son, Vasco da Gama. It took more than ten months, but when da Gama arrived in India, he became the first to find a direct route to Asia via the Cape of Good Hope. His discovery allowed Portugal to gain a foothold in the spice trade, an industry previously dominated by Italian and Muslim traders, and helped establish the foundation for the future Portuguese empire. Awarded the rank of admiral and a lord-ship for his accomplishment, da Gama continued traveling to India on missions for the king until he contracted malaria and died after his third voyage. In Vasco da Gama, read about the life of one of the greatest navigators in the Age of Exploration.
Great Explorers tells the stories of some of the world's most influential figures whose quest for gold, land, and knowledge changed the course of history and created the modern globe. These books are a key resource to help students understand the stages of European exploration amid international rivalries.
Table of Contents
1 A Passage to India 6
2 The Rise of Portugal 14
3 Portugal in the Fifteenth Century 23
4 Portugal becomes the Center of Exploration 36
5 Da Gama and the Portuguese in India 60
6 Da Gama Returns to India 69
7 The Portuguese Empire in the East|69
8 Da Gama and the Portuguese Empire 81
Chronology and Timeline 92
Further Resources 98
Picture Credits 99
About the Author 104