Vasco da Gama, Portuguese explorer

Vasco da Gama, Portuguese explorer

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Credit: PATRICK LANDMANN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Vasco da Gama (1460-1524), Portuguese explorer whose voyage of 1497-9 found a maritime trade route around Africa to India, which helped make Portugal a world power. Here, he is shown below a coat-of-arms, in armour and courtly robes, with a staff and sword. The text at bottom gives his title of 'Dom' (Lord), awarded in 1499 on his return from India. This artwork is from 'Lendas da India' (Legends of India) by the Portuguese historian Gaspar Correia (c.1496-1563). This book, one of the earliest works about Portuguese rule in Asia, existed in manuscript form until it was published in the 19th century by the Royal Academy of Sciences of Lisbon.

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