Vasco da Gama, Portuguese explorer

Vasco da Gama, Portuguese explorer

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Vasco da Gama (1460-1524), Portuguese explorer. Da Gama is most famous for setting up a trade route between India and Europe, which opened up the Indian subcontinent to European commerce. In 1497, Da Gama was sent by Prince Manuel of Portugal to find this trade route to India. He succeeded in sailing the length of Africa, and rounded the Cape of Good Hope four months after setting off. In spring 1498 he arrived in India, and in doing so helped make Portugal a world power. Coloured engraving from the 1875 edition of Vies des Savants Illustres.

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