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Portuguese sailor and explorer Vasco da Gama

Portuguese sailor and explorer Vasco da Gama

H407/0155

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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Vasco da Gama (1460-1524), the pioneering Portuguese navigator who discovered the sea route from Europe to India in 1497, travelling via the Cape of Good Hope in modern South Africa. Da Gama was chosen by the Portuguese King Manoel I for the expedition. He arrived in Calicut, southern India, in May 1498, and returned to Portugal in September 1499. In 1502 he founded a Portuguese colony in Mozambique, and in the same year plundered Calicut in revenge for the murder of some Portuguese sailors. After 20 years of retirement he returned to India as Portuguese viceroy in 1524, but died two months after his arrival. The sea route opened by Da Gama helped make Portugal a world power.

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