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Vasco da Gama, Portuguese Explorer

Vasco da Gama, Portuguese Explorer

C030/4486

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21.4 MB (3.2 MB compressed)

2256 x 3318 pixels

19.1 x 28.2 cm ⏐ 7.5 x 11.1 in (300dpi)

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SCIENCE SOURCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE SOURCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Vasco da Gama (born 1460 or 1469, died 1524) was a Portuguese explorer, one of the most successful in the Age of Discovery and the commander of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India. On da Gama's first voyage, in 1497, he led a fleet of four ships with a crew of 170 men from Lisbon. The distance travelled in the journey around Africa to India and back was greater than around the equator. The fleet arrived in Kappadu near Calicut, India in May 1498. He was celebrated for opening a direct sea route to Asia. Vasco da Gama was responsible for Portugal's success as an early colonizing power. Following da Gama's initial voyage, the Portuguese crown realized that securing outposts on the eastern coast of Africa would prove vital to maintaining national trade routes to the Far East. Stipple engraving by C. Turner, 1800.

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