What opened the Vasco da Gama?

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Age of Discovery - is an extremely important milestone in the history of mankind.Of course, the people of North and South America are unlikely to agree with this statement, but our civilization as a whole significance of the research is enormous.The names of the brave captains glorious era forever imprinted in historical documents, but because they now know each student.

But not all can enumerate the true achievement of these great men.Not everyone, for example, to answer the question that opened the Vasco da Gama.That's what we look at in this article.

Milestones biography

Vasco da Gama (1460-1524) - the world famous Portuguese navigator, whose life came just at the Age of Discoveries.He is known to be the first in history paved the sea route to India.At the time, even he held a high post of Viceroy of Portuguese India.In short, the biography of Vasco da Gama is rich in outstanding events.

Many historians point out that the pioneer in the strict sense of the word he was not (unlike the Magellan).While Christopher Columbus had to sweat to convince the powers that be of the need to organize an expedition, Vasco da Gama was not engaged in such matters.The reason is simply that the monarch appointed him as "the discoverer of the sea route to India."

Sailor was lucky and organizations campaign: and his team have provided all the best, realizing the importance of the event.How

began Biography Vasco da Gama?On his mother's lot is not known, but his father belonged to an ancient and wealthy knightly class.The future conqueror of the oceans had five brothers and a sister.

Judging by the "yes" in his name, his family belonged to the highest precisely nobility.According to the Portuguese historians, one of the ancestors of the Vasco da Gama (biography traveler confirms this) once he distinguished himself in the battle against the Moors, for which he was granted a knighthood.

Where is the future discoverer of the sea route to India was getting an education?Alas, there has to be judged only by circumstantial footsteps.More or less it is known only that mathematics and navigation young Vasco da Gama learned in Evora.Given that the only information kept on these sciences, it can be assumed that the Portuguese to respect people who have been able to set a course and deal with a sextant.

It should be noted that the Portuguese nobility did not have much choice in matters relating to their occupation.If a person belonged to the nobility, and even a knight, the way it - solely a military affair.Given that more or less serious wars Portugal land with no one led but actively develop land across the ocean, almost all nobles become naval officers.

not escaped the same paths and the young Vasco da Gama: biography (including the opening), it clearly shows that the more talented captains from Portugal, while in fact was not.

Life Vasco da Gama before his trip to India

Back in 1492 some French corsairs were able to seize the wealth of the cargo, which went to Portugal.Monarch this glorious country not tolerate such insolence, and therefore entrusted to a young nobleman walk with punitive raids along the coast, capturing all the French court found in that area.Poruchenets fulfilled the task as quickly and efficiently, that the robbers had everything back.As you may have guessed, this brave knight was Vasco da Gama.During his determination and courage he quickly approached the royal court.

In 1495 ascended to the throne of Portugal, Manuel I, who not only with redoubled zeal continued business expansion of known marine lands, but also seriously thinking about opening maritime route to India.Initially, he was appointed squadron leader Bartolomeu Dias.But the king knew that the expedition needed talents not only seaworthy but also purely military sense.And so it was replaced by our hero.So I opened the Vasco da Gama in the future?

On the sea route to India

should be noted that the precursor of the active monarch had already managed to try his luck in the search for an overland route.Make it was not easy, as the entire northern part of Africa is in the hands of the Moors above.Only after passing south of the Sahara, it was possible to reach the desired path.

In 1487 a campaign went a serious expedition.It was led by experienced officers - Peru da Covilhã and Afonso de Paiva.First India managed to achieve the desired and send home a message about the possibility of such a transition.Already in 1488 Bartolomeu Dias to conduct a detailed study of the southern tip of the Black Continent.It seemed that John II is about to be trump card in the hands - the way to India would ensure a steady flow of resources.So why Vasco da Gama and the discovery of the sea route to India have become such an important milestone in the history of Portugal, and the entire human civilization?

fate would have it otherwise: the king is dying sole heir, but because it is almost completely removed from employment policy.However, he managed to do a lot: for example, to accompany the expedition has built an entire squadron of top-class ships, whose design at the time put on the notorious Bartolomeu Dias.

when the monarch died in 1495, Manuel I - his successor - first the least thought of India.But the international political situation has developed in such a way that without it soon became impossible.Fast preparation for the great march continued.

equipment first expedition

Which ships held their journey Vasco da Gama?At the head of the squadron stood up, "San Gabriel".A similar class ship "San Rafael" came under the command Paulo - brother of Vasco da Gama.Both sailfish are so-called class of the NAO.It was a very large trial, displacement of which reached 120-150 tons.Due to the wide square sails they can develop a decent speed, but were rather clumsy, and sailors are not too fond of using them for long transitions without being tied to the shore.

opposite flagship was the "Berry".The ship is - nimble agile caravel.It was equipped with a slanting sail, commanded by Nicolau Coelho.Finally, the squadron was part of a transport worker, no names or other information that is not stored.About


Not surprisingly, with such attention to the organization of the expedition equipment allocated to it the best navigational instruments of the time.Ober-navigator became Peru Alenquer.This outstanding navigator has already perfectly proved themselves in the campaign to Dias (which we discussed above).Besides the main officers on board were a priest, scribe and astronomer.We take care of the few interpreters who have helped in dealing with the natives.According to some historians, the number of crew reached 170 people.

philanthropic tradition

In those days, there was a curious tradition.On the board in such campaigns took convicted criminals.Of course, we are doing it not in order to introduce the beauty of prisoners overseas territories.They were used as scouts, assault and other situations when you do not want to risk the lives of regular crew.However, for themselves and prisoners it was "light at the end of the tunnel."No matter how hard any sin that is committed to the will of the people, he received the freedom of navigation in the end.If you lived out, of course.


Remember, we mentioned about a transport ship?Include it in the expedition began from the time of Dias, when such an approach to business has proven superior effectiveness.On the storage vessel was kept a great supply of provisions, forms, spare rigging tools.Diet abundance team did not shine: porridge, corned beef, biscuits.In addition, standard solder includes a small amount of wine.The greens and fruit, fish and fresh meat were extracted by the sailors themselves on parking.

all sailors and officers received a good salary (except for "penal battalion").For the sake of romance sea journeys hiking nobody went.However, the journey Vasco da Gama was a purely commercial activity, so just do not have to wonder.

The ships of the squadron were armed?

By the time the weapons on the ships already gone far from those primitive mortars, which is ubiquitous in the early days.Each of the "NAO" had at least 20 guns, and the caravel was armed with twelve guns.Personal weapons reminiscent of the Spanish team: the same breastplate and halberds, daggers and swords.There are also a few muskets and pistols.The quality and the prevalence of handgun were so small that a major impact on the outcome of the fight, it is usually not provided.

July 8, 1497 with great honor squadron sailed from the port of Lisbon.The path went great explorer of the era - Vasco da Gama.Discovery of India (or rather, the way to the sea), it was not far off!

Home campaign

trial took place in the normal mode: ships sailed along SIERRA Leone.Taking advantage of good advice Dias expedition greatly deviated to the west off course to avoid strong headwind.He himself, by the way, had already moved away from the armada on a separate ship, heading for the castle Elmina Castle.There Dias has taken up the post of commandant.

Meanwhile, our squadron has already made an impressive hook in the Atlantic Ocean, after which the Portuguese again saw the Black Continent.November 4, 1497 there was a remarkable descent of the anchor in the bay, which immediately received the name of St. Helena.Teams of ships received orders for long-term parking, as ships still heavily battered in the open ocean, but carry out all the work failed.Along the way, still managed to find some pieces of land on which the current patched desperately ships.Here as Vasco da Gama discovered the uninhabited islands.

local population was extremely hostile.However, given the number of slave traders in places no surprise it was not.Vasco da Gama himself was in one of the skirmishes arrow in the leg, and then the squadron moved on.

But the main test was yet to come.With great difficulty, rounded the Cape of Storms (Good Hope), the fleet dropped anchor in the bay of Mossel Bay.Hulking freighter patted weather so much that I had to burn it.Fortunately, the local natives were much kinder to the traveler, and therefore not only managed to smoothly carry out the repair of ships, and replenish water and provisions.Further path lay to the northeast.

the Arab perfidy

December 16, 1497 the sailors saw a memorable last post, which has left the expedition Dias in 1488.All took it as a good omen, and premonitions came true: a month voyage went without delays and accidents.This is largely due to the fact that the ships of the expedition sailed along the coast of quite civilized.

fact that the eastern coast of Africa has long been the domain of the Arabic, and only they, unlike the semi-wild tribes of the west coast, the Europeans knew.Largely because of this, and passed peacefully enough (for those years) expedition Vasco da Gama.The sea route to India had taken the lives of many sailors, but they died because of poor nutrition and infectious diseases.

Despite the Crusades, the attitude towards them was quite acceptable, but without the complexity still is not complete.

For example, in Mozambique began friction with the local administration.And it was not in religion, which is very cynical Arabs generally paid little attention, but the fact that local merchants suspected of the Portuguese competition.Vasco da Gama was not in debt, slightly firing inhospitable coast.

In the ports of Mombasa and Malindi expedition met not much better.Oddly enough, but the local sheikh welcomed them as best friends.However, he had his reasons: the Portuguese easily flattered signed a treaty of alliance against some common enemies.In Malindi expedition finally met Indian merchants.Great difficulty and cost a lot of money finding a reliable procedure for the pilot.20 May 1498 flotilla ships finally reached the shores of the Indian subcontinent.Vasco

first visited the city of Calicut (now Kozhikode).The Mayor welcomed the guests very solemn.But here, the Muslim merchants began to re-insert them stick in the wheel.Relations have deteriorated sharply with the mayor, trade went bad.However, it managed to gain by selling a lot of precious stones and spices.According to an old tradition, the Vasco da Gama repaid ungrateful townspeople drove into the city walls multiple cores and capturing a couple of valuable hostages.In Goa, the Portuguese tried to establish a trading merchant, and here they failed.

Sea to the shores of India - that's what opened the Vasco da Gama!

way back

had to turn around and go home.However, it was a sin to complain about: the area explored, trade relations, albeit poorly, established.Subsequently, it was an important factor in the establishment of the Portuguese rule in those parts, which contribute much to himself Vasco da Gama.Great explorers are often those years became the talented politicians and military leaders, so there is nothing astonishing in the fact of his biography there.

But that was in front, and while the Mariners had a long and dangerous way back.They are plagued by Somali pirates (how little has changed since the situation in the area), terrible heat and food infection.Second city of Mogadishu in January 1499 was the "prevention" of the guns fired, and then the squadron headed for Malindi.


January 7, 1499, they reached the familiar city where finally able to relax by the sea and the ship's hateful tightness.And this time the Sheikh has provided excellent food and apartments, but because just five days the team cheered up considerably.

path continued, but not without loss: January 13, near Mombasa because of strong leak again had to say goodbye to one of the vessels.By mid-April, a depleted fleet still failed to reach Cape Verde.The house was already there.To reassure family members and the king sent forth a ship, which was the first to bring the news of the successful completion of the expedition.At the same time Vasco brother, Paolo, was seriously ill, but because the captain himself was delayed.

Only at the end of August (and in September) in 1499 the remains of the Armada proudly moored in the port of Lisbon.That's what opened the Vasco da Gama.Marco Polo and other great navigators of past years could justifiably proud of his colleague works!

Return and reward

to his native shores came only two ships and 55 crew members.But from a financial point of view, the success was simply phenomenal revenue from trade with the Arabs and Indians 60 times (!) Exceeded all expenses for the organization of the expedition.It is not surprising that the name of Vasco da Gama and the discovery of the sea route to India have become synonymous for many years to come!

Manuel I was delighted.Vasco got the high title of Don, a considerable pension and a huge plot of land.Given that Vasco da Gama discovered the route to India, which since ancient times was famous for its wealth, such honors are easy to explain.In addition, our hero began to approximate an adviser of the king, so that all the hardships were not in vain.In India, he will go again and again, defending the interests of his native land on distant shores.

At the end of 1524, Vasco da Gama died, lost the life on Indian soil.He still managed to set up a factory in Goa, which remained under the protectorate of Portugal until the mid-20th century.Compatriots and still highly revere the memory of the legendary seafarers, and the discovery and life Vasco da Gama is taught in schools.It is named after the bridge in Lisbon, let alone the amount devoted to his art and did incalculable.

We considered that opened Vasco da Gama.Hopefully, the above information will be useful to you.