Vasco da Gama Facts

Vasco da Gama Facts
Vasco da Gama became famous for being the first European explorer to leave Europe by ship and sail to India by going around Africa. He was a Portuguese explorer, and one of the most famous from the Age of Discovery. His discovery of the route to India around Africa allowed the Portuguese to create a colonial empire in Asia. It also meant that sailors would not have to cross the Mediterranean or Arabia, considered to be very dangerous at the time. His discovery also made it possible for the Portuguese Empire to improve its trade which improved the economy.
Interesting Vasco da Gama Facts:
Historians cannot agree whether he was born in 1460 or 1469, but they do know he died on December 23rd, 1524.
Vasco da Gama was born in Sines, a coastal town in Portugal. He died in 1524, in Kochi, India.
Vasco da Gama' father was a knight and also an explorer.
Thousands of sailors lost their lives in attacks and shipwrecks while trying to reach India for years before Vasco da Gama made the successful voyage.
Vasco da Gama left Portugal on July 8th, 1497 to find a sea route to India. He had four ships and 170 men.
The ships were named the San Gabriel, the Sao Rafael, and the Berrio. The fourth ship did not have a name as it was only used for storage.
Because there was a monsoon wind, they reached India in less than one month.
Vasco took three interpreters on the first voyage.
Vasco da Gama reached India (Calicut) on May 20th, 1498.
The spices in India were popular with Europeans, which was one of the reasons the safe passage was necessary.
On the return voyage, half of Vasco da Gama`s crew died from scurvy.
Vasco da Gama was the commander of two more trips to India.
On the second trip he had 20 armed ships instead of only the four on the original journey.
On Vasco`s second voyage he ordered his crew to seize the cargo of an Arab ship carrying as many as 400 passengers. The ship was set on fire and all those on board died.
While in Calicut he demanded that all Muslims be banned from India. The king refused.
Vasco da Gama was given Vidigueira, a newly created county in 1519. During this year he also became the first non-royal blood count in Portugal.
Vasco da Gama contracted malaria on the third trip and died soon after arriving in India.
In 1524 Vasco da Gama was named the Viceroy (Governor of India). He died of malaria before he could take over his new post.
Vasco da Gama's first voyage to India is considered to be the beginning of global multiculturalism.
Vasco`s father was supposed to be the commander of the expedition to India. It was delayed for so many years that Vasco ended up being given the expedition.
There is a crater on the moon that was named Vasco da Gama.
Vasco had one daughter and six sons. His second born son later became the governor of Portuguese India.

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