Vasco da Gama
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Short Biography of Vasco da Gama

Vasco da Gama, the famous explorer, was born in the city of Sines, in Portugal, in the year 1469. He got the opportunity to be educated as a nobleman and served in the court of King Joao II because he was the son of the town’s governor. He was also employed in the court of King Joao where he served as a nobleman. In the year 1492, he also worked as a naval officer and commanded the defence of Portuguese colonies from the French on the coast of Guinea.

Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama

Who were Vasco da Gama’s parents?


Vasco da Gama’s father was Estevao da Gama and his mother was Isabel Sodre. Very little information can be found on Vasco da Gama’s childhood and his upbringing. His father was the commander of a fortress and the family was a noble one.

Vasco da Gama joined the Navy when he was young and he was taught about the sea and how to navigate over there.

Vasco da Gama’s children

Vasco da Gama had seven children – Cristovao da Gama, Estevao da Gama, Isabel d’Ataide da Gama, Francisco da Gama, Alvarao, Pedro and Paulo da Gama. To know more about Vasco Da Gama’s family click here.

Vasco da Gama Biography

What was Vasco da Gama best known for?

He was then handed over the mission to take control of the very first Portuguese voyage around Africa, to India. Vasco da Gama is renowned for the achievement for having completed the first all-water trade between Europe and India. It was believed that Estavao, Vasco da Gama’s father was originally chosen by King Joao II to make that expedition, but he had passed away much before he could complete his task.

Vasco da Gama Biography

Then the King handed over that task, to Da Gama’s brother- Paulo, but he had turned it down. The King felt that it was important that the trip be made, and so, as the King’s last choice, he gave it to Vasco da Gama to complete.

What did Vasco da Gama discover?

Vasco da Gama discovered the first sea route from Europe to the East. He was the one to sail directly from Europe to India.

Vasco da Gama route to India
Vasco da Gama route to India

Vasco Da Gama Timeline

It was in the year 1502, that he went out on his next expedition. On February 12th, 1502, he was all organized for an encounter with the much expected Muslim traders. He then had set sail with his many ships, which were all well armed to defeat the Muslim traders when he stumbled upon them. Da Gama had massacred many innocent Indians and Muslims.

Vasco da Gama discoveries

On one particular occasion, da Gama had been waiting for a ship to return from Mecca, a Muslim trading and religious centre. But, little did he know that the Portuguese surpassed the ship and got hold of all the merchandise. After which, they locked all of the 380 passengers and then set the ship on fire. It took all of four days for the ship to sink, which killed all the men, women and children.

Vasco da Gama Biography

When he arrived in Calicut, in the year 1502, the Zamorin were willing to sign a treaty. He told the Zamorin that he would have to banish all of the Muslims. To display his power, da Gama killed many fishermen in a gruesome way and floated the corpses onto the shore. Later, da Gama bombarded the city with guns and forced his way into the trading system. This led the way for other Portuguese conquests in the East Indies.

To read more about Vasco da Gama’s voyages click here.

Vasco da Gama in India
Vasco da Gama in India

Vasco da Gama Death

When Did Vasco Da Gama Die

In the year 1503, da Gama had returned home. When he was on his final expedition to India, Vasco da Gama had gotten critically ill and died on December 24th, 1524. Vasco da Gama’s remains were taken back to Portugal, where he was buried in the chapel where he had prayed before his first voyage.

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