In 1488, portuguese internet explorer Bartolomeu Dias ( c. 1450-1500 ) became the first european mariner to round the southern tip of Africa, opening the manner for a sea route from Europe to Asia. Dias ’ ships rounded the parlous Cape of Good Hope and then sailed around Africa ’ s southernmost degree, Cabo hyrax Agulhas, to enter the waters of the indian Ocean. Portugal and early european nations already had long-established trade wind ties to Asia, but the arduous overland route had been closed in the 1450s due to the Ottoman Empire ’ s conquest of the remnants of the Byzantine Empire. A major maritime victory for Portugal, Dias ’ breakthrough opened the door to increased trade with India and other asian powers. It besides prompted Genoan internet explorer Christopher Columbus ( 1451-1506 ), then living in Portugal, to seek a newly royal patron for a mission to establish his own sea path to the Far East .

An Ambitious Plan

about nothing is known about the life of Bartolomeu de Novaes Dias before 1487, except that he was at the court of João II, or King John II of Portugal ( 1455-1495 ), and was a overseer of the royal warehouses. He likely had a lot more sailing have than his one recorded stint aboard the warship São Cristóvão. Dias was probably in his mid- to late-30s in 1486 when King João II appointed him to head an expedition in search of a sea route to India.

Did you know ? According to Greek historian Herodotus of Halicarnassus ( c. 484-c. 425 B.C. ), egyptian pharaoh Necho II ( d. 595 B.C. ) sent phoenician sailors out from the Arabian Gulf to sail around the African continent. Their travel took three years. King João II was entranced by the caption of Prester John, a mysterious and credibly apocryphal 12th-century leader of a nation of Christians somewhere in Africa whose kingdom included the Fountain of Youth. King João II sent out a match of explorers, Afonso de Paiva ( c. 1460-c. 1490 ) and Pêro district attorney Covilhã ( c. 1450-c. 1526 ), to search overland for the christian kingdom in Ethiopia. King João II besides wanted to find a way around the southernmost point of Africa ’ mho coastline, indeed just a few months after dispatching the overland explorers, he sponsored Dias in an african excursion. In August 1487, Dias ’ trio of ships departed from the port of Lisbon, Portugal. Dias followed the route of 15th-century portuguese explorer Diogo Cão ( c. 1450-c. 1486 ), who had followed the coast of Africa a far as contemporary Cape Cross, Namibia. Dias ’ cargo included the standard “ padrões, ” the limestone markers used to bet on portuguese claims on the continent. Padrões were planted at the shoreline and served as guideposts to previous portuguese explorations of the coast. Dias ’ expedition party included six Africans who had been brought to Portugal by earlier explorers. Dias dropped off the Africans at unlike ports along the coastline of Africa with supplies of gold and argent and messages of grace from the Portuguese to the autochthonal people. The survive two Africans were left at a put the Portuguese sailors called Angra do Salto, probably in modern Angola, and the dispatch ’ s provide transport was left there under guard of nine men.

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Dias’ Expedition Around South Africa

In early on January 1488, as Dias ’ two ships sailed off the seashore of South Africa, storms blew them away from the coast. Dias is thought to have ordered a flex to the confederacy of about 28 degrees, probably because he had anterior cognition of southeasterly winds that would take him around the tap of Africa and keep his ships from being dashed on the notoriously rough shoreline. João and his predecessors had obtained navigational intelligence, including a 1460 map from Venice that showed the indian Ocean on the early side of Africa. Dias ’ decision was hazardous, but it worked. The gang spotted landfall on February 3, 1488, about 300 miles east of contemporary Cape of Good Hope. They found a bay they called São Bras ( contemporary Mossel Bay ) and the much warmer waters of the indian Ocean. From the shoreline, autochthonal Khoikhoi pelted Dias ’ ships with stones until an arrow fired by either Dias or one of his men felled a tribesman. Dias ventured further along the coastline, but his crew was skittish about the dwindle food supplies and urged him to turn binding. As mutiny loomed, Dias appointed a council to decide the matter. The members came to the agreement that they would permit him to sail another three days, then turn back. At Kwaaihoek, in contemporary Eastern Cape state, they planted a padrão on March 12, 1488, which marked the easternmost point of portuguese exploration. On the travel back, Dias observed the southernmost point of Africa, late called Cabo hyrax Agulhas, or Cape of Needles. Dias named the rough second cape Cabo district attorney Tormentas ( Cape of Storms ) for the angry storms and strong Atlantic-Antarctic currents that made transport change of location so parlous. back in Angra do Salto, Dias and his crew were aghast to find that alone three of the nine men left guarding the food ship had survived repeated attacks by locals ; a seventh man died on the travel home. In Lisbon, after 15 months at ocean and a travel of closely 16,000 miles, the returning mariners were met by exultant herd. In a individual meet with the king, however, Dias was forced to explain his failure to meet up with Paiva and Covilhã. Despite his huge accomplishment, Dias was never again put in a position of authority. King João II ordered that henceforth, maps would show the new identify for Cabo district attorney Tormentas : Cabo da Boa Esperança, or Cape of Good Hope .

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Dias was an Advisor to Vasco da Gama

Following his excursion, Dias settled for a time in Guinea in West Africa, where Portugal had established a gold-trading site. João ’ mho successor, Manuel I ( 1469-1521 ), ordered Dias to serve as a shipbuilding adviser for the expedition of Vasco district attorney Gama ( c. 1460-1524 ). Dias sailed with the district attorney Gama expedition deoxyadenosine monophosphate far as the Cape Verde Islands, and then returned to Guinea. Da Gama ’ s ships reached their goal of India in May 1498, about a ten after Dias ’ historic trip around the point of Africa.

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subsequently, Manuel sent out a massive fleet to India under Pedro Álvares Cabral ( c. 1467-c. 1520 ), and Dias captained four of the ships. They reached Brazil in March 1500, then headed across the Atlantic toward South Africa and, foster ahead, the indian subcontinent. At the fear Cabo district attorney Tormentas, storms struck the fleet of 13 ships. In May 1500, four of the ships were wrecked, including Dias ’, with all gang lost at sea. Bartolomeu Dias died on May 29, 1500 off the Cape of Good Hope. He is remembered as a pioneer explorer during the Age of Exploration who opened the sea route to Asia via the Atlantic Ocean and indian Ocean .

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