Vasco Da Gama's Journey To India

1251 Words6 Pages
Vasco da Gama, born in Portugal, was a prominent Portuguese explorer during his lifetime spanning the late 1460s to early 1500s (Romey). Da Gama voyaged around Europe and Africa, eventually becoming the first European to reach India by sea (Gibbens). After successfully completing the 24,000-mile journey in 1498, da Gama was instructed by Portuguese king Manuel I to return to India to harass the Muslim shipping industry that had monopolized the spice trade. Da Gama took a fleet of 20 ships, and among them was Esmeralda. This ship was captained by da Gama's uncle, Vincent Sodré, and was one of five ships left behind in India to protect Portuguese factories. With no immediate oversight, Sodré took advantage of his free reign to seize and loot Arab ships. In an unfortunate turn of events, though, Esmeralda perished in deep waters in the Arabian Sea during an intense storm in May 1503, bringing its crew and looted treasures along with it (Romey). Esmeralda's route from Europe to India is referred to as the Carreira da India, and was at…show more content…
The device is raised with the alidade to determine the degree measurement of the sun's position from the horizon when it is highest in the sky. In addition to this measurement, a reference star that is visible when the sun rises in the morning must be known. The intersection of these two data points can be found in the rules book and gives the current latitude (Morgan).
In 2014, archaeologists discovered a copper disk by the Esmeralda, and thought that it may be an astrolabe (Gibbens). Figure 4 shows what the astrolabe looked like when it was first catalogued. Mearns knew it was a valuable object, since it had the Portuguese royal coat of arms and an armillary sphere imprinted on it. However, there was too much corrosion to determine with absolute certainty that it was an astrolabe, as no navigational markings were visible
Open Document