Ernst Georg Ravenstein, Gaspar Corrêa, Alvaro Velho



The biography of Vasco da Gama (1469-1524) the Portuguese explorer. Vasco da Gama was the commander of the first ships to sail from Europe to India. Vasco da Gama's momentous voyage irreversibly changed the course of human history by opening up the sea route to the east.



  TITLE : Vasco da Gama

  AUTHORS : Ernst Georg Ravenstein, Gaspar Corrêa, Alvaro Velho

   EDITORS : Keith Bridgeman, Tahira Arsham

   PUBLICATION DATE : 4th April 2011

  ISBN-13 : 978-1-906421-04-5  (ISBN-10 : 1-906421-04-8)

   FORMAT : Paperback



  SIZE : 229 mm (height) x 152 mm (width) x 22 mm (depth)

   WEIGHT : 558g

   SUBJECT CLASSIFICATION : 920 (Dewey), BGH (BIC subject)





Chapters : 1 - The early life of Vasco da Gama, 2 - Preparations for the first voyage, 3 - Vasco da Gama's ships and equipment, 4 - Vasco da Gama's crews, 5 - The first voyage of Vasco da Gama, 6 - The first voyage - From Lisbon to the Cape, 7 - The first voyage - From the Cape to India, 8 - The first voyage - Arrival in India, 9 - The first voyage - In Calecut, 10 - The first voyage - In Cananor, 11 - The first voyage - On the island of Angediva, 12 - The first voyage - In Melinde, 13 - The first voyage - Return to Portugal, 14 - The first voyage - Arrival in Portugal, 15 - The Roteiro, 16 - King Manuel's letters, 17 - Girolamo Sernigi's letters, 18 - Three Portuguese accounts, 19 - Pedro Cabral's voyage to India, 20 - The second voyage of Vasco da Gama, 21 - The second voyage - A Dutch narrative, 22 - Vasco da Gama in retirement, 23 - The Chamber of Goa letter, 24 - The third voyage of Vasco da Gama





King Manuel of Portugal chose Vasco da Gama to open up the sea route to the east to India just as Columbus had opened up the sea route to the west a few years earlier.

In 1497 Vasco da Gama set off for India with a fleet of ships including the São Gabriel, the São Rafael, and the Bérrio, on what was to become one of the most important voyages of all time.  

Vasco da Gama's momentous voyage continued despite treachery, mutiny, warfare and scurvy, which resulted in the considerable loss of lives. Vasco da Gama certainly possessed the courage, ambition, pride and an unwavering steadfastness of purpose necessary for such a voyage. He was not averse to barbarity in the treatment of his enemies. He ordered the upper and lower lips of one of his enemies to be cut off, so that all his teeth showed, and then replaced his enemies ears with those of a dog. On another occasion a large number of his prisoners were hung to the yards of the ships and, after taking them down, he had their hands, feet and heads cut off filling up one of his enemies ships with them.

Vasco da Gama's voyage was to irreversibly changed the course of human history and establish Vasco da Gama's place in history for ever more.

Included in its entirety is the Roteiro, which is the only first hand account of the first voyage of Vasco da Gama, and further descriptions written by Gaspar Corrêa, King Manuel, Girolamo Sernigi, and three Portuguese accounts, as well as the original descriptions of Vasco da Gama's second and third voyages.


Excerpts of Vasco da Gama, including the introduction, the contents, and the front page of every chapter can be read here : VASCO DA GAMA EXCERPTS





Ernst Georg Ravenstein was born in Germany but spent most of his life in England. For twenty years he was in the service of the Topographical Department of the War Office. He subsequently became a professor of geography at Bedford College and authored a number of books and maps. Gaspar Corrêa (c1495-c1561) was a Portuguese historian. He lived mostly in Portuguese India, where he is believed to have gone to in around 1512-1514, to serve as a soldier. He was subsequently chosen as secretary to Afonso de Albuquerque. He is the author of "Lendas da Índia" (Legends of India), which is one of the most important books concerning Portuguese rule in Asia. It benefited from thirty five years of Corrêa's work in India, and privileged sources unknown to other historians. Alvaro Velho is thought to be the author of "The Roteiro", which is the only first hand account of the first voyage of Vasco da Gama. After taking part in the voyage Álvaro Velho spent eight years in Guinea.





Vasco da Gama is part of a series of biographies concerning "The Voyages of Discovery" including : Vasco da Gama, Magellan, Pedro Cabral, Bartolomeu Dias, and Amerigo Vespucci. Between them they discovered and opened up much of the then unknown world. For more information go to  VOYAGES OF DISCOVERY


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