Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Gama, Vasco da (c. 1460-1525), a Portuguese discoverer, was born at. a small seaport in the province of Alemtejo. In his youth Prince Henry the Navigator died, and when Manoel succeeded Joao II. on the throne, Vasco da Gama, who had made himself a name in the wars with Castile, was sent in 1497 with four ships upon a voyage of discovery, one special object being to discover the country of Prester John. With difficulty he rounded the Cape, and then, under the guidance of an Indian pilot, crossed the Indian Ocean, and arrived at Calicut. Owing to the jealousy of traders, he had to fight his way out of harbour, and returned to be ennobled and treated with much favour. In 1502 he was given command of a squadron sent out to avenge some massacred traders, who had been left by Cabral to found a trading colony at Calicut, and on this occasion he bombarded Calicut and committed great acts of cruelty. The king gave him solid proofs of his gratitude, and for a time Da Gama lived in retirement, but in 1525 Joao III. made him Viceroy of India. He went to Goa, and the same year died at Cochin. He is celebrated in the Lusiad of Camoens, and Correa's Three Voyages of Vasco da Gama have been translated for the Hakluyt Society.