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Bartholomeu Dias

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Bartholomeu Dias (aka Bartholomew Diaz) Short Biography of the life of Bartholomeu Dias - Navigator and Explorer

The following biography information provides basic facts about the life Bartholomeu Dias:

  • Nationality - Portuguese

  • Lifespan - 1457 - 1500
  • Family - Noble Portuguese family
  • Career - Navigator and Explorer
  • Famous as : The first European to lead a 1487 voyage around the Cape of Good Hope on the Southern most tip of South Africa

Facts, Timeline & History about the life of Bartholomeu Dias - Navigator and Explorer
The following are additional facts and a timeline about the life and history of Bartholomeu Dias.

  • 1457: Bartolomeu Dias was born in Portugal
  • Bartolomeu Dias came from a noble Portuguese family and his father attended the Portuguese court. It is believed that Dias came from a family of seamen and explorers including Joao Dias who sailed around Cape Bojador in 1434 and Diniz Dias who discovered the Cape Verde Islands
  • Bartolomeu Dias was well educated as befitted his status and would have been taught several languages, physics, geometry, mathematics and astronomy
  • He was a member of the royal Portuguese court and held the title of Sailing Master of the Portuguese man-of-war Sao Cristovao (San Christovao)
  • 1481: Bartolomeu Dias joined Diogo d'Azambuja to explore the Gold Coast of Africa
  • 1486: 10 October King John II of Portugal appoints Bartolomeu Dias leader of an expedition to sail around the southern most tip of Africa and make contact with a Christian ruler in the Indies called Prester John. Marco Polo and Vasco de Gama had both informed the Portuguese court of the existence of Prester John, King of Ethiopia
  • 1487: August - Bartolomeu Dias embarked from the River Tagus below Lisbon on his voyage of exploration around Africa to the Indies with two armed caravels and one supply-ship, a square-rigger, which was commanded by his brother, Pero Dias
  • The voyage of exploration lasted sixteen months and the expedition route travelled as follows:
    • Sao Jorge de Mina, the Portuguese fortress on the Gold Coast to take on extra provisions
    • Sailed passed the coast of Angola
    • December 1487 they reached Golfo da Conceicão (Walvis Bay)
    • Sailed into Golfo de Santo Estevao (Elizabeth Bay)
    • January 1488 unknowingly the sailed through a terrible storm around the Cape of Good Hope which Diaz called called Cabo Tormentosa - the Cape of Storms
    • Sailed North to Bahia dos Vaqueiros (Mossel Bay) where they landed February 3 1488
    • Landed at Bahia da Roca (Algoa Bay)
    • 12 March 1488 west of Bushman's River mouth, they dropped anchor at a headland, called False Islet, now known as Kwaaihoek and decided to embark on their return journey home
  • 1488: December Bartolomeu Dias returned to Lisbon having opened up lucrative trading routes from Europe to Asia and with invaluable information for future Portuguese voyages of exploration
  • These Portuguese expeditions were headed by Christopher Columbus , Vasco da Gama and Pedro Alvares Cabral who all used the charts prepared by Bartolomeu Dias
  • 1497:  Dias accompanied the expedition led by Vasco da Gama to India
  • 1500 Dias accompanied Pedro Álvares Cabral on the voyage that resulted in the discovery of Brazil. This voyage mysteriously took a course to the New World and Cabral discovered Brazil - the expedition then turned back towards the south coast of Africa
  • 1500 May 24: Bartolomeu Dias dies in a violent storm in the Cape of Good Hope
The Age of Exploration
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