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Bartolomeu Dias Biography Essay

Why on earth would a person sail around the southernmost tip of Africa without modern sailing technology such as GPS? Bartolomeu Dias was such a person to accomplish his great voyage around the Cape of Good Hope. He was born in Portugal around 1450 and was a Portuguese navigator and explorer and was known as the first European who sailed around the southernmost tip of Africa and reached the Cape of Good Hope. Bartolomeu Dias’ achievement had ultimately led to expansion of trade routes and the foundation Portuguese Empire.

He came from a Portuguese noble family and his father was a member of a Portuguese court (Alchin). When he grew up, he also became a member of the royal Portuguese court like his father. Some people believed that his descendants were seamen and explorers. When Bartolomeu Dias was young, he could receive high-level education compared to other ordinary people. He also leant many languages, physics, geometry, mathematics, and astronomy. The privileged childhood that he led, such as environment that he was in and the education that he received allowed him to be well-educated and be able to sail around the world.

Despite his cleverness, his navigational and sailing skill was extremely high and later he became the sailing-master of the man-of-war which was British Royal Navy description for a strong warship. Through years of voyage, Bartolomeu Dias discovered the sea route around Africa and his voyage lead to the foundation of Portuguese Empire which helped to make the trade between Africa and Asia increase. Motivation Bortolomeu Dias is a well known Portuguese navigator who is the first to travel around the southern tip of Africa and name it the Cape of Good Hope.

He comes from a noble family, so he can have much support even if the country didn’t support him. Dias’ family is not only rich, but also much of his relatives have seagoing background. Since he comes from a noble family, he was well-educated. During his education, he learned about math, physics, and astronomy. In addition, because of his relatives, he also has experience of navigation and exploration (Loon Lake). In 1487, he was chosen by Portuguese King John 2 to go and explore a path to the Indian Ocean through the southern tip of Africa (LLC).

During the period of time which Dias live in, Portuguese, Spanish, and other European countries are trying to discover more about the world and find different ways to get to other countries to expand their colonies. To compete with other empires, the kings will send an intelligent and reliable explorer to be the sea captain who is able to lead the crews on the voyage. The Portuguese King selected Dias on the voyage because of his background. Dias was a superintendent of the royal warehouse (Hartig, Otto), so the king knows about much about his background.

Because of his educational background, he is able to use his knowledge of astronomy and his navigation skills in the voyage to correctly sail on the Atlantic Ocean without getting to the wrong place or getting lost at the ocean. Dias became a successful explorer who brought glory to his home country because of his omni-directional knowledge. His attitudes toward study enable him to complete the mission. If he didn’t work this hard, how could they find their destination accurately? How can Dias open the road for Gama? Details of Adventure

Most records of Bartolomeu Dias’s early voyages have been lost from time to time. There are, however, three of his voyages that are currently known to historians, including his journey on a war ship in around 1481 (wikipedia), his voyage to the Cape of Good Hopes, and his last exploration as an advisor for Vasco Da Gama, in which he and his fellow sailers were tragically killed in a storm. Bartolomeu’s most famous exploration is his second trip, which brought Europeans to the southernmost tip of Africa for the first time.

The crewed sailed off from the port of Lisbon in Portugal in 1487 (biography. om). At first Bartolomeu followed the map created by Diogo Cao, another portugese explorer. Bartolomeu brought with him the standard padroes for staking territories for Spain and marking coasts for later explorations (biography. com). On February 3, 1488, Bartolomeu’s crew landed on the Sao Brass, modern day Mossel Bay. There, they encountered an extremely hostile local tribe, who threw stones at the ships until the Portugese shot dead one of their tribesmen. As they sailed further along the southern coast of Africa, Bartolomeu’s crew started to fear because their food supply is running low.

They want to end the exploration immediately and travel back to Andra Do Salto, where they left 15 men to watch over their food supply. Bartolomeu convinced his sailers to give him three more days before heading back. They finally stopped at Kwaaihoek, where they planted a padroe and headed back toward Portugal. On their way back, Bartolomeu Dias named the second cape they encountered Cape of Storms, which later became the Cape of Good Hopes. After 15 months of travel, they covered over 16,000 miles and arrived at Lisbon in 1488 (Alchin). 7 men died on this historical journey.

Bartolomeu’s crew brought tons of jewelries with them on this trip and traded for ivory along the African coast (BBC News). The Impact of Voyages Batrolomeu Dias is the Portuguese explorer who rounded Africa’s southern tip, then sailed up part of Africa’s east coast before returning home. [World History 544] Also, he discovered Brazil, which later becomes a very important place for mining gold, silver and trading raw materials. Because he discovered the route that rounds Africa, Vasco da Gama was able to round the Africa and found the Spice Islands, or now days Philippines.

Philippines gave Portuguese large amounts of spices, and also, they could hold a great power in trade with Asia. The reason they could hold that much power is because they found the route to Asia. And at that time, Portuguese was the only country who knew the trade route toward Asia. And Bartolomeu’s voyage helped Vasco da Gama to find his route to Africa. So, Bartolomeu’s voyage had an impact on Vasco da Gama’s voyage, and da Gama’s voyage had a huge impact on Portuguese’s trading and economy. Overall, Bartolomeu’s voyage had an impact on Portuguese’s trading and economy.

Also, “his trip contributed to the establishment of the Portuguese Empire in the begining of the 16th century, that would lead to an increase in trade in Africa and Asia with Portugal. He appears in the Portuguese bills of 2,000 shields. ” [theageofdiscovery – Bartolomeu Dias]. Usually, a great person who is respected by people, and who contributed for the country a lot will appear on the bills of the country. So, appearing on the bill prove that Bartolomeu Dias had a huge impact on Portugal’s history.


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