The story of Vasco Da Gama’s voyage around the bottom of Africa that opened a new route from Europe to the Orient. The narrative captures both the drama and importance of the event, beautifully illustrated and mapped, with a timeline.
Five years after Columbus sailed off to find a sea route to the Orient, the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama went on the same quest. His epic, 27,000 mile journey around the bottom of Africa was filled with danger, treachery, sacrifice, cruelty and acts of extraordinary courage. By the time da Gama returned, half his ships were gone, and two thirds of his crew were dead, but he had found what Columbus had not.
Da Gama brought back tales of East African and Asian marketplaces overflowing with riches, of rulers who wore emeralds and rubies and pearls the size of grapes, of ships and cannons that were no match for those of the Portuguese. Portugal would soon send more ships and more cannons. The rest of Europe would follow. And the world would never be the same.