Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira (UK: /ˌvæskoʊ də ˈɡɑːmə/, US: /ˌvɑːskoʊ də ˈɡæmə/, European Portuguese: [ˈvaʃku ðɐ ˈɣɐ̃mɐ]; c. 1460s – 24 December 1524) was a Portuguese explorer and the first European to reach India by sea.
His initial voyage to India by way of Cape of Good Hope (1497–1499) was the first to link Europe and Asia by an ocean route, connecting the Atlantic and the Indian oceans and therefore, the West and the Orient. This is widely considered a milestone in world history, as it marked the beginning of a sea-based phase of global multiculturalism. Da Gama's discovery of the sea route to India opened the way for an age of global imperialism and enabled the Portuguese to establish a long-lasting colonial empire along the way from Africa to Asia. The violence and hostage taking employed by da Gama and those who followed also assigned a brutal reputation to the Portuguese among India's indigenous kingdoms that would set the pattern for western colonialism in the Age of Exploration.
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Quotes about Vasco da Gama
- Vasco da Gama had bombarded Calicut when the Zamorin ruler of that place refused to be dictated by him. He had plundered the ships bringing rice to the city and cut off the ears, noses and hands of the crews. The Zamorin had sent to him a Brahmin envoy after securing Portuguese safe-conduct. Vasco da Gama had cut off the nose, ears and hands of the Brahmin and strung them around his neck together with a palm-leaf on which a message was conveyed to the Indian king that he could cook and eat a curry made from his envoy’s limbs.
- Sita Ram Goel, in Papacy: Its Doctrine and History quoted from Ishwar Sharan. The Myth of Saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple. Third edition. 2010.