VASCO DA GAMA, a famous Portuguese navigator, was born about 1469. In his early years he distinguished himself as a daring mariner. After the return of Bartholomew Diaz, who had succeeded in doubling "the Cape of Storms," afterwards called the Cape of Good Hope, Da Gama obtained command of a small fleet to make further explorations in Eastern seas, and the first of these voyages is described in the following pages.
He sailed in 1497, doubled the Cape and crossed the Indian Ocean, arriving at Calicut in 1498. After a short stay he once more set sail and reached Lisbon in 14.99. He went out to Calicut again in 1502 and in 1524, the last time with the title of Viceroy. He died at Cochin in 524. and fourteen years later his body was taken home and buried with great pomp in his native country.