Bartolomeu Dias Biography
Born In: Algarve
Bartolomeu Dias was a Portuguese explorer who became the first European to reach Indian Ocean from the Atlantic. A nobleman of the Portuguese royal household, he is considered to be one of the greatest of the Portuguese pioneers who explored the Atlantic. He earned a reputation for himself as the leader of a difficult expedition which rounded what was to become known as the Cape of Good Hope in Africa, and then sailed around the continent’s southernmost point, Cabo das Agulhas, to reach the Indian Ocean. He served as a knight and sailing-master of the man-of-war during the reign of King John II of Portugal who appointed him to head an expedition to sail around the southern tip of Africa in the hope of finding a trade route to India. Even though Portugal had already established trade relations with the Asian countries, the king was interested in discovering an easier route to reach the Indian subcontinent. The expedition proved to be a very difficult one, and Dias faced several violent storms on his journey. He was ultimately successful in discovering the passage around southern Africa which was later named “Cape of Good Hope”. As an experienced explorer he also helped in the construction of ships that were used by fellow explorer Vasco da Gama.