The biography of Vasco da Gama (c1469-1524), who was the Portuguese commander of the first ships to sail from Europe to India. King Manuel of Portugal chose Vasco da Gama to open up the sea route to the east to India, just as Columbus had opened up the sea route to the west a few years earlier. In 1497 Vasco da Gama set off for India with a fleet of ships including the Sao Gabriel, the Sao Rafael, and the Berrio, on what was to become one of the most important voyages of all time. Vasco da Gama's momentous voyage continued despite treachery, mutiny, warfare and scurvy, that resulted in the considerable loss of lives. Vasco da Gama's discovery of an ocean route to India irreversibly changed the course of human history. It was the first of three voyages that Vasco da Gama was to make to India, establishing his place in history for ever more.
Included in its entirety is the Roteiro, which is the only first hand account of the first voyage of Vasco da Gama, as well as all the other contemporary descriptions of the voyage, written by Gaspar Correa, King Manuel, Girolamo Sernigi, and three Portuguese accounts, and the original descriptions of Vasco da Gama's second and third voyages.
Vasco da Gama is part of a series of biographies, published by Viartis, concerning "The Voyages of Discovery" including : Vasco da Gama, Magellan, Pedro Cabral, Bartolomeu Dias, Amerigo Vespucci, and Prince Henry the Navigator. Between them they discovered and opened up much of the then unknown world.