The Career and Legend of Vasco Da Gama

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Cambridge University Press, Oct 29, 1998 - History - 428 pages
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Vasco da Gama (?1469-1524) is well known as one of a generation of discoverers, along with Magellan, Cabral and Columbus. Yet little is kno wn about his life, or about the context within which he 'discovered' the all-sea route to India in 1497-99.This book places Gama in the social and political context of Portugal and argues that politically he was an unlikely candidate for the role of nationalist hero. However, by exploiting his central position in the Portuguese myth, Gama and his descendants transformed an obscure nobleman into the Great Argonaut. Thus the book addresses larger questions of myth-building and nationalism, while never losing sight of Gama himself.

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