Rus Articles Journal

How Europeans opened a sea way to India?

Fantastic richness of India always attracted Europeans. Trade was extraordinary favorable, despite difficulties and dangers of a long journey. But in 1258 the Arab caliphate supporting trade in Mesopotamia fell. Still earlier Mongols for whom trade was not priority occupation conquered Baghdad. And when crusaders in 1291 lost the last stronghold in the east - the city Seong - Jean D`Acr, trade with India was stopped almost completely.

It was possible to reach India only by the sea. But Europeans did not know a sea way. It was succeeded to solve a problem long two centuries later.

Probably, not casually Vasco da Gama was the person who managed to top with success persistent attempts of predecessors. The ambitious and ambitious, competent and clever nobleman allowed to forget to nobody about him, never took the unjustified risk and did not accept an award smaller, than deserved.

Lines tempted in palace intrigues court and the researcher - the seafarer were combined in his character without special internal contradictions. Therefore when in 1497 construction of the ships for expedition was complete, the choice of the Portuguese king stopped on Vasco da Gama.

In ten and a half months after an exit from Lisbon creaking sailing vessels of a design, unusual to Portuguese, having rounded the Cape of Good Hope, having passed along Mozambique and Somalia, dropped anchors on raid of the city of Calicut.

Fifteen and a half more months later da Gama appeared before the king with a gold idol weighing 27 kilograms who had emerald eyes, and on a breast - a ruby size about a walnut. The sea way to India was open.

Opening by then, as they say, was on a sword tip . Vasco da Gama`s predecessor - Bartolomeo Diasci in 1488 reached the cape called by it the cape of Storms, but renamed by the king into the Cape of Good Hope and entered the mouth Greyt - Phish - the River. The got experience was used at construction of the ships of expedition of da Gama and development of its route bypassing cold waters of the Gulf of Guinea.

But also Diasci moved ahead along the route which is already partially mastered earlier. His predecessor managed to pass Cannes Diregional Public Institution to the south of the cape Cross-country and the first of Europeans in 1484 - 1485 visited Hugo`s coast - the Western Africa.

Thirty years before Cannes in 1455 the Venetian to Alviza Kadamosto the first reached and investigated the mouth of the river of Gambia. In the records he told how the natives who for the first time saw the white person behaved. Blacks approached to look at me as if on a miracle some rubbed me saliva to learn whether I am painted by white paint and having convinced opened from surprise mouths .

But Europeans made the very first attempt to round Africa in 1291. The source of that time reports about genoeses, Vivaldi`s brothers who supplied two galleys with edibles, drinking water and other necessary things, and sent them to Ceuta to float across the ocean to the Indian countries and to buy there profitable goods .

There are no authentic data on results of expedition, but emergence on some cards after 1300 of approximately correct outlines of the African continent allows to assume that brothers, at least, managed to round Africa from the South.

There passed centuries. People completely mastered a sea way to India and even considerably reduced it construction of the Suez Canal. But the feat of medieval seafarers is not forgotten. They were the first.]