Periodicals / Journals
Revista da Faculdade de Letras : História
Diogo Gomes : trato e diplomacia ao serviço da expansão
Aurélio de Oliveira
AbstractDespite the importance of the role played by Diogo Gomes in the 15th-century Portuguese sea expeditions, very little is known of him and only now is it possible to establish the Portuguese town of Lagos has his birthplace. Concurrently, neither Prince Henry the Navigator, nor the Portuguese crown immediately perceived the immense commercial and political possibilities revealed during his missions to Africa and the Cape Verde Islands, the last of which on 1460. Like so many others commissioned by the Infant and the Portuguese crown, Gomes collected a valuable knowledge during his journeys leaving us a notable chronicle of those expeditions (even if it was written by another person), particularly those of 1456 and 1460. Diogo Gomes was responsible for a significant transformation on the hostile and even brutal attitude of Europeans regarding Africa and its peoples, even if this was justified by their conversion, to such an extent that the first concept of a colony in Africa was supported by the peaceful and friendly relation¬ships established during his expeditions. Gomes was more than just a middle-class merchant, he was the first true diplomat in the history of me Portuguese maritime expansion - an aspect particularly focussed in this research - besides being the first great explorer of the African Continent and of its gold trade, as well as an uncompromising and resolute sea captain who mastered the Adantic sea routes and the first discoverer of some of the Cape Verde Islands, an archipelago located at the mouth of the Great Golf of Guinea which would soon become of strategic importance for the control of the seas.
Last Update: 2013-05-21
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