Bartolomeu Dias

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Bartolomeu Dias
BirthplaceAlgarve, Kingdom of Portugal
Navigator and Explorer
Known for First European to sail around the southernmost tip of Africa.

Dias, Bartolomeu

Dias, Bartolomeu (bärˌto͝olo͝omāˈo͝o dēˈəsh), d. 1500, Portuguese navigator. He was the first European to round (1488) the Cape of Good Hope, which he called Cabo Tormentoso [cape of storms]. That voyage opened the road to India. Dias accompanied Cabral on the voyage that resulted in the discovery of Brazil, but he perished in heavy seas off the African coast. He is also called Bartholomew Diaz.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Dias, Bartolomeu


(Bartolomeu Dias [Diaz] de Novaes). Born circa 1450; died May 29, 1500. Portuguese navigator.

In 1487, as the head of an expedition to find a sea route to India, Dias explored the southwestern seacoast of Africa from 22° to 33° S lat. He was the first European to round the southern tip of Africa. Having traveled along the southern shore of Africa as far as Algoa Bay, Dias was compelled to return to Portugal by the ship’s crew. On the return voyage he discovered the Cape of Good Hope (1488). In 1500 he took part in the expedition of P. A. Cabral and perished en route, not far from the Cape of Good Hope.


Hart, H. Morskoi put’ v Indiiu. Moscow, 1959. (Translated from English.)
Hönnig, R. Nevedomye zemli, vol. 4. Moscow, 1963. (Translated from German.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.