Pedro Álvares Cabral

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Pedro Álvares Cabral
BirthplaceBelmonte, Portugal
Fleet commander for the Kingdom of Portugal
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cabral, Pedro Alvares


Born circa 1467; died circa 1520. Portuguese navigator.

In 1500, Cabral was appointed commander of a fleet that was to sail to India following Vasco da Gama’s route. Sailing south from the Cape Verde Islands, Cabral strayed far from his path toward the west and on Apr. 22, 1500, at 17° S lat., discovered a land that he mistook for islands and named it the Land of the True Cross. (That same year it was renamed Holy Cross, and a few years later the unofficial name of Brazil became firmly established.) Cabral sailed toward the Cape of Good Hope and in the middle of September 1500 reached India near the city of Calicut. He destroyed Calicut for its refusal to trade with the Portuguese and concluded agreements favorable to Portugal with the neighboring ports of Cochin and Cannanore. By January 1500 he had left the country, and at the end of July he returned to Portugal with a valuable load of Indian goods. The sale of these goods covered the expenses for the expedition more than twice over.


Magidovich, I. P. Ocherki po istorii geograficheskikh otkrytii. Moscow, 1967.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.