Bartolomeu Dias

By: Taylor Anderson

Life Before the Journey

Bartolomeu Dias was born in 1450 in Portugal. He grew up to be an experienced sailor, superintendent of royal warehouses, and knight of the royal court. Dias was sent by King John II to explore the tip and coast of Africa to find a way to the Indian Ocean.

On a Journey for Gold

Dias went on a search for a new trade route to India, which would provide him rich goods such as spices. He left his home in 1487, and did not reach the tip of Africa until 1488.
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What Went Wrong

Dias lost his life in 1500, to a violent tempest off the coast of Africa on another expedition. Six of his guards died on the journey due to attacks from the locals, and a seventh man died on the way back home.


Dias became the first European to sail around the tip of Africa. He also opened up a new trade route to India, and his journey led to the finding of Brazil. Dias' accomplishments opened many doors for Portugal. Their trading with Asian and Indian powers increased, and his expedition prompted Christopher Columbus' journey to the far east.