Diogo Gomes

Diogo Gomes
DiogoGomes.JPG
Bornc. 1420
Diedc. 1500
Kingdom of Portugal
NationalityPortuguese
OccupationNavigator, explorer, writer

Diogo Gomes (c. 1420 – c. 1500) was a Portuguese navigator, explorer and writer.Diogo Gomes was a servant and explorer of Portuguese prince Henry the Navigator. His memoirs were dictated late in his life to Martin Behaim. They are an invaluable (if sometimes inconsistent) account of the Portuguese discoveries under Henry the Navigator, and one of the principal sources upon which historians of the era have drawn. He explored and ascended up the Gambia River in West Africa and discovered some of the Cape Verde islands.

Early life

Probably a native of Lagos, Portugal, Diogo Gomes began as page in the household of Prince Henry the Navigator and subsequently rose to the rank of cavaleiro (knight) by 1440. Diogo Gomes participated in the 1445 slave raid led by Lançarote de Freitas of Lagos on the Arguin banks, and claims to have personally captured 22 Berber slaves singlehandedly.[1]

He was named a royal clerk (escrivão da carreagem real) on 12 June 1451, and went on in the service of both Prince Henry and the Portuguese crown.