Em nome de Deus: The Journal of the First Voyage of Vasco da Gama to India, 1497-1499


Editor: Glenn Ames
The voyage of Vasco da Gama to India (1497-1499) was one of the seminal events of the Renaissance period. An anonymous Journal kept by a member of his fleet has long served as the main documentary source for accounts of this voyage. Strangely, there has only been one English translation of this important document, published more than a century ago. This book provides a new, updated English translation of the Journal with extensive editorial notes and appendices which encompass and reflect changes in the historiography over the last century on Vasco da Gama and his first voyage. In doing so, it examines initial Portuguese impressions when confronted by the cultures of Africa and India during this period.
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EUR €95.00USD $127.00

Biographical Note

Glenn J. Ames, Ph.D. (1987) in History, University of Minnesota, is Professor of History at The University of Toledo. He has published extensively on the Age of Discoveries and European expansion to Asia, including Vasco da Gama: Renaissance Crusader (2005) and The Globe Encompassed: The Age of European Discovery (2008).

Table of contents


Background to Voyage
Vasco da Gama
Command of the 1497 Fleet
The Fleet and its Preparations
The Manuscript
Debate on Authorship
Ravenstein’s First English Edition
Da Gama’s Departure

The Voyage
The Atlantic: Lisbon to the Cape of Good Hope
From Santiago to the Bay of Saint Helena
The African Coast
Doubling the Cape of Good Hope
The Bay of São Brás
From São Brás to Malindi
Natal and the Land of Boa Gente
Rio dos Bons Sinais
The Shoals of São Rafael

Across the Arabian Sea
First Audience with the Samorin
A ‘Christian Church’
Presents for the Samorin
A Second Audience
The Fleet off Calicut

The Return Voyage
The Cape of Good Hope
The Journal Ends

Kingdoms to the South of Calicut
About Elephants
Prices of Spices at Alexandria

The Language of Calicut

Appendix I: Men in Da Gama’s Fleet
Appendix II: Accounts of Correia and Castanheda
Appendix III: Contemporary Letters
D. Manuel I to Ferdinand and Isabella
D. Manuel I to Cardinal Protector D. Jorge da Costa
First Two Letters of Girolamo Sernigi
Appendix IV: Honors Granted to Vasco da Gama
D. Manuel’s Grant of 24 December 1499
D. Manuel’s Grant of 10 January 1500
Appendix V: Da Gama’s Sailing Instructions to Cabral
Appendix VI: Calcoen: Da Gama’s Second Voyage



All those interested in the history of the Renaissance, the history of Europe and European expansion, as well as African and Indian history from ca. 1450-1500.


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