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Tristão da Cunha

Cunha, Tristão da (trēshtouNˈ dä kōˈnyə) [key], c.1460–1514?, Portuguese navigator. His most important voyage was undertaken in 1506, when he set out with 15 ships for India. He discovered three volcanic islands in the S Atlantic, one of which is named for him. After taking Socotra off Arabia, in the hope of establishing control over the Red Sea, he went on to India, while Afonso de Albuquerque, under secret royal orders, detached part of the fleet. On his return to Portugal, Tristão da Cunha carried out a diplomatic mission at the papal court. A son, Nuno da Cunha, 1487–1539, was governor of India and captured Basra in 1529.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Explorers, Travelers, and Conquerors: Biographies


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