Anthroponyms seta DIAS, Dinis

Squire and servant of the House of King João I. In 1444 he went on a journey in a caravel armed by the infant Prince Henrique, having reached Senegal and the Cap-Vert which, at the time, was the westernmost point of the globe known to the Portuguese. Dinis Dias took the first slaves from the coast of Guinea. Then he arrived at an island close to the Palma Island (nowadays Gorée Island, belonging to Senegal). In 1445 he returned to the coast of Africa, captaining one of the several caravels that explored the region of Guinea. Nevertheless, this second mission was merely commercial and, according to Dinis Dias himself, not much profitable. In 1446 King Afonso V appointed him clerk of ?Casa do Cível? High Court, an office granted probably as reward for his services. Some historians have identified this navigator, contemporary to Prince Henrique?s lifetime, as one Dinis Dias who rendered services at the Guard until 1480, i.e., about 40 years after the first voyage of Dinis Dias. So, it could be one and the same person.

TORRÃO, Maria Manuel, ?Dias, Dinis? in Dicionário de História dos Descobrimentos Portugueses, vol. I, Lisboa, Caminho, 1994, pp. 353-354. ZURARA, Gomes Eanes de, Crónica dos feitos notáveis que se passaram na conquista de Guiné por mandado do infante D. Henrique, 2 vols., Lisboa, Academia Portuguesa de História, 1973-1981.

Author: Teresa Lacerda
Translated by: Maria das Mercês Pacheco
Sponsorship: Câmara Municipal de Lagos

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