Bartolomeu Dias was a Portuguese explorer who discovered the Cape of Good Hope and opened the sea route to the Indian Ocean. He was the first European to round the South Africa. He was one of the most important European explorers before Christopher Columbus.
Bartolomeu Dias de Novais (sometimes spelled Bartholomew Diaz) was born in about 1450 near Lisbon, Portugal. Very little is known about Dias’s early life. De Novais usually added to his name was first documented in 1571, when King Sebastian I appointed his grandson, Paulo Dias de Novais a governor of Angola.
In his youth, Dias studied mathematics and astronomy at the University of Lisbon.
In 1487 Bartolomeu Dias sailed from Portugal with orders from King John II to continue exploration of a landmark on the coast of South-West Africa. The King wanted Dias to discover a sea route to India and to seek information about the Christian empire of Abyssinia.