Prince Henry The Navigator

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Brian Slutz Prince Henry the Navigator Host: Everyone please welcome Dom Henrique or Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal. Henry the Navigator was born into a wealthy family. His father was King John of Portugal. Henry devoted his life to making improvements in Portuguese sailing, exploration, and trade. He invented the caravel, and conquered Ceuta. Henry wanted to explore around Africa. He has discovered many African coastal lands and Capes in South Africa.

Dom Henrique: There were several questions asked to me during the diner party: 1) Guests: What happened on your battle at Ceuta and why did it take place? Dom Henrique: I am a strong supporter of Portuguese expansion, and when King John decided to try again to conquer it I volunteered. Prince Pedro had already failed to conquer the city with 3,000 men. Portugal needed the city of Ceuta for trade, so I wanted more men. Ceuta had all the weapons, metals, and spices Portugal needed to become even more powerful.

In 1415 I set out with thousands of men and fought threw the garrisons and captured the city of Ceuta. I could now set my mind on bigger adventures like sailing down the coast of Africa.

2) Guests: Did you ever lose any battles? Dom Henrique: Yes, I took place in a crushing defeat at Tangier. After the victory at Ceuta we were able to settle and make prosperous trading village. Portuguese planners thought to make Ceuta the perfect trading spot we would need to capture a surrounding city, Tangier. Stupidly, I did not listen to my advisors who said 14,000 were required to capture the North African city. I under estimated the power of Sala-ben-Sala's men who were ready for the attack. I tried 3 times to capture the stronghold, but all failed. Sala-ben-Sala had captured my brother Prince Fernando and demanded the Portuguese to leave Ceuta. I thought to myself, "˜A city is not worth one man even though he is my brother.' I let him die and kept the city.

3) Guests: How did your inventions contribute to Portuguese expansion? Dom Henrique: I invented many sailing devices in my time. The first was a wind compass, which helped my sailors know exactly where the wind was blowing that day or night. The second were the maps that I drew of Africa's coastline. I took the information from my sailors and drew detailed maps. The last were the swift caravels which I created in 1434. It helped my sailor Gil Eannes quickly navigate to the capes. The ships were designed to last for many long voyages 4) Guests: What did other sailors think of you, since you never went on a journey? Dom Henrique: These fools thought I was a coward since I did not accompany my men on the voyages to Cape Bojador. Why be out there eating stale bread when I could be eating Marzipan, almonds, rabbits, pigeons, and bean tarts at dinner parties such as these. I feel that without my help none of these would have been discovered, and I did sail on some of the voyages. My fellow sailors are just jealous of my wealth, and supremacy as Prince of Portugal. All men who talk badly of me shall be hung. Everyone forgets about my victory at Ceuta.

5) Guests: How many voyages did you have and what was your favorite? Dom Henrique: As you all know, I set-up and funded 14 voyages and sailed some of them. I had to carefully select my captains and crew, and make maps for them to use. I don't really have a favorite. Most of my journeys were set out to reach Capo Blanco. At first I thought no one could ever survive a journey like this, but I kept sending men. I had little trust in my sailors until one day the captain came back with items from the uncharted land. His name was Nuno Tristao. He was one of my best captains ever to set foot on a Caravel.