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Historical Fragments
The World in 1500
Astronomy
Caravels
Documents
The Discoverer
The Chronicler
The Fortunate King
Chronology
The Fortunate King  
King Dom Manuel the First, the monarch responsible for most of the naval expeditions that transformed his country, became king almost by accident.

The nephew of King Dom Joćo II, he came to the throne in 1495 after the death not only of the monarch, but also of the hereditary Prince and the three elder brothers of Dom Manuel himself, who were ahead of him in the line of succession.

He assumed the throne at the height of the great expeditions. His unusual path to the throne gave him the nickname of The Fortunate One and The Lucky One.

Dom Manuel goes down in history for having encouraged some of the greatest achievements of humanity, like the pioneer voyage of Vasco de Gama to India and the expedition that led to the discovery of Brazil.

He died in 1521, aged 52. He had three wives and 13 children.