Date of Defense





During the seventeenth century, a legend grew among the French which claims that during the reign of Charles V of France, a group of industrious and daring sailors of Normandy sailed to northwest Africa and then into the unknown waters of West Africa. By 1383 these Normans had reached the Gold Coast and had established a flourishing trade with the people there. This story seems very remarkable because it was not until the mid-fifteenth century that the Portuguese,under the direction and guidance of Prince Henry, ventured for the first time into West African waters and not until 1*4-86 that they rounded the Cape of Good Hope. The Portuguese have been given the credit for being the first Europeans to sail past Cape Bojadar (or Cape Bugiador), and to "open" the West African trade. This paper will look into this story of the Normans who supposedly reached the Gold Coast over a century before the Portuguese, and it will attempt to establish if there is any truth in this legend.

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Honors Thesis-Open Access

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History Commons