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On March 4, 1394, Prince Henry, Duke of Viseu, better known as Henry the Navigator, was born in Portu, Portugal. Henry earned his title despite not venturing on many expeditions himself.
 
Henry supported Portuguese exploration across the Atlantic Ocean, colonizing island groups such as the Azores and Madeira. He also supported expeditions along the northwest coast of Africa. Using small, maneuverable ships called caravels, Portuguese explorers were the first Europeans to reach Cap-Vert, in what is today Senegal. Cap-Vert is the most western point in Africa. 
 
Henry the Navigator supported exploration for financial and religious reasons. Finding a sea route to the lucrative slave and gold markets of sub-Saharan Africa allowed Portuguese traders to bypass the Arabic trading networks of North Africa. These networks were run by Muslims. Henry was a strong Catholic, so the trade route allowed him to avoid religious confrontation.
avoid
Verb

to stay away from something.

bypass
Verb

to go around or skip.

caravel
Noun

light, two- or three-masted sailing ship.

Catholic
Adjective

having to do with the Christian denomination with the Pope as its leader.

Noun

edge of land along the sea or other large body of water.

confront
Verb

to address a problem or person directly.

Noun

one of the seven main land masses on Earth.

discover
Verb

to learn or understand something for the first time.

equipment
Noun

tools and materials to perform a task or function.

expedition
Noun

journey with a specific purpose, such as exploration.

exploration
Noun

study and investigation of unknown places, concepts, or issues.

explorer
Noun

person who studies unknown areas.

financial
Adjective

having to do with money.

lucrative
Adjective

profitable or money-making.

maneuver
Noun

a skillful movement.

market
Noun

central place for the sale of goods.

Muslim
Adjective

having to do with Islam, the religion based on the words and philosophy of the prophet Mohammed.

navigator
Noun

person who charts a course or path.

network
Noun

series of links along which movement or communication can take place.

patron
Noun

person who supports an artist, artistic endeavor, or institution.

slave
Noun

person who is owned by another person or group of people.

sub-Saharan Africa
Noun

geographic region located south of the Sahara Desert in Africa.

trade route
Noun

path followed by merchants or explorers to exchange goods and services.

venture
Verb

to take a risky or dangerous opportunity.