6 July 1484

Portuguese sea captain Diogo Cão finds the mouth of the Congo River.

Diogo Cão was a Portuguese navigator and explorer, notable for his voyages along the west coast of Africa during the Age of Discovery. Born around 1452, he made significant contributions to Portugal’s maritime explorations under the patronage of King John II.

First Voyage (1482-1484):
Diogo Cão is credited with discovering the mouth of the Congo River in 1482.
He erected stone pillars called padrão at various points along the coast, marking Portuguese claims to these territories. One notable padrão was placed at the mouth of the Congo River.

Second Voyage (1485-1486):
Cão continued exploring further south along the African coast, reaching what is now known as Namibia.
He placed more padrões, one of which was found at Cape Cross in Namibia.

29 August 1484

Pope Innocent VIII succeeds Pope Sixtus IV.

Pope Innocent VIII Latin: Innocentius VIII; 1432 – 25 July 1492, born Giovanni Battista Cybo, was Pope from 29 August 1484 to his death in 1492. Born into a prominent Genoese family he entered the church and was made bishop in 1467 before being elevated to the rank of cardinal by Pope Sixtus IV. He was elected Pope in 1484, as a compromise candidate, after a stormy conclave. As pope, he personally endorsed and gave official Church approval to the Malleus Maleficarum, a controversial fifteenth-century guide to witch hunting.

Giovanni Battista Cybo was born in Genoa of Greek ancestry, the son of Arano Cybo or Cibo and his wife Teodorina de Mari, of an old Genoese family. Arano Cybo was viceroy of Naples and then a senator in Rome under Pope Calixtus III. Giovanni Battista’s early years were spent at the Neapolitan court. While in Naples he was appointed a Canon of the Cathedral of Capua, and was given the Priory of S. Maria d’Arba in Genoa.[6] After the death of King Alfonso, friction between Giovanni Battista and the Archbishop of Genoa decided him to resign his Canonry, and to go to Padua and then to Rome for his education.

n Rome he became a priest in the retinue of cardinal Calandrini, half-brother to Pope Nicholas V. In 1467, he was made Bishop of Savona by Pope Paul II, but exchanged this see in 1472 for that of Molfetta in south-eastern Italy. In 1473, with the support of Giuliano Della Rovere, later Pope Julius II, he was made cardinal by Pope Sixtus IV, whom he succeeded on 29 August 1484 as Pope Innocent VIII.

The papal conclave of 1484 was riven with faction, while gangs rioted in the streets. In order to prevent the election of the Venetian Cardinal Barbo, Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals, on the evening before the election, after the cardinals had retired for the night, the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere, nephew of the late Pope, and Cardinal Borgia, the Vice-Chancellor, visited a number of cardinals and secured their votes with the promise of various benefices.

Shortly after his coronation Innocent VIII addressed a fruitless summons to Christendom to unite in a crusade against the Turks. A protracted conflict with King Ferdinand I of Naples was the principal obstacle. Ferdinand’s oppressive government led in 1485 to a rebellion of the aristocracy, known as the Conspiracy of the Barons, which included Francesco Coppola and Antonello Sanseverino of Salerno and was supported by Pope Innocent VIII. Innocent excommunicated him in 1489 and invited King Charles VIII of France to come to Italy with an army and take possession of the Kingdom of Naples, a disastrous political event for the Italian peninsula as a whole. The immediate conflict was not ended until 1494, after Innocent VIII’s death.