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Portuguese Asia or, more properly, the Estado da India Oriental was one of the strangest imperial entities in history. Although initiated by the voyages of Vasco da Gama and the subsequent martial campaigns of his successors, Francisco de Almeida and Afonso de Albuquerque, most of it was created piecemeal by the activities of many individuals, some anonymous. Scattered in tiny enclaves from Africa to Japan, about all it had in common was that it was nominally subject to the king in Lisbon and "unified" by the papal donation of 1493. Resembling a sting of spaced-out beads between Mocambique to Nagasaki, the Portuguese lands included Goa, Cochin in Kerala, and Macau. However, rather than any sort of imperial entity as known in more modern times, the Estado was more like a patchwork of arrangements held together by native weakness or inertia and the only real navy in Asia. This collection of essays tells of Vasco da Gama's first voyage to India, explains how the Estado at the beginning of the 16th century was abreast of the latest contemporary European trends, shows how it developed trading networks and how it coped in its rivalry with the Dutch East India Company, as well relating Portuguese activities in the seas off Labrador and Newfoundland. Among the other subjects tackled in these essays are the Portuguese presence in India and jewel trading, and there is also a bibliographical essay giving printed source materials pertaining to the 15th and 16th centuries.
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Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; India or Brazil? Priority for imperial survival during the wars of the RestauraA AGBPo; Two Lusitanian variations on a Dutch theme: Portuguese companies in times of crisis, 1628-1662; Francisco Rodrigues de Silveira, the forgotten soldado prA!tico; The origin and rhythm of Dutch aggression against the Estado da India, 1601-1661; Millenarianism and empire: Portuguese Asian decline and the 'crise de conscience' of the missionaries; Jewel trading in Portuguese India in the 16th and 17th centuries; Portugal, Venice, Genoa and the traffic in precious stones at the beginning of the modern age; A legend in black and white: the American Indian as propaganda in the Eighty Years War (in collaboration with Michiel Hoogeveen); Portugal's 'shadow empire' in the Bay of Bengal; South India and the China Seas: how the V.O.C. shifted its weight from China and Japan to India around A.D. 1636 (in collaboration with Mark Vink); A tale of two Coromandel towns: Madraspatam (Fort St George) and SAGBPo Thome de Meliapur; The Estado da Aindia on the subcontinent: Portuguese as players on a South Asian stage; Early Portuguese travel and influence at the corner of Asia; In northern mists: Portuguese voyages to the boreal Atlantic; Bibliographical essay: a treasury of printed source materials pertaining to the 15th and 16th centuries; Embassies from Malacca and the 'shadow empire'; Vasco da Gama: a speculative reconstruction of a voyage and its antecedents; The Renaissance as reflected in Goa; Private trading in Portuguese Asia: a substantial will o'the wisp; Few thanks to the king: the building of Portuguese India; Index.

About the Author

George D. Winius, University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, USA


'Winius' latest Studies on Portuguese Asia, 1495-1689 is sure to be very well received in scholarly circles and will truly be an inspiration to other researchers of Indo-Portuguese History.' INDICA, vol. 40, 2, sept. 2003 'The book represents an important contribution to studies about Portuguese expansion in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.' Sixteenth Century Journal

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