Overview for Chapter A: Presents the life of a Portuguese colonial official and military commander who battled Muslims for control of the Indian Ocean and its lucrative trade. The chapter describes Lisbon’s Albuquerque monument in detail and then uses the memorial to discuss the important events in Albuquerque’s life, as well as his imperial vision and personality. The chapter also reviews the history of Portuguese exploration, discusses the establishment and governance of the Goa colony, and emphasizes the contrasts between the religions of the Malabar Coast: Hinduism in the Vijayanagara Empire, Islam in the Deccan sultanates, and the isolated communities of Jews, Jains, and “St. Thomas” Christians. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the nationalist imagery produced during António de Oliveira Salazar’s dictatorship in Portugal.
1. How does the Albuquerque monument in Belém appear to you, given the movement in the U.S., Belgium and other countries to remove late 19th and early 20th century statues that glorify controversial figures?
2. What about the Age of Exploration should be celebrated? What about the Age should be condemned?
3. Do you see Albuquerque's primary motivations as coming from conviction or greed?
4.Did 15th and 16th century Portuguese actions differ from those their Spanish cousins?
1. Produce a hand-drawn map of one of the regions that were important in Albuquerque's life.
2. Write a dialog between Albuquerque and one other figure mentioned in Chapter A.
3. Explore the website of the Museu de Marinha in Lisbon, Portugal. What is its visual message? Does your perception change if you read the accompanying text with the aid of Google Translate?
• Based upon previously unpublilshed sources, this article shows that with the arrival of the Portuguese in India, wages rose for Indians, peaking in 1600. See Paulo Teodoro de Matos and Jan Lucassen, “Early Portuguese Data for Wage Developments in India: Kannur (Cananor), 1516-1517,” LER História, 75 (2019), 113-131,
Map for Chapter A: This map by the author is in the print edition of the book and shows important places for Albuquerque in the Atlantic Ocean.
Map for Chapter A: This map by the author is in the print edition of the book and shows important places for Albuquerque in the Indian Ocean region.
This is the full statue honoring Alfonso de Albuquerque in Alfonso de Albuquerque Park in the Belem neighbor of Lisbon. Photograph by the author, April 2018.
This detail of the Albuquerque statue shows one of the victorious angels and Portuguese ships. Photograph by the author, April 2018.
This frieze near the base of the Albuquerque statue shows Albuquerque refusing to accept the gifts of Arabs along the Muscat coast. Photograph by the author, April 2018.
This frieze near the base of the Albuquerque statue shows Albuquerque receiving the key to Goa, India. No such ceremony actually occurred. Photograph by the author, April 2018.