Asremarkable as Columbus and the conquistador expeditions, the history ofPortuguese exploration is now almost forgotten But Portugal snavigators cracked the code of the Atlantic winds, launched theexpedition of Vasco da Gama to India and beat the Spanish to the spicekingdoms of the East then set about creating the first long rangemaritime empire In an astonishing blitz of thirty years, a handful ofvisionary and utterly ruthless empire builders, with few resources butbreathtaking ambition, attempted to seize the Indian Ocean, destroyIslam and take control of world trade.Told with RogerCrowley s customary skill and verve, this is narrative history at itsmost vivid a epic tale of navigation, trade and technology, money andreligious zealotry, political diplomacy and espionage, sea battles andshipwrecks, endurance, courage and terrifying brutality Drawing onextensive first hand accounts, it brings to life the exploits of anextraordinary band of conquerors men such as Afonso de Albuquerque,the first European since Alexander the Great to found an Asian empire who set in motion five hundred years of European colonisation andunleashed the forces of globalisation....
|Title||:||Conquerors: How Portugal seized the Indian Ocean and forged the First Global Empire (English Edition)|
|Format Type||:||Other Book|
|Publisher||:||Faber Auflage Main 15 September 2015|
|Number of Pages||:||198 Pages|
|File Size||:||882 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Conquerors: How Portugal seized the Indian Ocean and forged the First Global Empire (English Edition) Reviews
Wie immer sehr spannend und lebendig geschrieben. Dazu sehr fundiert. Erzählt wird die eher wenig bekannte Geschichte der Umrundung Afrikas, und vom Kulturshock der ersten Portugiesen in Indien. Sehr empfehlenswert.
Roger Crowley is a wonderful combination of historian and storyteller. Each of his books that I have read, including The Conquerors, makes the period and the characters come alive as though one were reading a page turner novel. The story of Portugal's 15-16th century voyages to the Indian Ocean is one that I think most people are vaguely familiar with - but much more attention is given to Columbus and other westward voyages. Crowley tells the story in a very detailed, but assessable and very readable, book. What I liked and learned from this book: - the impressive sailing skills required to sail from Lisbon to India, including the need to first sail West to swing Eastward around the Cape; the sheer human endurance required of these long voyages; the economics of the era and how the Portuguese were able to disrupt the Venetians' and Egyptian Mamluks' monopoly of the spice trade; the fact that Indian Ocean culture was in many ways more "advanced" than contemporary European society (the Indians laughed at the "gifts" the first Portuguese offered); and the tie-in to the Crusades. I found the last point fascinating. I tend to think incorrectly of history in terms of "periods" as though the middle ages ended and the modern era began on a certain day. In Crowley's telling, the Portuguese viewed their voyages as a continuation of the Crusades with the aim of not just disrupting Muslim trade - but battling Islam wherever it was and maybe taking another run at "liberating" Jerusalem via the Red Sea. Instead their actions led to the Ottoman's grabbing greater control of the Middle East from the Mamluks (which is a prequel to another fine Crowley book - Empires of the Sea).Finally, this was a brutal era and Crowley does not shy away from the awful atrocities committed by the Portuguese (which ties in to their view that this was a continuation of the Crusades). One quibble with the book - I think he does somewhat downplay the violence on the other side. When the Portuguese arrived in India, large parts were under Muslim control - control obtained by violent conquest. And while the Portuguese pulled no punches, the fact that they were continuously able to secure supporters and allies from the locals demonstrates, I think, that the violence was not so one-sided. Still 5 Stars and a recommendation from me (for what that is worth).
This book can be read in two different manners. One way is a most excellent mass market history of the initial Portuguese expeditions to the Indian Ocean and the conquests that followed. It a fun read of the Portuguese version of conquistadors doing glorious adventure in tropic climes while making huge fortunes and taking fortresses. The second parallel level is one of the best alien contact tales ever written. Prior to the arrival of the Portuguese, the Indian Ocean was a large oceanic highway where luxuries from three continents were bartered. The Portuguese crusading tradition was as alien to this as some set of ET’s and the same in reverse. None of the peoples involved had a clue as to what they were dealing with and the mutual incomprehension translates straight into space opera, except with cannon armed wooden ships instead of laser armed space dreadnoughts. Read it either way, or both at once. Its an amazing read and will probably tempt me to buy more books by this author.
I recently read a book on Prince Henry the Navigator and as that ended at his death with a short description of Diaz and De Gama's voyages, this made the perfect 'sequel'. I remembered the name of the two explorers, but that's just about all I was taught about them in school. Clearly, the author did his research, but he also knows how to tell a story and slip in lots of facts and keep it interesting. Because I knew nothing of the history, I had no idea what would happen next (though of course I knew that they would not liberate Jerusalem). I also felt that the author did a good job not being overly judgmental - of course we today are shocked by some of the brutal characters, but for the most part, it's just the nature of conquest. Certainly the Muslim hordes who conquered North Africa and most of the Iberian peninsula centuries before had behaved much the same way. I'd be interested to know what the average Indian thinks of the Portuguese today - are these atrocities taught in Indian schools?Anyway, very happy I picked up this book - it was a page- turner.
I read this book shortly before a trip we took to Portugal. It is an excellent presentation of how Portugal opened and lead the Age of Discovery at the end of the 15th and beginning of the 16th centuries. The book also relates it's major theme to the internal developments in Portugal during that time, including the forced expulsion/conversion of Portuguese Jewry. Thanks to this book I was very appreciative of the great Portuguese nautical accomplishments and the importance of their achievements. I had a great background when visiting the impressive Monastery of St. Jeronimos and other sights from this period in that beautiful country. Highly recommended.
This is the first time I am reading a book that relates to the Portuguese "conquest" of India. When in school, I learned a great deal about Indian history, ancient-modern times -- but modern mostly included British and some French conquest information. Our history books barely mentioned Vasco da Gama (mostly the two-liner: "In 1498/Da Gama knocked at India's gate" and others who followed -- but I had never learned more than that -- the reason I bought the book. I am acquainted with the territory of Goa, and that coast and know that the Portuguese heritage exists even today. The book is well-written without being "erudite" -- which would have made it boring. I love that Roger Crowley blends in the belief systems of the time, even some tongue-In-cheek humor about these beliefs. His power of description is vivid, without being exaggerated. The book is easy to read and follow -- and the maps help too. I have enjoyed this book-- even though I don't count myself as a history "buff". Thanks Roger Crowley!