Afonso de Albuquerque

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Afonso de Albuquerque : biography

1453 – 1515

Afonso de Albuquerque (Alhandra ca. 1453 – December 16, 1515, at sea), commonly known as Albuquerque the Great, "O Grande" (Portuguese: Afonso de Albuquerque, also spelt Aphonso d’Albuquerque and Alfonso), was a Portuguese general, and a "great conqueror",Albuquerque: Rulers of India, Morse Stephens, p. 1, Chapter 1http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/albuquerque-alfonso-de-ca (Vol. I, Fasc. 8, pp. 823-824 J. Aubin, “ALBUQUERQUE, ALFONSO DE,” Encyclopaedia Iranica)(The Greenwood Dictionary of World History By John J. Butt, p. 10) a statesman, and a leading empire builder.(Southeast Asia: A Historical Encyclopedia, from Angkor Wat to East Timor. Vol. 1, By Keat Gin Ooi; page 137)

Albuquerque advanced the three-fold Portuguese grand scheme of combating Islam, spreading Christianity and securing the trade of spices and the establishment of a vast Portuguese Asian empire.Southeast Asia: A Historical Encyclopedia, from Angkor Wat to East …, Volume 1 edited by Keat Gin Ooi. p. 17 He was the first European to enter the Persian Gulf and led the first voyage by a European fleet into the Red Sea.A new collection of voyages and travels. (1711) [ed. by J. Stevens]. 2 vols. Oxford University p. 113 His military and administrative achievements are generally regarded as among the most vital to building and securing the Portuguese empire in the Orient, the Middle East, and the spice routes of the Eastern Oceania." target="_blank"http://algarvedailynews.com/features/history/4377-doubling-the-world-the-portuguese-explorations

Albuquerque is generally considered a military genius, and "probably the greatest naval commander of the age" given his successful strategy: he attempted to close all the Indian Ocean naval passages to the Atlantic, Red Sea, Persian Gulf, and to the Pacific, transforming it into a Portuguese mare clausum established over the opposition of the Ottoman Empire and its Muslim and Hindu allies. In the expansion of the Portuguese empire, Albuquerque initiated a rivalry that would become known as the Ottoman–Portuguese war, which would endure for many years. Many of the Ottoman–Portuguese conflicts in which Albuquerque was directly involved took place in the Indian Ocean, in the Persian Gulf regions for control of the trade routes, and on the coasts of India. It was Albuquerque’s military brilliance in these initial campaigns against the much larger Ottoman Empire and its allies that enabled Portugal to become the first global empire in history.China Goes to Sea: Maritime Transformation in Comparative Historical Perspective edited by Andew Erickson, Lyle J. Goldstein Naval Institute Press, 2012. page 403 He was tenacious, and would often engage and defeat much larger armies and fleets. For example, his capture of Ormuz in 1507 against the Persians was accomplished with an army fifty times smaller. Other famous battles and offensives led by Albuquerque include the conquest of Goa in 1510 and the capture of Malacca in 1511. He became admiral of the Indian Ocean, and was appointed head of the "fleet of the Arabian and Persian sea" in 1506.

During the last five years of his life, he turned at last to organization and administration, proving to be a great man in this respect also. His administrative abilities as second governor of Portuguese India were crucial to the longevity of the Portuguese empire. He diplomatically pioneered European sea-trade with China during the Ming Dynasty with envoy Rafael Perestrello, also Thailand with Duarte Fernandes as envoy, and with Timor, passing through Malaysia and Indonesia in a voyage headed by António de Abreu and Francisco Serrão. He also aided diplomatic relations with Ethiopia using priest envoys Joao Gomes and João Sanches,O Preste João : mito, literatura e história. By Vilhena, Maria da Conceição. pp. 641.642 (Universidade dos Açores) ("ARQUIPÉLAGO. História". ISSN 0871-7664. 2ª série, vol. 5 (2001): 627-649) (2001) (" target="_blank"http://hdl.handle.net/10400.3/357)(Damião de Góis, Chronica do Feliçissimo rei dom Manuel [1566], Coimbra:Imprensa da Universidade, 1954, Part III, chapter lix) and (Armando Cortesão, Esparsos, Coimbra: Imprensa de Coimbra, 1974, 25, 77-81.)" target="_blank"http://afonsodealbuquerqueblog.blogspot.com.au/2010/11/my-second-expedition-to-india-first.html and settled diplomatic ties with Persia, during the Safavid dynasty.