Infante Dom Henrique de Avis, Duke of Viseu (4 March 1394 – 13 November 1460), better known as Henry the Navigator was an important figure in 15th-century Portuguese politics and in the early days of the Portuguese Empire. Through his administrative direction, he is regarded as the main initiator of what would be known as […]
The Conquest of Ceuta (22 August, 1415) by the Portuguese had its roots in the earliest years of the House of Aviz dynasty of Portugal. Both the Battle of Ceuta and, in a larger sense, the era of European expansion were influenced by Henry the Navigator. Born in 1394, Henry was the third son of […]
Portuguese map by Lopo Homem (c. 1519) showing the coast of Brazil and natives extracting brazilwood, as well as Portuguese ships.
A map, from 1574, that shows the 15 hereditary captaincy colonies of Brazil.
The squadron of Vasco da Gama left Portugal in 1497, rounded the Cape and continued along the coast of East Africa, where a local pilot was brought on board who guided them across the Indian Ocean, reaching Calicut (the capital of the native kingdom ruled by Zamorins) in south-western India in May 1498. The second voyage […]
Map of Portugal from 1647
Map of Western Africa by Lázaro Luis (1563). The large castle in West Africa represents the São Jorge da Mina (El mina castle).
The origin of the Kingdom of Portugal lay in the reconquista, the gradual reconquest of the Iberian peninsula from the Moors. After establishing itself as a separate kingdom in 1139, Portugal completed its reconquest of Moorish territory by reaching Algarve in 1249, but its independence continued to be threatened by neighbouring Castile until the signing […]
The conquest of Ceuta by the Portuguese on August 14, 1415 marks an important step in the beginning of the Portuguese Empireas well as of European colonial expansion in general. Ceuta had served as a staging ground in the Umayyad conquest of Hispania in 711, but it was destroyed in 740 and only rebuilt in […]
Portuguese carracks unload cargo in Lisbon. Original engraving byTheodor de Bry, 1593, coloured at a later date.