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Report by the Portuguese admiral and second governor of Portuguese India on the conquest of Hormuz and the important commercial pearl fishery in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf

ALBUQUERQUE, Bráz de.
Commentarios do grande Afonso dAlboquerque capitao geral que foi das Indias Orientaes em tempo do muito poderoso Rey D. Manuel o primeiro deste nome.
Lisbon, Regia Officina Typografica, 1774. 4 volumes. 8vo. With 4 title-pages, each with Albuquerque's woodcut coat of arms, an engraved portrait, engraved illustration above the dedication, large engraved folding map, covering the regions from the Arabian Peninsula to southern China, including the east coast of Africa, India, the Indian Ocean and most of the East Indies, and 2 woodcut illustrations in text.Contemporary tanned sheepskin, richly gold-tooled spines, marbled edges. [8], XXX, [13], [1 blank], 343, [1 blank]; [12], 285, [3 blank]; [12], 289, [3 blank]; [11], [1 blank], 256 pp.
€ 6,500
Third edition of the commentaries of the Portuguese admiral and second governor of Portuguese India, Afonso de Albuquerque (ca. 1453-1515), who was appointed head of the "fleet of the Arabian and Persian Sea" in 1506. His eye-witness commentaries give us an insight in the exploration of the East, especially the Indian Ocean and the Gulf, by the Portuguese colonialists. By conquering the island of Hormoz, which was a great internal market, would give the Portguese control of an important commercial route. Due to Hormuzs treasure and the economic prosperity it supported, they could maintain the Portuguese forces in the Indian Ocean to travel and explore the area.
The first volume covers Alburquerques first and second visits to India and the successful attack on Hormuz. "In AD 1507, the balance of power and the ancient trading patterns of the Indian Ocean and the Gulf were permanently altered by the dramatic arrival of the Portuguese, under the ruthless command of Alfonso de Albuquerque. ... The famously wealthy kingdom of Hormuz, which controlled all the shipping lanes of the Gulf and also a significant slice of the Indian Ocean trade, was along with Aden and Malacca, a key target. ... The pearls of the region, and in particularly those of Bahrain, were already recognized as a chief objective. Prior to the conquest of Hormuz, Albuquerue sent a letter to his sovereign, King Manuel I: "Bahrain is rich and profitable; its fishery of pearls is easy to take over and improve. Once Hormuz is captured, Bahrain would be acquired and what is in the Sea of Persia" (Carter). By capturing Hormuz, the first main target, they could take over the pearl fishery and expand the wealth and extent of Portuguese colonialism.
The present book, a report with commentaries by Albuquerque himself, first appeared posthumously in 1557, compiled by the Captain's son Bráz de Albuquerque (who, after the death of his father, assumed the name Afonso) from his fathers dispatches forwarded to King Dom Emmanuel, reporting on his travels and conquests.
Internally in very good condition, with only a couple minor smudges and some spots on the map. Spines chipped and boards slightly rubbed along the extremities, but otherwise good. Howgego, to 1800, A41-A44; Innocêncio A36; Porbase (9 copies); Bibl. Salvá 3263 note; cf. J. Aubin, "Albuquerque, Alfonso de," in: Encyclopaedia Iranica (online ed.); Carter, Sea of pearls: seven thousand years of industry that shaped the Gulf (2012); Floor, The Persian Gulf (2006), p. 613; not in Blackmer; Atabey.
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Maritime history  >  Naval History
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