Conquerors: How Portugal Forged the First Global Empire

Conquerors: How Portugal Forged the First Global Empire

As remarkable as Columbus and the conquistador expeditions, the history of Portuguese exploration is now almost forgotten. But Portugal's navigators cracked the code of the Atlantic winds, launched the expedition of Vasco da Gama to India and beat the Spanish to the spice kingdoms of the East - then set about creating the first long-range maritime empire. In an astonishing blitz of thirty years, a handful of visionary and utterly ruthless empire builders, with few resources but breathtaking ambition, attempted to seize the Indian Ocean, destroy Islam and take control of world trade.

Told with Roger Crowley's customary skill and verve, this is narrative history at its most vivid - an epic tale of navigation, trade and technology, money and religious zealotry, political diplomacy and espionage, sea battles and shipwrecks, endurance, courage and terrifying brutality. Drawing on extensive first-hand accounts, it brings to life the exploits of an extraordinary 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 and unleashed the forces of globalisation.

Title:Conquerors: How Portugal Forged the First Global Empire
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780812994001
Format Type:

    Conquerors: How Portugal Forged the First Global Empire Reviews

  • Max

    Riveting, bloody history. Crowley makes the people and the action come alive on the page. Conquerors is not a mere recitation of facts, but a look deep into the thoughts and emotions of the Portuguese...

  • Sebastien

    I really enjoyed this read. Excellent use of primary texts, told in a narrative type way that focuses on direct accounts of primary players in the history. This gives a nice worm's eye view of the act...

  • Ian

    The decade of the 1490s was without doubt one of the most significant in human history. Nowadays we see the European (re)discovery of the Americas in 1492 as the event which more than any other shaped...

  • George

    "Conquerors: How Portugal Forged the First Global Empire" by Roger Crowley is a good introduction to Portugal's development of its maritime empire in the Indian Ocean. This book covers approximately a...

  • Vicky Hunt

    With Pen and SwordFrom the voyages of the Chinese Star ships (and the genetic traces China left behind) to the arrival of the Caravels and Carracks of Bartholomew Diaz, Vasco de Gama, Alphonso de Albu...

  • Tariq Mahmood

    This invaluable book of a most intriguing time in history when a tiny and poor European country managed to almost dethrone the main enemy of Christian Europe by strangling the rich spice trade away fr...

  • Andrew

    Conquerors: How Portugal Forged the First Global Empire, is an interesting book by Roger Crowley on the Portuguese conquest of the Indian Ocean. The book follows the Portuguese conquest of Cueta in Mo...

  • Jennifer (JC-S)

    ‘How Portugal seized the Indian Ocean and forged the First Global Empire’Portugal had a population of about one million people at the beginning of the fifteenth century. A tiny country, with an ec...

  • Sean

    This book blew my mind. Full stop. The Portuguese exploration of the African coastline and the race to conquer the Indian spice trade is at least as impressive a feat, and perhaps even more improbable...

  • Liviu

    I had very high expectations from this one based on the author's earlier books I've read or am currently reading (the siege of Constantinople and a history of Venice are both excellent and the book ab...