Annual Report 31
In seeking to discover and then conquer the Orient the Portuguese had, like the Spanish, three masters, God, Caesar and Mammon. Their objectives in the east were to spread "Christianity, to smite the Muslim and other ‘infidels’ and to capture the spice trade", wresting it from the hands of Gujarati and other traders who supplied Europe through Egypt and Venice. Such was the initial success of the followers of Vasco da Gama that, for a century, the “Indian Ocean became a Portuguese lake”. In a detailed analysis the author traces the rise and fall of Portuguese influence in the east, noting in particular the role of the Jesuits, and considers the long-term impact of Portuguese traders who “linked the peoples of the world, who till then had lived so often in isolation in remote continents”.
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