The Kingdom of Portugal was created as a by-product of the Christian reconquest of Hispania. With no geographical raison d'etre and no obvious political roots in its Roman, Germanic, or Islamic pasts, it for long remained a small, struggling realm on Europe's outer fringe. Then, in the early fifteenth century, this unlikely springboard for Western expansion suddenly began to accumulate an empire of its own, eventually extending more than halfway around the globe. A History of Portugal and the Portuguese Empire, drawing particularly on historical scholarship postdating the 1974 Portuguese Revolution, offers readers a comprehensive overview and reinterpretation of how all this happened - the first such account to appear in English for more than a generation. Volume I concerns the history of Portugal itself from pre-Roman times to the climactic French invasion of 1807, and Volume II traces the history of the Portuguese overseas empire.
A. R. Disney was educated at Oxford and Harvard and has taught history at Melbourne and La Trobe Universities. His publications include Twilight of the Pepper Empire (1978) and numerous articles, papers, and essays, published variously in the Economic History Review, Studia, Indica, Mare Liberum, Anais de Historia de Alem-mar, and other journals and proceedings.
Volume I: 1. Hunter-gatherers to Iron Age farmers; 2. The Roman experience; 3. The Germanic kingdoms; 4. Gharb al-Andalus; 5. The medieval kingdom; 6. The fourteenth century; 7. The making of Avis Portugal; 8. The golden age; 9. The tarnished age; 10. Habsburg Portugal; 11. Restoration and reconstruction; 12. The age of gold and Baroque splendour; 13. The age of Pombal; 14. The late eighteenth century: finale of the old regime. Volume II: 1. North Africa; 2. Exploring the coasts of Atlantic Africa; 3. Engaging with Atlantic Africa; 4. The Atlantic islands and fisheries; 5. Breakthrough to maritime Asia; 6. Empire in the East; 7. Informal presence in the East; 8. Brazil: seizing and keeping possession; 9. Formation of colonial Brazil; 10. Late colonial Brazil; 11. Holding on in India: the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; 12. Eastern empire in the late colonial era: peripheries.