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His Lordship
Afonso de Albuquerque
Retrato de Afonso de Albuquerque (após 1545) - Autor desconhecido.png
Captain-Major of the Seas of Arabia
Governor of Portuguese India
In office
4 November 1509 – September 1515
Monarch Manuel I
Preceded by Francisco de Almeida
Succeeded by Lopo Soares de Albergaria
Personal details
Afonso de Albuquerque

c. 1453
Alhandra, Kingdom of Portugal
Died 16 December 1515 (aged c. 62)
Goa, Portuguese India
Nationality Portuguese
Children Brás de Albuquerque, 2nd Duke of Goa [pt]
  • Gonçalo de Albuquerque (father)
  • Leonor de Menezes (mother)
Occupation Admiral
Governor of India

Afonso de Albuquerque, 1st Duke of Goa ( c. 1453 – 16 December 1515) (also spelled Aphonso or Alfonso) was a Portuguese general, admiral, and statesman. He served as Governor of Portuguese India from 1509 to 1515, during which he expanded Portuguese influence across the Indian Ocean and built a reputation as a fierce and skilled military commander.

Albuquerque advanced the three-fold Portuguese grand scheme of combating Islam, spreading Christianity, and securing the trade of spices by establishing a Portuguese Asian empire. Among his achievements, Albuquerque managed to conquer Goa and was the first European of the Renaissance to raid the Persian Gulf, and he led the first voyage by a European fleet into the Red Sea. He is generally considered a highly effective military commander, and "probably the greatest naval commander of the age", given his successful strategy—he attempted to close all the Indian Ocean naval passages to the Atlantic, Red Sea, Persian Gulf, and to the Pacific, transforming it into a Portuguese mare clausum established over the opposition of the Ottoman Empire and its Muslim and Hindu allies. In the expansion of the Portuguese Empire, Albuquerque initiated a rivalry that would become known as the Ottoman–Portuguese war, which would endure for many years. Many of the Ottoman–Portuguese conflicts in which he was directly involved took place in the Indian Ocean, in the Persian Gulf regions for control of the trade routes, and on the coasts of India. It was his military brilliance in these initial campaigns against the much larger Ottoman Empire and its allies that enabled Portugal to become the first global empire in history. He led the Portuguese forces in numerous battles, including the conquest of Goa in 1510 and the capture of Malacca in 1511. He became admiral of the Indian Ocean, and was appointed head of the "fleet of the Arabian and Persian sea" in 1506.

During the last five years of his life, he turned to administration, where his actions as the second governor of Portuguese India were crucial to the longevity of the Portuguese Empire. He pioneered European sea trade with China during the Ming Dynasty with envoy Rafael Perestrello, Thailand with Duarte Fernandes as envoy, and with Timor, passing through Malaysia and Indonesia in a voyage headed by António de Abreu and Francisco Serrão. He also aided in establishing diplomatic relations with Ethiopia, and established diplomatic ties with Persia during the Safavid dynasty. Over his career, he received the epithets "the Great", "the Terrible", "the Portuguese Mars" and "the Caesar of the East".

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