Roderich Ptak

During the first thirty-five years of the fifteenth century, Chinese maritime trade reached its peak. Huge Chinese fleets, consisting of one hundred, two hundred or more sails and manned with some twenty thousand seamen, sailed to Southeast Asia and into the Indian Ocean. These fleets, organized and financed by the Ming government, served to establish an extended network of long distance trade routes. Relations between foreign countries and the Middle Kingdom at the time had to be in the form of tribute trade. Private trade was interdicted. Foreign countries who would not comply with the rules and regulations set up by the Ming court ran the risk of being punished by military force. China's government fleets dis-posed of well-trained marines and it may be supposed, therefore, that until about 1435, some sixty or seventy years prior to the arrival of the Europeans in the Indian Ocean, China, as a sea power, dominated parts of the Asian seas.

There were similarities but also differences between the relatively short-lived Chinese system of maritime trade and the Portuguese network which began to expand after 1500. The economic, 'ideological', religious and other conditions leading to the emergence and development of both these systems differed, but to the extent that the Chinese as well as the Portuguese imposed certain changes upon the pattern of maritime Asia trade they had something in common; too. In their respective times, both the Portuguese and the Chinese were superior to others, technologically and as military powers. Yet, while China could do without fortified bases, the Estado da Índia had to rely on a system of strongholds so as to be able to survive in a world essentially different from its own and often hostile to its activities.

It is these and other similarities and differences that are discussed in the present paper with the aim of illustrating that, in dealing with the Asian maritime world, the historian should not necessarily draw a rigorous dividing line between the European and the pre-European period (c. 1500); there are some reasons to suggest that China as a maritime power may have to be put on a par with the Portuguese, Dutch and other European systems which, similar to the Chinese in their time, dominated parts of the Asian seas thereafter.


Geneviève Bouchon

On the eve of the arrival of the Portuguese, Calicut was at the height of its political and economic power, owing to the safety of its waters and the organization of the spice trade. The Hindu rulers used to welcome the merchants of the Islamic world who enjoyed an exceptional position. Tumultuous relations between Calicut and the Estado da Índia enable us to study reactions and social mutations which emerge from a clear insight into the social background and the instances of Portuguese interference.


Sanjay Subrahmanyam

The principal concern in this paper is with the town of Thatta, a river port that lies almost two hundred kilometres from the mouth of the great river Indus, in modern-day Pakistan. Located upriver from Lahori Bandar in the western Indus delta region at 24º 45'N, and 67º 58'E, the town still exists today as a dusty, provincial backwater, a condition into which it had already fallen in the nineteenth century. Edward Thornton describes it in the mid-nineteenth century as a town, formerly very famous, but now much decayed... situated about three miles west of the right or western bank of the Indus. However, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when the Portuguese traded extensively in the region, the town was a formidable trading and administrative centre. Until the 1590's, it was the seat of a succession of independent dynasties which ruled Sind, and thereafter it became the capital of a Mughal province.

The paper is based largely on two Portuguese accounts which deal with the town, that of Diogo do Couto (who describes Thatta as it was when sacked by the Portuguese in the late 1550's), and that of António Bocarro in the 1630's. It suggests that Thatta's prosperity depended in part on maritime trade, and in part on its relationship with the upland cities of Lahore and Multan. The concluding section deals briefly with the decline of Portuguese trade in the port, and then with the decline of the port itself, in the eighteenth century.



John Villiers

The Thai kingdom of Ayutthaya, known to the Europeans as Siam, was founded in 1351 at the confluence of the Chao Phraya and two other rivers in the fertile rice-growing plain of central Thailand and rose rapidly to become the leading power in the Thai world. It was exceptionally well placed both to control the riverine trade on the Chao Phraya and to participate in the already long-established international network of maritime trade in the Indian Ocean, the Indonesian archipelago and the South China Sea, and it soon became one of the richest trading states in East Asia.

Ayutthaya' s earliest commercial links overseas were with China, but by the mid-fifteenth century it had gained suzerainty over the Malay sultanate of several seaports in the Bay of Bengal and the Malay Peninsula and was trading extensively in a wide variety of goods, including rice, salted fish, vegetables, timber, gold, tin, lead, ivory and hides. Muslim merchants from western Asia, Persia and India played an important part in this trade and occupied important positions in the administration of the kingdom.

After Albuquerque's conquest of Malacca in 1511, the Portuguese sent a series of embassies to Ayutthaya, which led to the conclusion of a commercial treaty in 1518. Thereafter, the Portuguese traded with Siam out of Malacca and Macau and provided arms and men for the Siamese armies in their frequent wars against their neighbours.

The kings of Ayutthaya enjoyed semi-divine status and virtually absolute power, and their trade monopoly enabled them to become enormously rich. Much revenue was spent on building and maintaining magnificent temples, which demonstrated their political power and the legitimacy of their rule as well as their religious authority. As they were in an almost constant state of war, they maintained large armies, for which their vassals provided men and supplies.

The rapid economic development of Ayutthaya in the sixteenth century owed much to its trading relations with the Portuguese, but by the mid-seventeenth century they had been superseded as the leading European merchants in Ayutthaya by the Dutch East India Company, whose first trading mission to Ayutthaya was in 1604.


Luís Filipe Thomaz

This article discusses the development of Malacca as an indispensable commercial and administrative centre for the promotion of Portuguese interests in South East Asia. Malacca was a geographically ideal location since from that strategic position on the Straits the Portuguese could successfully control the whole seafaring network of the Asian coasts from Sri Lanka to Japan. The writer gives the historical perspective of the physical and cosmopolitan structure of the town, describing the ethnic communities and foreign merchants who contributed to the success of Portuguese maritime power based on trade and operating from Malacca.


Claude Guillot

The kingdom of Banten (also called Bantam or Sunda) is a field which has been somewhat neglected by historians due to the fact that it was not one of the most important trading centres in the extensive maritime network which the Portuguese set up in the Orient.

After the conquest of Malacca, the Portuguese tried to gain a new hold of the trading links which already existed between the two territories and which would certainly have changed Banten into a major supply centre had the kingdom not fallen into the hands of the Muslims. Nevertheless, throughout the sixteenth century Banten remained an essential stop-over for Portuguese ships on their way to China.

It was thanks to pepper from Banten that the Portuguese could enter the Chinese market. This productive relationship with Banten was interrupted by the arrival of the Dutch in the early seventeenth century but, by the second half of the same century, the Portuguese were once more playing an important role in Banten's economic development.

It was the Portuguese who in fact promoted the introduction of a monetary system to Banten, showing them the significance of trading with Manila where there was an abundance of Mexican reales.

Finally, the private merchants from Macau brought the old sixteenth century trading network back to life by setting up new links with Banten in their role as intermediaries between China and Java.

The conquest of Banten by the Dutch in 1682 marked the end of a Portuguese presence in Banten.


Manuel Bairrão Oleiro

This article outlines the frame-work within which Macau's maritime commerce functioned during the last fifteen years of the eighteenth century in an attempt to offer some suggestions for the study of maritime trade in the city during the following century. The author's examination is mainly based on the Registers of Passports issued by the Leal Senado (Macau City Council), an important source of information for the study of commercial movement, the local community involved in trading, the development of the fleet and the main routes and trading centres sought.

This was a difficult period marked by the increased presence of European powers in the Asian Seas and the subsequent competition which arose from this situation, and the decline in the Manila trade and shipping route. After the setting up of a Portuguese customs-house in the city (on an order from D. Maria in 1784, a warning of the stricter relations to be instituted with China), we can see Macau's instinctive trading response to the situation in an attempt to guarantee the city's survival. This has been a feature of Macau's existence throughout history. The main routes and centres of the period are discussed, with particular emphasis being given to India and Ceylon. Also mentioned are the principal products traded, especially opium which was procured in various regions of India to be sent to China. Macau's preference for areas where there was greater support and numbers of Portuguese in the Orient is analyzed along with the city's constant ability to adapt its commercial interests according to changing circumstances in the market and new situations.


R. Jan Barendse

This article is concerned with outlining a general set of characteristics for port cities in the western Indian Ocean. There were close links between port-towns and their hinterland and the former were heavily dependent upon routes to the interior. The location of the ports changed constantly with fluctuations in trading as the cities served merely as a link between coast and hinterland. The coastline in this region was very thinly populated and could be perceived as a social and political frontier. The ephemeral population of the towns constantly ravaged by the plague and scarcity of goods, contrasted markedly from that of the surrounding countryside. A final point to consider was the weak control, usually through custom-farming, exercised by the states in the hinterland.



Om Prakash

The arrival of the Europeans in significant numbers in the Indian Ocean after about 1500 has been the subject of considerable recent work. While large areas of the trading networks of this period have still be researched, for want of suitable source-material, a more intensive utilization of European documentation appears to hold good promise. In the present paper, the focus is principally on intra-Asian trade, rather than that between Europe and Asia. In the sixteenth century, the Portuguese participated in intra-Asian trade, first by the direct use of Crown vessels, and later through the system of concessions. After 1600, the arrival of the Companies made European participation more extensive. Of the Companies, the Dutch were the most significant participants in intra-Asian trade. The Company forbade its employees to trade within Asia, but this injunction only enjoyed limited success. In contrast, the English Company did not frown upon the private trade of its employees, as the Company itself did not trade much within Asia.

In respect to Asian traders, we see that the records of the Europeans are often remarkably informative. The latter part of the paper focuses on one category of documents, the so-called 'shipping lists' of the Dutch East India Company. When put together and analyzed, the data in these documents can be extremely helpful in tracing the rise and growth of merchant communities in different parts of Asia. Some illustrations from the ports of Bengal are given to provide a concrete set of examples from these shipping lists in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.


Leonard Blussé and Zhuang Guotu

The writer discusses how, after stringent maritime trade prohibitions had been lifted, the province of Fuchien developed into the most important trading centre, dealing in all kinds of foreign commodities and export of Chinese goods. Thus there became a need for a manual of overseas trade which would contain nautical and socio-economic information which detailed the Nanyang trade. Tung Hsi Yang K'ao was compiled and written by Chang Hsieh in 1617. It contains extremely valuable information drawn from encyclopaedias, private travelogues, rutters and geographical treatises. It details the trade policies of the Ming Court, Sino-Western contact, much maritime empirical knowledge, taxation policies and in all the work is of great value to students of the maritime history of Southeast Asia.


Sinnappah Arasaratnam

During the seventeenth century, the Indian Ocean region saw a number of exciting developments in seaborne commerce and these had a major impact on the societies and economies of those lands washed by the waters of the Ocean. India, being in a seminal geographical position in the Ocean, was a focal point of some of these developments. In India, the Coromandel coast was a prime trading region, with a long history of association with Indian Ocean trade. In the second half of the century, these developments were accelerated and the pace of trade quickened.

Coromandel merchant communities responded to these changes by developing strategies to participate more actively in trade. They had the support of the states from which they operated and, as in other parts of India, administrative and official involvement increased the resources in the hands of merchants. A continuing demand for Coromandel produce in southeast Asian trading centres expanded the volume of eastward trade and shipping into the second half of the century.

It was also the period of expanding European involvement in the trade of the Indian Ocean and Coromandel was a major centre for this trade. European competition and the use of superior force affected Coromandel trade, and merchants of the region adjusted their operations to meet the new challenges. These adjustments included the diversion of trade routes, opening new markets, involvement with rulers of trading states and servicing European trade and investment. By the end of the century, serious challenges were appearing to the commercial system that were to weaken merchant enterprise, especially in overseas ventures. These challenges had their origins externally as well as within the Indian subcontinent.


Catherine Manning

This paper examines the relationships of the French Company and French private traders with other merchants, European and Asian, in South India in the early eighteenth century. It seeks to show that French involvement in the politics and wars of Arcot and Hyderabad in the mid-century arose directly out of both the successes and failures of their local trade.

It argues that the Asian maritime trading world at that period was in some sectors less prosperous than it had been at the end of the previous century and that in these circumstances newcomers such as the French were disadvantaged in comparison with the longer-standing European traders in Asia, such as the Dutch and English.

French inexperience and lack of capital meant that local partnerships were enormously important to them. They successfully infiltrated established trading networks of those groups, such as the Armenians and Portuguese, which were family - rather than company-based. Their relationships with Indian merchants were vitiated by a history of poor credit and religious intolerance and by the weakness or caution of Indian trading groups. The great south Indian merchants or 'portfolio capitalists' of the past were harder to find by 1720 and the brokers and textile merchants of the Chetty groups provided the French with little capital. The Muslim trading communities of the Marakayyar were still thriving but held themselves aloof from French overtures. The most responsive groups the French found on Coromandel was that of the Muslim notables of the Arcot court. They had traditionally conducted their trade through local merchants and ports; however, the political circumstances of south India in the mid-eighteenth century turned their attention and capital to military activity. The French, in response to this need, abandoned failing trade for the hope of profits in war.


Ashin Das Gupta

Ashin Das Gupta presents an informative, interesting and extremely entertaining article about the supreme importance of the office of Broker in India and specifically in the city of Mughal Surat. Brokers were Indian merchants of independent means and, overall, a Broker had the power to manage all official English trade in addition to controlling the private trade of the Chief of the English Factory. In the case of Surat, however, he also had power over all other English Brokers whose trade depended on Surat. Therefore, whilst this position did not necessarily offer great monetary rewards, it was a position of immense power and prestige. Ashin das Gupta traces, as accurately as records will allow, the career of one Broker, Seth Jagannathdas Parakh, a member of the Parak family of Surat, which feuded continuously for many years with the Rustorijis family for this coveted office of Broker in Mughal Surat. Through his depiction of this power-struggle we also have a vivid picture of the intricate way in which commerce and trade in Surat was conducted and how ultimately the power of the Broker was eroded by the rise of Protection in the 1740's.


Pierre Blancard deserves a special mention in the history of France's trading relations with the Far East following the dissolution of the Compagnie des Indes Orientales in 1769. His case is representative of the development of Marseilles' merchant navy which had until then been forced to ply the French Antilles route due to the Company's monopoly. From 1771 onwards, shippers began to invest in new horizons and send ships to the Far East. Their ventures had an immediate return and the port only abandoned this trade in 1793 when Great Britain expelled France from India.

This reconstruction of Blancard's maritime commercial biography serves as a paradigm for how, by using an individual case, we can reach more general assumptions about the situation of the group, in this case the vicissitudes of French trade towards the end of the eighteenth century, now turned outwards to the wider horizons of the Orient where other European powers such as Portugal, Great Britain and Holland were also established. In this context of close competition and control, Blancard was forced to enter into a pre-established network and search out contacts with private companies and merchants, particularly in Goa, in order to extend his activities to the Far East. The lack of international support is obvious (the war between France and Great Britain because of American Independance and the alliance of interests between Great Britain and Portugal) and in his writings Blancard criticized France's desire to establish a post along the west coast of India, namely in Goa. Blancard's final option was to trade directly with China where he made his last trip remaining in Canton for two years. It was from there that he took the object that was to bring him as much, if not more, fame as his Manuel -- the chrysanthemum.



It is not unusual to assume that at the time of the 'Discoveries' there was little meeting ground between the navigational expertise developed in Europe and that prevailing in the Indian Ocean. This paper attempts to explore Eastern influences prevalent in Portugal as a result of the 'Moorish' presence in the Iberian Peninsula. This, perhaps, made it easier for the Portuguese to understand the eastern modes prevalent in the Indian Ocean. While circumnavigating Africa the Portuguese developed, independently, some of the techniques of the Indian Ocean, particularly that of 'running down the latitude'. Since they were cruising down Indian Ocean latitudes they also developed knowledge of the sidereal azimuthal compass. The encounter between the Portuguese and the pilots of the Indian Ocean, therefore, proved fruitful as Indian Ocean usages were codified and recorded. The development of Indian Ocean techniques is reviewed and it is clear that this area, viewed by sectors, had a rich and varied storehouse of traditional knowledge geared to the needs of existing maritime ventures.


José Alberto Leitão Barata

Portuguese nautical literature of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries is an extremely rich source of technical information. There are, for instance, sailing books, charts and ship-building manuals. Nevertheless, descriptions of voyages are not so frequent as we could expect. Because of this, we cannot afford to ignore such an important historical source as the Peregrination by Fernão Mendes Pinto. Discussions as to the historical accuracy of the work are, from a nautical point of view, unnecessary. Peregrination contains valuable information about the various kinds of ships used throughout the Orient from the Red Sea to Japan. There are also some notes concerning ship-building, a major concern in Portuguese Asia. Here and there, as we read between the lines, we can find extremely useful descriptions of life on board ship from food to entertainment, from everyday chores to what must be done in the case of a shipwreck or pirate attack. The only other descriptions of this kind to be found are in those referring to the voyages in the India route. A large part of Peregrination takes place on board either on the high seas or going up and down the great rivers of Asia. A careful study of the nautical features in this work will certainly aid us in gaining a better understanding of the lives of many of the Portuguese who came to the Far East in the sixteenth century as well as giving us a better idea of this essential, yet controversial, book.



Chandra Richard de Silva

The article of Chandra Richard de Silva concerning political and diplomatic relations of the Portuguese with the kingdom of Kotte in Sri Lanka during the first half of the sixteenth century is extremely detailed and colourful. He charts how the Portuguese, the first European maritime power in Asia whose naval power was unrivalled and much feared, successfully gained political control over a number of small Asian coastal states in a relatively short period of time. This period spans from approximately 1505-1551, when the kingdom of Kotte, the richest state in Sri Lanka, was ruled by self-styled emperors whilst other brothers were autonomous rulers of other parts of the island. There was much dissent between those rulers who were willing to accommodate the Portuguese in their determination to gain complete control over precious commodities for resale in Europe, namely cinnamon, elephants and gems, and those rulers who resisted. Thus there was jealousy, subterfuge and intrigue between these rulers along with continuous provocation from neighbouring Muslims who actively encouraged and supported some rulers in wars to oust the Christian Portuguese. Ultimately, there was a situation where not only diplomatic and political factors were of prime importance in deciding who controlled the export trade, but also the religious factor in that the Franciscans strongly desired the con-version of the then emperor to Christianity, which he in turn persistently rejected, whilst at the same time other rivals including some members of his family, embraced the Christian faith. This changed the balance of power and finally, by 1551 when the emperor was assassinated, relations of any kind with the Portuguese having been tried and strained for so long, were broken and future close alliances in the diplomatic and political field ceased.


António Vasconcelos de Saldanha

The author takes a historical-legal approach in his discussion of territorial gains during the Portuguese expansion in the Orient focussing on the role of the so-called 'donation of kingdoms' to the Portuguese Crown as the basis of this country's expansion in Ceylon.

Prior to offering his central analysis of the well-known donation of the Kingdom of Kotte to the Portuguese Monarchs in 1580, the author describes both the events leading up to this action, paying particular attention to the donation of the Kingdom of Ternate in 1545, and the powerful example of similar actions in Ceylon such as the donation of the Kingdoms of Kandy and Jaffna to the Portuguese Crown.

Similarly, the author attempts to point out the persistent recourse the Portuguese made to these kinds of actions in order to provide them with a legal basis to their 'conquest' of Ceylon, something which is fundamental to our understanding of the political history of the Portuguese presence on that island.


João Paulo Costa

Oda Nobunaga was the most powerful man in Japan from 1568 to 1582. He started the process of unification which was to bring three centuries of civil war in the country to an end. His political and military actions took place primarily in the area surrounding the capital on the island of Honshu.

The Portuguese arrived in Japan for the first time in 1543 and maintained close links with the country from then on by stimulating trade between Japan and China and introducing into Japan many features of western civilization ranging from new technology to a new religion. The Portuguese always concentrated their trading and other activities on Kyushu. Only a few missionaries went to the capital on Honshu but this was enough for information concerning western civilization to reach the central power base of the country. Nobunaga was a man with a deep sense of history who was not only unusual in the interest he took in western exoticism but also in the attempts he made to make news of his deeds reach these faroff lands which had now come into contact with Japan.

Oda Nobunaga did not set up official relations with the Estado da Índia but he did give active support to Christian missionary work in the central zone of his country. At the same time, he provided his own armies with the power to use firearms by wisely taking advantage of the weaponry introduced by the Portuguese. Consequently, at this crucial point in the history of Japan contrasting aspects of Portuguese expansionism played an important role in Nobunaga's strategy.

His untimely death before the country was finally unified prevents us from being able to evaluate what his motives were in protecting the missionaries and supporting their work.


George Winius

Historians have been attracted to the more salient aspects of the Estado da Índia Oriental, that is, those representing organization and direction from Goa and Lisbon which were vital to its governance and economy. While all historians of the Portuguese Asian Empire have long come across mentions of Portuguese activity in the Bay of Bengal during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, it would appear that none have taken a direct look at them and attempted to see what they amounted to. In fact, they amount to a sort of informal 'shadow empire' meaning that the settlements there were not, strictly speaking, regular ones: usually the officers were no more than a capitão and an escrivão, often serving for life, chosen from among the settlers and unpaid.

The territories in which they lived were not conquered by Portugal or even subject to Portuguese rule, but to native naiks or to the Mughal. The original Portuguese inhabitants, moreover, intermarried with native women and in time became something like Portuguese-speaking Catholic Eurasians. In fact, it was the Padroado which most bound Goa and Lisbon to the region - the king of Portugal's responsibility for the Christian religion in the entire hemi-sphere.

Missionaries followed casado traders into the area and settled where these settled, both to provide them with masses - and, more importantly (from their viewpoint), to make conversions among the natives from the Christian enclaves thus formed.

The Portuguese presence in the region dates from the early days of Portuguese conquest on the west coast of India (i. e., from around 1518) and at first centered around S. Thomé de Meliapur, today a district of the city of Madras. It was a traders' settlement, but much of its attraction appears to have been due to its reputed possession of the tomb of the Apostle Thomas.

The trade in itself can be explained by the export of Indian cotton cloth to lands to the east such as Arakan, Pegu, and Burma, which lacked a suitable climate for cotton growing. At the same time, around 1500, many Hindu traders appear to have abandoned sea voyaging - thus creating a golden opportunity for the Christians to step in. By the 1580's, the 'shadow empire' had spread from centres like S. Thomé, Pulicat and Negapatnam on the Coromandel Coast to the lands of the Mogul in Hughli and Bandel- and even into Aracan and Pegu.

The seventeenth century brought trouble, both in form of the Dutch and English presence and difficulties with native rulers; by the mid-1630's, the 'shadow empire' had been drastically reduced in extent. But the Portuguese identity and presence survived - due in part to (self-interested) help from the English traders, but also thanks to the ability of the Portuguese to adapt and to identify themselves with native peoples.


Mark Vink

As part of the Hapsburg Empire, the Portuguese became involved in the Hispano-Dutch Eighty Years' War (1568-1648). In Asia, Lusitanian shipping and land bases were exposed to the relentless attacks of the Dutch East India Company. In their desperate search for support, the Portuguese found a willing but demanding ally in the English, the commercial rivals of the Dutch. The outcome of this unequal relationship was the renewal of the Anglo-Portuguese entente cordiale.

The consequences were manifest in the Straits of Malacca, which functioned as the bottle-neck between the Portuguese settlements on the west coast of India and Macao. While Lusitanian shipping came to a complete standstill after the loss of Malacca in 1641, the English quickly filled the gap in the market.

By 1663, when a peace treaty with the Dutch was concluded, Portuguese Asia was in a state beyond repair. The Anglo-Portuguese marriage treaty of 1663 was too late to be of any use. It did, however, bear witness to the waning of one era and the dawning of another.


Carmen Radulet

Dom António José de Noronha, Bishop of Halicarnassus, Nabob of Dilavargenga, diplomat in the service of Dupliex and the Company of Pondicherry, Haider Aly Kan and the Estado da Índia, experienced soldier who played an important part in the Pondá campaign thus gaining recognition from the Vice-roy of Ega described, in various accounts sent to the Marquis of Pombal, the military, diplomatic and economic situation of the Estado da Índia during a complex stage in its existence.

The works of Dom António José de Noronha are, although they have still not been published, extremely important not only because they give detailed analyses of the relationship between the Estado da Índia and the Eastern Potentates but also because their author indicates how the presence of other European powers (particularly the English) affected the policies of the Estado and also shows possible ways in which the Portuguese could restore their position in the Orient.



A. J. Qaisar

The discovery of the Cape of Good Hope route to Asia brought about a maritime revolution with far-reaching political, economic and even cultural results, unprecedented in the history of this region. India was exposed for the first time directly to Europe, and soon she became the focus of attention for Europeans.

In view of the fact that Vasco da Gama was Portuguese and the initial European settlements in India starting in A. D. 1498 were Portuguese, it was quite natural for the Indians to view Europe for some time in the light of their bitter experiences with the former. Nevertheless, in the midst of political chicanery and military brutalities from every side, a significant economic and cultural impact had started operating simultaneously in both a discreet and obvious way.

It was a historical accident that while Vasco da Gama came to India in A. D. 1498, Babur laid the foundations of the Mughal Empire in A. D. 1526. However, it was during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Akbar (A. D. 1566-1605) that meaningful contacts were established with the Portuguese.

Apart from Persian literary sources, we also possess non-verbal documents, that is, Mughal paintings. For our present study, we have collected ten paintings which portray Jesuit priests as well as secular Portuguese. Some of these paintings corroborate Persian literary narratives, while others yield evidence not available in them.

For example, Persian literary works of Jahangir's period will never tell us about the presence of any Jesuit at the Emperor's Court, or his joining the Coronation Procession or his presence at Ajmer in the Emperor's camp. But our paintings depict Father Corsi at least three times on three different occasions and at three places. This corresponds closely to the Jesuit accounts. We also find the portrayal of Father Jerome Xavier. Moreover, the paintings offer details of the costume of the Jesuits on which Persian literary sources hardly shed any light. On the other hand, two paintings faithfully reproduce European ships and secular Portuguese.


K. C. Fok

This paper examines how the Ming responded positively to accommodate the needs of the Portuguese for maritime trade at a time when political developments threatened to disrupt the system of diplomacy and trade familiar to and favored by the sinocentric world order of the Ming.

Thus by the end of the Ming, a policy was being shaped first by the provincial Kuangtung officials and later passively tolerated and then endorsed by the central government to adjust to two important factors of China's foreign relations at the time: that foreign maritime trade was profitable, and that effective coastal defense was essential.

This policy well deserves being called the 'Macao Formula' because it emanated from the operations in Macao and stemmed from special historical circumstances and events leading to the worsening of the wo-k'ou problem and the rise of the 'Portuguese Problem' in Macao.

The formula was in created after a long debate, beginning the 1550's, among provincial and central officials on how to accommodate the Portuguese in Macao. This paper traces the debate by carefully examining extant Ming comments and accounts of early Macao. From the debate, it was revealed that there was genuine fear among Ming officials of a menacing foreign community in Macao making inroads into the interior.

Various measures had been proposed to deal with the presence of the Portuguese. But a policy which avoided the use of force in favor of moral suasion was finally adopted in 1614. This was the result of subtle consideration of all aspects of merits and demerits of various prevailing opinions entertained by Ming officials and literati.

Local needs and realities were carefully balanced against monarchical interests and established laws. From 1614 until the end of Ming, this realistic approach, the 'Macao Formula', was preferred as a response to the 'Portuguese Problem' dating to the 1550's.

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