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A History of Portugal and the Portuguese Empire
From Beginnings to 1807

Volume 1. Portugal


  • Date Published: June 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521603973

£ 24.99

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About the Authors
  • The Kingdom of Portugal was created as a by-product of the Christian Reconquest of Hispania. With no geographical raison d'être 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.

    • Unusual in covering both Portugal and the empire in twin volumes
    • The first in-depth history of Portugal and its empire before the 19th century published in English since 1972 and first such fully-documented history in English
    • Unusual in including the empire in the late 17th and 18th centuries
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'In response to the global turn in scholarship on colonial and early modern history, this book provides a fresh and much-needed perspective integrating metropolitan and colonial Portuguese histories. In fact, this analytical combination of national and imperial dimensions is totally original in the panorama of Portuguese histories where almost all the works available in English tend to concentrate exclusively on overseas expansion.' Diogo Ramada Curto, European University Institute, Florence and Universidade Nova de Lisboa

    'Anthony Disney has provided in this impressive two-volume survey of the history of Portugal and its overseas empire to the beginning of the nineteenth century a work of synthesis that has long been needed. Up-to-date in its scholarship, lucid and coherent in its exposition, his account, skillfully blending narrative and analysis, will immediately take its place as the essential starting-point for all those interested in the origins and character of the first truly global empire in world history.' Sir John Elliott, Regius Professor Emeritus of Modern History, University of Oxford

    'The history of the Portuguese world is barnacled with accretions: traditional errors, apparently ineradicable myths, partisan controversies, irrational passions. Anthony Disney has scraped the bottom and set the ship to rights. His book is sober but engaging, meticulous but well paced, comprehensive but concise: a monument of scholarship and discernment, which everyone interested in the subject will want to hand.' Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Tufts University

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521603973
    • length: 418 pages
    • dimensions: 231 x 157 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.61kg
    • contains: 8 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    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.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Introduction to Global Portuguese
  • Author

    A. R. Disney, La Trobe University, Victoria
    A. R. Disney was educated at the University of Oxford and Harvard University 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.

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