Portuguese Indiamen Reconstruction and more

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by Guillermo, Sep 6, 2006.

  1. Guillermo
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    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

    "The main objective of this project is to analyse the sailing capabilities and structural strength of an India nau reconstructed from archaeological and documentary evidence"
    http://nautarch.tamu.edu/shiplab/ijna_methodology.pdf

    A tentative list to Portuguese Indiamen wrecks:
    http://nautarch.tamu.edu/shiplab/projects ir 1 list.htm

    A very interesting paper of Portuguese vs. Spanish Shipbuilding Practices.
    http://www.abc.se/~pa/bld/portspan.htm

    Any more info on Portuguese built ships from sec. XV to sec XVII?
     
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  2. Vega
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    Vega Senior Member

    Thanks for posting that.

    I have already referred to that virtual reconstruction (http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/showthread.php?t=9982&highlight=Portuguese) and I am very interested in the outcome.

    There is a renewal of interest about the history of Portuguese expansion, not only here, but also worldwide because it is now understood that the first European Colonial Empire was not really an Empire, nor was it really Colonial.

    Not an Empire because it was not made of conquered land but from sea routes and naval superiority; nor really colonial because the Portuguese didn't think themselves intrinsically superior to Indian, Chinese or Japanese (culturally speaking). In fact they had superior directives to marry local women, preferably women of the local nobility and to interact with the local culture and society.

    These are very much the opposite of all that was the practice in other European Empires. For example the Dutch were forbidden to have any intercourse with local women and I think that the same applied to the British and they all looked with superiority to other cultures and nations.

    There is another factor which makes Portuguese expansion different (mainly from the Spanish one) and that is a religious matter. That is a long story that only now begins to be fully understood.

    Just to give a glimpse, I would say that the Order of Christ, that was in the center of the discovery project, was the direct descendent of the Order of The Chevaliers du Temple (That order was considered heretic and was terminated in the XIV century by the Pope in a blood bath) and that Prince Henrique (the king’s brother) was the leading man of that order and also the leading man in the discoveries.

    This is on the origin of the very particular way that Portuguese interacted with other cultures and their religions.

    It is almost unknown that for seven different times the pope threatened Portugal with excommugation (that means that the entire country would go straight to hell, and would be forever out of god’s favor).

    This very particular and liberal attitude from the Portuguese only was subdued when, by force of blood lines, the King of Portugal was by misfortune also the king of Spain and with him, the full force of Spanish inquisition came, with it’s God judgements and liberation by the fire. That means they tortured you till you said what they wanted you to say and then, they purified your soul by the fire (meaning, burning you alive), granting that way a sure path to paradise:rolleyes: .

    Quoting from the link you have posted:

    “Portugal created a maritime empire, an empire that relied not on the conquest of land and territories but rested on naval superiority, an empire formed by ephemeral sea routes and fragile harbours of support, like those of Ilha de Mozambique, Santa Helena and Terceira. So, unlike the Spanish empire, nothing substantial remains of this former empire on land. Till now, the Portuguese colonial expansion has been studied principally from its architectural evidence and from the documentary evidence left by its major participants or by the contemporary observers of the process. But nothing is known about the true instrument of the Portuguese expansion: the Portuguese built ship.”

    http://www.abc.se/~pa/bld/portspan.htm
     
  3. Guillermo
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    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

    An outstanding naval history, that of the Portuguese.
    I look forward to getting more info on portuguese ships from those times.
    Cheers,
     
  4. safewalrus
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    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    sounds positively fantastic of not a little hard work - just remember from your own accounts at the time we English were nothing more than a band of cutthoat pirates - we didn't have much time for the local women 'cos they didn't have much time for us! Can understand that, if someone has just cut the throat of your father, husband and uncle, enslaved your children and stolen your goods your not likely to have too much time for the guy - after all in the near future **** is on the list and them you ain't got much time for anything - we learn't that from others we ran into in the process of our wanderings (actually there were only a few nations about when we started who considered themsdelves above us- wonder who they were?)

    Look forward to further installments from both of 'ye; our oldest friends and foes (sometimes at the same time?!?)
     
  5. Vega
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    Vega Senior Member

  6. Saf
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    Saf Junior Member

    Funny how some people make them selfs look like angels! Portguses have done some very terrible things in country called Oman in Arabia when they were descovering that part of the world!:(

    sailing wise at that time arabs were far much better than anyother nation at boats builiding!:)
     
  7. Wynand N
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    Wynand N Retired Steelboatbuilder

    work on your grammer and spelling before throwing stones at others:rolleyes:
     
  8. Guillermo
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    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

    I respect your opinion, but think it is not fair to post that. We are not talking here about conquering or brutality, but shipdesgning, shipbuilding, navigation and seamanship.

    Of course conquerings were quite barbarian, whatever the country or civilization. Even nowadays it seems we have learned very little. But we are not talking that here. Open a thread with that, if you like so, but please don't do it in this one.

    Cheers.
     
  9. Vega
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    Vega Senior Member

    Saf, I haved taken some time to reply because I didn't know how to reply without being rude.

    I guess that you did not understand what I have said. As Guillermo has pointed out war is always a barbaric thing even if it is wrong to analyze ancient wars by modern standards of "civilization".

    I did not say that Portuguese were not terrible enemies, what I have pointed out is that they were not interested in conquering new territories, but in the domain of sea routes and commercial trade, between the Orient and Europe and that was only possible because they had naval superiority and that means also better boats.

    I have said that another difference was the way Portuguese inter-acted with other cultures. This does not mean that they were “nice” to everybody, particularly their enemies; fact is that the terror that they inspired to their enemies was fundamental to manage the naval superiority in the Coasts of Africa and Asia.

    After all Portugal was a small country with a million souls and a navy with no more than 10 000 men and their main opponent in that part of the world was the Ottoman Empire (Turks) and their allies, that vastly outnumbered them, to a proportion that is unbelievable.

    But it means also that they have made alliances with a lot of other local kingdoms, that they have married local girls, had half-breed sons and looked to his allies as equal partners. They lived and died with them, many times adopting large parts of their culture (and living in accordance).

    That way of looking at different cultures was quickly abandoned by other western countries that followed the Portuguese in the Far East.

    About Naval superiority, take a look here:

    ”Vice-Roy of India, D. Afonso de Albuquerque….commanded a fleet of six ships manned by four hundred men, and entered Ormuz Bay, being surrounded by 250 warships and a 20.000 men army on land ready to dispatch the small Portuguese flotilla.

    When the King of Ormuz sent aboard an emissary to question Albuquerque, the great Commander told the messenger one phrase: Surrender yourselves!!!

    This must have provoked an inner laugh from the messenger who left.

    When the battle begun, Albuquerque made his fleet circle like a carrousel and destroyed most of the ships. He then proceeded to conquer Ormuz with 400 men.”

    http://www.arscives.com/bladesign/history.htm
     
  10. safewalrus
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    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    And whatever else you say to get a fleet of wind driven ships to "circle like a carousel" is a fine piece of seamanship in any language, and to fire dirty great cannon and only hit your enemy in all that chaos takes a fair amount of skill too (must of had English trained Gunners - hey Saf we're STILL training the Omani's; didn't the Sultan himself attend Sandhurst? [OK army trained but the effect is the same]):p :p :D :D :p :p :cool:
     
  11. Guillermo
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    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

    Between 250 BC and 250 AD, so several centuries before the Portuguese stablish their trading routes to the far East, the Nabateans (Arabs) were trading goods all along the coast of the Indian Ocean, reaching India (and maybe even China) using their arabian dhows. Indian dhows and Chinese junks shared extended portions of this route, where an intense merchant activity took place.
    Read trough:
    http://nabataea.net/who1.html

    Cheers

    P.S. There is even a theory about the Arabs reaching New Zealand!
    (Visit http://www.zealand.org.nz/history.htm and search for 'Radical' and then 'The Arabs')
     

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  12. Guillermo
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    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

    Well, this internet thing is a world of surprises!
    Now I've learnt that maybe even the Celtics reached New Zealand! :!:
    http://www.celticnz.co.nz/
    Anybody has more info on this? Is it pure speculation or has some credibility?
    Cheers
     
  13. safewalrus
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    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    What I do know Guillermo, is that a bunch of Cornishmen (one of the Celtic Nations) sailed an open traditional lugger to Australia back in the 19th Century so I guess it COULD be feasable?!? But why? is beyond me - there again having been to New Zealand maybe not (now where did I leave me coracle)
     

  14. Vega
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    Vega Senior Member

    Do you really believe this?:p Allright, alright, I am just kiding:p

    Aparently Mr.Martin Doutré, does not deserve any credit among scientist, to the point they just ignore him.

    If someone is interested I would suggest this thread in the "New Zealand History forum online":

    http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9&sid=c3ee40c88d305d8886eed325171dbb80

    About Martin Doutré and the like, I agree with Bill Keir, a member of the Auckland Astronomical Society:

    “That such substandard and misleading material can reach our bookshops and libraries without any prior critical assessment or expert evaluation is a price we pay for our cherished freedom of expression. Anybody is free to self-publish anything, even if it is total fantasy claiming to be fact.
    … We all need to hone our critical skills and adopt a healthy scepticism to deal with the avalanche.”
     
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