Manuel I of Portugal
Manuel I, the Fortunate, King of Portugal, was the son of Ferdinand, Duke of Viseu, by his wife, the Infanta Beatrice of Portugal. His name is associated with a period of Portuguese history distinguished by significant achievements both in political affairs and in the arts. In spite of Portugal’s small size and population in comparison to the great European land powers of France and Spain, the classical Portuguese Armada was the largest in the world at the time. During Manuel's reign Portugal was able to acquire an overseas empire of vast proportions, the first in world history to reach global dimensions; the landmark symbol of the period was the Portuguese discovery of Brazil and South America in April 1500. Manuel's mother was the granddaughter of King John I of Portugal, whereas his father was the second surviving son of King Edward of Portugal and the younger brother of King Afonso V of Portugal. In 1495, Manuel succeeded his first cousin, King John II of Portugal, his brother-in-law, as husband to Manuel's sister, Eleanor of Viseu.
Manuel grew up amidst conspiracies of the Portuguese upper nobility against King John II. He was aware of many people being exiled, his older brother Diogo, Duke of Viseu, was stabbed to death in 1484 by the king himself. Manuel thus would have had every reason to worry when he received a royal order in 1493 to present himself to the king, but his fears were groundless: John II wanted to name him heir to the throne after the death of his son Prince Afonso and the failed attempts to legitimise Jorge, Duke of Coimbra, his illegitimate son; as a result of this stroke of luck, he was nicknamed the Fortunate. Manuel would prove a worthy successor to his cousin John II for his support of Portuguese exploration of the Atlantic Ocean and development of Portuguese commerce. During his reign, the following achievements were realized: 1498 – The discovery of a maritime route to India by Vasco da Gama. 1500 – The discovery of Brazil by Pedro Álvares Cabral. 1505 – The appointment of Francisco de Almeida as the first viceroy of India.
1503–1515 – The establishment of monopolies on maritime trade routes to the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf by Afonso de Albuquerque, an admiral, for the benefit of Portugal. The capture of Malacca in modern-day Malaysia in 1511 was the result of a plan by Manuel I to thwart the Muslim trade in the Indian Ocean by capturing Aden, blocking trade through Alexandria, capturing Ormuz to block trade through the Persian Gulf and Beirut, capturing Malacca to control trade with China. All these events made Portugal wealthy from foreign trade as it formally established a vast overseas empire. Manuel used the wealth to build a number of royal buildings and to attract scientists and artists to his court. Commercial treaties and diplomatic alliances were forged with Ming dynasty of China and the Persian Safavid dynasty. Pope Leo X received a monumental embassy from Portugal during his reign designed to draw attention to Portugal's newly acquired riches to all of Europe. In Manuel's reign, royal absolutism was the method of government.
The Portuguese Cortes met only three times during his reign, always in the king's seat. He reformed the courts of justice and the municipal charters with the crown, modernizing taxes and the concepts of tributes and rights. During his reign, the laws in force in the kingdom of Portugal were recodified with the publication of the Manueline Ordinations. Manuel was a religious man and invested a large amount of Portuguese income to send missionaries to the new colonies, among them Francisco Álvares, sponsor the construction of religious buildings, such as the Monastery of Jerónimos. Manuel endeavoured to promote another crusade against the Turks, his relationship with the Portuguese Jews started out well. At the outset of his reign, he released all the Jews, made captive during the reign of John II. For the Jews, he decided that he wanted to marry Infanta Isabella of Aragon heiress of the future united crown of Spain. Ferdinand and Isabella had expelled the Jews in 1492 and would never marry their daughter to the king of a country that still tolerated their presence.
In the marriage contract, Manuel I agreed to persecute the Jews of Portugal. In December 1496, it was decreed that all Jews either convert to Christianity or leave the country without their children. However, those expelled could only leave the country in ships specified by the king; when those who chose expulsion arrived at the port in Lisbon, they were met by clerics and soldiers who tried to use coercion and promises in order to baptize them and prevent them from leaving the country. This period of time technically ended the presence of Jews in Portugal. Afterwards, all converted Jews and their descendants would be referred to as "New Christians", they were given a grace period of thirty years in which no inquiries into their faith would be allowed. During the course of the Lisbon massacre of 1506, people invaded the Jewish Quarter and murdered thousands of accused Jews. Isabella died in childbirth in 1498, thus putting a damper on Portuguese ambitions to rule in Spain, which various rulers had harbored since the reign of King Ferdinand I. Manuel and Isabella's young son Miguel was for a period the heir apparent of Castile and Aragon, but his death in 1500 at the age of two years, ended these ambitions.
Manuel's next wife, Maria of Aragon, was his first wife. Maria died in 1517 but the two sisters were survived by an older sister, Joanna of Castile, born in
Dukedoms in Portugal
The highest hereditary title in the Portuguese monarchy. By tradition, there are a total of five royal and seven non-royal dukes in Portugal, out of 28 dukedoms that have been created. In the majority of cases, the title of duke was attributed to members of the high nobility relatives of the Portuguese Royal Family, such as the second son of a monarch. There are exceptions, like António José de Ávila, although not having any relation to the royal family, was given the title of duke of Ávila and Bolama. Duke of Braganza These titles were given to other infantes of the Royal Family, but did not automatically descend to their heirs: Duke of Barcelos Duke of Beja Duke of Coimbra Duke of Guarda Duke of Guimarães Duke of Porto Duke of Trancoso Duke of Viseu All of these dukedoms are inherited, but only some of them are titles de juro e herdade – this meant that the reigning monarch was obliged to renew the title for its rightful heir whenever a titleholder died. Only Aveiro, Lafões, Palmela and Loulé were dukedoms de juro e herdade.
Some of these dukes enjoyed Honras de Parente, i.e. certain honours associated with being an recognised relative of the king. Before the Liberal Regime: Duke of Aveiro and Duke of Torres Novas; the first duke was the elder son of the 2nd Duke of Coimbra, the sole surviving son of King John II of Portugal. The first duke was an illegitimate son of King Pedro II of Portugal. Count of Miranda do Corvo and Marquis of Arronches and Count of Cantanhede and Marquis of Marialva and Duke of Miranda do Corvo. After the Liberal Regime: Duke of Terceira, 1832, Descendants of Ferdinand III of Castile, by his son, Infante Manuel of Castile. Heads of the Portuguese branch of the Manoel de Vilhena family, since the marriage of Constance Manoel with King Pedro I of Portugal, her brother, Henrique Manoel, was brought in her entourage, made Count of Seia, in Portugal by his brother-in-law. Following the long line of military tradition of his family, António José de Sousa Manoel de Meneses Severim de Noronha, 1st Duke of Terceira, Marquis and 7th Count of Vila Flor, was Marshal of the Army and President of the Council of Ministers.
Duke of Palmela, 1833 Duke of Faial, replaced by the title of Duke of Palmela, descending in the female line from the Dukes of Holstein. 1st Marquis of Faial, 1st Marquis of Palmela, 1st Count of Palmela and 1st Count of Calhariz. The first duke was President of the Council of Ministers and a quite remarkable ambassador in London and to the Congress of Vienna. 1st Marquis of Saldanha, 1st Count of Saldanha and 1st Count of Almoster. The first duke was President of the Council of Marshal of the Army; the first duke was President of the Council of Ministers. First dukedom granted to a commoner; the first duke was President of the Council of Ministers. These titles were traditionally granted to the Lady Chamberlain, the highest royal court office for a woman, only during her life: Duchess of Abrantes, granted to two Marchionesses of Abrantes. Duchess of Ficalho, to one Marchioness of Ficalho. Duchess of Linhares, to one Countess of Linhares. Duchess of Tancos, to one Marchioness of Tancos. Portuguese nobility List of marquesses in Portugal List of countships in Portugal List of viscountcies in Portugal List of barons in Portugal Portuguese Aristocracy Titles in a Portuguese Genealogical site – Dukes
Portugal the Portuguese Republic, is a country located on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost sovereign state of mainland Europe, being bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain, its territory includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments. Portugal is the oldest state on the Iberian Peninsula and one of the oldest in Europe, its territory having been continuously settled and fought over since prehistoric times; the pre-Celtic people, Celts and Romans were followed by the invasions of the Visigoths and Suebi Germanic peoples. Portugal as a country was established during the Christian Reconquista against the Moors who had invaded the Iberian Peninsula in 711 AD. Founded in 868, the County of Portugal gained prominence after the Battle of São Mamede in 1128; the Kingdom of Portugal was proclaimed following the Battle of Ourique in 1139, independence from León was recognised by the Treaty of Zamora in 1143.
In the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal established the first global empire, becoming one of the world's major economic and military powers. During this period, today referred to as the Age of Discovery, Portuguese explorers pioneered maritime exploration, notably under royal patronage of Prince Henry the Navigator and King John II, with such notable voyages as Bartolomeu Dias' sailing beyond the Cape of Good Hope, Vasco da Gama's discovery of the sea route to India and the European discovery of Brazil. During this time Portugal monopolized the spice trade, divided the world into hemispheres of dominion with Castille, the empire expanded with military campaigns in Asia. However, events such as the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, the country's occupation during the Napoleonic Wars, the independence of Brazil, a late industrialization compared to other European powers, erased to a great extent Portugal's prior opulence. After the 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy, the democratic but unstable Portuguese First Republic was established being superseded by the Estado Novo right-wing authoritarian regime.
Democracy was restored after the Carnation Revolution in 1974. Shortly after, independence was granted to all its overseas territories; the handover of Macau to China in 1999 marked the end of what can be considered the longest-lived colonial empire. Portugal has left a profound cultural and architectural influence across the globe, a legacy of around 250 million Portuguese speakers, many Portuguese-based creoles, it is a developed country with a high-income advanced economy and high living standards. Additionally, it is placed in rankings of moral freedom, democracy, press freedom, social progress, LGBT rights. A member of the United Nations and the European Union, Portugal was one of the founding members of NATO, the eurozone, the OECD, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries; the word Portugal derives from the Roman-Celtic place name Portus Cale. Portus, the Latin word for port or harbour, Cala or Cailleach was the name of a Celtic goddess – in Scotland she is known as Beira – and the name of an early settlement located at the mouth of the Douro River which flows into the Atlantic Ocean in the north of what is now Portugal.
At the time the land of a specific people was named after its deity. Those names are the origins of the - gal in Galicia. Incidentally, the meaning of Cale or Calle is a derivation of the Celtic word for port which would confirm old links to pre-Roman, Celtic languages which compare to today's Irish caladh or Scottish cala, both meaning port; some French scholars believe it may have come from ` Portus Gallus', the port of the Celts. Around 200 BC, the Romans took the Iberian Peninsula from the Carthaginians during the Second Punic War, in the process conquered Cale and renamed it Portus Cale incorporating it to the province of Gaellicia with capital in Bracara Augusta. During the Middle Ages, the region around Portus Cale became known by the Suebi and Visigoths as Portucale; the name Portucale evolved into Portugale during the 7th and 8th centuries, by the 9th century, that term was used extensively to refer to the region between the rivers Douro and Minho. By the 11th and 12th centuries, Portugallia or Portvgalliae was referred to as Portugal.
The early history of Portugal is shared with the rest of the Iberian Peninsula located in South Western Europe. The name of Portugal derives from the joined Romano-Celtic name Portus Cale; the region was settled by Pre-Celts and Celts, giving origin to peoples like the Gallaeci, Lusitanians and Cynetes, visited by Phoenicians, Ancient Greeks and Carthaginians, incorporated in the Roman Republic dominions as Lusitania and part of Gallaecia, after 45 BC until 298 AD. The region of present-day Portugal was inhabited by Neanderthals and by Homo sapiens, who roamed the border-less region of the northern Iberian peninsula; these were subsistence societies that, although they did not establish prosperous settlements, did form organized societies. Neolithic Portugal experimented with domestication of herding animals, the raising of some cereal crops and fluvial or marine fishing, it is believed by some scholars that early in the first millennium BC, several waves of Celts invaded Portugal from Central Europe and inter-married with the local populations, forming differe
The Portuguese Empire known as the Portuguese Overseas or the Portuguese Colonial Empire, was one of the largest and longest-lived empires in world history. It existed for six centuries, from the capture of Ceuta in 1415, to the handover of Portuguese Macau to China in 1999; the empire began in the 15th century, from the early 16th century it stretched across the globe, with bases in North and South America and various regions of Asia and Oceania. The Portuguese Empire has been described as the first global empire in history, a description given to the Spanish Empire; the Portuguese Empire originated at the beginning of the Age of Discovery, the power and influence of the Kingdom of Portugal would expand across the globe. In the wake of the Reconquista, Portuguese sailors began exploring the coast of Africa and the Atlantic archipelagos in 1418–19, using recent developments in navigation and maritime technology such as the caravel, with the aim of finding a sea route to the source of the lucrative spice-trade.
In 1488 Bartolomeu Dias rounded the Cape of Good Hope, in 1498 Vasco da Gama reached India. In 1500, either by an accidental landfall or by the crown's secret design, Pedro Álvares Cabral discovered Brazil on the South American coast. Over the following decades, Portuguese sailors continued to explore the coasts and islands of East Asia, establishing forts and factories as they went. By 1571 a string of naval outposts connected Lisbon to Nagasaki along the coasts of Africa, the Middle East and South Asia; this commercial network and the colonial trade had a substantial positive impact on Portuguese economic growth, when it accounted for about a fifth of Portugal's per-capita income. When King Philip II of Spain inherited the Portuguese crown in 1580 there began a 60-year union between Spain and Portugal known to subsequent historiography as the Iberian Union; the realms continued to have separate administrations. As the King of Spain was King of Portugal, Portuguese colonies became the subject of attacks by three rival European powers hostile to Spain: the Dutch Republic and France.
With its smaller population, Portugal found itself unable to defend its overstretched network of trading posts, the empire began a long and gradual decline. Brazil became the most valuable colony of the second era of empire, until, as part of the wave of independence movements that swept the Americas during the early 19th century, it broke away in 1822; the third era of empire covers the final stage of Portuguese colonialism after the independence of Brazil in the 1820s. By the colonial possessions had been reduced to forts and plantations along the African coastline, Portuguese Timor, enclaves in India and China; the 1890 British Ultimatum led to the contraction of Portuguese ambitions in Africa. Under António Salazar, the Second Portuguese Republic made some ill-fated attempts to cling on to its last remaining colonies. Under the ideology of Pluricontinentalism, the regime renamed its colonies "overseas provinces" while retaining the system of forced labour, from which only a small indigenous élite was exempt.
In 1961 India annexed Goa and Dahomey annexed Fort of São João Baptista de Ajudá. The Portuguese Colonial War in Africa lasted from 1961 until the final overthrow of the Estado Novo regime in 1974; the so-called Carnation Revolution of April 1974 in Lisbon led to the hasty decolonization of Portuguese Africa and to the 1975 annexation of Portuguese Timor by Indonesia. Decolonization prompted the exodus of nearly all the Portuguese colonial settlers and of many mixed-race people from the colonies. Portugal returned Macau to China in 1999; the only overseas possessions to remain under Portuguese rule, the Azores and Madeira, both had overwhelmingly Portuguese populations, Lisbon subsequently changed their constitutional status from "overseas provinces" to "autonomous regions". The origin of the Kingdom of Portugal lay in the reconquista, the gradual reconquest of the Iberian peninsula from the Moors. After establishing itself as a separate kingdom in 1139, Portugal completed its reconquest of Moorish territory by reaching Algarve in 1249, but its independence continued to be threatened by neighbouring Castile until the signing of the Treaty of Ayllón in 1411.
Free from threats to its existence and unchallenged by the wars fought by other European states, Portuguese attention turned overseas and towards a military expedition to the Muslim lands of North Africa. There were several probable motives for their first attack, on the Marinid Sultanate, it offered the opportunity to continue the Christian crusade against Islam. In 1415 an attack was made on Ceuta, a strategically located North African Muslim enclave along the Mediterranean Sea, one of the terminal ports of the trans-Saharan gold and slave trades; the conquest was a military success, marked one of the first steps in Portuguese expansion beyond the Iberian Peninsula, but it proved costly to defend against the Muslim forces that soon besieged it. The Portuguese were unable to use it as a base for further expansion into the hinterland, the trans-Saharan caravans shifted their routes to bypass Ceuta and/or used alternative Muslim ports. Although Ceuta proved to be a disappointment for the Portuguese
Goa is a state on the south-western coast of India within the coastal region known as the Konkan, separated from the Deccan highlands of the state of Karnataka by the Western Ghats. It is bounded by Maharashtra to the north and Karnataka to the east and south, with the Arabian Sea forming its western coast, it is the fourth-smallest by population. Goa has the highest GDP per capita among all Indian states, two and a half times that of the country, it was ranked the best-placed state by the Eleventh Finance Commission for its infrastructure and ranked on top for the best quality of life in India by the National Commission on Population based on the 12 Indicators. Panaji is the state's capital; the historic city of Margao still exhibits the cultural influence of the Portuguese, who first landed in the early 16th century as merchants and conquered it soon thereafter. Goa is a former Portuguese province. Goa is visited by large numbers of international and domestic tourists each year for its white sand beaches, places of worship and World Heritage-listed architecture.
It has rich flora and fauna, owing to its location on the Western Ghats range, a biodiversity hotspot. In ancient literature, Goa was known by many names, such as Gomanchala, Gopakapattam, Govapuri and Gomantak. Other historical names for Goa are Sindapur and Mahassapatam. Prehistory Rock art engravings found in Goa exhibit the earliest traces of human life in India. Goa, situated within the Shimoga-Goa Greenstone Belt in the Western Ghats, yields evidence for Acheulean occupation. Rock art engravings are present on laterite platforms and granite boulders in Usgalimal near the west flowing Kushavati river and in Kajur. In Kajur, the rock engravings of animals and other designs in granite have been associated with what is considered to be a megalithic stone circle with a round granite stone in the centre. Petroglyphs, stone-axe, choppers dating to 10,000 years ago have been found in various locations in Goa, including Kazur and the Mandovi-Zuari basin. Evidence of Palaeolithic life is visible at Dabolim, Shigao, Arli, Diwar, Sanguem and Aquem-Margaon.
Difficulty in carbon dating the laterite rock compounds poses a problem for determining the exact time period. Early Goan society underwent radical change when Indo-Aryan and Dravidian migrants amalgamated with the aboriginal locals, forming the base of early Goan culture. Early History In the 3rd century BC, Goa was part of the Maurya Empire, ruled by the Buddhist emperor, Ashoka of Magadha. Buddhist monks laid the foundation of Buddhism in Goa. Between the 2nd century BC and the 6th century AD, Goa was ruled by the Bhojas of Goa. Chutus of Karwar ruled some parts as feudatories of the Satavahanas of Kolhapur, Western Kshatrapas, the Abhiras of Western Maharashtra, Bhojas of the Yadav clans of Gujarat, the Konkan Mauryas as feudatories of the Kalachuris; the rule passed to the Chalukyas of Badami, who controlled it between 578 and 753, the Rashtrakutas of Malkhed from 753 to 963. From 765 to 1015, the Southern Silharas of Konkan ruled Goa as the feudatories of the Chalukyas and the Rashtrakutas.
Over the next few centuries, Goa was successively ruled by the Kadambas as the feudatories of the Chalukyas of Kalyani. They patronised Jainism in Goa. In 1312, Goa came under the governance of the Delhi Sultanate; the kingdom's grip on the region was weak, by 1370 it was forced to surrender it to Harihara I of the Vijayanagara empire. The Vijayanagara monarchs held on to the territory until 1469, when it was appropriated by the Bahmani sultans of Gulbarga. After that dynasty crumbled, the area fell into the hands of the Adil Shahis of Bijapur, who established as their auxiliary capital the city known under the Portuguese as Velha Goa. Portuguese period In 1510, the Portuguese defeated the ruling Bijapur sultan Yusuf Adil Shah with the help of a local ally, Timayya, they set up a permanent settlement in Velha Goa. This was the beginning of Portuguese rule in Goa that would last for four and a half centuries, until its annexation in 1961; the Goa Inquisition, a formal tribunal, was established in 1560, was abolished in 1812.
In 1843 the Portuguese moved the capital to Panaji from Velha Goa. By the mid-18th century, Portuguese Goa had expanded to most of the present-day state limits; the Portuguese lost other possessions in India until their borders stabilised and formed the Estado da Índia Portuguesa or State of Portuguese India, of which Goa was the largest territory. Contemporary period After India gained independence from the British in 1947, India requested that Portuguese territories on the Indian subcontinent be ceded to India. Portugal refused to negotiate on the sovereignty of its Indian enclaves. On 19 December 1961, the Indian Army invaded with Operation Vijay resulting in the annexation of Goa, of Daman and Diu islands into the Indian union. Goa, along with Diu, was organised as a centrally administered union territory of India. On 30 May 1987, the union territory was split, Goa was made India's twenty-fifth state, with Daman and Diu remaining a union territory. Goa encompasses an area of 3,702 km2, it lies between the latitudes 14°53′54″ N and 15°40′00″ N and longitudes 73°40′33″ E and 74°20′13″ E. Goa is a part of the coastal country known as the Konkan, an escarpment rising up to the Western Ghats
Afonso de Albuquerque
Afonso de Albuquerque, Duke of Goa, was a Portuguese general, a "great conqueror", a statesman, an empire builder. Afonso advanced the three-fold Portuguese grand scheme of combating Islam, spreading Christianity, securing the trade of spices by establishing a Portuguese Asian empire. Among his achievements, Afonso managed to conquer the island of Goa and was the first European of the Renaissance to raid the Persian Gulf, he led the first voyage by a European fleet into the Red Sea, his military and administrative works are regarded as among the most vital to building and securing the Portuguese Empire in the Orient, the Middle East, the spice routes of eastern Oceania. Afonso is considered a military genius, "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, 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, Afonso 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, 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 had a record of defeating much larger armies and fleets. For example, his capture of Ormuz in 1507 against the Persians was accomplished with a fleet of seven ships. Other famous battles and offensives which he led include the conquest of Goa in 1510 and the capture of Malacca in 1511, he became admiral of the Indian Ocean, 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, with Timor, passing through Malaysia and Indonesia in a voyage headed by António de Abreu and Francisco Serrão. He aided diplomatic relations with Ethiopia using priest envoys João Gomes and João Sanches, established diplomatic ties with Persia, during the Safavid dynasty, he became known as "the Great", "the Terrible", "the Caesar of the East", "the Lion of the Seas", "the Portuguese Mars". Afonso de Albuquerque was born in 1453 near Lisbon, he was the second son of Gonçalo de Albuquerque, Lord of Vila Verde dos Francos, Dona Leonor de Menezes. His father held an important position at court and was connected by remote illegitimate descent with the Portuguese monarchy, he was educated in mathematics and Latin at the court of Afonso V of Portugal, where he befriended Prince John, the future King John II of Portugal. Afonso's early training is described by Diogo Barbosa Machado: “D. Alfonso de Albuquerque, surnamed the Great, by reason of the heroic deeds wherewith he filled Europe with admiration, Asia with fear and trembling, was born in the year 1453, in the Estate called, for the loveliness of its situation, the Paradise of the Town of Alhandra, six leagues distant from Lisbon.
He was the second son of Gonçalo de Albuquerque, Lord of Villaverde, of D. Leonor de Menezes, daughter of D. Álvaro Gonçalves de Athayde, Count of Atouguia, of his wife D. Guiomar de Castro, corrected this injustice of nature by climbing to the summit of every virtue, both political and moral, he was educated in the Palace of the King D. Afonso V, in whose palaestra he strove emulously to become the rival of that African Mars”. Afonso served 10 years in North Africa, where he gained military experience in fierce campaigns against Muslim powers and Ottoman Turks. In 1471, under the command of Afonso V of Portugal, he was present at the conquest of Tangier and Arzila in Morocco, serving there as an officer for some years. In 1476 he accompanied Prince John in wars against Castile, including the Battle of Toro, he participated in the campaign on the Italian peninsula in 1480 to rescue Ferdinand II of Aragon from the Ottoman invasion of Otranto that ended in victory. On his return in 1481, when Prince John was crowned as King John II, Afonso was made Master of the Horse for his distinguished exploits, chief equerry to the King, a post which he held throughout John's reign.
In 1489 he returned to military campaigns in North Africa, as commander of defense in the Graciosa fortress, an island in the river Luco near the city of Larache, in 1490 was part of the guard of King John II, returning to Arzila in 1495, where his younger brother Martim died fighting by his side. Afonso made his mark under the stern John II, won military campaigns in Africa and the Mediterranean sea, yet Asia is where he would make his greatest impact; when King Manuel I of Portugal was enthroned, he showed some reticence towards Afonso, a close friend of his dreaded predecessor and seventeen years his senior. Eight years on 6 April 1503, after a long military career and at a mature age, Afonso was sent on his first expedition to India together with his cousin Francisco de Albuquerque; each commanded three ships, sailing with Duarte Pacheco Nicolau Coelho. They engaged in several battles against the forces of the Zamorin of Calicut and succeeded in establishing the King of Cohin (Cohim, Ko