Carnival is a Western Christian and Greek Orthodox festive season that occurs before the liturgical season of Lent. The main events occur during February or early March, during the period known as Shrovetide. Carnival involves public celebrations, including events such as parades, public street parties and other entertainments, combining some elements of a circus. Elaborate costumes and masks allow people to set aside their everyday individuality and experience a heightened sense of social unity. Participants indulge in excessive consumption of alcohol and other foods that will be forgone during upcoming Lent. Traditionally, butter and other animal products were not consumed "excessively", their stock was consumed as to reduce waste. Pancakes and other desserts were prepared and eaten for a final time. During Lent, animal products are no longer eaten, individuals have the ability to give up a certain object or activity of desire. Other common features of carnival include mock battles such as food fights.
The term Carnival is traditionally used in areas with a large Catholic presence, as well as in Greece. In Evangelical Lutheran countries, the celebration is known as Fastelavn, in areas with a high concentration of Anglicans and other Protestants, pre-Lenten celebrations, along with penitential observances, occur on Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras. In Slavic Eastern Orthodox nations, Maslenitsa is celebrated during the last week before Great Lent. In German-speaking Europe and the Netherlands, the Carnival season traditionally opens on 11/11; this dates back to celebrations before the Advent season or with harvest celebrations of St. Martin's Day; the Latin-derived name of the holiday is sometimes spelled Carnaval in areas where Dutch, French and Portuguese are spoken, or Carnevale in Italian-speaking contexts. Alternative names are used for local celebrations; the word is said to come from the Late Latin expression carne levare, which means "remove meat". In either case, this signifies the approaching fast.
The word carne may be translated as flesh, producing "a farewell to the flesh", a phrase embraced by certain carnival celebrants to embolden the festival's carefree spirit. The etymology of the word Carnival thus points to a Christian origin of the celebratory period. Other scholars argue that the origin is the festival of the Navigium Isidis, where the image of Isis was carried to the seashore to bless the start of sailing season; the festival consisted of a parade of masks following an adorned wooden boat, called in Latin carrus navalis the source of both the name and the parade floats. The word Carnival is of Christian origin, in the Middle Ages, it referred to a period following Epiphany season that reached its climax before midnight on Shrove Tuesday; because Lent was a period of fasting, "Carnival therefore represented a last period of feasting and celebration before the spiritual rigors of Lent." Meat was plentiful during this part of the Christian calendar and it was consumed during Carnival as people abstained from meat consumption during the following liturgical season, Lent.
In the last few days of Carnival, known as Shrovetide, people confessed their sins in preparation for Lent as well. In 1605, a Shrovetide play spoke of Christians who painted their faces to celebrate the season: From an anthropological point of view, carnival is a reversal ritual, in which social roles are reversed and norms about desired behavior are suspended. Winter was thought of as the reign of the winter spirits. Carnival can thus be regarded as a rite of passage from darkness to light, from winter to summer: a fertility celebration, the first spring festival of the new year. Traditionally, a Carnival feast was the last opportunity for common people to eat well, as there was a food shortage at the end of the winter as stores ran out; until spring produce was available, people were limited to the minimum necessary meals during this period. On what nowadays is called vastenavond, all the remaining winter stores of lard and meat which were left would be eaten, for these would otherwise soon start to rot and decay.
The selected livestock had been slaughtered in November and the meat would be no longer preservable. All the food that had survived the winter had to be eaten to assure that everyone was fed enough to survive until the coming spring would provide new food sources. Several Germanic tribes celebrated the returning of the daylight; the winter would be driven out. A central figure of this ritual was the fertility goddess Nerthus. There are some indications that the effigy of Nerthus or Freyr was placed on a ship with wheels and accompanied by a procession of people in animal disguise and men in women's clothes. Aboard the ship a marriage would be consummated as a fertility ritual. Tacitus wrote in his Germania: Germania 9.6: Ceterum nec cohibere parietibus deos neque in ullam humani oris speciem adsimulare ex magnitudine caelestium arbitrator – "The Germans, however, do not consider it consistent with the grandeur of celestial beings to confin
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro, or Rio, is anchor to the Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area and the second-most populous municipality in Brazil and the sixth-most populous in the Americas. Rio de Janeiro is the capital of the state of Brazil's third-most populous state. Part of the city has been designated as a World Heritage Site, named "Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea", by UNESCO on 1 July 2012 as a Cultural Landscape. Founded in 1565 by the Portuguese, the city was the seat of the Captaincy of Rio de Janeiro, a domain of the Portuguese Empire. In 1763, it became the capital of the State of Brazil, a state of the Portuguese Empire. In 1808, when the Portuguese Royal Court transferred itself from Portugal to Brazil, Rio de Janeiro became the chosen seat of the court of Queen Maria I of Portugal, who subsequently, in 1815, under the leadership of her son, the Prince Regent, future King João VI of Portugal, raised Brazil to the dignity of a kingdom, within the United Kingdom of Portugal and Algarves.
Rio stayed the capital of the pluricontinental Lusitanian monarchy until 1822, when the War of Brazilian Independence began. This is one of the few instances in history that the capital of a colonising country shifted to a city in one of its colonies. Rio de Janeiro subsequently served as the capital of the independent monarchy, the Empire of Brazil, until 1889, the capital of a republican Brazil until 1960 when the capital was transferred to Brasília. Rio de Janeiro has the second largest municipal GDP in the country, 30th largest in the world in 2008, estimated at about R$343 billion, it is headquarters to Brazilian oil and telecommunications companies, including two of the country's major corporations – Petrobras and Vale – and Latin America's largest telemedia conglomerate, Grupo Globo. The home of many universities and institutes, it is the second-largest center of research and development in Brazil, accounting for 17% of national scientific output according to 2005 data. Despite the high perception of crime, the city has a lower incidence of crime than Northeast Brazil, but it is far more criminalized than the south region of Brazil, considered the safest in the country.
Rio de Janeiro is one of the most visited cities in the Southern Hemisphere and is known for its natural settings, samba, bossa nova, balneario beaches such as Barra da Tijuca, Copacabana and Leblon. In addition to the beaches, some of the most famous landmarks include the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado mountain, named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Rio de Janeiro was the host of the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 2016 Summer Paralympics, making the city the first South American and Portuguese-speaking city to host the events, the third time the Olympics were held in a Southern Hemisphere city; the Maracanã Stadium held the finals of the 1950 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, the XV Pan American Games. Europeans first encountered Guanabara Bay on 1 January 1502, by a Portuguese expedition under explorer Gaspar de Lemos, captain of a ship in Pedro Álvares Cabral's fleet, or under Gonçalo Coelho; the Florentine explorer Amerigo Vespucci participated as observer at the invitation of King Manuel I in the same expedition.
The region of Rio was inhabited by the Tupi, Puri and Maxakalí peoples. In 1555, one of the islands of Guanabara Bay, now called Villegagnon Island, was occupied by 500 French colonists under the French admiral Nicolas Durand de Villegaignon. Villegagnon built Fort Coligny on the island when attempting to establish the France Antarctique colony; the city of Rio de Janeiro proper was founded by the Portuguese on 1 March 1565 and was named São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro, in honour of St. Sebastian, the saint, the namesake and patron of the Portuguese then-monarch Sebastião. Rio de Janeiro was the name of Guanabara Bay; until early in the 18th century, the city was threatened or invaded by several French pirates and buccaneers, such as Jean-François Duclerc and René Duguay-Trouin. In the late 17th century, still during the Sugar Era, the Bandeirantes discovered gold and diamonds in the neighbouring captaincy of Minas Gerais, thus Rio de Janeiro became a much more practical port for exporting wealth than Salvador, much farther northeast.
On 27 January 1763, the colonial administration in Portuguese America was moved from Salvador to Rio de Janeiro. The city remained a colonial capital until 1808, when the Portuguese royal family and most of the associated Lisbon nobles, fleeing from Napoleon's invasion of Portugal, moved to Rio de Janeiro; the kingdom's capital was transferred to the city, thus, became the only European capital outside of Europe. As there was no physical space or urban structure to accommodate hundreds of noblemen who arrived many inhabitants were evicted from their homes. In the first decades, several educational establishments were created, such as the Military Academy, the Royal School of Sciences and Crafts and the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts, as well as the National Library of Brazil – with the largest collection in Latin America – and The Botanical Garden; the first printed newspaper in Brazil, the Gazeta do Rio de Janeiro, came into circulation during this period. When Brazil was elevated to Kingdom in 1815, it
Federal University of Pernambuco
Federal University of Pernambuco is a public university in Recife, established in 1946. UFPE has 175 postgraduate courses; as of 2007, UFPE had 2,000 professors. The university has three campuses: Recife, Vitória de Santo Antão, Caruaru, its main campus, Campus Reitor Joaquim Amazonas, is located in western Recife, in the Cidade Universitária neighborhood. The Recife Law School, established in 1827, is located downtown. UFPE ranks among the top Brazilian universities, placing ninth in the country in size and scientific production, seventh among the federal public universities. UFPE's Center for Exact and Natural Sciences is the strongest in research production in the university. UFPE has twice elected the best university in Northern and Northeastern Brazil by Guia do Estudante and Banco Real; each year over 6,000 seats are offered in its vestibular. The median and average competition rate is of about 10 applicants for each seat. Olinda Law School can be considered UFPE's precursor, it was created by Pedro I and is, along with the University of São Paulo Law School, founded on the same day, the law school in the country.
Afterwards, it was transferred to Recife. In 1895 the School of Engineering of Pernambuco started to function; these two faculties/free schools, those of Medicine, Philosophy known as Faculdade Frassinetti do Recife - FAFIRE and Belas Artes, became the base courses to UFPE's formation. On 11 August 1946, the University of Recife was created, one of the first university centers of the North and Northeast of Brazil. In 1948, the construction of the university's campus starts; the discussion about the construction's site started a year before that. Between the cogitated places were terrains in the neighborhoods of Joana Bezerra, Santo Amaro and Ibura, the Faculty of Law's area, in Recife's centre; this choice was made in function of a project to the construction of an avenue in the place. Climatic conditions and the topography of the terrain were considered; the resources given in the acquisition and implantation of the university's campus were provenient of the state's government, that allocated 0,10% of sale taxes and consignations to the project's edification.
The first buildings to be built on campus were the vivarium, a space dedicated to animal farming, that used to be located in the area which nowadays the Department of Nutrition and the Center of Health Sciences are located. The campus architetonic project's conception was made by a Venezian architect named Mário Russo. In 1965, the University of Recife became the Federal University of Pernambuco, authority tied to MEC. UFPE has an urban campus of research in Cidade Universitária with an area of 149 hectares named Campus Universitário Reitor Joaquim Amazonas; the central administration is located in the campus, along with nine of the ten academic centers headquartered in Recife, sixty seven departments, the Colégio de Aplicação, the Central Library, ten sectorial libraries, the Center of Information Technology, the University's Publisher, the Center of Physical Education and Sports, the Center of Hospitality and Tourism, Keizo Azami's Immunopathology Laboratory and the Hospital das Clínicas.
It holds the Centro de Convenções and Concha Acústica. Between UFPE's natural areas, the main one is the Cavouco stream; the Center of Juridic Sciences, the Center of Juridic Practices, the Center of Continued Education, the Center of Radio and Television, the Pernambuco's Memorial of Medicine and Benfica's Cultural Center are all located in Recife's centre. Headquartering the Academic Center of Agreste, that in its first years functioned provisionally in the Commercial Polo of Caruaru, holds classrooms, a library, an informatics lab and courses' coordinations. In 2009, the Academic Center of Agreste had all of its activities transferred to the definitive campus. Courses The Academic Center of Agreste offers 11 courses. Business Administration and Management Economic Sciences Design Social Communication Civil Engineering Production Engineering Physics Medicine Chemistry Pedagogy The Academic Center of Vitória, headquartered in Vitória de Santo Antão, functions in installations donated by the Town Hall, an old building from 1927, that held a hospital and an agrotechnic school, divided in three blocks: an administrative block and two blocks dedicated to education.
Courses Biological Sciences Physical Education Nursing Nutrition Collective Health UFPE offers more than 90 undergraduate courses and 198 post-graduate courses, with about 40,000 students and 2,000 professors. UFPE's first post-graduate courses were created in 1967. Since there's been a quantitative and qualitative evolution. Of the four initial master's degrees, the university has 71, 45 doctorates and 64 specialization courses, in the areas of Human Sciences and Arts. UFPE is divided in centers, where the departments are located, counting with supplementary organs for administrative and academical support. Brazil University Rankings Universities and Higher Education in Brazil http://acertodecontas.blog.br/educacao/burocracia-desorganizao-e-falta-de-respeito-o-dia-a-dia-na-ufpe/ http://ne10.uol.com.br/canal/vestibular/noticia/2011/02/17/covest-entrega-documentos-ao-mpf-257768.php http://pe360graus.gl
Sugarcane, or sugar cane, are several species of tall perennial true grasses of the genus Saccharum, tribe Andropogoneae, native to the warm temperate to tropical regions of South, Southeast Asia, New Guinea, used for sugar production. It has stout, fibrous stalks that are rich in the sugar sucrose, which accumulates in the stalk internodes; the plant is two to six metres tall. All sugar cane species can interbreed and the major commercial cultivars are complex hybrids. Sugarcane belongs to the grass family Poaceae, an economically important seed plant family that includes maize, wheat and sorghum, many forage crops. Sucrose and purified in specialized mill factories, is used as raw material in the food industry or is fermented to produce ethanol. Sugarcane is the world's largest crop by production quantity, with 1.9 billion tonnes produced in 2016, Brazil accounting for 41% of the world total. In 2012, the Food and Agriculture Organization estimated it was cultivated on about 26 million hectares, in more than 90 countries.
The global demand for sugar is the primary driver of sugarcane agriculture. Cane accounts for 79% of sugar produced. Sugarcane predominantly grows in the subtropical regions. Other than sugar, products derived from sugarcane include falernum, rum, cachaça, ethanol. In some regions, people use sugarcane reeds to make pens, mats and thatch; the young, unexpanded inflorescence of Saccharum edule is eaten raw, steamed, or toasted, prepared in various ways in Southeast Asia, including Fiji and certain island communities of Indonesia. Sugarcane was an ancient crop of the Papuan people, it was introduced to Polynesia, Island Melanesia, Madagascar in prehistoric times via Austronesian sailors. It was introduced to southern China and India by Austronesian traders at around 1200 to 1000 BC; the Persians, followed by the Greeks, encountered the famous "reeds that produce honey without bees" in India between the 6th and 4th centuries BC. They adopted and spread sugarcane agriculture. Merchants began to trade in sugar from India, considered a luxury and an expensive spice.
In the 18th century AD, sugarcane plantations began in Caribbean, South American, Indian Ocean and Pacific island nations and the need for laborers became a major driver of large human migrations, both the voluntary in indentured servants. And the involuntary migrations, in the form of slave labor. Sugarcane is a tropical, perennial grass that forms lateral shoots at the base to produce multiple stems three to four m high and about 5 cm in diameter; the stems grow into cane stalk. A mature stalk is composed of 11–16% fiber, 12–16% soluble sugars, 2–3% nonsugars, 63–73% water. A sugarcane crop is sensitive to the climate, soil type, fertilizers, disease control and the harvest period; the average yield of cane stalk is 60–70 tonnes per hectare per year. However, this figure can vary between 30 and 180 tonnes per hectare depending on knowledge and crop management approach used in sugarcane cultivation. Sugarcane is a cash crop, but it is used as livestock fodder. There are two centers of domestication for sugarcane: one for Saccharum officinarum by Papuans in New Guinea and another for Saccharum sinense by Austronesians in Taiwan and southern China.
Papuans and Austronesians primarily used sugarcane as food for domesticated pigs. The spread of both S. officinarum and S. sinense is linked to the migrations of the Austronesian peoples. Saccharum barberi was only cultivated in India after the introduction of S. officinarum. Saccharum officinarum was first domesticated in New Guinea and the islands east of the Wallace Line by Papuans, where it is the modern center of diversity. Beginning at around 6,000 BP they were selectively bred from the native Saccharum robustum. From New Guinea it spread westwards to Island Southeast Asia after contact with Austronesians, where it hybridized with Saccharum spontaneum; the second domestication center is mainland southern China and Taiwan where S. sinense was a primary cultigen of the Austronesian peoples. Words for sugarcane exist in the Proto-Austronesian languages in Taiwan, reconstructed as *təbuS or **CebuS, which became *tebuh in Proto-Malayo-Polynesian, it was one of the original major crops of the Austronesian peoples from at least 5,500 BP.
Introduction of the sweeter S. officinarum may have replaced it throughout its cultivated range in Island Southeast Asia. From Island Southeast Asia, S. officinarum was spread eastward into Polynesia and Micronesia by Austronesian voyagers as a canoe plant by around 3,500 BP. It was spread westward and northward by around 3,000 BP to China and India by Austronesian traders, where it further hybridized with Saccharum sinense and Saccharum barberi. From there it spread further into the Mediterranean; the earliest known production of crystalline sugar began in northern India. The exact date of the first cane sugar production is unclear; the earliest evidence of sugar production comes from ancient Pali texts. Around the 8th century and Arab traders introduced sugar from medieval India to the other parts of the Abbasid Caliphate in the Mediterranean, Egypt, North Africa, Andalusia. By the 10th century, sources state, it was among the early crops brought to the Americas by the Spanish Andalu
Orders of magnitude (area)
This page is a progressive and labelled list of the SI area orders of magnitude, with certain examples appended to some list objects. Orders of magnitude
Dutch people or the Dutch are a Germanic ethnic group native to the Netherlands. They speak the Dutch language. Dutch people and their descendants are found in migrant communities worldwide, notably in Aruba, Guyana, Curaçao, Brazil, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, the United States; the Low Countries were situated around the border of France and the Holy Roman Empire, forming a part of their respective peripheries, the various territories of which they consisted had become autonomous by the 13th century. Under the Habsburgs, the Netherlands were organised into a single administrative unit, in the 16th and 17th centuries the Northern Netherlands gained independence from Spain as the Dutch Republic; the high degree of urbanization characteristic of Dutch society was attained at a early date. During the Republic the first series of large-scale Dutch migrations outside of Europe took place; the Dutch have left behind a substantial legacy despite the limited size of their country. The Dutch people are seen as the pioneers of capitalism, their emphasis on a modern economy, a free market had a huge influence on the great powers of the West the British Empire, its Thirteen Colonies, the United States.
The traditional arts and culture of the Dutch encompasses various forms of traditional music, architectural styles and clothing, some of which are globally recognizable. Internationally, Dutch painters such as Rembrandt and Van Gogh are held in high regard; the dominant religion of the Dutch was Christianity, although in modern times the majority are no longer religious. Significant percentages of the Dutch are adherents of humanism, atheism or individual spirituality; as with all ethnic groups, the ethnogenesis of the Dutch has been a complex process. Though the majority of the defining characteristics of the Dutch ethnic group have accumulated over the ages, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact emergence of the Dutch people; the text below hence focuses on the history of the Dutch ethnic group. For Dutch colonial history, see the article on the Dutch Empire. In the first centuries CE, the Germanic tribes formed tribal societies with no apparent form of autocracy, beliefs based Germanic paganism and speaking a dialect still resembling Common Germanic.
Following the end of the migration period in the West around 500, with large federations settling the decaying Roman Empire, a series of monumental changes took place within these Germanic societies. Among the most important of these are their conversion from Germanic paganism to Christianity, the emergence of a new political system, centered on kings, a continuing process of emerging mutual unintelligibility of their various dialects; the general situation described above is applicable to most if not all modern European ethnic groups with origins among the Germanic tribes, such as the Frisians, Germans and the North-Germanic peoples. In the Low Countries, this phase began when the Franks, themselves a union of multiple smaller tribes, began to incur the northwestern provinces of the Roman Empire. In 358, the Salian Franks, one of the three main subdivisions among the Frankish alliance settled the area's Southern lands as foederati. Linguistically Old Frankish or Low Franconian evolved into Old Dutch, first attested in the 6th century, whereas religiously the Franks converted to Christianity from around 500 to 700.
On a political level, the Frankish warlords abandoned tribalism and founded a number of kingdoms culminating in the Frankish Empire of Charlemagne. However, the population make-up of the Frankish Empire, or early Frankish kingdoms such as Neustria and Austrasia, was not dominated by Franks. Though the Frankish leaders controlled most of Western Europe, the Franks themselves were confined to the Northwestern part of the Empire; the Franks in Northern France were assimilated by the general Gallo-Roman population, took over their dialects, whereas the Franks in the Low Countries retained their language, which would evolve into Dutch. The current Dutch-French language border has remained identical since, could be seen as marking the furthest pale of gallicization among the Franks; the medieval cities of the Low Countries, which experienced major growth during the 11th and 12th century, were instrumental in breaking down the relatively loose local form of feudalism. As they became powerful, they used their economical strength to influence the politics of their nobility.
During the early 14th century, beginning in and inspired by the County of Flanders, the cities in the Low Countries gained huge autonomy and dominated or influenced the various political affairs of the fief, including marriage succession. While the cities were of great political importance, they formed catalys
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