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By A. R. Disney

The dominion of Portugal used to be created as a derivative of the Christian Reconquest of Hispania. with out geographical raison d'être and no noticeable political roots in its Roman, Germanic, or Islamic pasts, it for lengthy remained a small, suffering realm on Europe's outer fringe. Then, within the early 15th century, this not likely springboard for Western growth abruptly started to collect an empire of its personal, finally extending greater than midway worldwide. The heritage of Portugal and the Portuguese Empire, drawing really on historic scholarship postdating the 1974 Portuguese Revolution, bargains readers a entire assessment and reinterpretation of ways all this occurred - the 1st such account to seem in English for greater than a new release. quantity I matters the background of Portugal itself from pre-Roman instances to the climactic French invasion of 1807, and quantity II strains the background of the Portuguese in another country empire.

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Extra info for A History of Portugal and the Portuguese Empire: From Beginnings to 1807 (Volume 1)

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Portugal: traditional provinces and some leading towns. xxx Introduction: The Geographical Setting Portugal is a small country of just 92,000 square kilometres – approximately the size of Hungary, a little larger than Austria or marginally smaller than Greece. It occupies less than one sixth of the Iberian peninsula’s land surface. On any map of that peninsula, it has the appearance of a neat rectangle, extending for some 560 kilometres from north to south and up to 215 kilometres from west to east.

The greatest number occurs at Bensafrim near Lagos. There are no other extant epigraphic finds in Portugal from this era apart from some inscribed coins and a few ceramic vases bearing graffiti in the same script as on the steles. All these inscriptions remain undeciphered and have roused much speculation. 19 These southern Portuguese inscriptions are the earliest traces of writing found anywhere in the Iberian peninsula. Modest though they are, they indicate that writing was already being used there for a variety of purposes – a major cultural breakthrough.

The Turduli co-existed peacefully with their neighbours the Celtici, a Celtic people. 21 The Lusitani – of whom we shall hear more shortly – though Indo-European were not necessarily Celtic. At this time, they were in central Portugal, between the Tagus and Douro rivers. Portugal’s northern interior during the Iron Age was a wild and mountainous place. Much of it was infertile with a rigorous climate, difficult communications and severe isolation. The main activity was herding, supplemented by small-scale subsistence agriculture, hunting and gathering.

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