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Old 14th August 2016, 08:54 PM   #91
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estcrh
Ibrahiim, thanks for putting this info together all in one place, this is a good history lesson.


I agree and hope the action in the Indian Ocean by the Portuguese, Dutch and English ...and the Indian, Omani and Persian etc etc may be viewed as vital history for all to refer to.
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Old 15th August 2016, 12:33 AM   #92
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I was thinking to broaden the scope slightly to net in the Jewel in the Crown which insofar as the Portuguese were concerned in these waters was Hormuz. A veritable treasure trove but difficult to find and a very strong fortified Island and a Naval Base capable of fielding considerable firepower and troops to the various Hormuz garrisons. In fact the Portuguese destroyed Sohar and in questioning their captives discovered one old man who under threat of death told them where Hormuz was and how to find it... Rumours of vast gold wealth slaves and spices as well as a strategic position were too much for the Portuguese who then set about taking it ...and from there it can be seenhow important a step in their quest for India this could be...as well as stations further up the Gulf like Bahrain...

So it came to pass...The Portuguese conqueror, Afonso de Albuquerque, captured the island in 1507 and it became a part of the Portuguese Empire. The Portuguese constructed a fortress on the island, the Fort of Our Lady of the Conception. In 1622 the island was captured from the Portuguese by a combined Anglo-Persian force.

That is too fast a paragraph since in slower time it looked more like this...From Wikepedia I Quote"The Capture of Ormuz in 1507 occurred when the Portuguese Afonso de Albuquerque attacked Hormuz Island to establish the Castle of Ormuz. This conquest gave the Portuguese full control of the trade between India and Europe passing through the Persian Gulf.

The capture of Ormuz was a result of a plan by the King of Portugal, Manuel I, who in 1505 had resolved to thwart Muslim trade in the Indian Ocean by capturing Aden, to block trade through Alexandria; Ormuz, to block trade through Beirut; and Malacca to control trade with China. A fleet under Tristão da Cunha was sent to capture the Muslim fort on Socotra in order to control the entrance to the Red Sea; this was accomplished in 1507. The main part of the fleet then left for India, with a few ships remaining under Albuquerque.

Albuquerque disobeyed orders and left to capture the island of Ormuz.[6] He obtained the submission of the local king to the king of Portugal, as well as the authorisation to build a fort using local labour.[7] He started to build a fort on 27 October 1507, and initially planned to man it with a garrison, but could not hold it because of local resistance and the defection to India of several of his Portuguese captains.

With the support of the sovereign of Ormuz, the rebellious captains fought the forces of Albuquerque in early January 1508. After a few days of battle, Albuquerque was forced to withdraw from the city, abandoned the fort under construction. He sailed away in April 1508 with the two remaining ships. He returned to Socotra where he found the Portuguese garrison starving. He remained in the Gulf of Aden to raid Muslim ships, and attacked and burnt the city of Kālhāt (Calayate). He again returned to Ormuz, and then set sail to India on board a merchant ship he had captured.

In March 1515, Albuquerque returned to Ormuz, leading a fleet of 27 vessels, with a strength of 1,500 soldiers and 700 malabaris, determined to regain it. He held the position of the ancient fortress on April 1, referring to the building, now under a new name: Fort of Our Lady of the Conception.

In 1622, a combined Anglo-Persian force combined to take over the Portuguese garrison at Hormuz Island in the Capture of Ormuz (1622), thus opening up Persian trade with England. "The capture of Ormuz by an Anglo-Persian force in 1622 entirely changed the balance of power and trade".Unquote.

For some excellent images of Hormuz please see http://www.dataxinfo.com/hormuz/Ima...of_Hormuz_7.htm
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Old 16th August 2016, 06:23 PM   #93
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The arrival in Ormuz and the challenge:

Albuquerque arrived in Ormuz with several casualties in the crew, due to diseases; only 470 were men left, from which one half were sick or debilitated; with only six ships in very bad conditions and great dissension between him and his captains. But he was a consummate actor and a master in the art of psychologic war. He ended up creating in his adversaries a complex of inferiority and fear. He started by sending a message to the captain of the largest ship in the harbor, a huge carrack belonging to the King of Cambaia, a ship of 800 tons and a crew of 1000, close from where he had set anchor, for him to come immediately aboard his ship, or he would sink his carrack. The captain was freightened and decided to present himself. A great staging was set up, Albuquerque dressed with luxury and surrounded by Gentlemen and armed rank, covered by shining armour and holding lances and swords, in the middle of flags, drapes and and silk cushions, mixed with gross ammunition, crossbows and boarding axes. All this surrounded with a scenery of 400 sails, among which were 60 ships much larger than his own, and well provided with war men.


The construction of the fortress

The resistence of the wall structure of Ormuz was largely weakened by the non building of a moat, in order to separate it from firm land, which made it easy for the Persians, helped by the English, to conquer it in 1622 (Rafael Moreira). Chronicler Gaspar Correia, who wrote Lendas da India circa 1550, must have witnessed the start of the Fortress works, judging by the detailed and live manner in which he describes what happened and also for the great fidelity of his drawing to the existing archaeologic evidence.
Albuquerque organized the construction site, defining tasks, detaching 5 embarcations to go and fetch stone, to then offload it in the beach and another two for the carrying of plaster into Ormuz, to make lime in the ovens he had meanwhile instructed to build. The governor split the stone masters who started surveying the foundations, soon to be built. It was the military who were in charge of this task, which was not easy, as some of the walls were to be built into water. These had to be made with compressed clay, sifted and cooked which, introduced into sea water would not dissolve but instead becoming hard as rock, which represented a great advantage ( Chroniclar João de Barros in his Décadas da Asia (1553) speaks of a mix of smashed plaster with another mix of manure, composed in a manner of bitumen, which they use in that land, mainly in the works that are founded in water ). In this case a large number of local man power was used, given their experience with such technique. In only three months the fortress initial form was almost ready; this being made in way that, the reduced number of men that Albuquerque disposed was a fact hidden from the locals, who presumed his had some 2000 men aboard his ships. Every morning they came ashore they varied their appearance, now with some kind of waepons, the next day with other.

The desertion

The inclusion of the military in the fortress works increased the dissension with the captains, as already complainant of his options, and three of them, Manuel Teles, Afonso Lopes da Costa and Antonio do Campo decided to desert. Soon another captain, João da Nova, having had allowance to go and hibernate in Socotorá, due to his nau Frol de la Mar being in very bad condtions, soon rushed to India, before the date planned. I have turned my chronic and historic books upside down and find no narration in which the dissent captains helped the locals to fight Albuquerque; they have only gone to the extent of neglecting some of his instructions in hot ocasions.

The fortress evolution

The expansion works in the fortress complex continued for several years. Some Malabares are recorded, headed by by Master Antonio Canarim. Besides Hindustanis, also are recorded Moors of all crafts, namely stone masons, the leading figure being Master Amet. It is known that, in January 1526, worked in the fortress 1180 labourers; 96 stone masons, 380 native auxiliary and 700 carriers.


Attached are a sketch of the battle, a drawing of the fortress by Gaspar Correia in 1539 and a sketch illustrating the various phases of the fotress complex evolution, by João de Campos.


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Old 18th August 2016, 07:52 PM   #94
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It is only natural that Albuquerque realized what he would find in Ormuz. Besides Marco Polo having twice been there, Fray Lourenço de Portugal reached Ormuz before the Venetian.
The idea that it was na old man from Sohar that enlightened Albuquerque on how to get to Ormuz, risks imprecision. According to period chronicles and his own narration, he followed the coast from Sohar to Orfaçam (Khor Fakkan) where an old man was brought to him whom, for his deep surprise, showed a rare knowledge, having read the history of Alexander, who had once conquered that village. This old man was one of the three local governors. He drew from his chest a book, written in parsi, binded with crimson velvet and gave it (?) to Albuquerque, who deeply appreciated the gift and found it a good prognosis for his determination to conquer Ormuz. In exchange, Albuquerque ordered to give this old man a scarlet dress and other things from Portugal, which made him pleased. This same old man, after being questioned, gave him large information about the things of Ormuz, as also told him several old things about that Kingdom, as he was very old and knowledged. But he was no pilot and taught him no route to navigate to Ormuz.
Sailing from there they went beyond the cape of Macinde, (Ra's Musandam), and one afternoon they sighted two desertic islands, when a Moor pilot that Albuquerque brought from Orfação to guide them to Ormuz, adviced him to reduce the sails, as that same night they would arrive in Ormuz. But Albuquerque decided not to follow his advice as he preferred the suggestion from the pilots he had brought from Melinde to keep full sail. Only at midnight he shot four times the signal cannon, which meant for the fleet to slow down. It was dawn when they sighted land, and Albuquerque asked the pilots is this was the island of Ormuz; but they were not certain of that as, because of the dusk, they were not sure whether it was Ormuz, Lara (Larak), or Queixome (Qeshm), as all three were in a triangular position.
As the waters became more and more shallow, the pilots told him this was sign they were arriving in the right place, and then Albuquerque told the captains to be prepared with their artillery as, when going around the island, they might face a surprise. It was when they rounded the island and the city was at sight that, the captains were dazzled by its greatness, several people in horse arriving at the beach, and a large number of ships in the harbor, well equipped with crews and artillery; and so impressed they were that they went past Albuquerque’s ship and told him to take care on what he was attempting, because that city was not like the others they had destroyed, as there were large crowds ashore and the ships were several and well equipped, and that probably there was more than what they were seeing, as for many days the city knew they would arrive and might have other not visible resources. But Albuquerque didn´t listen to their arguments and ordered them to start with exercises for battle readiness.
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Old 18th August 2016, 08:18 PM   #95
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Once upon a time....Fanciful stories abound and tradition dictates the marvelous and fanciful tales from the sea...great monsters lunge across the sea charts swallowing ships and seamen alike... Hardened sailors with tales of mermaids perhaps enhanced by over indulgence in grog ...The average daily intake of beer alone in the English Navy was 7 pints per man per day.. When Sohar was sacked and burned the defenders either ran away or died there and then ..."It is said that" ...an old man was spared as he knew the way to Hormuz".. The alternative is just as fanciful though it may well be true...and has been "embellished like a sea shanty" to make it believable..
What appears today as a crumpled ruined old shell was in those days a thriving fortified factory or store feeding Persia and Iraq and linked through trade across the entire region...or at least it was before the arrival of the foreign battle fleets...Under siege over the years decline started as the defenders moved equipment out leaving only essential personnel and provisions .... Whereas rumour suggested that Hormuz was the Jewel in the Crown which it may have been strategically it was far from dripping with gold, diamonds, slaves, spices, and silver moreover it was fast descending into a cannon ball riddled hell hole..In the end it was perhaps a tactic on behalf of the Portuguese to advertise the benefits of Hormuz since the imagined wealth of the Fortified Island would be good for morale and personal gain in booty ~ for the winner takes all.
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Old 19th August 2016, 01:17 AM   #96
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Regarding Sohar it is perhaps worth a note ~ From Eduardo Kol de Carvalho; I Quote"When Afonso de Albuquerque captured Sohar on 16th September 1507 it was, in the words of Brás de Albuquerque, “very large and beautiful with fine houses”. It had a square fortress with six towers and two other large towers by the fortress’s gate. The wall was quite high and reasonably thick. This fort was situated by a wide cove, although the port was “had many reefs, with ships anchored at six fathoms; from there to land was half a league”. That observer was so impressed by the fort’s size that he thought at least 1,000 men were needed to defend it. He also noted the houses of the local ruler, which stood out for their beauty, and others exclusively meant for the garrison. Indeed, Sohar was the only fortified city on the Omani coast at the time of Afonso de Albuquerque’s campaign, as it was then the chief city on the entire coast. This place had long played an important role in settlement of that coast, as the region had numerous palm groves that ensured a sufficient food supply for local residents; the sands enabled easy access to the sea, where fish abounded. In the 10th century Sohar was already considered one of the Indian Ocean’s main ports; it was then occupied by the Seljuk Turks, who seized it from the Azd, a Yemeni tribe who introduced Islam in Oman, expelling the former Persian colonisers. António Bocarro mentions the discovery of Roman coins from the time of Emperor Tiberius, attesting to the city’s regional importance. But the Portuguese occupation resulted in Muscat becoming the main strategic port on this coast, thus sealing forever the decline of Sohar’s primacy".Unquote.

Another description by the same author goes on to talk about the Fort; Quote. Fortress
Sohar [Soar, Suhar], Persian Gulf | Red Sea, Oman
Military Architecture.

As it was built on a plain close to extensive sands, Sohar was not suitable for use as the main port for the large-draught Portuguese ships – the largest operating at that time. The sands gave no shelter from the winds, nor did they favour the easy movement of men and goods. But the city was still important. This is proven by the Portuguese crown’s concern about its preservation and fortification, as indicated in the Livro das Plantas de Todas as Fortalezas, Cidades e Povoações do Estado da Índia Oriental by Pedro de Barreto de Resende/António Bocarro, who inform us that “the Fortress of Sohar is situated on the forecoast of Arabia, at 24.5 degrees north”. The fortress had the shape of a perfect square with four corner bastions equipped with “traverses” and bombards. To defend each other, each wall quarter shall measure 70 paces, not counting the size of the bastions, which are also square, each the size of a house spanning 10 paces; the wall is made of fired adobe and clay, making it very strong”. Inside the fort were several fresh-water wells and the garrison quarters; one of the bastions was used as a warehouse located “along one of the walls. It is entered through the door on the right which is used to collect food for the soldiers. The walls also have a defence system which the Parsees call bugios, which are adobe shields placed on wooden stakes outside facing the base of the wall”. The fortress had six artillery pieces installed in the bastions and a square outwork whose dimensions corresponded to the fortress and bastions.

(Some clarity as to timings and who had control of the fort at the time because inside a church was built. The latter could hold between 50 and 60 people and was overseen by an Augustinian friar.)

Proof of this fort’s importance is that it was recaptured from the Persians during a 1623 campaign waged by the captain-general of the Red Sea, Rui Freire de Andrade, as mentioned in the Comentários by Rui Freire, though according to António Bocarro, this occurred in 1616, using a fleet comprising one galley and five fustas led by Francisco Rolim, who arrived from Muscat with help from the Strait fleet’s captain, Vasco da Gama, and five ships under his command. Whether by Francisco Rolim in 1616 or Rui Freire de Andrade in 1623, the recapture of the fortress followed the Persian takeover in 1602 after the fall of the fort at Bahrain, captured by Shah Abbas I of the Safavid dynasty, which seriously affected custom house revenues in Hormuz and Muscat. Satellite imagery now shows the following situation: the fortress has disappeared; the outwork built by the Portuguese and depicted by Barreto de Resende/Bocarro is a rectangle whose smaller side is parallel to the beach, not the contrary; the cuirass extending to the shore has also disappeared. Another tower on the east side has been added to the five original round towers, while at the angle of a slight wall inflexion near the central tower on the wall’s west side a quadrangular donjon-style tower stands. The satellite imagery also enables identification of vestiges of the back part of the inner fortress. Images from the Ministry of National Heritage and Culture of the sultanate of Oman show that the wall near the donjon was outfitted with buttresses during consolidation work after 1982. Like the Qurayat Fort, the one at Sohar is totally whitewashed. The surrounding area has also changed in the two last decades; the nearby quarter of “huts”, certainly resembling what was there at the time of Albuquerque or Gomes de Andrade, has disappeared. But the intensely green area of palm groves depicted by Barreto de Resende/Bocarro is still there. The fort’s main gate, set back in the wall facing the sea, has maintained the same structure, i.e. adjoining a building. The fortress measures approximately 75 x 135 x 80 x 132 metres, clockwise from the wall fronting the sea. In 1643 Sohar definitively fell into enemy hands when it was conquered by Imam Nasir ibn Murshid; on that occasion its Augustinian church was naturally lost as well. This fort located on the Batinah coast was restored in 1985.
Eduardo Kol de Carvalho''. Unquote.

Please note the interesting remarks about the Fort having been totally whitewashed and that was just recently removed see earlier posts...It is also interesting that this Fort was the first place from which cannon were fired in Oman though it is unclear who by or who at !!

For an Ethnographic flavour of the Ships including Fustas and Caravel etc and even a look at clothes worn by Portuguese at the time...see below..
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Old 19th August 2016, 06:32 PM   #97
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The description of Sohar in Orientalist Eduardo Kol de Carvalho's work is an extract of the XXVI chapter that preceds the one narrating Albuquerque's departure from Sohar along the coast to Orfação, which comes resumed in post #94. The actual author of the written work, Bras de Albuquerque (1501-1581), 'natural' son of Afonso de Albuquerque, has compiled the letters his father sent the King and himself and wrote his 'Comentarios'.
His description of Sohar is rather detailed; that the people in the place would be more than six thousand, plus some fifty on horse, most of those covered with steel, from which fell a sort of iron scales, in a manner of roofs covered by tiles, which are so strong that a crossbow bolt couldn't trespass them, an the horses foreheads were protected in the same manner. The saddles were Turkic, of high cantle, and the stirrups were also of Turkic fashion. The major part are archers, some carry lances and Turkic maces. ... the land is of large porpotions, with tillages of wheat, corn, barley and there is great cattle stocks and horse breeding ... etc. etc.
En passant, Bras de Albuquerque made part of the escort that conveyed Infanta Beatriz (King Dom Manuel's daughter) to Italy for her wedding with Carlos III de Saboia, in which fleet sailed the nau Santa Catarina de Monte Sinai, precisely the one shown in post #83.

Hereunder ...

First: Muscat inhabitants bathing.

Second; Persian people from the Kingdom of Ormuz.

... watercolours in a Portuguese Codice kept in the Casanatense Library, composed of a set of 75 illustrations produced in the XVI century, probably the earliest known; work of a Portuguese unidentified author who has travelled to the Orient,
(As demonstrated by Georg Otto Schurhammer)

... and a portrait of Afonso de Albuquerque included in Bras de Albuquerque's first edition of his Comentarios do Grande Afonso de Albuquerque (1576).


.
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Old 20th August 2016, 09:03 AM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
The description of Sohar in Orientalist Eduardo Kol de Carvalho's work is an extract of the XXVI chapter that preceds the one narrating Albuquerque's departure from Sohar along the coast to Orfação, which comes resumed in post #94. The actual author of the written work, Bras de Albuquerque (1501-1581), 'natural' son of Afonso de Albuquerque, has compiled the letters his father sent the King and himself and wrote his 'Comentarios'.
His description of Sohar is rather detailed; that the people in the place would be more than six thousand, plus some fifty on horse, most of those covered with steel, from which fell a sort of iron scales, in a manner of roofs covered by tiles, which are so strong that a crossbow bolt couldn't trespass them, an the horses foreheads were protected in the same manner. The saddles were Turkic, of high cantle, and the stirrups were also of Turkic fashion. The major part are archers, some carry lances and Turkic maces. ... the land is of large porpotions, with tillages of wheat, corn, barley and there is great cattle stocks and horse breeding ... etc. etc.
En passant, Bras de Albuquerque made part of the escort that conveyed Infanta Beatriz (King Dom Manuel's daughter) to Italy for her wedding with Carlos III de Saboia, in which fleet sailed the nau Santa Catarina de Monte Sinai, precisely the one shown in post #83.

Hereunder ...

First: Muscat inhabitants bathing.

Second; Persian people from the Kingdom of Ormuz.

... watercolours in a Portuguese Codice kept in the Casanatense Library, composed of a set of 75 illustrations produced in the XVI century, probably the earliest known; work of a Portuguese unidentified author who has travelled to the Orient,
(As demonstrated by Georg Otto Schurhammer)

... and a portrait of Afonso de Albuquerque included in Bras de Albuquerque's first edition of his Comentarios do Grande Afonso de Albuquerque (1576).


.


Sohar was indeed a major port at the time and indeed it was a thriving enterprise for horses... This commodity was very much sought after and the Portuguese commanded much of the trade after taking Sohar...and also tied up that business on the Malibar coast and particularly at Goa...

The pictures of the bathers at Muscat and the Hormuz artwork are remarkable giving a vivid idea of the people and their dress / animals and weapons. Pictures of the time are a real bonus as to the Ethnographic flavour in those early days.

I recall studying the magnificent ship; nau Santa Catarina de Monte Sinai and how they appeared almost black in appearance which was because of the treatment they were given to preserve the timbers..so they were actually that colour.

Interestingly I note on Fort construction from http://www.palgraveconnect.com/pc/d...7/9780230618459

Quote "More substantial buildings on the coast were constructed of coral rock (Arabic farush or hasa; Persian sang-i marjan). The mining of this coral from shallow water on the Arab side was a dangerous occupation that took place mainly in the summer months. The reason that much of the great fortress that the Portuguese built on Hormuz in the sixteenth century survives is that it was built of locally mined coral, whereas most other historic forts in Iran were built of mud and are crumbling today". Unquote.

PLEASE SEE https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portuguese_India_Armadas ....This is a most fascinating account of how Portuguese ships were manned for Indian Ocean operations and how booty was shared depending on rank.

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Old 21st August 2016, 02:32 PM   #99
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It is interesting that Pedro Teixeira mentions the use of coral in the building of the Ormuz fortress (for one). Apparently João de Barros and Gaspar Correia don't mention such method, although tey were keen to describe the solution used for the raising of the fortress walls. I would like to read the words Teixeira used in his work, but this is a 647 page work and i don't know where about is such paragraph ... up to now *.
Interesting also is the allusion of 'black' as a colour of Portuguese naus. In fact the wood treatment was based on pitch and when they arrived in Japan, sailing from Goa with merchandise for trade, the locals called them Black Ships, which soon were depicted in screens of the period, having served as furnishings in whealthy households. Produced by artists of Kanö school of Kyoto, these images reveal the fascination with which Japanese artists regarded the foreigners (Southern Barbarians), whose hats and pantaloons, as well as their prominent European noses,where the focus of intense scrunity. Images of this Namban art were also used to decorate domestic objects.

*
Found it. What Pedro Teixeira actually says is:
... much stone is quarried from under sea, which the inhabitants use in building, because it is very light. Thery call it Sangh May, which means fish stone. But the wonder about it that it grows again as fast as quarried. The same is found in the Sea of Malaca, where the Portuguese use it, less as building stone than make lime, which they report to be very good.
Resuming, it's all about the same as the chronicles previously quoted.

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Old 22nd August 2016, 08:34 AM   #100
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The superb pictures of the Far East environment again add great depth to this thread and I note the term Sang(stone) May(?) In the case of Hormuz it was called Sang i Marjan...or stone coral... I wonder if that was a corrupted phrase... It was certainly a longer lasting tougher fort material since in Oman and other regions the mudbrick had to be renewed as it washed out in the rain. Another material used in Portuguese emplacements was the even stronger mountain stone as in Muscats Forts.

In an attempt to save the mudbrick washing out later conservationists used slate or stone plaques along the top of the walls to deflect water...but originally no such protection was considered.

One strange addition to the Forts was a sort of shield placed in front of the Forts to give added protection; The walls also have a defence system which the Parsees call bugios, which are adobe shields placed on wooden stakes outside facing the base of the wall”.

The Portuguese style also seems to have employed a secondary wall often tri angular around the entire fort but in most cases today these walls have been removed and the material reused over the centuries on local houses! I traced the old vanished wall at Barkah and it was about one kilometer long on each of its 3 sides. This was also an Omani consideration and the much older Bahla fort includes a massive 12 Kilometre wall originally built by the Persians.
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Old 22nd August 2016, 01:01 PM   #101
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Yes, the term Sangh May might well be a corruption of Sang i Marjan, although we should take into account that, Pedro Teixeira, from whose book i took the term, has lived in Ormuz for a few years and was rather familiar with Persian history, as well as with the local language.
Amazing that he, being a Portuguese (of Jewish origins) wrote his work in Spanish and published it in Ambers (Antwerpen) in 1610.
BTW ... could May (or Mai) mean fish in Parsi ? .

Here attached an example of such type of construction in Portugal:
The Paderne castle, situated in the Portuguese southernmost province of Algarve (Al Gharb) is a 'Hisn' of the Almohad Berber period, 2nd. half XII century, built with military taipa (mud brick) which consisted of: kneading of local earth added with inerts and stabilized with aereal lime, having been compacted in form-work by fulling. Once exposed to prolongued carbonation, blocks (bricks) obtained with this method acquire the resistence of stone, in which they reached our days. The albarrã tower (al-barran) with a quadrangular plant, still keeps its over 9 meters height.
Despite the actual emptiness of the interior space, it once had inhabiting structures, being clear that, sheltered by te castle walls, the space was totaly urbanized with narrow roads but of ortogonal trace, provided with a sewage complex that conducted the waters to the exterior of the fortified site.
After the reconquist the local Christian population occupied the castle, adapting or altering, with distinct concepts, the initial model. Two cisterns are a witness of the principal moments of the castle occupation. the Islamic and the Christian. A church was also built inside, near the access door, in the XIII century, being the local parish until the XVI century.

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Old 22nd August 2016, 01:24 PM   #102
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Mohi is indeed the Farsi word for fish...
I note the use of stone facings at Sohar and the use of bricks..see #43.

Icoman have a great website at http://www.klm-mra.be/icomam/downloads/issue07.pdf where a number of Forts are illustrated and details of cannon such as this one below with the Portuguese emblem and crown above. I note also at # 13 earlier ... The provenance is on the Icoman site.

The almost eaten away barrel is on the beach in front of the Fort at Hormuz.
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Old 23rd August 2016, 10:11 AM   #103
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A rather remarkable rendition of the Portuguese exploits around Hormuz and explaining a group of desertions by Officers who seemed to prefer piracy to defending the Fortress is set out at https://books.google.com.om/books?i...0SPEARS&f=false which is well worth reading.
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Old 23rd August 2016, 02:05 PM   #104
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In 1635 Antonio Bocarro finished his atlas "Livro das Plantas de todas as fortalezas, cidades e povoaçoens do Estado da Índia Oriental" (Book of plants of all fortresses, cities and settlements of Oriental India, a survey ordered by Filipe IV of Spain (then Flipe III of Portugal).
Bocarro refers the dificulties he went through to achieve such work, to which he attributes determined imperfections. Among them the difficulty that, due to his position, prevented him from examining in deep detail each of the fortresses or serttlements he described. For such reason he was forced to require information that was coming in, which he filtered with all thoroughness, so that the King could give them full credit. However he could not guarantee the perfection that concerned the plants (drawings) that accompanied the texts, due to lack of proportion of the houses and fortressess, proliferation of vegetation symbols and specialy lack of scale and cardinal orientation, due to absence in India of personal familiar with such arts.
Although he had not named the author of the drawings, historians conclude that it was Pedro Barreto de Resende, as the very one assumed in a codice now in the Fench National Library.
As the Bocarro's work is the original manuscript i accessed in the Library of Evora, the texts are so unclear that read them would be a challenge for experts ... which is a pity, particularly the description of Sohar, in the context. But interestingly we can read in loose parts that he mentions the bugios, six pieces gross artillery, twent to thirty barrels of gun powder, the exterior square albarran tower, the four ramparts with bombards, and (i guess) the curtains and redouts for defense against sea progress.

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Old 23rd August 2016, 05:19 PM   #105
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As we read chronicles, we find that piracy or corso was a well spread activity in those days, to the extent that it was considered by Kings as legitimate; it would be natural that some Portuguese did not resist such sport.
Piracy or robbery abounded in the Persian Gulf by the time. Actually one of the Portuguese daily occupations was escorting lower defence boats or guard the coast against Noutaques. According to Gaspar Correia these Noutaques go in very light terradas of sail and rowing and the rowers themselves are archers, who carry bow and arrows in their backs; and rowing, when reaching their target, they drop the oars and stand up with the bows, with which they shoot two or three arrows at a time, one between each finger, with three sided heads which, once reaching the spot, the shafts drop off, and they are rather dextrous and accurate in their aiming.
Head Captain Martinho Afonso de Sousa also mentioned that their boats were equiped with falconets and arquebuses. Father Manuel de Almeida confirmed that their boats are very fast and narrates an episode in which the Noutaques captured a Portuguese boat near Muscate, having demanded for a ransom. The Portuguese Captain delivered the ransom and the captives were rescued; but when the Captain and others chased them, their boats were so fast that managed to escape.
Attached an illustration of Noutaques in the Codice Casanatence.

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Old 25th August 2016, 10:58 AM   #106
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One famous Portuguese Ship Esmerelda was sunk off Oman ...Quote"Oman's Ministry of Heritage & Culture (MHC) in cooperation with Blue Water Recoveries Ltd (BWR) of West Sussex, UK announce the discovery and archaeological excavation of a Portuguese East Indiaman that was part of Vasco da Gama's 1502-1503 Armada to India. The ship, which sank in a storm in May 1503 off the coast of Al Hallaniyah island in Oman's Dhofar region, is the earliest ship from Europe's Age of Discovery ever to be found and scientfically investigated by a team of archaeologists and other experts". Unquote. The ship sank in a storm off the Kuria Muria islands.. Please see http://esmeraldashipwreck.com/history/
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Old 25th August 2016, 02:23 PM   #107
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Besides other qualities, Vicente Sodré was stubborn (contumaceus, per Gaspar Correia) and stupid. So many times the Curia Muria Baduijs (Beduins) warned him that a violent storm was about to come, that he wouldn't give a dam about it ... that is, he assumed that the locals wanted him to go away, as this island was often frequented by ships of Ormuz, that they didn't want that those thought they were making friends with the Portuguese. To aggravate the situation, he declined suggestion from his staff that they should send all crews to stay at the caravels, which were in sheltered spots, with the reasons that, if the naus were wrecked, they could always sail to India in the Caravels. Too late they realized that the locals were speaking the truth, when they saw them dismantling their houses that were by the shore and went to put them up further inland, behind natural shelter.
The first ship to wreck was Vicente's brother Bras which, after the sea waves broke its four moorings, was tossed to the beach, almost in dry land, and there it stood, the crew being able to escape by climbing its masts and shrouds. Vicente was not so lucky; after the Esmeralda was tossed in the same manner, was back into the stormy waters pushed by the back sweep, and the ship and whole crew were swallen by the sea.
The nau of Pero D'Ataíde was also lucky, as having been tossed to a place with a ditch, it got stuck in there, preventing it to be thrown by back sweep into the storm.
After the weather calmed down, the ships equipment was salvaged, the anchors transfered to the remaining nau ship and the artillery to the caravels, and what left ashore of the ships was set fire, all these works with the help of the locals, whom showed regret for having not being credited. ... and they sailed to India, Pero D'Ataide elected the new Captain General.

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Old 7th September 2016, 12:33 PM   #108
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Old 15th September 2016, 07:56 PM   #109
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Jabrin Fort. I have driven past the turnoff for Jabrin Fort hundreds of times..There must be something preventing me from stopping off to investigate...It requires, I believe, a letter giving permission to visit, however, as I have never been closer than about 1 kilometer I simply don't know...but I will soon!!

The tour books say something like:
Quote"The small town of JABRIN (also spelled Jabreen, Jibreen, Gabrin, Gibrin and so on) is best known for its superb fort – if you only visit one fort while you’re in Oman, this is probably the one to choose. The fort dates mainly from around 1670, one of several built during the Ya’aruba building boom of the later seventeenth century, constructed at the behest of the future imam Bil’arab bin Sultan (reigned 1680–92), who lies buried here in a crypt beneath the fort. Further alterations were made to the castle during the eighteenth century by imam Muhammad bin Nasr al Ghafiri (reigned 1725–27), and the whole thing was restored between 1979 and 1983.

The fort is located around 5km south of Jabrin town, a picture-perfect structure nestled amid palm trees. The fort’s main building is surrounded by high walls and a gravel courtyard, home to a small mosque; you can also see the deep falaj, which formerly provided the castle with water (and which flows right through the building), to the rear. The interior is absorbingly labyrinthine, with dozens of little rooms packed in around a pair of courtyards. Essentially, the building divides into two halves, which, for the sake of clarity, are described below as the northern and southern wings, although you won’t find this terminology used in the fort itself ".Unquote.
Read more: http://www.roughguides.com/destinat.../#ixzz4KLpOhbRZ

What no one will tell you is about Cannons.. Were they ever situated here ..and if they were did they engage? Jibreen is a fabulous restoration completed by an Italian Doctor completing it in 1983. to the highest standards. In particular the ceilings have received his fabulous artistic restoration treatment...Jabreen was once the Capital of the interior taking over temporarily from Nizwa. Oman was at war with itself therefor think of the interior being in a long fight with the coastal region. There are a couple of cannons at the main doorway but I suspect they have been placed there as a cosmetic detail. To be fair Cannon do get moved around and it could be that redistribution may have occurred after it was renovated. In addition many cannon were centralized for an ongoing exhibition. There appears to be no external wall on these interior Forts which may point to them not having cannon ...The Forts on the coast are different where external walls are common.
Below can be imagined the irregular warriors who manned these great bastions although these are actually photographs..one of the oldest form of photo invented; the daguerreotype. Circa 1837.
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