- Publisher: Greenwood Press (2000)
- ASIN: B000OU20CM
- Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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The History of Portugal: (The Greenwood Histories of the Modern Nations)
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Anderson, despite his substantial knowledge and experience in Portugal, also seems to have a less than complete appreciation for the ethnic composition of the Portuguese people. Most of the Northern and Central parts of the country are a Celtic, Roman, Suevian and Visigothian mix. The far north is clearly more Celtic in ethnicity than other regions. The people of the southern areas are essentially a blend of Roman, Arabic, Greek, Northwest Saharan and a minor amount of Vandal and other Germanic blood. Anderson's reference to "African" slaves as being part of the Portuguese "stock" is rather stange. In fact, it is toally false in the context he seems to be using the term. Incorrect phrasing, or maybe incorrect sentence structure? Yes, Portugal did have a black slave (and some "Arab African" slaves as well) population from the mid 15th century but, these people were never absorbed into the population in any significant manner. They were used as servants and agricultural laborers ands were hardly treated as being part of Portuguese society at large. Slaves were found mainly in Lisbon, the Alentejo and the island of Madeira. The majority of black, and some Arab slaves, that entered Portugal in the 15th and 16th centuries were actually transhipped to other European nations such as Spain, the Netherlands and parts of England. Liverpool and Manchester, England, for example, are well-known for having had important black slave societies that came from Portuguese ports in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.
Overall, the book is a well written and informative read.
More detail than a Wikipedia article and less than a long scholarly
work. My wife, who is a Portuguese native, gives it a thumbs up, too.
I view it as a stating point for more detailed accounts of historical
persons and events I will explore later.