Hawker Seafury

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40 But this lengthy history of reading Souldan as Philip II has largely precluded any discussion of what is surely an alternative, though less historically specific, referent. 41 With alternate spellings, the term had been used in England since at least 1297 (OED, 2nd. , s. v. “sultan”). 42 In general critics have not known what to make of an Islamic souldan; although a few note that a sultan is a Muslim ruler, they fail to pursue the implications of the character’s arresting title, and move on quickly to the identification with Spain.

8. , 117. 9. Subrahmanyam, Portuguese Asia, 33. 30 Shankar Raman 10. Throughout, I cite by line number from the parallel text edition of Auto da Índia included in Three Discovery Plays by Gil Vicente, ed. and trans. Antony Lappin (Warminster, UK: Aris and Phillips, 1997). I occasionally modify Lappin’s translation. 11. H. V. Livermore, A New History of Portugal, 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976), 132. 12. João II insisted, for example, on a new form of oath from his subjects, requiring nobles to give a written promise and subsequently swear on their knees to deliver immediately upon demand any castle or town they held from the crown.

19 But a bold denunciation of whom? And for whom? We can take a pointer from Castelo-Branco’s distinction between the two directions that Portuguese expansion initiated by João I took: broadly speaking, the North Africa campaigns were supported by the nobility, while the Atlantic expansion (leading finally to India and Brazil) grew out of the impulses of merchants and the urban bourgeoisie. While this description simplifies a more complex distribution of interests, it usefully locates a standing tension between two class fractions, both of whom were represented in the Portuguese court (even as their relative strength shifted from reign to reign).

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