The work attempts to understand complex nuances of the Portuguese presence in sixteenth and the first half of the seventeenth centuries in one of the age-old circuits of trade of the Indian Ocean world that existed between Coromandel Coast and island Southeast Asia. The production of textiles and spices were the attractions of the region and their ferrying across had created this locale.
The monograph is based on the documents of Estado da India along other sources. Varied facets of Portuguese explorations, contacts, diplomacies, involvement with indigenous polities, creation of edifices and mechanisms of conducting trade have been analyzed. In order to bind and secure their maritime aspirations, institutions have further played an immense role in this largely unofficial realm of the Portuguese. Among the institutions of the Portuguese overseas expansion, bishoprics and misericórdias extended their respective religious and quasi-religious functions. Along with political institutions they further formulated their roles to assist the Estado as per need of the time. The measures adopted by them during the phases of struggles and existential crisis indicate a noteworthy adaptability of the Portuguese presence in the said region. Such entangled spaces form the theme of the present book.