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Tuesday, May 20, 2014


The fall of the Malay kingdom of Melaka in 1511 to the Portuguese was imminent. Discoveries, events, and developments elsewhere in the west - Italy, Spain, Porugal, Peru ... were impinging many parts of the globe. Melaka was without exception. It was famous entrepot trading centre in the East, a very attractive prize to conquer.  

It was said that whoever control Melaka would have a stranglehold on the spice trade.

The last Sultan of Melaka, Sultan Mahmud Shah and his brave people fought using hand weapons such as spears, keris riding on elephants, rowing small boats in the sea and river mouth were greatly outclassed by the gunnery of the armour-clad Benggali Putih viz-a-viz Portuguese and their ships.

This medieval Latin manuscript from around 1500 depicts an elephant trampling a man. Note the impressive tower on the elephant's back.

Cuzco (Peru), late Incan masonry wall, ca. 1500

In the late 1400s and 1500s was the Renaissance Period of the Western civilisation

1502, Columbus sailed from Spain to West Indies which took a month.

Cairo, the caravanserai of Qansuh al-Ghuri, 1504-5; interior court. Originally, the court had a small prayer hall in the centre. The two porticoed lower floors contain storage rooms; the upper floors are occupied by apartments arranged in vertical stacks of three rooms each.

Raphael, School of Athens, mural pairing in the Vatican Palace in the room called Stanza della Segnatura, 1509-11.

The tide of events wait for no man unprepared. 

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