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Europeans Among Asians

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines what the Europeans thought about themselves. The Europeans were but part of a wider system of foreign migratory communities of merchants, mercenaries, and mariners found throughout the Arabian seas. There are two different ways of conceptualizing such migratory communities in the Arabian seas in the early-modern period. Why did Europeans choose to live and die in places such as Bandar Abbas or Surat? To answer this question the chapter initially shift from the European nation to its elites and from Jan Compagnie to John Company. Both the main reservoir for the European manpower and the drain in which most of such sea proletarians like Ayres Saldanha ended up were the Indo-Portuguese communities. When reviewing the various groups making up the European nation up close, topazes, impoverished sea-proletarians, deserters or vrijburger ex-slaves the notion of European itself dissolves into ever greater vagueness.

Keywords: European women; Portuguese Catholics



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