Another 1415: Portugal’s military landscape at the time of Agincourt

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Just as 1415 was a momentous year militarily for England, so it was for Portugal too. In August, King João I led a crusading expedition against the Muslim enclave of Ceuta in North Africa, opening up a new phase in Portuguese and European history. This article sets this expedition against a backdrop of evolving political and military relations with England, arguing for a distancing between Portugal and her English ally since the initial formation of an alliance in the previous century. Attention is also given to the army which conquered the stronghold of Ceuta: significant differences can be seen in comparison with Portuguese armies which had fought against Castile in the last decades of the fourteenth century. Although certain key features persisted, there were changes which resulted from a thorough military reorganisation undertaken by João I, and from evolution of the military culture of Portugal, as an examination of the library of King Duarte (1433-38) demonstrates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-135
Number of pages18
JournalJournal Of Medieval History
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Anglo-Portuguese relations
  • Ceuta
  • Chivalry
  • History of Portugal
  • Hundred Years War
  • Military culture
  • Military organisation


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