Battle of Mohacs 1526, Background

Expansion of the Ottoman Empire in the early 1500’s. Conquest of the Balkans and Mamluk-controlled Egypt, and rivalry with Shia Persia. Also, the story of the kingdom of Hungary in the same period, leading up to the Battle of Mohacs 1526. Pictured – the coat of arms of Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary 1458-1490

Battle of Diu 1509 Part 3

Portuguese Conquests in India
The Portuguese begin to seize control of the spice trade of the Indian Ocean, by a mixture of diplomacy and brute force. For King Manuel of Portugal, his new maritime empire becomes not just an end in itself but a possible opportunity to weaken the Mamluk Sultanate, and perhaps even a means to recover the Holy Land for Christianity. Pictured: the Zamorin of Calicut

Battle of Diu 1509 Part 2

Portuguese Discovery of India
The epic voyage of Vasco Da Gama 1497-1499, who sailed from Portugal, around the southern tip of Africa, along the eastern coast of Africa and then onto India. The discovery of a sea route from Europe to India began the European age of exploration, with huge consequences for both Europe and the rest of the world

Battle of Diu 1509 Part 1

Portuguese Voyages of Discovery
Portugal, having established its position in Iberia, begins to make conquests in Morocco. At the same time the Portuguese prince Henry the Navigator (pictured) sponsors the beginning of a series of discoveries along the west coast of Africa. In 1487-88 Europeans, led by Bartolomeu Dias, circumnavigate the southern tip of Africa for the first time, and reach the Indian Ocean

Battle of Fornovo 1495 Part 5

King Charles VIII of France, following his conquest of Naples, heads back through Italy to France but is attacked on his way back by a combined Venetian-Milanese army. The two sides meet near the village of Fornovo, near Parma. Although ultimately a failure, Charles’ expeditions had major repercussions for it triggered the decades long Italian Wars (1494-1559), when the Italian peninsula became a battleground between foreign powers. Pictured – ‘The Madonna of the Victory’, by Andrea Mantegna (1496), commissioned by Francesco Gonzaga, ruler of Mantua

The story of Europe from the Ancient Greeks to the First World War