Asian Review

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After the Portuguese conquest of Melaka, the Portuguese official contact with the kingdoms of Siam and Pegu followed. Then the official relations between Melaka and Siam and Pegu were established. After this, the Portuguese came to stay in the main ports in the region, such as Ayuthaya, Pattani, Mergui, Martaban, and Pegu. However, their activities in this region suggested that they were freelance warriors fighting for fortune. Their communities were unofficial, independent from the State of India in Goa. These Portuguese became not only traders but also mercenaries and advisers in the Siamese army for using cannons and guns. In Burma, the use of Portuguese mercenaries in warfare was also prevalent. Thus, in the wars between the Mon and Burmese kingdoms, and in long wars between the kings of Burma and Siam lasting from 1548 to 1605, there were many Portuguese mercenaries who fought on every side.



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