chapter  [7]
19 Pages

The Art of War in Angola, 1575– 1680

WithJohn K. Thornton

This chapter reviews more briefly the development of war in Europe and the way in which Europeans fit into and altered the Angolan system of fighting. There was no writing in central Africa when Europeans arrived there in 1483, and much of the first century of Afro-European contact is inadequately documented, at least as far as military affairs go. Indeed, it was at least partly in this tradition as an ally of Ndongo that the Portuguese "conqueror" of Angola, Paulo Dias de Novaes, arrived in the area in 1575. The development of a new art of war in Angola reveals some of complex ities of military history in the preindustrial world and the difficulties in seeing how the European conquests in Africa were made. The military systems of Europe were themselves undergoing considerable change during much of this period, and some of these changes were carried rapidly into the colonial and overseas theaters of war.