In this chapter, we looked into the extent to which the transformations, which took place in modern fortification, had an impact on Portugal. Regardless of any turning point around 1540 related to the building of the bastioned fortress of Mazagan, in North African, when the hiring of an Italian engineer seemed to have played a major role, we intended to demonstrate that the experimental process and the knowledge transfer involved in such circumstances had gone beyond the widespread idea that it was only a technical delivery from the centre to periphery. The military engineer profile emergence and his professional training seemed to be a fruitful approach to studying this issue.
After 1640, during the War of the Restoration against the Spanish Habsburgs, fortification classes were working in Lisbon, in some fortified towns in the borderlands and in different Brazilian regions. The production of teaching materials was fostered, and major Portuguese fortification treatises were published: Lusitanian Method of Designing Fortifications (1680) and later The Portuguese Engineer (1728-1729). These underline the national and imperial scope in military engineers’ education, relying on their geometry and scientific proficiency.
We argue that the Portuguese ability to keep alive military engineering training structures, despite their small size and unstable institutional frame, drew a continuous and often entangled cultural and technical network.