History Figure of the Month Archive

The 'History Figure of the Month' (HFM) posts are a series of posts where historical figures are nominated by readers who would like to see a post dedicated to the specific person. Additionally, a banner of the person will be placed on the blog's frontpage for the duration of the respective month. 

Readers (including you) can nominate a history figure in the comments section of the most-recent HFM post. Any person of historical importance qualifies. However, figures of the past 20 years (from 1992 until the present day) do not qualify as the time period is too recent for the person to be studied objectively.

The list below is an archive of the posts dedicated to the designated historical figures for their respective months. The full article can be accessed via clicking the sub-title. This list was last updated on the 1st August 2012.
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History Figure of the Month (July 2012) - Alfonso de Albuquerque:

A portrait of Alfonso de Albuquerque
Alfonso de Albuquerque (b.1453-1515) was a Portuguese admiral, and a strategy genius, credited with founding the Portuguese colonial empire in the Indian Ocean, with conquests in the Persian Gulf (in fact, it was a later-commanding colleague of Alfonso who conquered Bahrain from the Arabs) , India, the Red Sea and the Malay peninsula.

He also planned and built a series of strategically-placed forts around the Indian Ocean, to prevent access to the ocean from the Red Sea, Persian Gulf and the Pacific Ocean.


Alfonso's first oversea trip in the service of the Portuguese crown was in 1503, when he and his cousin led an armada to the Indian west coast, defeating the native forces in Calicut (present-day Kozhikode) and establishing a puppet kingdom at Cohin (present-day Kochi). It was during this mission that Alfonso, with the permission of the Portuguese king, built a fort at Cohin (the first of many). This was the basis of the Portuguese colonial empire.
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History Figure of the Month (June 2012) - Ibn Battuta:
A sketch of Ibn Battuta

Ibn Battuta is a 14th century world renown Morrocan traveler who journeyed for more than 75,000 miles, a record unbeaten until the time of the Steam Age.

Ibn Battuta traveled over a 30 year period, between 1325 and 1354 AD, through North Africa, the Horn of Africa, West Africa, Southern Europe and Eastern Europe in the West, and to the Middle East, South Asia, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and China in the East. He is generally considered to have been one of the greatest travelers of all time.

Ibn Battuta was born in Tangier, Morocco on the 25th of February, 1304. He grew up a normal life in Morocco, he was to be an Islamic scholar as his family were. In 1325 AD, he set off for hajj (a pilgrimage to Mecca) and he would never set foot into Morocco for another 24 years.

Architecture Plan of Bab Al Bahrain from 1945

Double click for larger image. Reading through the Qatar Digital Library's massive digitised archives of British colonial files, I...