Afonso de Albuquerque Afonso de Albuquerque or, Albuquerque the Great (O Grande)(also spelt Aphonso d'Albuquerque and Alfonso), (Alhandra ca. 1453 - December 16, 1515, at sea), was a Portuguese general, a great conqueror, who was an unrivaled statesman, and a leading empire builder. His military and administrative activities as second governor of Portuguese India greatly established the Portuguese empire in the Indian Ocean. He is generally considered a world conquest military genius, given his successful strategy: he attempted to close all the Indian Ocean naval passages to the Atlantic, Red Sea, Persian Gulf, and to the Pacific, transforming it into a Portuguese mare clausum established over the Ottoman power and their Muslim and Hindu allies. Almost two Millennium's after Alexander the Great, he was the first European whose dream of establishing an empire in India, controlled from abroad, was successfully accomplished. Yet, his vision saw him venture beyond India. His creative vision, military service at land and sea, and his administrative contributions, are generally regarded as one of the most vital to helping the Portuguese pioneer a European colonial empire across the Orient, the Middle East, and the spice routes of the East Pacific. Albuquerque, admiral in the Indian Ocean, was appointed head of the "fleet of the Arabian and Persian sea" in 1506. He was known as a tenacious navigator and maritime commander, who would often engage with and defeat much larger armies and fleets. For example his capture of Ormuz in 1507 against the Persians was accomplished with an army fifty times smaller. Other famous battles and offensives led by Albuquerque include the conquest of Goa in 1510 and the capture of Malacca in 1511. He was appointed "Governor and Captain-General of India" and shortly before his death "Duke of Goa", the first Portuguese nobility title landed overseas, by king Manuel I of Portugal, becoming the first Portuguese duke not from the royal family. He was one of the first to commission secure trading relations with China during the Ming Dynasty, also either establishing or improving commercial trades with Siam, Ethiopia, and Persia. Albuquerque's ambitions continued the crusading spirit of King John II of Portugal, Prince Henry the Navigator and of many others. Throughout his life, he did not allow himself to be caught up in, or to be distracted by mercantile ambitions. His boldest concepts, such as turning the Persian's against the Ottoman Turk's or crushing Egypt by diverting the course of the river Nile, were perhaps superhuman, but so perhaps were his achievements. He became known as The Terrible, The Great, The Caesar of the East, Lion of the Seas, and as The Portuguese Mars.