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Filipe de Brito, the Portuguese “King” of Syria, was imprisoned alive



Filipe de Brito

The Portuguese Filipe de Brito was able to become king in a distant country, but he did not go down in history as a good person …

In the entire history of Portugal, which is almost 900 years old, a lot has been done by the Portuguese. Some Portuguese have managed to accomplish incredible feats that have placed them on the list of Portugal’s heroes.

In the history of our country, there were also villains who went down in history for the most terrible reasons. The Portuguese Philip de Brito managed to become the king of a distant country. However, he did not go down in history as a good person …

Filipe de Brito, the Portuguese “King” of Syria, was imprisoned alive

Who was?

Filipe de Brito e Nicote was the son of a French father and a Portuguese mother. The exact moment of his birth is unknown, but it is assumed that he was born between 1550 and 1560 in the capital of Portugal.

Filipe de Brito became an almost mythical figure among the Portuguese annals and Burmese (where it appears under the designation Nga Zingar or Kala). He is described as either a hero or a traitor. The negative portrayal of Filipe de Brito is mainly due to hostility towards the official cult of the Burmese Empire.


In the history books, Philippe de Brito and Nicote appear as a greedy mercenary or adventurer. Portuguese also promotes “evangelism among non-Jews”.

Their defense allowed the Jesuit chaplains to begin the process. He even ordered the construction of the church of Nossa Señora do Monte inside the fortress he had created.

Was it the king?

Filipe de Brito e Nicote was proclaimed “king” of Pegu (or proclaimed himself…) from 1602 to 1613. Pegu consists of the Irrawaddy Delta region (this is the largest river in Myanmar, this river crosses the territory from north to south). He did whatever he wanted on Sirion and the neighboring coastal zone. Filipe de Brito had absolute power over the region and its inhabitants.

Filipe de Brito, the Portuguese “King” of Syria, was imprisoned alive


Filipe de Brito e Nicote was part of the Portuguese expansion in Southeast Asia. He was still very young when he was sent to India. His goal was to “achieve honor and farm”. Thus, living up to the expectations of someone from the lower nobility.

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Filipe de Brito e Nicote explored various qualities to highlight their value. At first he was engaged in trade in coal and salt. However, he only prospered when he placed his military and military skills in the service of the king of Arakan.


The Portuguese settlement of Sirian proved to be a complex historical event, from its construction to its fall. This always took place in an informal context that favored Burmese-Portuguese intercultural interaction.

Burma at that time was divided into several kingdoms. Burma of this historical period, the late 17th century, was fragile. It was diverse, ethnically and geographically diverse.

Filipe de Brito e Nicote realized that the central government lacked authority. His perspicacity led him to seize the opportunity. First, he managed to dominate the kingdom of Pegu (of Burmese origin), theoretically subject to the high king. He showed his prowess by force of arms and demonstrated his ability in the field of diplomacy. So he settled in Syria.

Filipe de Brito
Fortress of Sirion


Filipe de Brito e Nicote became what can be called a mercenary. He proved to be a worthy warrior and impressed the king of Arakan. It was an area located in the northeast of Myanmar. The area is now known as Arakan State or Rakhine.


The king of Aragana was grateful to the Portuguese for their help in conquering the southern city of Pegu. The generous king gave Philip de Brito and Nicota control of the port of Siriam (Syriac, in Portuguese), which was on the banks of the Pegu River, on the opposite side of what is now known as Yangon.


Filipe de Brito e Nicote did not allow himself to keep what he had. He was an extremely ambitious man. He did his best to get permission from the king to open a customs house at the mouth of the Pegu River.

Having achieved this, he soon began to build a fortress on this site. Later, the idea arose to make his zone of control part of the Portuguese crown. Naturally, King Philip II of Portugal welcomed this idea.

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Thus, Filipe de Brito and Nicote received the title of fidalgo, as well as the Order of Christ. So Filipe de Brito and Nicote became the “king” of Pegu.

expected confrontation

The King of Arakan was not happy with the height of Filipe de Brito and Nicote. For a long time I was suspicious of the intentions of the Portuguese. Therefore, in 1602, he sent 6,000 men to attack the “kingdom” of Filipe de Brito e Nicote, but without success.

Later, at the moment when he realized that he needed to attack harder, the king of Arakan attacked again, but this time he sent 40,000 men! However, he was again defeated by the Portuguese.


Filipe de Brito and Nicote saw great potential in Pegu. However, this land has become too small for their expansionist spirit. The Portuguese intended to turn the local customs office into a mandatory port of call.

Navigation between India and Malacca would occupy an important place in this space. Taking steps to make this a reality, Filipe de Brito and Nicote found themselves once again involved in wars with the king of Arakan.

banquet episode

Filipe de Brito e Nicote went down in history as a mean and self-centered character. So, according to legend, at the time when their fortress was temporarily surrounded, Filipe de Brito and Nicote enjoyed a feast prepared from leftover food, while their people were starving.

He allowed the POWs to attend the party. Subsequently, they were sent with the remnants of food from the feast.

They went to the camp of the army of the king of Arakan to share food with the ladies present in that camp. Thus, when he (Filipe de Brito) caught them, they were “very fat and beautiful”. This was a message transmitted by prisoners of war, and it seems that part of the allied forces were frightened by the Portuguese “promise” and deserted on the spot!

Filipe de Brito
Grave of Filipe de Brito


Given the profile of the Portuguese, betrayals, invasions and constant wars, the lack of friends is not surprising. Once he even arrested the man with whom he made an alliance, the local king, from whom he stole all the gold.

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His lifestyle led to a desire for revenge against other leaders in the region. This was the beginning of the end of the reign of “King” Pegu.


Filipe de Brito e Nicote was defeated by the king of Ava, one of the neighboring kings, who wanted to attack him. It was captured by this king with the help of the people of the Portuguese. The subordinates of Filipe de Brito and Nicote witnessed the atrocities committed against the local population. Not only did they not like what happened, but they did not forgive him for his wrongdoings.

Filipe de Brito and Nicote contributed to the destruction and looting of the pagodas. The Portuguese forcibly converted to Christianity and ordered assassinations, spreading terror across the land.

Therefore, the locals did not miss the opportunity to kill the Portuguese. Once captured, Filipe de Brito-e-Nicote was impaled alive. He suffered for three days, during which time he succumbed to the storm. With him went the silly dream of a Portuguese kingdom in the Irrawaddy delta.


“King” Pegu was assassinated in 1613. Filipe de Brito was impaled. His wife, Doña Luisa, was given into slavery. There was a complete distaste for the Portuguese language. There was a desire to completely annihilate the Britons from (Burmese) land.

Therefore, one of the allied princes was ordered to kill his own son-in-law, who was the son of a Portuguese. It is said that while he was the “King” of Pegu, Filipe de Brito and Nicote had fun and left several children who were not official…

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Currently, the descendants of the people of Filipe de Brito are the so-called bayings. They are scattered throughout the villages inland, in the north of the country.

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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