CASTANHEDA, Fernão Lopes de

CASTANHEDA, Fernão Lopes de. Santarem c. 1500 — Coimbra 23.3. or 6.6.1559. Portuguese Historian of Colonial India. Illegitimate son of Lopo Fernandez de C., royal officer, of an old family. In 1528 he accompanied his father to Goa. During ten years in India he visited Portuguese bases as far as the Moluccas and collected much material for his planned book. Back in Portugal in 1538, he lived in Coimbra as a bedel of the university and writing his book. Some members of nobility were irritated with his objective style and Queen Catarina prevented the publication of the two last volumes (9-10). The book soon became famous as the first detailed history. Beside history it is full of geographic and ethnographic information.

Publications: Historia do descobrimento e conquista da India pelos Portuguezes. 1-6. Coimbra 1551-54, 7-8 posthumously published 1561, soon translated into French (1554), Spanish (1554), Italian (1578), and English (1582).

Sources: Gr. Enc. Port. e Bras. 6; Wikipedia (little more in Portuguese version), the statue depicted there is no likeness, but idealising work of 1867.

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