RIVARA, Joaquim Heliodoro da Cunha

RIVARA, Joaquim Heliodoro da Cunha. Arraiolos 23.6.1809 — Évora 20.2.1879. Portuguese Physician, Colonial Civil Servant and Oriental Scholar, Specialist of Konkani and Marathi. Son of Italian father, Dr. António Francisco R. and and Maria Isabel da Cunha Feio Castelo Branco, of Spanish origin. Educated in Évora, then studies of medicine at Coimbra. In 1828 teaching was suspended, but he concluded his studies in 1834-36. Being not interested in clinical practice, he worked as a teacher and librarian in Évora, also as a journalist, and in 1852 elected to legislative assembly, but soon nominated secretary general of the government of Portuguese India in Goa and remained there until 1870. During 22 years in Goa he worked for improvement of administration and for economic and industrial progress, but also acquainted himself with Koṅkanī language. His last years he lived in Évora writing about Portuguese colonial history of India.

Publications: Edited several works on Konkani: Grammatica da Lingua Concani, composita pelo padre Thomaz Estevão. 236+251 p. Nova Goa 1857 (Goan dialect, from the work of Th. Stephens, with “Ensaio Histórico da Língua Concani”); also edited Gramática da Lingua Concani no dialecto do Norte, composta no seculo XVII por um Missionário Portugues. 4+184 p. 1858; further a revised edition of Fr. Xavier’s Portuguese-Konkani grammar Grammatica da Lingua Concani. 4+148 p. Nova Goa 1859 and of the manuscript Portuguese-Konkani Dictionary compiled by the same, in 280 p. Nova Goa 1868.

– Also wrote on Goan history and much unrelated to South Asia.

Sources: Da Silva, “Les études orientales chez les Portugais”, OC I Paris 1873, t. 2, 1873, 470f.; Grande Enc. Port. e Braz. 25 (long article of 1 1/2 pages); Wikipedia with photo and further references.

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