BARBOSA, Duarte

BARBOSA, Duarte. Lisbon c. 1480? — Cebu, Philippines 1.5.1521. Portuguese Traveller in the East. Son of Diogo B., a high servant of the Dukes of Bragança. He came to India as a young man, apparently with Cabral in 1500, stayed mainly in Kerala (with his uncle who was factor in Cochin and Cananor) and returned in 1516/17. Still in 1517 he wrote his account of Africa, Arabia, and India. In 1519 he joined the expedition around the world under his brother-in-law Fernão Magalhães. Treacherously killed by local raja in Philippines.

The work remained manuscript, but was used by Ramusio and several Portuguese historians, and only recovered in Lisbon in the early 19th century (later also two manuscripts of a Spanish translation). It is written in an impersonal style, probably combining much secondary (but for us very valuable) material. Apparently he knew Malayālam well.

Publications: Extracts from his manuscript published by Ramusio, Delle navigationi e viaggi. 1550; and the whole in 1812 as Vol. 2. of Coleção de notícias para a história e geografia das nações ultramarinas. English translation by H. E. Stanley: A Description of the Coasts of East-Africa and Malabar. L. 1866, new ed. by M. L. Dames. 1–2. L. 1918-21.

Sources: Dames’ introduction to his book; Oaten 1909, 66-68; Grande Encyclop. Portuguesa e Brasileira 4; Dames’ introduction; Wikipedia.

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