500 Years of Brazil
Divisão de Bibliotecas e Documentação


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The Works

GANDAVO, Pero de Magalhães. Histoire de La Province     de Sancta-Cruz Qui Nous Nommons ordinairement     Le Brésil Paris: Arthur Bertrand, 1837.

Of Flemish stock - probably from the region of Gand, judging by his surname - Pero Magalhães GAndavo was born in Braga in Portugal. A humanist and Latinist, he worked as a copyst at the Torre do Tombo, and according to some scholars spent some time in the Portuguese colony in America as Treasury supervisor of the captainship of Bahia.

The História da Província de Santa Cruz, a que vulgarmente chamamos Brasil, whose author admits he wrote "as an eye witness" in the seventies of the 16th century, was translated into French by the bibliographer and historian Henri Ternaux-Compans (1807-1864), and published in Voyages, rélations et mémoires originaux pour servir à l’Histoire de la découverte l’Amérique, in 1837. There remain only two copies of this edition, one in Paris that belonged to Ternaux himself, the other in the National Library of Rio de Janeiro.

Like most of those who wrote about the new Portuguese possessions, Gandavo laments and condemns the increasing use of the name Brazil to designate them, rather than Santa Cruz.