500 Years of Brazil
Divisão de Bibliotecas e Documentação

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The Works

CORREA, Gaspar. Lendas da India.  Lisboa:     Tipografia da Academia Real das Sciencias, 1858.

Only in 1858, on the initiative of the Royal Academy of Science, was the first volume of Lendas da Índia published, a work written by Gaspar Correa at the end of the first half of the 16th century.

Travelling to the Indies in March 1512, while still very young, Gaspar Correa would stay there for over five decades, occupied in different activities such as scribe to Afonso de Albuquerque. It was there that he also gathered the information necessary for the writing of the four-volume work that some critics claim to be as important as the Décadas written by João de Barros.

As pointed out by Portuguese historian Luís Filipe Barreto, the planetary adventure of the Discoveries throughout the 15th and 16th centuries led to the construction of a whole ideological and doctrinary structure to explain the underlying values of that expansion. This universe of ideas presents a spiritual reading and the civilising mission of the Discoveries while at the same time discussing the positive or negative value of the new reality in both the material and behavioural sense. Together with the work of João de Barros and other contemporaries, Gaspar Correa's account is both an appraisal of the Discoveries and an apology of what Christian-seigniorial society ought to be.