500 Years of Brazil
Divisão de Bibliotecas e Documentação

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The Works

GANDAVO, Pero de Magalhães. Historia da     Prouincia de Santa Cruz, a que Vulgarmente     Chamamos de Brasil. Lisboa: Tipografia da     Academia Real das Sciencias, 1858.

Published by the Royal Academy of Science in 1858, this copy of the História da Província de Santa Cruz, a que vulgarmente chamamos Brasil corresponds to the original edition published in Lisbon in 1576.

The fate of the História contrasts vividly with that of the two Tratados da Terra do Brasil also written by Pero de Magalhães Gandavo a short time before. The História was to be one of the few texts printed in the 16th century on the Portuguese colony in America, whereas the Tratados would remain in manuscript form. As stated so aptly by Portuguese historian Luís Filipe Barreto, "its style and humanistic historiographical content may be seen as praise and even an invitation to mass colonisation of Brazil without offering sufficient and sure information about the economic structure. But the two earlier Tratados do Brasil, authentic enquiries into the economic geography of Brazilian colonisation, remain manuscripts for reasons that certainly involve the strategic need on the part of the colonial-political interests of the State not to overly disclose the real situation in terms of production, demography, trade and so on."