500 Years of Brazil
Divisão de Bibliotecas e Documentação

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The Works

SOUZA, Pêro Lopes de. Diário da navegação da     armada que foi á terra do Brasil em 1530 sob a     Capitania-Mor de Martin Affonso de Souza. Lisboa:     Publicação de Adolpho Varnhagen, 1839.

Pero Lopes de Sousa's Diário da Navegação is the chief source of knowledge of the history of the expedition of 1530-1532 commanded by his brother Martim Afonso de Sousa.  

Texts originating in and meant to stimulate maritime expansion, written in the vernacular but mostly remaining manuscripts because of the need to monopolise the information relating to the newly discovered seas and continents, sea diaries recorded day by day the nautical observations made by the pilots during the voyage. They thus represent a descriptive order with a great deal of detailed information on nautical, geographical and anthropological circumstances.

From the pages of the Diário da Navegação of the armada comprised of 400 men, seeds, farming utensils, arms, warriors, sailors, chaplain and other authorities, emerge not only the fights against French traders and the exploration of the coast of South America from Maranhão to the River Plate, but also and especially a description of the land and its inhabitants, as well as the foundation of the towns of São Vicente and "another 9 leagues inland", thus registering the start of the official colonisation of the land.

Pero Lopes de Sousa's Diário da Navegação was first published in Lisbon in 1839 in an edition prepared by Francisco Adolfo de Varnhagen. The Varnhagen edition was criticised by palaeographer João de Freitas in a paper published in the História da Colonização Portuguesa do Brasil . The edition prepared by Commander Eugênio de Castro is held to be the most authoritative, since it contains a scholarly introduction and elucidatory notes.