Preconceptions of the Indians (c. 1300)
DOI link for Preconceptions of the Indians (c. 1300)
Preconceptions of the Indians (c. 1300) book
Portugal's Indian enterprise is described in sacramental terms as a 'mysterium'. Domestically within Portugal, the situation was much the same: nothing original about her Indian operation was printed before the mid-century. By printing texts in the vernacular, as well as Latin, Italian-based printers made the new visions of India available to a much wider audience. The Anonymous Narrative's account of strange Indian customs goes beyond sexual mores, to represent social interaction among the Calicut pagans as bound by taboos and purity rituals. Narrative focus on the pagan king contrasts with the averted gaze of the local Indians for whom their monarch is a super-human figure. Cabral's retaliation for the slaughter of his men, as reported, might even appear disproportionately ruthless since it is described as involving not simply capturing Moorish ships and slaughtering the crew, but burning Moors alive, and bombarding the whole city of Calicut with artillery fire.