Portuguese Encounters with the World in the Age of the Discoveries
Each of the seven volumes and two double volumes in this series consists of an anthology of annotated extracts translated into English, many of them for the first time, from accounts by contemporary travellers, merchants, missionaries, soldiers and government officials of the lands of Africa, Brazil and Asia and their inhabitants encountered by the Portuguese during the age of the discoveries. The extracts have not been selected in order to retell the story of those discoveries and of the ensuing foundation of the Portuguese empire, but rather because of what they reveal about the initial reactions of the Portuguese to the places and peoples they encountered and about their subsequent relations with them, as well as making it possible, wherever the scanty evidence allows, to assess how those peoples reacted to the Portuguese. Each volume will cover an area of the world where there was a significant Portuguese presence over a substantial period, from the first voyages of exploration down the west coast of Africa during the fifteenth century that led to Vasco da Gama's discovery of the sea route to India in 1498 and Pedro Alvares Cabral's discovery of Brazil in 1500 and thence to the establishment of Portuguese fortresses and trading posts in the Indian Ocean, the Indonesian archipelago, the South China Sea and finally Japan. Each one is edited with an introduction by a specialist in the history of the Portuguese empire in the area that it covers.