Gandavo, Pero de Magalhães (?–1576)

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Gandavo, Pero de Magalhães (?–1576)

Pero de Magalhães Gandavo (d. 1576), Portuguese historian. In 1576 Gandavo wrote and published the História da Província de Santa Cruz, a que vulgarmente chamamos Brasil. His Tratado da terra do Brasil, written before 1573, was not published until 1824 by the Royal Academy of Sciences in Lisbon. Gandavo justifies his enterprise in the prologue to his History, on the basis of the fact that although Brazil had been discovered several decades previously, no Portuguese writer had written about its discovery, and on his intention to persuade people in Portugal to emigrate and settle in the rich and healthy new land. His conception of history made him select as relevant the following elements: the description of the captaincies, the form of government, the distribution of land under the traditional Portuguese sesmarias (conditional grants), and the need for slaves as a labor force. With descriptive and narrative elements, Gandavo adroitly mixes past and present in each chapter. As other sixteenth-century writers, he dedicates part of his History to the description of plants and their uses; he also describes animals, real and mythical. In the last chapter, Gandavo gives the colonists some hope of finding "much gold and precious stones."

See alsoPortuguese Empire .


José Honório Rodrigues, História da história do Brasil, vol. 1, Historiografia colonial (1979).

Massaud Moisés, História da literatura brasileira, vol. 1, Origens, barroco, arcadismo (1983).

Maria Beatriz Nizza Da Silva, Guia de história do Brasil colonial (1992).

Additional Bibliography

Janiga-Perkins, Constance G. "Pero de Magalhaes Gandavo's 'Historia da Provincia Santa Cruz': Paradise, Providence, and How Best to Turn a Profit." South Atlantic Review 57:2 (May 1992): 29-44.

Moura, Vasco Graça. Sobre Camões, Gândavo e outras personagens: Hipóteses de história da cultura. Porto: Campo das Letras, 2000.

                        Maria Beatriz Nizza da Silva