New Advent
 Home   Encyclopedia   Summa   Fathers   Bible   Library 
 A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z 
Home > Catholic Encyclopedia > B > João de Barros

João de Barros

Historian, b. in Portugal, 1496; d. 20 October, 1570. Of his early youth little is known. In 1522, he went to Mina in Portuguese Africa, and was made treasurer of the Casa da India, Mina, and Ceuta (African possessions) in 1525, and again in 1532. Here he cultivated his literary inclinations and attached himself to the Crown of Portugal by other ties than those of a faithful subordinate and accountant. At the age of twenty-four, he published a romance of the Emperor Clarimundo, a legendary ancestor of the kings of Portugal. In 1539, when Brazil had begun to be looked upon as an important accession to Portuguese colonial possessions, he obtained a grant of fifty-leagues along the coast at the mouth of the Amazon and forthwith equipped an expedition to occupy it. Ten vessels with nine hundred men, under command of Aires da Cunha, set sail for Brazil, but were wrecked at the bar of the Maranhão, and nearly everybody perished. Two sons of Barros were in the expedition, but their fate is not given. This brought Barros almost to the verge of poverty. He thereafter clung to historic studies, protected and favoured by the king, at whose instigation he wrote his classical work, "Asia", considered of value as a fine piece of Portuguese literature and for the information it affords. Besides giving an account of discovery and conquest, it touches frequently upon the earliest attempts at Christianization by the Portuguese in their African and Asiatic possessions, the founding of churches, etc. The first decade appeared in 1552. Only three have been fully published. A fourth, of somewhat questionable authenticity, has been partly printed.

Sources

On the life of Barros, see DE FERIA, Vida de Joao de Barros (Lisbon, 1778); SILVA, Diccionario bibliografico portuguez (Lisbon, 1859), III; Biographie universelle (Paris, 1854), I.

About this page

APA citation. Bandelier, A.F. (1907). João de Barros. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02309a.htm

MLA citation. Bandelier, Adolph Francis. "João de Barros." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 2. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02309a.htm>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Ann M. Bourgeois. Offered to Almighty God for blessings on Maria Albritton & family.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York.

Contact information. The editor of New Advent is Kevin Knight. My email address is feedback732 at newadvent.org. (To help fight spam, this address might change occasionally.) Regrettably, I can't reply to every letter, but I greatly appreciate your feedback — especially notifications about typographical errors and inappropriate ads.

Copyright © 2009 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

CONTACT US