Louvain, Ex officina Rutger Rescius, 1539.. FIRST EDITION. 4°, late nineteenth-century or early twentieth-century half vellum over marbled boards (some soiling to vellum). Some light dampstains. Tiny singed hole, slightly larger than a pinpoint, to 10 leaves. In good condition. Bookplates of William Gropp and [Antonio] Bonchristiano. (22 ll.). A-D4, E6. Several leaves bound out of order. *** FIRST EDITION of a work interesting for its contemporary description of events in India and for the fact that its popularity helped disseminate Portuguese humanism in Europe during the Age of Discoveries. The work was translated to Italian (Venice, 1539?) and German (Augsburg, 1540). Neither translation included the poem by Petrus Nannius on the final two leaves ("Elegiacum in Damiani a Goes equitis Lusitani viri non minus humanitate que literis exculti commentarios, de rebus citra Gangem in India gestis"). The Italian translation also omitted the letter to Bembo that begins on f. E2r. The Commentarii was published in Latin in 1544, 1574, 1602, 1603, and 1791 as Diensis oppugnatio, which appears here as the running head. A Portuguese translation was finally published in 1945.On ff. A1v-E1v, Goes gives a detailed account the first siege of the Portuguese fortress at Diu, in 1538. The Sultan of Gujarat, allied with Ottoman Emperor Suleiman I (1494-1566), attempted to capture the fortress, but the Portuguese successfully held out for four months. In a separate letter on ff. E2r-E4v, Goes stresses that their conquests and trade in spices allow the Portuguese to spread Christianity in Africa and Asia. Goes mentions Paulo Jovio, an Italian humanist scholar who had apparently doubted the intentions of the Portuguese.Damião de Goes (1502-1574), an important figure in the Portuguese humanist movement, was born in Alenquer and raised at the court of King Manuel. In 1523, he was sent to serve as secretary to the Portuguese Factory at Antwerp. He met Cardinal Bembo, to whom the two letters in this volume are addressed, in Padua in 1534. Over the course of many years of European travel, Goes became acquainted with Luther, Melanchthon, Erasmus, Cornelius Grapheus, Johann Jakob Fugger, and Albrecht Dürer. After his return to Portugal he was named Keeper of Archives and Royal Chronicler. The Inquisition arrested him in 1571, and a year later pronounced him a Lutheran heretic. He was excommunicated, sentenced to life imprisonment, and his property confiscated. His final two years were spent in prison and at the Monastery of Batalha. Goes' best-known work is the Cronica do Felicissimo Rey Dom Emanuel, Lisbon, 1566-67, "the work of a scholar who likes to describe directly, from his own experience" (Bell, Portuguese Literature p. 214).*** Leite de Faria, Estudos bibliográficos sobre Damião de Góis e a sua época 4. Biblioteca Geral da Universidade de Coimbra, Damião de Góis e o humanismo europeu (1502-2002) 2. Université de Tours, L'Humanisme portugais (1500-1580) et l'Europe 9. Pina Martins, Damião de Góis, Humaniste européen, pp. 137-9. Elizabeth Feist Hirsch, Damião de Gois, The Life and Thought of a Portuguese Humanist, 1502-1574, p. 226, n. 13. British Museum, Pre-1601 Netherlands and Belgium STC, p. 86. Goes is mentioned in Lach, Asia in the Making of Europe, I, i, 179. (Inventory #: 42216)
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