António Galvão

António Galvão

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António Galvão known in English as Antonio Galvano, was a Portuguese soldier and administrator in the Maluku islands
Maluku Islands
The Maluku Islands are an archipelago that is part of Indonesia, and part of the larger Maritime Southeast Asia region. Tectonically they are located on the Halmahera Plate within the Molucca Sea Collision Zone...

, and a Renaissance historian, the first to present a comprehensive report of all the leading voyages and explorers up to 1550, either by Portuguese and by other nationalities. His works show a remarkable accuracy, especially the Treaty of Discovery published in Lisbon in 1563 and in English by Richard Hakluyt
Richard Hakluyt
Richard Hakluyt was an English writer. He is principally remembered for his efforts in promoting and supporting the settlement of North America by the English through his works, notably Divers Voyages Touching the Discoverie of America and The Principal Navigations, Voiages, Traffiques and...

 in 1601.

Life


António Galvão was the son of Duarte Galvão, chief diplomat and chronicler to king Afonso V of Portugal
Afonso V of Portugal
Afonso V KG , called the African , was the twelfth King of Portugal and the Algarves. His sobriquet refers to his conquests in Northern Africa.-Early life:...

. In 1527 he sailed for Portuguese India
Portuguese India
The Portuguese Viceroyalty of India , later the Portuguese State of India , was the aggregate of Portugal's colonial holdings in India.The government started in 1505, six years after the discovery of a sea route to India by Vasco da Gama, with the nomination of the first Viceroy Francisco de...

 were he became captain of the Maluku and governor of the fort of Ternate
Ternate
Ternate is an island in the Maluku Islands of eastern Indonesia. It is located off the west coast of the larger island of Halmahera, the center of the powerful former Sultanate of Ternate....

 from 1536 to 1540. He is described in Chapter II of the Fifth Decade of Asia
João de Barros
João de Barros , called the Portuguese Livy, is one of the first great Portuguese historians, most famous for his Décadas da Ásia , a history of the Portuguese in India and Asia.-Early years:...

" as a respected governor, having sent a mission to Papua and receiving local embassies. He funded a seminar in Ternate, where he spent twelve thousand cruzados from the inheritance he had received from his father, and was known especially for his integrity. In 1540 he handed the government of the fortress to D. Jorge de Castro and returned to Portugal, where he discovered to have fallen into disgrace. He lived the last years in anonymity and poverty, in the Royal Hospital, awaiting a pension. There he died and was buried in 1557.

Works


António Galvão left two manuscripts. One was the treaty of the discoveries printed after his death, in 1563, in Lisbon by his friend Francisco de Sousa Tavares. Based on numerous written sources and documents, the work presented for the first time a synthesis of all the discoveries made by Portuguese and Spanish until 1550. Richard Hakluyt had it translated and published in English in 1601 as "The discoveries of the world - by Antonio Galvano".
Based on the 1601 English translation
  • "History of the Moluccas, nature and discovery of the lands divided into 10 books" (?), Which was lost. In 1928 a document was found in the Archivo General de Indias
    Archivo General de Indias
    The Archivo General de Indias , housed in Seville, Spain, in the ancient merchants' exchange, the Casa Lonja de Mercaderes, is the document repository of extremely valuable archival documents illustrating the history of the Spanish Empire in the Americas and the Philippines...

     in Seville
    Seville
    Seville is the artistic, historic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain. It is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia and of the province of Seville. It is situated on the plain of the River Guadalquivir, with an average elevation of above sea level...

    with a history of the Maluku which was identified as being part of António Galvão's lost document. It was published attributed to him as the 'Treaty of the Moluccas " and in English as "A Treatise on the Moluccas (c . 1544)"