Gaspar Correia

Gaspar Correia

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Gaspar Correia or Gaspar Corrêa (ca. 1496 - ca. 1563 Goa) was a Portuguese
Portuguese people
The Portuguese are a nation and ethnic group native to the country of Portugal, in the west of the Iberian peninsula of south-west Europe. Their language is Portuguese, and Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion....

 historian
Historian
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

, author of "Lendas da Índia ( "Legends of India"), one of the earliest and most important works about Portuguese rule in Asia, being referred to as a Portuguese Polybius
Polybius
Polybius , Greek ) was a Greek historian of the Hellenistic Period noted for his work, The Histories, which covered the period of 220–146 BC in detail. The work describes in part the rise of the Roman Republic and its gradual domination over Greece...

.

Biography


There is little information about the life of the author. It is known that he lived mostly in 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 reported to have come very young, around 1512-14, to serve as a soldier and was chosen as secretary to Afonso de Albuquerque
Afonso de Albuquerque
Afonso de Albuquerque[p][n] was a Portuguese fidalgo, or nobleman, an admiral whose military and administrative activities as second governor of Portuguese India conquered and established the Portuguese colonial empire in the Indian Ocean...

, of which he was very proud. He come back to Portugal in 1529 but returned to India. His work Lendas da Índia, though written in a rude style, is considered an important contemporary reference, having profited from thirty five years of Correia's work in India, and privileged sources unknown to Fernão Lopes de Castanheda
Fernão Lopes de Castanheda
Fernão Lopes de Castanheda was a Portuguese historian in the early Renaissance.His "History of the discovery and conquest of India", full of geographic and ethnographic objective information, was widely translated throughout Europe.- Life :Castanheda was the natural son of a royal officer, who...

 or João de Barros
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:...

. He made the first European account on Asiatic Cholera. One theory states that he was murdered in Malacca, by order of governor Estêvão da Gama
Estêvão da Gama
Estêvão da Gama was the Portuguese governor of Portuguese Gold Coast and Portuguese India . He was the second son of Vasco da Gama and brother of Cristóvão da Gama, and named after his paternal grandfather Estêvão da Gama....

, the son of Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira was a Portuguese explorer, one of the most successful in the Age of Discovery and the commander of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India...

.

Although some authors state that there was a issue of his work in 1556, it is most probable that manuscript copies of his 3.500 pages compendium had circulated among chosen recipients only, after having been brought from India to Portugal by Miguel da Gama shortly after Correia's death. His family retained the manuscript of the original "Legends of India", which was first printed in 1858 (first part) and 1864 (second part) by the Royal Academy of Sciences of Lisbon.