18 votes

Chilli peppers in fifteenth-century India?

This is an error introduced by the translator. The original Portuguese text says: Sabei que estais na Índia, onde se estende Diverso povo, rico e prosperado De ouro luzente e fina pedraria, Cheiro ...
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6 votes
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Where is St. Lawrence island in Africa, mentioned in Os Lusíadas

São Lourenço, i.e., Saint Laurence or Lawrence, was the name given to Madagascar by the Portuguese. According to Wikipedia: European contact began on August 10, 1500, when the Portuguese sea captain ...
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5 votes
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What is the meaning of "I was living my own metaphor"?

The author is drawing a parallel between the novel's main character and himself. In the novel, the Spanish shepherd boy Santiago, is told that he will discover a treasure. He travels to Egypt to find ...
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4 votes

Which passages in Manuel de Faria e Sousa's commentary on The Lusiads caused his temporary incarceration by the Inquisition?

tl;dr Faria e Sousa was interrogated about the presence of pagan gods in the Lusíads. Camões and the Pagan Gods Following the footsteps of predecessors such as Homer and Virgil, Camões had chosen to ...
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4 votes

What is the famous song about the independence of Bahia or Brazil?

Probably "Hino de Bahia" as per this Google Books reference: Dois de Julho patriots sang enthusiastically, as indicated by the many new anthems reported in the press. What is today known as ...
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3 votes

Was Jorge Amado familiar with the work of Anna Seghers?

Answering this question requires intertwining not one, but two biographies. The authors are both contemporary so I couldn't find an exhaustive biography on Jorge Amado that's placed in the public ...
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  • 196
3 votes

What is meant by "Nysa" in the Lusiads?

Nysa was a mythological region where Dionysus was said to have been raised. While it migrated a lot, a city in India -- probably Nagara -- told Alexander that it had been founded by Dionysus, and he ...
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3 votes
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What's the significance of the "Invocation to the muses of the Tagus"?

Camões invokes the nymphs of the Tagus to be his muse. An invocation where the poet asks the muse to inspire his song is a standard component of epic poetry. Here are examples from the classics: Homer,...
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2 votes
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On what sources did Camões base his Os Lusíadas?

Camões chief source for the details of Vasco da Gama's voyage was a diary kept by one of his crew members. The diary is anonymous, but is attributed to either Álvaro Velho or, according to recent ...
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2 votes
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What is meant by "Nysa" in the Lusiads?

The Roman god Bacchus and his Greek counterpart Dionysos have long been associated with Nysa. The names Dionysos and Nysa are said to be etymologically related, though the exact connection is unclear. ...
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1 vote

Why does Amado repeat the word morte in the title of his novel A Morte e a Morte de Quincas Berro d'Água?

When I have read it (very long ago, and in yet another language), I parsed the title as (A Morte) e (a Morte de Quincas Berro d'Água) that is The Death in general, and some particular death. After ...
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1 vote

How was "Contos para os nossos filhos" used in schools?

This site (page is google-translated) has a sale of the book and says it was approved for use in schools. Later on the page it says* Volume of short stories from 1886, selected and translated by the ...
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