Luís de Camões

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Luís de Camões
Camoes, por Fernao Gomes.jpg
Portrait c.1577
BornLuís Vaz de Camões
c. 1524-1525
Lisbon(?), Coimbra(?), Constância(?) or Alenquer(?), Kingdom of Portugal
Died20 June [ O.S. 10 June] 1580 (aged 55-56)
Lisbon, Kingdom of Portugal
Occupation Poet
Alma mater University of Coimbra
Period Portuguese Renaissance
Genre Epic poetry
Literary movement Classicism
Notable works The Lusiads
Relatives Camões Family

Luís Vaz de Camões (Portuguese pronunciation:  [luˈiʒ ˈvaʒ dɨ kaˈmõjʃ] ; sometimes rendered in English as Camoens or Camoëns, e.g. by Byron in English Bards and Scotch Reviewers , /ˈkæmˌənz/ ; c. 1524 or 1525 – 20 June [ O.S. 10 June] 1580) is considered Portugal's and the Portuguese language's greatest poet. His mastery of verse has been compared to that of Shakespeare, Vondel, Homer, Virgil and Dante. He wrote a considerable amount of lyrical poetry and drama but is best remembered for his epic work Os Lusíadas (The Lusiads). His collection of poetry The Parnasum of Luís de Camões was lost in his lifetime. The influence of his masterpiece Os Lusíadas is so profound that Portuguese is sometimes called the "language of Camões".

English language West Germanic language

English is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and eventually became a global lingua franca. It is named after the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes that migrated to the area of Great Britain that later took their name, as England. Both names derive from Anglia, a peninsula in the Baltic Sea. The language is closely related to Frisian and Low Saxon, and its vocabulary has been significantly influenced by other Germanic languages, particularly Norse, and to a greater extent by Latin and French.

Lord Byron English poet and a leading figure in the Romantic movement

George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, known simply as Lord Byron, was a British poet, peer, politician, and leading figure in the Romantic movement. He is regarded as one of the greatest British poets and remains widely read and influential. Among his best-known works are the lengthy narrative poems Don Juan and Childe Harold's Pilgrimage; many of his shorter lyrics in Hebrew Melodies also became popular.

<i>English Bards and Scotch Reviewers</i> poem written by Lord Byron

English Bards and Scotch Reviewers is an 1809 satirical poem written by Lord Byron published by James Cawthorn in London.

Contents

Background

Many details concerning the life of Camões remain unknown, but he is thought to have been born around 1524. Luís Vaz de Camões was the only child of Simão Vaz de Camões and wife Ana de Sá de Macedo. [1] His birthplace is unknown. Lisbon, Coimbra or Alenquer are frequently presented as his birthplace, although the latter is based on a disputable interpretation of one of his poems. Constância is also considered a possibility as his place of birth: a statue of him can be found in the town.

Lisbon Capital city in Lisbon Metropolitan Area, Portugal

Lisbon is the capital and the largest city of Portugal. With an estimated population of 505,526 within its administrative limits in an area of 100.05 km2, Lisbon's urban area extends beyond the city's administrative limits with a population of around 2.8 million people, being the 11th-most populous urban area in the European Union. About 3 million people live in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area, including the Portuguese Riviera,. It is mainland Europe's westernmost capital city and the only one along the Atlantic coast. Lisbon lies in the western Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and the River Tagus. The westernmost portions of its metro area form the westernmost point of Continental Europe, which is known as Cabo da Roca, located in the Sintra Mountains.

Coimbra Municipality in Centro, Portugal

Coimbra is a city and a municipality in Portugal. The population at the 2011 census was 143,397, in an area of 319.40 square kilometres (123.3 sq mi). The fourth-largest urban centre in Portugal, it is the largest city of the district of Coimbra and the Centro Region. About 460,000 people live in the Região de Coimbra, comprising 19 municipalities and extending into an area 4,336 square kilometres (1,674 sq mi).

Constância Municipality in Centro, Portugal

Constância is a municipality in Santarém District in Portugal. The population in 2011 was 4,056, in an area of 80.37 km².

Camões belonged to a family originating from the northern Portuguese region of Chaves near Galicia. At an early age, his father Simão Vaz left his family to pursue personal riches in India, only to die in Goa in the following years. His mother later remarried.

Galicia (Spain) Autonomous community of Spain

Galicia is an autonomous community of Spain and historic nationality under Spanish law. Located in the north-west of the Iberian Peninsula, it comprises the provinces of A Coruña, Lugo, Ourense and Pontevedra, being bordered by Portugal to the south, the Spanish autonomous communities of Castile and León and Asturias to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and the Cantabrian Sea to the north. It had a population of 2,718,525 in 2016 and has a total area of 29,574 km2 (11,419 sq mi). Galicia has over 1,660 km (1,030 mi) of coastline, including its offshore islands and islets, among them Cíes Islands, Ons, Sálvora, Cortegada, and—the largest and most populated—A Illa de Arousa.

Portuguese India former colony of Portugal

The State of India, also referred as the Portuguese State of India or simply Portuguese India, was a state of the Portuguese Overseas Empire, founded six years after the discovery of a sea route between Portugal and the Indian Subcontinent to serve as the governing body of a string of Portuguese fortresses and colonies overseas.

Goa State in India

Goa is a state on the southwestern coast of India within the region known as the Konkan, separated from the Deccan highlands of the state of Karnataka by the Western Ghats. It is bounded by Maharashtra to the north and Karnataka to the east and south, with the Arabian Sea forming its western coast. It is India's smallest state by area and the fourth-smallest by population. Goa has the highest GDP per capita among all Indian states, two and a half times that of the country. It was ranked the best-placed state by the Eleventh Finance Commission for its infrastructure and ranked on top for the best quality of life in India by the National Commission on Population based on the 12 Indicators.

Monument to Luis de Camoes, Lisbon EstatuaCamoesLisboa.JPG
Monument to Luís de Camões, Lisbon

Camões lived a semi-privileged life and was educated by Dominicans and Jesuits. For a period, due to his familial relations he attended the University of Coimbra, although records do not show him registered (he participated in courses in the Humanities). His uncle, Bento de Camões, is credited with this education, owing to his position as Prior at the Monastery of Santa Cruz and Chancellor at the University of Coimbra.

Dominican Order Roman Catholic religious order

The Order of Preachers, also known as the Dominican Order, is a mendicant Catholic religious order founded by the Spanish priest Dominic of Caleruega in France, approved by Pope Innocent III via the Papal bull Religiosam vitam on 22 December 1216. Members of the order, who are referred to as Dominicans, generally carry the letters OP after their names, standing for Ordinis Praedicatorum, meaning of the Order of Preachers. Membership in the order includes friars, nuns, active sisters, and affiliated lay or secular Dominicans.

Society of Jesus male religious congregation of the Catholic Church

The Society of Jesus is a scholarly religious congregation of the Catholic Church for men founded by Ignatius of Loyola and approved by Pope Paul III. The members are called Jesuits. The society is engaged in evangelization and apostolic ministry in 112 nations. Jesuits work in education, intellectual research, and cultural pursuits. Jesuits also give retreats, minister in hospitals and parishes, sponsor direct social ministries, and promote ecumenical dialogue.

University of Coimbra public university in Coimbra, Portugal

The University of Coimbra is a Portuguese public university in Coimbra, Portugal. Established in 1290 in Lisbon, it went through a number of relocations until it was moved permanently to its current city in 1537, being one of the oldest universities in continuous operation in the world, the oldest university of Portugal, and one of the country's largest museums of higher education and research institutions.

He frequently had access to exclusive literature, including classical Greek, Roman and Latin works; he read Latin and Italian, and wrote poetry in Spanish. [2]

Camoes' tomb in the Jeronimos Monastery, Belem, Lisbon Jeronimos April 2014-2.jpg
Camões' tomb in the Jerónimos Monastery, Belém, Lisbon

Camões, as his love of poetry can attest, was a romantic and idealist. It was rumored that he fell in love with Catherine of Ataíde, lady-in-waiting to the Queen, and also Princess Maria, sister of John III of Portugal. It is also likely that an indiscreet allusion to the king in his play El-Rei Seleuco, as well as these other incidents, may have played a part in his exile from Lisbon in 1548. He traveled to the Ribatejo where he stayed in the company of friends who sheltered and fed him. He stayed in the province for about six months. [2]

Maria of Portugal, Duchess of Viseu Portuguese infanta

Maria of Portugal, Duchess of Viseu was an Infanta of Portugal, the only daughter of King Manuel I of Portugal and Eleanor of Austria. A noted patron of the arts, Maria's personal wealth rivaled that of the king, her brother, making her the richest woman in Portugal and one of the richest in Europe.

John III of Portugal Portuguese monarch

John III nicknamed The Colonizer was the King of Portugal and the Algarves from 13 December 1521 to 11 June 1557. He was the son of King Manuel I and Maria of Aragon, the third daughter of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile. John succeeded his father in 1521, at the age of nineteen.

Ribatejo Province former province of Portugal

The Ribatejo is the most central of the traditional provinces of Portugal, with no coastline or border with Spain. The region is crossed by the Tagus River. The region contains some of the nation's richest agricultural land, and it produces most of the animals used in the Portuguese style of bullfighting.

He enlisted in the overseas militia, and traveled to Ceuta in the fall of 1549. During a battle with the Moors, he lost the sight in his right eye. He returned to Lisbon in 1551, a changed man, living a bohemian lifestyle. In 1552, during the religious festival of Corpus Christi, in the Largo do Rossio, he injured Gonçalo Borges, a member of the Royal Stables. Camões was imprisoned. His mother pleaded for his release, visiting royal ministers and the Borges family for a pardon. Released, Camões was ordered to pay 4,000 réis and serve three years in the militia in the Orient.

He departed in 1553 for Goa on board the São Bento, commanded by Fernão Alves Cabral. The ship arrived six months later. In Goa, Camões was imprisoned for debt. He found Goa "a stepmother to all honest men", and he studied local customs and mastered the local geography and history. On his first expedition, he joined a battle along the Malabar Coast. The battle was followed by skirmishes along the trading routes between Egypt and India. The fleet eventually returned to Goa by November 1554. During his time ashore, he continued his writing publicly, as well as writing correspondence for the uneducated men of the fleet.

A statue commemorating de Camoes in Havana, Cuba Luis de Camoes statue Havana.jpg
A statue commemorating de Camões in Havana, Cuba

At the end of his obligatory service, he was given the position of chief warrant officer in Macau. He was charged with managing the properties of missing and deceased soldiers in the Orient. During this time he worked on his epic poem Os Lusíadas ("The Lusiads") in a grotto. He was later accused of misappropriations and traveled to Goa to respond to the accusations of the tribunal. During his return journey, near the Mekong River along the Cambodian coast, he was shipwrecked, saving his manuscript but losing his Chinese lover, Dinamene. His shipwreck survival in the Mekong Delta was enhanced by the legendary detail that he succeeded in swimming ashore while holding aloft the manuscript of his still-unfinished epic. [2]

In 1570 Camões finally made it back to Lisbon, where two years later he published Os Lusíadas, for which he was considered one of the most prominent Iberian poets at the time. [3] In recompense for this poem or perhaps for services in the Far East, he was granted a small royal pension (15000 réis) by the young and ill-fated King Sebastian (ruled 1557–1578).

In 1578 he heard of the appalling defeat of the Battle of Alcácer Quibir, where King Sebastian was killed and the Portuguese army destroyed. The Castilian troops were approaching Lisbon[ citation needed ] when Camões wrote to the Captain General of Lamego: "All will see that so dear to me was my country that I was content to die not only in it but with it". Camões died in Lisbon in 1580, at the age of 56. The day of his death, 10 June OS, is Portugal's national day. He is buried near Vasco da Gama in the Jerónimos Monastery in the parish of Belém in Lisbon.

Bibliography

Works by Camões
English translations
Biography and textual study in English

In culture

Effigy of Luis de Camoes on the Monument to the Discoveries, in Lisbon, Portugal. Luis de Camoes - Padrao dos Descobrimentos.png
Effigy of Luís de Camões on the Monument to the Discoveries, in Lisbon, Portugal.

See also

Notes

  1. "Luís Vaz de Camões". GeneAll.net. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  2. 1 2 3 Chisholm 1911.
  3. Aguiar e Silva (2011, "Cânone literário português e Camões (O)"). Historian Pero de Magalhães Gândavo wrote in 1574 that "time will never triumph over Camões's fame" (idem, ibidem)
  4. "The Lusiads". World Digital Library . 1800–1882. Retrieved 2013-08-31.
  5. "The Laureate of Hard Luck: 'The Collected Lyric Poems of Luís de Camões' - The New York Sun". Nysun.com. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  6. "Camoens: His Life and His Lusiads. A Commentary by Richard Francis Burton". Burtoniana.org. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  7. "The place of Camoens in literature : Nabuco, Joaquim, 1849-1910 : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive". Archive.org. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  8. "Camões Seamount" Marine Gazetteer
  9. "Camões Seamount: Undersea Features" Geographic.org

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References

Further reading