a rare and important work on portuguese exploration and colonisation, principally of Brazil, but also of Angola, the Persian Gulf, East Africa, India, Malacca, China and Japan.
San Roman's Historia was much esteemed by his contemporaries - Estácio do Amaral called it "moderna, muyto curiosa" - and it continues to be held in high regard, for, as Lach (3, p.322) remarks, it is a "genuine history based on the best printed sources available in Europe". Especially important is the list of authorities (including Marco Polo, Galvao, and Alvares on Ethiopia) consulted by San Roman, which provides the modern scholar with an invaluable guide to the sources of knowledge of the eastern world available in Europe at the beginning of the seventeenth century.
San Roman writes about the Portuguese in Brazil; from its discovery by Pedro Alvarez Cabral, the subsequent colonisation, the establishment of the Jesuit missions, and concludes with the governorship Duarte de Acosta. He narrates in chronological order the history of Portuguese discoveries and settlements in Africa, Arabia, Persia, India, Malacca and the Spice Islands. Particularly interesting is his description of the interaction of the Portuguese in both war and peace with the Turkish Empire, Ethiopia, China, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and especially Japan, dealing at length with the attempts of the Jesuits to evangelise the country. There is also a description of the New World.
"copies in good condition and containing the engraved frontispiece [title] are rare" (Borba de Moraes, p.765, quoting Salva 3396).
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