Manuel De Faria Y Sousa - Encyclopedia




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MANUEL DE FARIA Y SOUSA (1590-1649), Spanish and Portuguese historian and poet, was born of an ancient Portuguese family, probably at Pombeiro, on the 18th of March 1590, attended the university of Braga for some years, and when about fourteen entered the service of the bishop of Oporto. With the exception of about four years from 1631 to 1634, during which he was a member of the Portuguese embassy in Rome, the greater part of his later life was spent at Madrid, and there he died, after much suffering, on the 3rd of June 1649. He was a laborious, peaceful man; and a happy marriage with Catharina Machado, the Albania of his poems, enabled him to lead a studious domestic life, dividing his cares and affections between his children and his books. His first important work, an Epitome de las historias Portuguezas (Madrid, 1628), was favourably received; but some passages in his enormous commentary upon Os Lusiadas, the poem of Luis de Camoens, excited the suspicion of the inquisitors, caused his temporary incarceration, and led to the permanent loss of his official salary. In spite of the enthusiasm which is said to have prescribed to him the daily task of twelve folio pages, death overtook him before he had completed his greatest enterprise, a history of the Portuguese in all parts of the world. Several portions of the work appeared at Lisbon after his death, under the editorship of Captain Faria y Sousa: - Europa Portugueza (1667, 3 vols.); Asia Portugueza (1666-1675, 3 vols.); Africa Portugueza (1681). As a poet Faria y Sousa was nearly as prolific; but his poems are vitiated by the prevailing Gongorism of his time. They were for the most part collected in the Noches claras (Madrid, 1624-1626), and the Fuente de Aganipe, of which four volumes were published at Madrid in 1644-1646. He also wrote, from information supplied by P. A. Semmedo, Imperio de China i cultura evangelica en el (Madrid, 1642); and translated and completed the Nobiliario of the count of B arcellos.

There are English translations by J. Stevens of the History of Portugal (London, 1698), and of Portuguese Asia (London, 1695).

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