19 Mar 2018
(CANCELLED) The Portuguese Navigations during the 15th, 16th and 17th Centuries (in English)
Pedro Dias, Full Professor, The University Of Coimbra
Portugal occupies a geographically privileged place, in the extreme southwest of Europe, and the scarce distance in North Africa. Independent country, since 1143, with an extensive atlantic coast, from very early developed the art of navigation. As early as the twelfth century, the Portuguese made maritime trade with Western and Northern Europe, and one of their main activities was fishing, which led to the development of ships and navigation instruments. It was thus, with naturalness, that in 1415 the Portuguese occupied the city of Ceuta, in the Strait of Gibraltar, and in 1419 discovered the Madeira Archipelago, and, in 1431, the Azores. In Lisbon, all the action of the Maritime Discoveries was centralized, collecting the information that constantly arrived, coming, first of Africa, after from America and, finally, from Asia. At the end of the fifteenth century, Portuguese ships arrived in America, and in 1498, a Portuguese fleet visited the East Coast of Africa, and established the first contacts with India. Soon, the circuit was completed, with the first embassy to China, in 1513, the arrival in Australia, in 1522, and the first adventurers in Japan, in 1543. These routes, navigation techniques, cartography, and also the impact of the European Art brought by the Portuguese in Ásia, that we will present at this conference.
Pedro Dias was born in Coimbra, in 1950. In 1975, he begins to teach at the University of Coimbra, and in 1990 he has been nominated Full Professor of History of Art. He is Member of the Portuguese Academy of History; Member of the Navy Academy (Portugal); Member of the National Academy of Fine Arts (Portugal); Member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando (Spain). He was General-Director of the National Archives/Torre do Tombo; and General-Director of the National Library of Portugal.
In 2005, he was honored by the President of the Portuguese Republic with the Degree of Commander of the Order of Prince Henry the Navigator.
His preferred field of research is the Portuguese Navigations and the relations between Portugal and Europe on the one hand, and the territories of Africa, Americas and the East on the other. In this context, he published more than 200 books and specialized articles, and the dissemination of Culture Lusophone led him to make more than 250 communications and conferences, of which 60 abroad, in Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, England, Austria, Morocco, Canada, Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay, India, Macau, China, Thailand and Singapore.