Libraries & Spaces
Extraordinary Journeys: Portuguese Rare Books at Georgetown University, (1580 – 1725)
Drawn from the special collections divisions of Woodstock Theological Center Library and Lauinger Library, this exhibition brings together over thirty-seven historic books and manuscripts whose authors, editors, publishers or subject matter are linked with Portugal. The selection includes books published in eighteen cities from eight European countries, representing six different languages. A collection of Jesuit letters in Latin adds to the exhibit including a letter from a Jesuit missionary in Bahia, Brazil dated 1677. Individual sections focus on Jesuit martyrs; Jesuit philosophy on Catholic doctrine; Jesuit philosophy on laws, rules, and procedures; religious texts; Portuguese journeys; and political problems as depicted by the Portuguese.
The Portuguese are well-known for their sea exploration and their presence both geographically and intellectually around the world. Their important contributions to world cultures were celebrated this summer in the Smithsonian’s exhibition Encompassing the Globe: Portugal and the World in the 16th and 17th Centuries. Focusing on the literary evidence of this extraordinary religious, civic and cultural cross-pollination, the Georgetown exhibition highlights distinguished authors in the areas of cannon law: Agostinho Barbosa and Pedro Barbosa; theology: Bartolomeu dos Mártires and Jerónimo Osório; and philosophy, represented by the several tomes of commentaries on Aristotle's writings by the Collegium Conimbricensis led by Pedro Fonseca. This dissemination of knowledge is furthermore marked by its global influence from the Americas through António Vieira, and his famous sermons written in Brazil; to the East, through the travel descriptions of Fernão Mendes Pinto's Peregrinação (Pilgrimage) and accounts on the Jesuit martyrs by António Cardim and Álvaro Semedo.
Bearing in mind the relatively small number of translations made from Portuguese historically, our hope is that this exhibit will reveal to its public a more precise answer to the important question of the spread of Portuguese culture beyond its own borders and language. Its intent is to demonstrate the significant role of the Portuguese, both in Europe and the World, in every aspect relating to communication, from the creation and production of a book to the transmission of thought and knowledge, independent of language, format, or political boundaries.
Michael J. Ferreira and Patricia A. Soler, Guest Curators
Born in Brussels, Phillipe Alegambe went to Spain and accompanied the Duke of Osuna to Sicily where he entered the Society of Jesus. After completing his studies in Rome, he taught philosophy and theology in Gratz, Austria. His main publication is Bibliotheca Scriptorum Societatis Jesu (1642). A Jesuit historiographer, Father Alegambe published this book on the life of Father João Cardim, and was considered by many to have lived the life of a saint with the help of his brother and fellow Jesuit, Father António Cardim.
A very early if not the first Jesuit martyrology. A poignant reminder of the Spanish settlement of Florida in the 16th century is the large number of Jesuits who died for the faith there, the first being Pedro Martinez, S.J., killed and "thrown into the sea" on September 24, 1566. Also included are numerous Jesuits who died in Brazil.
A canon lawyer and noted for his sanctity, affability, and prodigious memory, Agostinho Barbosa went to Madrid as an ecclesiastical judge in 1632, and in 1648 was appointed bishop of Ugento in Naples. He was a prolific author in the field of canon law, over 150 works in Latin alone, and his collected works were published in 19 volumes at Lyons (1657-75). At the tender age of 21, Barbosa published the most complete Latin-Portuguese dictionary to date according to Bento Pereira, a contemporary Portuguese lexicographer. The Dictionarium Lusitanico Latinum was published in Braga in 1611.
A notable politician respected by colleagues and professors alike, Pedro Barbosa finished his studies of Law and ascended through the judicial ranks with great ease becoming Supreme Council of Justice at the Royal Palace, the Court Appointed Representative to the Inquisition in Coimbra, Advisor to the Portuguese government in Madrid, and Chancellor of Portugal. Despite Barbosa's unconcealed opinion that Phillip II was not entitled to the crown of Portugal, the monarch attempted to gain his support and lure him to Castile. Barbosa never accepted.
Father Coelho joined the Society of Jesus on his way to India in 1556. Upon his arrival he taught in Goa and served as a missionary for eighteen years, preaching mostly in the kingdom of Omura. Considered to be a leader and political figure due to his status as Superior and Vice-Provincial of the Jesuit mission in Japan, he was frequently consulted by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a powerful feudal ruler who unified Japan. During his term, Father Coelho had promised to aid Hideyoshi to invade mainland China by supplying two Portuguese ships and Portuguese troops from India. This broken promise was the catalyst in future Jesuit-Japanese relations and is seen as leading to the Christian persecutions in Japan.
The Collegium Conimbricensis is the name by which the Jesuits from the University of Coimbra, Portugal were known. The University prepared voluminous commentaries on the philosophical writings of Aristotle which were not intended for publication, only for teaching the students. After discovering the existence of fraudulent publications, Father Claudio Aquaviva, the General of the Society of Jesus, assigned Father Pedro da Fonseca the task of supervising the revision of these commentaries for publication and giving each of the publications the initial title of Commentarii Collegii Conimbricensis Societatis Iesu... or Commentary of the Jesuit College of Coimbra.... Father Fonseca was widely known as the "Aristotle" of Portugal. We present here four of these volumes. Also see Pedro da Fonseca's Eight Books on Dialectic Logic.
Karl Werner says that the Jesuits of Coimbra gave the world a masterpiece, whose equal is yet to be seen and which has received the admiration it deserves. The latter editions have added the Greek text of Aristotle.
The last treatise was prepared by Father Sebastião Couto. It enjoyed a wide circulation, and appeared in many editions, the best known being those of Lyon, Lisbon, and Cologne. The Commentaries are flowing in Latin and are supplemented by reliable explanations of the text and exhaustive discussion of the system of Aristotle.
Famous as an orator and for his knowledge of Latin and Greek, Father Luís da Cruz joined the Collegium Conimbricensis in 1558 where he taught rhetoric and the Holy Scripture. His love for poetry and theater lead him to the production of Interpretatio poetica latine ... (Ingolstadt, 1597) and the four-tragedy play Tragicae comicaeque actiones ... (Lyon, 1605) represented for young King Sebastian of Portugal in 1570 during a visit to the University of Coimbra, and subsequently published posthumously.
The narrative of Segnior Francisco de Faria: interpreter and secretary of languages unto Gasper de Abrev de Freitas, late Ambassador in Ordinary from the crown of Portugal ... to His Most Sacred Majesty of England, wherein is contained the several informations given upon oath before the Right Honourable the Lords Committees, for examinations touching the horrid Popish Plot, and reported to the Lords spiritual and temporal in Parliament assembled, and afterwards to the Commons of England in Parliament assembled. Testimony of Francisco de Faria defending himself against accusations regarding his supposed involvement in the Popish Plot of 1678, rendered in English by the Portuguese diplomat Gaspar Abreu de Freitas, who was the resident in charge of business affairs with the Holy See in 1672. See item by Titus Oates on the origins and nature of the conspiracy.
First published in 1564, the Institvtionvm dialecticarvm libri octo saw more than fifty-three editions in sixty years, and was recently translated and published in a bilingual volume Portuguese/Latin (1964) by the University of Coimbra, Portugal. Despite being based on the Aristotelic organon, the Institvtionvm dialecticarvm demonstrates Father Fonseca's knowledge of both Greco-Roman and scholastic post-Aristotelic logic. He cites Aristotle, Cicero, Boethius, St. Augustine and St. Thomas, and many others.
The Dominican born Bartholomeu Vale in Lisbon and raised in the parish of Our Lady of the Martyrs, changed his name to Batholomeu of the Martyrs to honor the church in which he was baptized. Appointed by Queen Catarina of Portugal to be Archbishop of Braga, one of the oldest religious centers in the Iberian Peninsula, in 1558 Father Bartholomeu took it upon himself to instruct both clergy members and the general population. His first act was to turn the Dominican run Colégio de São Paulo over to the Jesuits. The fight to improve the education of the clergy through reform took place during the Council of Trent in 1562, when his famous words were uttered: "The Illustrious Cardenals require an illustrious reform." In 1572 he founded a seminary lead by Friar João de Leiria despite heavy opposition.
As part of his education of the clergy, Father Bartholomeu published the first edition of the Stimulus pastorum ... in 1564 in Antwerp. Its continued success earned editions in 1900 and 1963.
Originally published in 1582, Father Bartholomeu had the Compendium spiritualis doctrinæ ... translated to Portuguese along with Catechism of Christian Doctrine for the general population. He was known for his great zeal and care for the poor and the needy.
A true narrative of the horrid plot and conspiracy of the Popish Party against the life of His Sacred Majesty, the Government, and the Protestant religion: with a list of such noblemen, gentlemen, and others that were the conspirators, and the head-officers, both civil and military, that were to effect it: published by the order of the Right Honorable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled: humbly presented to His Most Excellent Majesty / by Titus Oates [i.e. Oates] ... Writings of Titus Oates, a 17th century charlatan, who instigated the "Popish Plot" to kill King Charles II of England. His accusations ignited widespread fears of a Catholic conspiracy, resulting in the executions of numerous "traitors" linked to the purported plot. Despite the lack of evidence of such a plot, Oates was a popular figure in his time, considering himself the "Saviour of the Nation". See item by Francisco de Faria on his defense against accusations leading from the Popish Plot.
Historiae Hieronymi Osorii, Lusitani, Silvensis in Algarbiis episcopi, De rebus, Emmanuelis, Lusitaniae regis ... de reperta ab Hispanis & Lusitanis, in Occidentis & Orientis Indiam, nauigatione, deq. populorum eius vita, moribus, ac ritibus ... Chronicles the history of the kingdom of King Emmanuel I and the Portuguese and Spanish expansion in the Americas, Africa, India and Asia. A Humanist and Theologian educated in Salamanca, Paris, and Bologna, Jerónimo Osório was the most well-known Portuguese writer among the educated elite of European society. In Essais I Montaigne stated: "Bishop Osório, the best Latin historian of our time."
Originally published in 1567, In Gualterum Haddonem ... is a reply to Haddon's Pro Reformatione Anglicana and is counted among the controversial works of the time.
Father Jódoco Perret was a professor, a writer, and a missionary in Maranhão, Northeastern Brazil. Born in Switzerland (1633), he joined the Society of Jesus in 1653. After having taught philosophy in Munich, Father Perret was sent to Santiago de Compostela, Spain to serve as a confessor and then on to Lisbon, where he received orders to go to Brazil's first capital, Salvador. He arrived in Maranhão in 1678 and was the mission's Superior in 1684 when a mutiny carried out by fellow priests against the Jesuits and the governor took place. After his expulsion, Father Perret embarked on a trip to Ceará, also in Northeastern Brazil, only to be robbed, held captive, and then abandoned by pirates on a deserted island. He returned to Lisbon to request the return of the mutinous missionaries, but due to his well-known ill temper and general lack of tact he was forced to leave. A letter from a bound volume of copies of more than 30 manuscripts letters and other accounts addressed by various Jesuits to Mattias Tanner, S. J., rector of the Jesuit college in Prague, 1674-1682. Of particular interest are letters giving accounts of Jesuit travels and missionary activities in Brazil, Mexico, the Marianas Islands, Vietnam, China, and elsewhere.
Peregrinaçam / de Fernam Mendez Pinto; em que da conta de muytas e muyto estranhas cousas que vio & ouuio no reyno da China, no da Tartaria, no do Sornau, que vulgarmente se chama Sião, no do Calaminhan, no de Pegù, no de Martauão, & em outros muytos reynos & senhorios das partes Orientais. First edition of this account of early travels in the Far East by an early associate of St. Francis Xavier. Bound in 18th century French red morocco, with the gilt super-ex-libris of the celebrated bibliophile Louis-César de la Baume Le Blanc, duc de La Vallière (1708-1780) on both boards. Purchase in 1985 with the acquisition of rare book collection of the University of Detroit.
Father Manuel de Sá joined the Society of Jesus at the Collegium Conimbricensis when he was fifteen. At a young age he had already taught philosophy and and was a pupil of St. Francis of Borja, whom he accompanied to Rome in 1550. At the request of St. Ignatius Loyola, he began what was to be a brilliant career as professor of theology and the Holy Scripture in the Roman College. After presiding over an eight-day discussion on theological conclusions (Assertiones theologiae disputandae in templo S. J. tempore electionis Praepositi generalis, respondente uno ejusdem Societatis ..., Roma 1558), and having been praised for his modesty and vastness of knowledge, Pope Pius V appointed Father Sá to be one of the editors of an official version of the Vulgate Bible seen here. First edition. This work was so well received it saw three editions in Lyon (1602, 1610, 1620), one in Venice (1602), and two in Cologne (1610, 1620). The Officina Plantiniana is considered to be the most influential printing and publishing house in Belgium from the mid-sixteenth to the late nineteenth centuries. Its founder, Christoffel Plantin, made noteworthy contributions to the improvement of typographical techniques during this time period.
The first edition of the Aphorismi Confessariorum... was published in Venice in 1595. It saw over thirty editions over the next fifteen years, including one in Japan (1603). In 1602 Manuel de Sá, along with two other Jesuits, was accused by Father Báñez, a Dominican, of accepting confession by letter and giving absolution from afar. This doctrine was condemned along with the Aphorismi until it was corrected. The new edition, published in Rome (1607), was just as popular.
The history of that great and renowned monarchy of China wherein all the particular provinces are accurately described, as also the dispositions, manners, learning, lawes, militia, government, and religion of the people, together with the traffick and commodities of that countrey. [The history of the invasion by the Tartars, p. -304, has special t.p.: Bellum tartaricum, or, The conquest of the great and most renovvned empire of China, by the invasion of the Tartars ... Written originally in Latine by Martin Martinius ... London, Printed for J. Crook, 1655. Lately written in Italian by F. Alvarez Semedo ... Now put into English by a person of quality, and illustrated with several mapps and figures ... To which is added the history of the late invasion, and conquest of that flourishing kingdom by the Tartars. With an exact account of the other affairs of China, till these present times ]. English translation of one of the first works to detail the history and customs of China to a European audience. Semedo, a Jesuit who arrived in Goa in 1608 and later sent to China in 1613 to study the language, is known for being the first European to recognize the virtues of tea, its usefulness, and to teach how to prepare it. Two years later, however, fearful of the Jesuits' influence, elements of the Chinese government expelled its members and imprisoned others. Semedo was jailed temporarily as well, although permitted back into the country by the new Tatar government now in power. The Tatars more readily accepted the Jesuits due to their vast knowledge of mathematics and astronomy. His writing about China and its people, considered to be the best descriptions by a European since Marco Polo, was enormously influential and subsequently published in numerous languages and editions.
[par Alvarez Semedo. Portugais. Auec l'Histoire de la guerre des Tartares, contenant les reuolutions arriuées en ce grand royaume, depuis quarante ans: par le p. Martin Martini. Traduites nouuellement en françois]. Originally published in Portguese and intitled Relação da Propagação da Fé no Reyno da China e outros adjacentes (Account of the Propagation of Faith in the Kingdom of China and others adjacent to it, Madrid, 1641), this text was translated first into Spanish by Manuel de Faria e Sousa (Imperio de la China..., Madrid 1642), and then into Italian (Rome, 1643). This translation is the second version in French of Semedo's Account... of the great and renowned monarchy of China. See description of “The History of China – English”.
Missionary, diplomat, and orator, António Vieira was a child when he touched Brazilian soil for the first time. He studied under the Jesuits and joined the Society of Jesus at fifteen and pronounced his first vows two years later. By the age of eighteen, Vieira was teaching rhetoric and writing commentaries on the Canticle of Canticles, the Tragedies of Seneca, and Metamorphoses of Ovid. In 1640, when the Dutch besieged Bahia, he delivered his “Discourse for the success of the Portuguese Arms” astounding all by his eloquence. King John IV, recognizing Vieira’s merit made him tutor of the Infante Dom Pedro, court preacher, and member of the Royal Council. A champion of freedom, Vieira maintained that no citizen should be exempt of taxation, and denounced the severity of the Portuguese Inquisition. Despite traveling on several diplomatic missions, Vieira steadily refused the official title of ambassador and the offer of a bishopric. In 1652 he returned to Maranhão, Northeastern Brazil, only to be driven back to Lisbon due to his fearless denunciations of the excesses of slave owners. Upon successfully pleading the cause of the natives of the area, Vieira returned to Brazil and worked for six years traveling hundreds of miles on the Amazon and its tributaries spreading his translation of the Catechism into the local lore, until slave owners once again drove him back to Lisbon. He found many enemies on his return to the Portuguese court due to the succession of Alphonso VI. His leniency to the converted Jews, alleged doctrinal errors, and millenarianist beliefs among others lead the Portuguese Inquisition to condemn Vieira, forbidding him from preaching and keeping him prisoner. After a reversal of the sentence, he traveled to Rome where he was well received and spent six years. He desire to return to Brazil, however, was still strong and 1681 did so and worked in Maranhão, once again until he passed away at the age of eighty-nine. António Vieira’s Sermões (Sermons) alone consist of fifteen volumes of his Obras completas (Complete Works). He was amazingly productive, having, for instance, thirty sermons on the Rosary, eighteen on Saint Francis Xavier, and fourteen on the Eucharist. Vieira produced over five hundred letters during his lifetime.
The first edition of this book was published in Portuguese as Xavier dormindo, e Xavier acordado em tres oraçoens by Miguel Deslandes in 1694. This is the first edition in Latin translated by Father Leopold Fuess, S.J. to honor António Vieira.
[Escrita por Antonio Vieira. Traduccida en lengua castellana, por Alonso Antonio Rodriguez Santivañez]. The first edition of this book was published posthumously in Portuguese in 1718. Vieira set forth a messianic doctrine based on the Book of Daniel which prophesized the coming of a new era for the Portuguese as the “Fifth Empire”; moreover, the empire that would never be destroyed. The first four were considered to be the Assyrians, the Persians, the Greeks, and the Romans.
A representation of the saint resting on a mat under a simple hut on the seashore, where in the center a caravel sails surrounded by fluttering birds and fish who eye him curiously, while in the opposite, upper right corner appear three curly-headed seraphim amid the rays of a divine sun. The piece is not listed in [the catalogue] I legni incisi della Galleria Estense (Modena, 1986).
Etching on copper, anonymous and undated. 38 x 31 cm, trimmed at the point where the plate has left its mark on the paper. Presumably Amsterdam, ca. 1690. Satirical etching with many allegorical elements whose protagonist is James II (1633-1701), Stuart king of England. He is clothed in a monastic habit, alluding to his policy of restoring Catholicism in the United Kingdom. “The last farewell toast of King James with the King of France,” which is the beginning of the title, refers to the support the former received from the latter. The crown on the verge of falling from James’ head, and the broken scepter mock the end of his reign, which lasted just three years, after which William of Orange arrived. Behind the king the figure of a Jesuit alludes to the Society’s presumed involvement in the so-called “Popish Plot” of 1679 against the reformed churches, a plot “revealed” by that murky figure Titus Oates, a kind of adventurer and fomenter of religious strife at that time in England.
“When the Giants made war against Jupiter, Jupiter with this customary lighting bolts …” Satirical etching inspired by the expulsion of the Jesuits from all the countries of Europe (except Prussia and Russia) and from their colonies, during the years of the worst persecution suffered by the Society. This would end in the suppression of the order by Pope Clement XIV in 1773. The ambitious edifice that symbolizes the Society of Jesus is crumbling in ruins beneath the thunderbolts coming from the escutcheons of the great powers of Europe (France, Spain, and primarily Portugal). The members of the Society are sent tumbling among the blocks of stone, each named for a particular nation. These are infested with serpents and dominated by a nine-headed dragon, well-known symbol of sin and wickedness. As a didactic note accompanying this image there is a citation in Latin and Italian from Ovid’s Metamorphoses about the mythical episode of the Giants struck by Jupiter’s lightning as punishment for their impious attempt to scale the heavens – an obvious parallel to the punishment meted out to the powerful religious order. The text at the foot of the page ends with an encomium to the Marquis of Pombal, the Portuguese prime minister who was a most bitter enemy of the Jesuits and promoted the widespread campaign against them.
In the upper part, under a title inscribed on a fluttering ribbon, the insignia of the Society are surrounded, above by a gallows and a torture wheel; on the right by a large, six-headed Hydra intent on ripping apart with its fangs the Bible and other religious texts, while with its talons crushing the tablets of the Law, a volume of “The Law of the Nations” and various religious symbols. On the left of the insignia are two Jesuits in long black cassocks, who trample on the Pope while concealing beneath their cloaks the Devil armed with a dagger. At their feet lies the King of Portugal run through by a sword. One of the two holds a list with the names Molina, Escobar, Bellarmine, Zaccaria, Busembaum, Guignard, Berruyer, Pichin, Malagrida and Mamachi. At the far left on a marble pedestal there is a statue of a Mandarin with an umbrella, alluding to the Chinese Rites controversy. In the lower section there is a large architectural frame in renaissance style containing a text of 28 lines. In it we read, “The coat-of-arms of the Jesuits elaborated on the basis of the crimes of every type of which they are guilty. Their weapons are the sword, fire and poison, with which they bring ruin both to sovereigns and to their subjects, if they ever happen to oppose the Jesuits’ detestable and Machiavellian plots.” After a long list of the misdeeds of the Jesuits, it concludes, “May God will that this publication cover them with a salutary confusion and convert them, Amen, amen.” According to Venturi, “It is the most significant document of the violent anti-Jesuit campaign inspired by the Jansenist tradition.” (Cf., Franco Venturi Settecento Riformatore [Turin: Einaudi, 1969-90]) There also exist versions of this rare etching with the text in French.
Adhortatores. Malagrida jam jam strangulando. Single folio, 25 x 35 cm., comprising in the upper part an etching on copper of 11 x 16 cm., and below it a printed text of two columns in Latin and Italian. A cut from the left margin to the center of the image has been restored. Lacking typographical information, ca. 1761. A rare single folio, published separately on the occasion of the execution of Father Malagrida. The “Comforters” (or Adhortatores) are the two priests, one Dominican and the other Capuchin, who in the illustration are leading Father Gabriele Malagrida (1689–1761) to his execution. He was accused of having participated in the plot against Joseph I, king of Portugal, and was subsequently also charged with heresy and false prophecies. Malagrida is holding a long candle, has a "bit" between his teeth to prevent him speaking, and on his head is the high conical cap characteristic of those condemned by the tribunal of the Inquisition. In the background one can see the tortured man being burned at the stake, surrounded by a large crowd, which is kept at the required distance by guards. The bilingual text recounts the phrases with which the two priests “comfort” the condemned man.