Vasco da Gama's voyage: myths and realities in maritime history.Five hundred years after Five Hundred Years After is the second novel in the Khaavren Romances fantasy series by Steven Brust. It is set in the fantasy world of Dragaera. The novel is heavily influenced by the d'Artagnan Romances written by Alexandre Dumas, and Brust considers the series an homage Vasco da Gama's voyage to India it can easily be said that what we really know about it is more the result of a reappreciation of general information about the Carreira da India, than the reflection of precise data about the voyage itself. (1) It can also be said that Portuguese maritime history Maritime history is a broad thematic element of global history. As an academic subject, it crosses the boundaries of standard disciplines, focusing on understanding mankind's various relationships to the oceans, seas, and major waterways of the globe. is, now, well documented for the period that covers the late sixteenth and the first half of the seventeenth century, due to a massive amount of documentation that covers most aspects of maritime enterprise, such as the characteristics of ships, the salaries of the crew, the routes taken and life on board ship.
A sort of contradiction arises from the fact that traditional historiography historiography
Writing of history, especially that based on the critical examination of sources and the synthesis of chosen particulars from those sources into a narrative that will stand the test of critical methods. would clearly prefer the opposite: the early voyages being the subject of study concerned with the so-called glorious era of the Portuguese maritime enterprise, with the missing data generally obtained through a simplistic sim·plism
The tendency to oversimplify an issue or a problem by ignoring complexities or complications.
[French simplisme, from simple, simple, from Old French; see simple retrospective projection of known information. On the other hand, when the information is really obtainable, let us say, from c. 1580 onwards, we enter the dark side of Portuguese maritime history from the same point of view: joined with Spain, the country would have collapsed if it had had to face Spanish challengers to the maritime routes, and the Dutch and the English would have succeeded in challenging Portuguese supremacy of the maritime route to India. The Portuguese navy The Portuguese Navy (Portuguese: Marinha Portuguesa, also known as Marinha de Guerra Portuguesa or as Armada Portuguesa) is the naval branch of the Portuguese Armed Forces which, in cooperation and integrated with the other branches of the Portuguese would then have collapsed and almost over night the country would have seen its empire become a shadow of what it was--according to some. Such a perspective is crystalized crys·tal·lize also crys·tal·ize
v. crys·tal·lized also crys·tal·ized, crys·tal·liz·ing also crys·tal·iz·ing, crys·tal·liz·es also crys·tal·iz·es
1. in one sentence by Oliveira Martins: 'Portugal acaba; os Lusiadas sao um epitafio'. (2)
Loss is not, by itself, an appealing subject. Making the effort to re-examine re·ex·am·ine also re-ex·am·ine
tr.v. re·ex·am·ined, re·ex·am·in·ing, re·ex·am·ines
1. To examine again or anew; review.
2. Law To question (a witness) again after cross-examination. documents and conclusions, it is always easier to look back to earlier times when the naval and maritime supremacy That degree of maritime superiority wherein the opposing force is incapable of effective interference. of Portugal could not be questioned. Vasco da Gama's voyage can be identified with one of those moments that dramatically changed the events of history. It was a turning point. This was definitely not the case with expeditions of the late sixteenth century, when ships sailed the seas as they had always done, but now with the expectation of the obstacles that predicted the end of an era.
The evidence is not as obvious or impressive as one would like. As a technique of approach the pictorial drama provides an easy and convenient solution. The margin for sustainable hypothesis is also large because there is little to disprove disprove,
v to refute or to prove false by affirmative evidence to the contrary. it; the hypothesis thus becoming a sort of 'historical fact'.
The myths surrounding Vasco da Gama Vasco da Gama: see Gama, Vasco da. himself and his voyage were mainly created in the late nineteenth century, more than a century ago. (3) At this time a group of scholars devoted to maritime history began to study this particular subject, both through intensive work in the archives, and by writing monographs on the history of maritime voyages. At this time Portugal was facing a very serious political trauma, being unable to sustain its projects of expansion in Africa in the face of British colonialism colonialism
Control by one power over a dependent area or people. The purposes of colonialism include economic exploitation of the colony's natural resources, creation of new markets for the colonizer, and extension of the colonizer's way of life beyond its national borders. . (4) Maritime history was the mirror the country needed to reflect its past as well as the future.
Unable to find the precise information they wanted led these historians to conclude that things must have been similar in the late sixteenth century to what came later: Gama's voyage was then understood as the result of a long period of experimentation, both from the viewpoint of previous maritime voyages of exploration, and from the newly uncovered information about the technical resources then available.
It is an unquestionable fact that the Portuguese art of navigation, developed during the fifteenth century, was a major achievement in the history of navigation In the pre-modern history of human migration and discovery of new lands by navigating the oceans, a few peoples have excelled as sea-faring explorers. Prominent examples are the Phoenicians, the Ancient Greeks, the Persians, Arabians, the Norse and the Austronesian peoples including the (perhaps the greatest Portuguese achievement in maritime history). (5) Author David Waters This article is about the TV reporter. For the killer of Madalyn Murray O'Hair, see David Roland Waters. For the Australian actor see David Waters (australian actor).
David Waters is an award-winning news journalist working in the Orlando, Florida, television market. suggests that the development of navigation began even earlier. (6) The process and procedures are well documented, and it is also known that nautical nau·ti·cal
Of, relating to, or characteristic of ships, shipping, sailors, or navigation on a body of water.
[From Latin nauticus, from Greek nautikos, from science is the branch of history where Portuguese historians excel in an international perspective, due to scholars such as Luciano Pereira da Silva, Armando Cortesao, Avelino Teixeira da Mota, and, above all, Luis de Albuquerque. (7)
But if we consider the kinds of ships Gama sailed to India in things become completely different. The nau, the cargo vessel typically used on the India run, was of course the vessel used by Gama, although accounts of the time refer to barineis as ships of the fleet. The question is not whether Gama sailed in a nau or a barinel, but why Portuguese historiography avoids addressing the subject properly. (8) And it is understandable.
We do not have accurate information about this. Written sources of the time presented different kinds of ships as being one and the same--or the opposite. But then again maritime historians do not always enquire en·quire
Variant of inquire.
[-quiring, -quired] same as inquire
Verb 1. about the authors of texts: who they are, what they really know about the subject, etc. They simply gather information from wherever they can, finding in the quantity of sources a sort of compensation for the shortage of actual relevant information. Thus, a sort of technical process of evaluation was and is accepted in proving that Gama used round sailing ships.
The Portuguese maritime voyages began in the early fifteenth century with small vessels such as the barca Barca, surname, probably meaning lightning, given members of a powerful Carthaginian family: see Hamilcar Barca; Hannibal; Hasdrubal. and the barinel. The lateen caravel caravel (kăr`əvĕl') or carvel (kär`vəl), three-masted sailing vessel, generally square-rigged with the aftermast lateen-rigged. It had a roundish hull with a high bow and stern. appeared around 1440. It was a revolutionary ship intended to be used in the new coastal exploration of Africa. Was it revolutionary? We really do not know anything about the barcas and barineis, but it is an accepted fact that they used square-rigged sails because the caravel used lateen sails. And this is just about the only thing that can be said with certainty about this ship. Since the lateen caravel was said to be different from any other vessel, all that was necessary was to confirm details of earlier ships and then describe the caravel as being different from them. (9)
It is known that when Bartolomeu Dias Bartolomeu Dias, sometimes Bartolomeu Dias de Novais (pron. IPA [baɾtulu'meu 'diɐʃ]; Anglicized: Bartholomew Diaz) (c. returned from his voyage in 1488 large ships were already being built, during King Joao II's reign. Large vessels of course meant squared-rigged ships: evidence of them being barineis was not really considered because no one actually knows what they looked like. And as Cabral sailed from Lisbon in 1500 with naus, why shouldn't Gama have done the same?
They probably were, but probably is not certainly. The acceptance of that idea would validate the conviction that this procedure took place as part of the preparation for the Portuguese maritime enterprise. But it is not confirmed by documentary evidence A type of written proof that is offered at a trial to establish the existence or nonexistence of a fact that is in dispute.
Letters, contracts, deeds, licenses, certificates, tickets, or other writings are documentary evidence. . In fact, we cannot be sure of what sort of ship Gama sailed in to India.
There is another question, the one most asked and which is still the subject of endless commentary: Dias returned to Portugal in 1488; Gama departed in 1497. What happened in the intervening years? That is the story, for it is a story, of the famous ten year gap. I will return to this later, except for posing these questions: was Vasco da Gama's previous training at sea, particularly during the 'unknown' voyages, instrumental in his appointment as commander of the fleet in 1497? (10) Was Vasco da Gama a navigator or not, or in another words was he required to be a navigator in order to assume command of that fleet?
Some historians argue that information about masterships in navigation was effectively protected by a so-called policy of secrecy. This theory was developed by the brothers Jaime and Armando Cortesao. Armando Cortesao, a world authority on cartography cartography: see map.
Art and science of representing a geographic area graphically, usually by means of a map or chart. Political, cultural, or other nongeographic features may be superimposed. , wrote The Mystery of Vasco da Gama, based on Jaime's theories. He argued that it was impossible for a man with no apparent experience as a navigator to be chosen as chief captain of such a voyage as this; and as the full details of Gama's career are not known, he may well have been an experienced navigator involved in the secret voyages during missing ten years. (11)
What did contemporary authors have to say about Gama's skills as navigator? We know that in supporting his appointment to fleet commander he was described as a strong leader and a man of strong character. Only one author, Castanheda, refers to his previous nautical experience--which he thought was not effective according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. what he had heard. (12) But the crucial question is, was that experience necessary? I suggest that it was not. What must be understood is that the chief captain of the first voyage to India was in charge of a political, military and commercial enterprise; for navigation the king had selected the best pilots of the time: Pero de Alenquer, Joao de Coimbra, Pero Escolar and Afonso Goncalves. The most noted was Pero de Alenquer, chief pilot, and pilot of the commander's ship. (13)
In a recent article I tried to show how two conflicting arguments can be used to show that sea captains did not need to be seamen: (14) one is illustrated by the practice of the Carreira da India, the other by the legal requirements and theoretical approach to the duties and skills of captains and pilots. It is worth summarizing them.
It is known that there was just one criteria for the appointment of sea captains for the Carreira da India--social class. The task of command was considered an attribute of noblemen, and a major resource of income for the second sons of noble families. We do not have an extensive database on the various positions held by the men who went to India, but a recent case study of the first decade of the Carreira da India confirms this. (15) It is also known that, even as late as 1647, noblemen opposed the appointment of sea captains on the basis of technical merit, which had been the intention of King Joao IV; they feared that lack of expertise would lose both prestige and income. (16)
Some historians argue that some of the best known captains did have navigational skills, but they were the exception, including Duarte Pacheco Pereira Duarte Pacheco Pereira was a 15th century Portuguese sea captain, explorer and cartographer. He travelled particularly in the central Atlantic Ocean west of the Cape Verde islands, along the coast of West Africa and to India.
In 1488 he explored the west coast of Africa. , Martim Afonso de Sousa Martim Afonso de Sousa (1500-1571) was a Portuguese fidalgo and explorer.
Born in Vila Viçosa, he was commander of the first Portuguese expedition into mainland Brazil. Acquired Diu, in India in 1535.
Sousa was the first Royal Governor of Brazil. , D. Joao de Castro and D. Antonio de Ataide; the list is short. It is even more difficult to add any further names to the list who can be certified as able to navigate a ship.
What has not been considered before, as it should have been, is the fact that both Fernando Oliveira, in Arte da Guerra do Mar, published in 1555, and a unique book on the Portuguese maritime literature of the sixteenth century, and the official Regimento do Cosmografo-Mor of 1592, both explain quite clearly that pilots were supposed to pilot the ship, and captains to command it, and the two should not be confused. (17) A good example of this dates from 1611. A fleet of three ships sailed to India under the command of D. Antonio de Ataide, with the renowned Simao Castanho Paes as chief pilot. D. Antonio, one of the few captains at that time capable of navigating, dismissed Simao Castanho on the return voyage and acted as pilot of his own ship. Perhaps because of his navigational skills he and Simao Castanho had been in conflict on several occasions on the outward journey, and one of those occasions is worth mentioning here. D. Antonio ordered Simao Castanho to approach the coast at a particular point and, as the pilot disagreed, he demanded that the captain assume responsibility for the manoeuvre--in writing--because these decisions should have been made by the pilot and not the captain. (18)
Vasco da Gama was not a sailor, or to be more precise, we simply do not have any evidence that he was able to pilot a ship; to navigate. This is based on the known facts about Gama, and confirmed recently by Luis Adao da Fonseca after a careful examination of the available written records. (19)
The point, as stated above, is that he did not need to be, not only because it was common practice on the Carreira da India. I believe this practice was already known at the time of the first voyages of Prince Henry of Portugal
v. e·lu·ci·dat·ed, e·lu·ci·dat·ing, e·lu·ci·dates
To make clear or plain, especially by explanation; clarify.
To give an explanation that serves to clarify. the question. So, the question is: were the captains of the early voyages navigators, in the sense of being able to act as pilots? The answer must be, some were and some were not.
Of course, there is no doubt that some well-known captains were navigators, meaning that they were technically able, as in the case of Gil Eanes Gil Eanes (Eannes), pron. IPA: [ʒiɫ i'ɐnɨʃ], was a 15th century Portuguese navigator and explorer.
Very little was known of him. , Diogo Gomes Diogo Gomes (c. 1420 – c. 1485), was Portuguese navigator, explorer and writer.
He started out as a cavaleiro (Knight) of the royal household and in 1440 he was appointed receiver of the royal customs. and Bartolomeu Dias, and that others were known of as pilots. It is not always clear in what capacity some of them were on board, whether as captains, as pilots or captain-pilots. Again, we suffer from a lack of information. The few reports of voyages that exist do not make clear the functions of those on board, and it is (and has been) easy to assume that the captain was always in charge of navigation when the pilot's name is not know, or conversely, that the pilot was also in command of the ship.
One thing that needs to be said, however, is that we do know of examples of dual roles on board: Armando Cortesao, for instance, refers to two master pilots, before the Carreira da India, where the master (mestre) was the second officer, after the pilot. (20) One factor not generally considered is the size of the ship. It is possible that on a small ship with a crew of fewer than ten men, captain, pilot and master could have been one and the same person, or the pilot could also act as master under similar circumstances, the captain being someone else.
My hypothesis is that this occurred more often than we might have hitherto thought since the early days of the Portuguese navigations. There is no way that we can make a comprehensive study of the social conditions of known Portuguese navigators during the time of Prince Henry; and by 'navigator' I mean anyone involved in navigation. But we can confirm what Zurara says about the men sent out by Prince Henry to explore the occidental oc·ci·den·tal or Oc·ci·den·tal
Of or relating to the countries of the Occident or their peoples or cultures; western.
A native or inhabitant of an Occidental country; a westerner.
Noun 1. coast of Africa. Assuming that the 'navigators' were all technically skilled, meaning that those whose names appear as captains of expeditions were also technicians, let us see whether the opposite can also be deduced.
After Gil Eanes's voyage of 1434, which was led by someone who was indubitably in·du·bi·ta·ble
Too apparent to be doubted; unquestionable.
Adv. 1. a navigator, Prince Henry organized a larger expedition with two ships Two Ships is a single by the folk duet, The Sallyangie, released in 1969. Track listing
It is impossible to confirm any suppositions without a detailed biography of each of Prince Henry's navigators, or at least the biography of significant number of them. And even if there were documentary evidence, it is unlikely to have been sufficient for any conclusions to be made. Until there is it must be assumed that the fact that someone is sent in command of an expedition does not automatically imply that he was chosen for his ability as a navigator. One can say that the man in charge of each expedition was the representative of the shipowner Ship´own`er
n. 1. Owner of a ship or ships.
Noun 1. shipowner - someone who owns a ship or a share in a ship , who would be responsible for the recruitment of seamen, including pilots. After a careful reading of Gomes Eanes de Zurara's Cronica dos Feitos de Guine it seems evident that this general practice was known in the sixteenth century, and that it could even have been general practice at the time of Prince Henry.
It simply cannot be assumed that all the captains involved in expeditions during the fifteenth century were technically capable of piloting a ship. The very significant technical achievements of the Portuguese navigations at that time should be credited to those anonymous and unknown pilots who were in fact in charge of navigation, with few verifiable exceptions such as Gil Eanes, Diogo Gomes or Bartolomeu Dias. (23)
(1) For a general overview of the Carreira da India, see Francisco Contente Domingues, A Carreira da India. The India Run (Lisbon: CTT CTT Correios (Portuguese Postal Service)
CTT Certified Technical Trainer
CTT Charity Technology Trust
CTT Cholesterol Treatment Trialists' (collaboration)
CTT Common Task Training Correios de Portugal, 1998).
(2) J. P. Oliveira Martins, Historia de Portugal (Lisbon: Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda, 1988), p. 266.
(3) See Abdoolkarim Vakil, 'Varios Vascos da Gama', in O Tempo de Vasco da Gama, ed. by Diogo Ramada ra·ma·da
n. Southwestern U.S.
a. An open or semienclosed shelter roofed with brush or branches, designed especially to provide shade.
b. An open porch or breezeway.
2. Curto (Lisbon: Comissao Nacional para as Comemoracoes dos Descobrimentos Portuguese--Difel, 1998), pp. 353-78; and O' Centenario da India'  e a memoria da viagem de Vasco da Gama, ed. by Jorge Manuel Flores Manuel "Manny" Flores (born January 21, 1972) is the alderman of the 1st Ward (map) in Chicago. A member of the Democratic Party, Flores was elected to the Chicago City Council in 2003. (Lisbon: CNCDP, 1998). See also in the same volume, Sergio Campos Campos (käm`ps), city (1996 pop. 391,299), Rio de Janeiro state, SE Brazil, on the Paraíba River near its mouth. Matos, 'O "Centenario da India" (1898) no Portugal finissecular', pp. 119-38; and Carmen Carmen
throws over lover for another. [Fr. Lit.: Carmen; Fr. Opera: Bizet, Carmen, Westerman, 189–190]
See : Faithlessness
the cards repeatedly spell her death. [Fr. Raduler, 'Vasco da Gama e a sua viagem na memoria nacional (seculos XV-XX)', pp. 157-71. Many more titles could easily be added to this list, but these give a good overview and bibliography.
(4) For an understanding of the discoveries from the perspective of Portuguese historiography of the nineteenth century, see Serio Campos Matos, 'A historiografia portuguesa dos descobrimentos no seculo XIX', in La cultura en la Peninsula Iberica, Los 98 Ibericos y el mar, 2 (Madrid: Sociedad Estatal Lisboa '98, 1998), 55-80.
(5) Luis de Albuquerque, Duvidas e Certezas na Historia dos Descobrimentos (Lisbon; Vega, 1991), 11.
(6) David Waters, 'Columbus's Portuguese Inheritance', Mariner's Mirror The Mariner's Mirror is the quarterly journal of the Society for Nautical Research in the United Kingdom.
Mariner's Mirror has been published continuously since 1911. External Link
(7) W. G. L. Randles, 'Luis de Albuquerque and the History of Nautical Science in Portugal', in Luis de Albuquerque Historiador e Matematico (Lisbon: Chaves Ferreira-Publicacoes, 1998), pp. 135-42.
(8) Cdr. C. A. Encarnacao Gomes's recent paper, read at a symposium at the Academia de Marinha, Lisbon, and not yet published, discusses the fact that we cannot be sure of the types of ships used on Vasco da Gama's voyages.
(9) Joao da Gama Pimentel Barata was the first author seriously to consider that these ships could also have lateen sails: Estudos de Arqueologia Naval, 1 (Lisbon: Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda, 1988), 219-23.
(10) After sending B. Dias by sea and Pero da Covilha and Afonso de Paiva Afonso de Paiva (c. 1460 - c. 1490) was a Portuguese diplomat and explorer of Ethiopia together with Pero da Covilhã. by land, the king must have waited for news of them. It is known that the methodology was not new: when Diogo Cao set out on his first voyage (1481 or 1482), two other agents of the king were sent, but they had to return soon after because they were unable to speak Arabic. After this strange error, and given the careful planning involved in the enterprise, we are forced to conclude that the Dias voyage was not enough by itself: the king certainly waited for the news of Covilha and Paiva. It is generally accepted that they arrived by late 1492 or early 1493, and reported either orally or in writing.
Immediately after, on 4 March, Columbus arrived in Lisbon claiming to have discovered the maritime route to the East by sailing west. The immediate consequence was the need to reconsider the Treaty of Alcacovas, and this led to the Treaty of Tordesillas The Treaty of Tordesillas (Portuguese: Tratado de Tordesilhas, Spanish: Tratado de Tordesillas), signed at Tordesillas (now in Valladolid province, Spain), June 7 1494, divided the newly discovered lands outside Europe into an exclusive duopoly between the Spanish and on 7 June 1474. Only then was everything ready to sail to India. But King Joao II then died in 1495 of a painful illness, without seeing a successful conclusion to his efforts.
(11) Armando Cortesao, The Mystery of Vasco da Gama (Coimbra: Junta jun·ta
1. A group of military officers ruling a country after seizing power.
2. A council or small legislative body in a government, especially in Central or South America.
3. A junto. de Investigacoes do Ultramar, 1973).
(12) Luis Adao da Fonseca, Vasco da Gama. O Homem, a Viagem, a Epoca (Lisbon: Expo '98, 1997), p. 21. See also Sanjay Subhramanyam, The career and legend of Vasco da Gama (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Cambridge University Press (known colloquially as CUP) is a publisher given a Royal Charter by Henry VIII in 1534, and one of the two privileged presses (the other being Oxford University Press). , 1997), pp. 58-68.
(13) Of course the main purpose of the expedition was to explore a maritime route, according to George Winius, 'A Viagem de Vasco da Gama--1497-1499', in O Tempo de Vasco da Gama, p. 281: to consider this the only reason for the voyage is unrealistic; it would have been too long and too expensive for there not to have been a commercial, political or diplomatic motive as well.
(14) Francisco Contente Domingues, 'Vasco da Gama navegador', in O 'Centenario da India', pp. 173-83.
(15) Joao Paulo Oliveira e Costa, 'Leonel Coutinho um dos primeiros veteranos da Carreira da India', in A Carreira da India e as Rotas dos Estreitos, (Angra do Heroismo, 1998), pp. 627-67.
(16) Nuno Valdez dos Santos Santos (sän`ts), city (1996 pop. 412,288), São Paulo state, SE Brazil, on the island of São Vicente in the Atlantic just off the mainland. , Setecentos Anos de Estudos Navais em Portugal (Lisbon: Academia de Marinha, 1985).
(17) See Domingues, A Carreira da India, also for bibliographical references; Avelino Teixeira da Mota about the Regimento, Os Regimentos do Cosmografo-Mor de 1559 e 1592 e as Origens do Ensino Nautico em Portugal (Lisbon: Junta de Investigacoes do Ultramar-Agrupamento de Estudos de Cartografia Antiga, 1969); also Rita Cortez de Matos, 'O Regimento do Cosmografo-Mor e a Prestacao dos Pilotos da Carreira da India', in Fernando Oliveira e o seu tempo, Proceedings of the IX International Reunion for the History of Nautical Science and Hydrography hy·drog·ra·phy
n. pl. hy·drog·ra·phies
1. The scientific description and analysis of the physical conditions, boundaries, flow, and related characteristics of the earth's surface waters.
2. (Cascais: Patrimonia, forthcoming).
(18) One of the main responsibilities of the pilot was to keep the ship's log (diario de bordo), with pertinent notes on navigation: as did Simao Castanho with the log of the nau, Nossa Senhora There are parishes and settlements that have the name Nossa Senhora (Portuguese for Our Lady): In Europe
In the Azores
(19) Luis Adao da Fonseca.
(20) Cortesao, The Mystery of Vasco da Gama, p. 170.
(21) Gomes Eanes de Zurara, Cronica dos Feitos Notaveis que se Passaram na Conquista de Guine por Mandado do Infante in·fan·te
A son of a Spanish or Portuguese king other than the heir to the throne.
[Spanish and Portuguese, both from Latin D. Henrique, ed. by Torquato de Sousa Soares (Lisbon: Academia Portuguesa da Historia, 1978), 1, Chapter IX.
(22) For information known about Baldaia, see Joao Silva Joao Silva is a war photographer based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Silva has worked in Africa, the Balkans, Central Asia, Russia, and the Middle East and his images have won numerous awards including the World Press Photo. He is a contract photographer for the New York Times. de Sousa, A Casa Senhorial do Infante D. Henrique (Lisbon: Livros Horizonte, 1991), p. 395 and the bibliographical references in n. 40.
(23) This paper was presented at the international conference 'Vasco da Gama's Arrival in India: 500 Years', at the Institute of Romance Studies Romance studies is an umbrella academic discipline that covers the study of the languages, literatures, and cultures of areas that speak a Romance language. Romance studies departments usually include the study of Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese. , School of Advanced Studies, University of London For most practical purposes, ranging from admission of students to negotiating funding from the government, the 19 constituent colleges are treated as individual universities. Within the university federation they are known as Recognised Bodies , 1998.
UNIVERSITY OF LISBON The University of Lisbon (Universidade de Lisboa, pron. IPA: [univɨɾsi'dad(ɨ) dɨ liʒ'boɐ]; latin Universitas Olisiponensis) is a public university in Lisbon, Portugal.