Estudos em homenagem ao Professor Doutor José Amadeu Coelho Dias
O Infante, a Covilhã e a Ordem de Cristo
João Silva de Sousa
AbstractThe words of Fernando Pessoa, “The Sea fulfilled, the Empire fell apart./But oh, Portugal must yet fulfil itself!”, express the existence of an age-old encounter of cultures between Portugal and the Continents, stretching to their farthest corners. These words also question the extent to which Portugal may or may not have taken advantage of this proximity. The ambitious and bold representatives of the Portuguese Crown as from 1415 were, undoubtedly, Infante D. Henrique, the Navigator, his household and the Portuguese, the noble, the ecclesiastic, the bourgeois and, above all, the common man, the man of the people. They claimed new lands and products and adopted and developed different techniques. The Lord of Covilhã, first Duke of Viseu and first lay director of the Order of Christ, made use of all he possessed, his titles, privileges and ownerships, in the pursuit of military enterprises in Northern Africa and maritime enterprises along the West African coast for several purposes: “And the white shore lit up, isle to continent,/And flowed, even to the world’s end” – the Poet added...
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