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Records of South-Eastern Africa, Vol. 6

Records of South-Eastern Africa, Vol. 6

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Excerpt from Records of South-Eastern Africa, Vol. 6: Collected in Various Libraries and Archive, Departments in Europe

[Joao Barros has always been regarded as occupying the first place among Portuguese historians. He Was born in 1496 of a good family, and received the best education that could be given in his day. From 1522 to 1525 he was captain of S. Jorge da Mina on the western coast of Africa, from 1525 to 1528 he was treasurer of the Indian department, and in 1532 he received the appointment of factor of the India house. At this period of his life he spent his days in business, and his nights with his pen and his books. He died on the 20 th of October 1570. De Barros had access to the journals, letters, and reports of the early discoverers and officers of all classes in India and Africa, and from these sources his information was derived. He was the author of a good many other books, none of which, however, have the permanent value of his great work here referred to. 11)is is divided into four parts, each covering a decade, the first of which was published in 1552, the second in 1553, the third in 1563, and the fourth in 1613, long after the authors death, the edition which I have used was published at Lisbon in nitie crown octavo volumes in 1778. There is no English translation of this notable history, a circumstance which is much to be regretted. I have selected the chapters relating to South and South-Eastern Africa, which of course form but a small portion of the whole work. This completes the list of original Portuguese histories upon the discovery of the ocean route to India and the early conquests and settlements in the East, and with the few contemporary documents still in existence, copies of which have been published in preceding volumes of this series, supplies all that we can now hope to know of the first intercourse of Europeans with South African natives.

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