- Edited by Chandra R. de Silva, Old Dominion University, USA
Portuguese Encounters with Sri Lanka and the Maldives: Translated Texts from the Age of the Discoveries is designed to provide access to translations of 16th- and 17th-century documents which illustrate various aspects of this encounter, combining texts from indigenous sources with those from the Portuguese histories and archives. These documents contribute to the growing understanding that different groups of European colonizers - missionaries, traders and soldiers - had conflicting motivations and objectives. Scholars have also begun to emphasize that the colonized were not mere victims but had their own agendas and that they occasionally successfully manipulated colonial powers. The texts in this volume help to substantiate these assertions while also illustrating the changing nature of the interactions.
The present volume contains chapters covering the Portuguese arrival in Sri Lanka and their first encounters with the island and its peoples, their subsequent relations with Kandy and Jaffna, and a final chapter on Portuguese relations with the Maldive Islands. A historical introduction provides the context in which the documents can be read and a select bibliography indicates the most recent and authoritative secondary works on the subject
Contents: Introduction; The first visit of the Portuguese to Sri Lanka; Sri Lanka and its peoples; King Bhuvanekabahu and the Portuguese; Kandy: religion and politics; Jaffna: conquest, resistance and governance; The Peace Treaty of 1617; The Portuguese and the Maldives; Glossary; Bibliography; Index.
About the Editor: Chandra R. de Silva is Professor of History and Dean of the College of Arts and Letters, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, USA
Reviews: ‘This is a well-presented collection of historical texts…’ e-Journal of Portuguese History
'... these selections could work not just as a case study of the workings of Portuguese expansion, but also of the ever-vexed issue of European colonialism's encounter with Asia, and even an introduction to the business of working with historical sources in general. De Silva carefully contextualizes the documents by explaining their origins, virtues, particularities, and also provides the necessary historical narrative in which to situate them.' Bulletin of Spanish Studies
'The clarity of the translations and the quality of the supporting apparatus make this volume a valuable contribution to the inquiry into the nature of the Portuguese seaborne empire, the history of the Indian Ocean, and the larger issue of cross-cultural encounters and interaction in the area.' Sixteenth Century Journal
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