Lisbon, Kingdom of Portugal
|Died||1 May 1521
|Occupation||Writer, scrivener, explorer|
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Duarte Barbosa (c. 1480, Lisbon, Portugal – 1 May 1521, Philippines) was a Portuguese writer, an officer in Portuguese India (between 1500 and 1516–1517 as scrivener in Cannanore factory) and an interpreter of the local language (Malayalam). His book titled "Book of Duarte Barbosa" (Livro de Duarte Barbosa) is one of the earliest examples of Portuguese travel literature, written c. 1516, shortly after his arrival in the Indian Ocean. In 1519, Duarte Barbosa embarked on the first expedition to circumnavigate the world, led by his brother-in-law Ferdinand Magellan. He died in 1521 at the feast of rajah Humabon on Cebu Island in the Philippines.
First travel and the Book of Duarte Barbosa
Duarte Barbosa was the son of Diogo Barbosa, a server of D. Álvaro of Braganza who went to India in 1501in a joint venture of D. Álvaro with Bartholomeu Marchionni, with the 3rd Portuguese India Armada, which was captained by João da Nova. In 1500 his uncle Gonçalo Gil Barbosa was left as factor in Kochi after traveling in the 1500 fleet of Pedro Álvares Cabral, and in 1502 was transferred to Kannur. The places described by Duarte Barbosa suggest that he accompanied his uncle to Kochi and Cannanore. There Duarte Barbosa learned the local Malabar language (malayalam). In 1503 he was the interpreter of Francisco de Albuquerque in contacts with the Rajah of Cannanore. In 1513 he signed as clerk of Cannanore a letter to King Manuel I of Portugal where he claimed for himself the position master-clerk that had been promised. In 1514 Afonso de Albuquerque used his services as an interpreter in an attempt to convert the king of Kochi, as reported in his letter to the king. In 1515 Albuquerque sent Duarte Barbosa to Kozhikode to oversee the construction of two ships that would serve on an expedition to the Red Sea, in which he may have later participated under the new governor. Duarte Barbosa returned to Portugal where he completed the manuscript known as the "Book of Duarte Barbosa", finished in 1516 according to Ramusio preface, where he wrote detailed accounts of foreign cultures. Originally known through the testimony of Italian Giovanni Battista Ramusio, the original manuscript was discovered and published in the early nineteenth century in Lisbon.
Displeased by the position he had never been assigned, Barbosa joined several Portuguese meeting in Seville in southern Spain. His father, Diogo Barbosa, had followed D. Álvaro of Braganza into exile in Seville where Álvaro had become mayor, becoming himself governor of the castle of Seville. In 1516 Ferdinand Magellan moved to Seville and become a friend to Diogo Barbosa, both sharing the experience of travel to India. Soon Magellan married Barbosa's sister Beatriz, becoming Duarte Barbosa's brother in law, strengthening the links between the Barbosa and Magalhães families.
On 10 August 1519 Duarte Barbosa sailed from Seville on Magellan's voyage of circumnavigation, along with his friend João Serrão. His curiosity lead him to leave the expedition for the company of locals several times during the voyage, to Ferdinand Magellan's annoyance. Magellan even came to arrest him. On 2 April 1520, however, the help of Duarte Barbosa was crucial to facing down a riot in Puerto San Julian (Argentina), and thereafter Barbosa become captain of the Victoria. According to Antonio Pigafetta's account, after Magellan's death on 21 April 1521 at the Battle of Mactan (Philippines), Duarte Barbosa, one of the few survivors of the battle, was made co-commander of the expedition along with João Serrão. Barbosa tried to recover Magellan's body, without success: according to that report, he tried to land Enrique of Malacca, which he gave up. Despite the manumission he was entitled to according to Magellan's will made before departure, Duarte Barbosa or João Serrão then threatened to turn him slave to the widow of Magellan. The fear of Enrique has since been considered an argument for him conspiring with rajah Humabon. On 1 May 1521 all were invited by the rajah to a banquet ashore near Cebu, the Philippines, to receive a gift for the king of Spain. There Duarte Barbosa, along with many others, was killed.. João Serrão was brought by natives who wanted to exchange him for weapons, but was left behind and was saved by the pilot João Carvalho. Enrique disappeared.
- One theory suggests that there were two people named Duarte Barbosa, on the basis of subsequent reporting of João de Barros in "Decades of Asia", that refers to one clerk named Duarte Barbosa in 1529 in Cannanore Island. The majority of documents confirm, however, that the author of "The Book of Duarte Barbosa" and participant in the expedition of Ferdinand Magellan Island where the same, see the entry for "Duarte Barbosa, Mansel Longworth Dames, The Book of Duarte Barbosa: An account of the countries bordering on the Indian Ocean and their inhabitants ", Asian Educational Services, 1989, ISBN 81-206-0451-2
- Pigafetta and Transylvanus differ on who was responsible for the massacre that occurred at Cebu in the Philippines. Transylvanus states that it was João Serrão who mistreated Enrique de Malacca, Magellan's former slave, thereby causing Enrique to plot the massacre; Pigafetta, who did not attend the banquet that served as the trap, blames Duarte Barbosa.
- Duarte Barbosa, Mansel Longworth Dames, (1518) "The book of Duarte Barbosa: an account of the countries bordering on the Indian Ocean and their inhabitants", Asian Educational Services, 1989, ISBN 81-206-0451-2
- Stanley, Henry E. J. ed. and trans. (1866). A description of the coasts of East Africa and Malabar by Duarte Barbosa. London: Hakluyt Society.
- Dames, Mansel Longworth (1918–1921). The book of Duarte Barbosa : an account of the countries bordering on the Indian Ocean and their inhabitants (2 Volumes). London: Hakluyt Society. OCLC 3640216.
- Works by Duarte Barbosa at Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about Duarte Barbosa at Internet Archive
- Ray, Aniruddha (2012). "Barbosa, Duarte". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
- His travelogue is available online in Portuguese:Livro em que dá relação do que viu e ouviu no Oriente, from the Biblioteca Nacional Digital at https://web.archive.org/web/20090303053302/http://purl.pt:80/435