Gaspar Correia

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Gaspar Correia
Born 1492 or 1496
Died c. 1563
Goa, Portuguese India
Nationality Portuguese
Occupation Historian

Gaspar Correia or Gaspar Correa or Gaspar Corrêa (1492[1] or 1496 – c. 1563 in Goa) was a Portuguese historian, author of Lendas da Índia (Legends of India), one of the earliest and most important works about Portuguese rule in Asia, being referred to as a Portuguese Polybius.[2][3]


Hormuz Fortress in the Legends of India (1556)

Little is known of the author or his family origins and birthplace. One possible source, that of António Banha de Andrade, places his birth in the year 1492.[3][4] He lived mostly in Portuguese India, reportedly arriving around 1512-14 to serve as a soldier and then chosen as secretary to Afonso de Albuquerque, for which he was very proud. He returned to Portugal in 1529 for some time but later returned to India. His work Lendas da Índia, though written in a rude style,[5] is considered an important contemporary reference, having profited from thirty-five years of his work in India, and from privileged sources unknown to Fernão Lopes de Castanheda or João de Barros. He wrote the first European account on Asiatic Cholera.[6] One theory states that he was murdered in Portuguese Malacca, by order of governor Estêvão da Gama, the son of Vasco da Gama.

Although some authors state that there was an issue of his work in 1556 titled Legends of India (Lendas da Índia), it is most probable that manuscript copies of his 3,500 pages compendium had circulated among chosen recipients only, after having been brought from India to Portugal by Miguel da Gama shortly after Correia's death.[7] His family retained the manuscript of the original, which was first printed in 1858 (first part) and 1864 (second part) by the Royal Academy of Sciences of Lisbon.

Between 1527 and 1534, he was also colonial head of Cape Verde.

He died somewhere between 1561 and 1563 in Goa, Portuguese India.


  1. ^ The birth date of Gaspae de Correia is uncertain, António Banha de Andrade dates his birth in 1492
  2. ^ Gaspar Corrêa, [1] "The three voyages of Vasco da Gama: and his viceroyalty", Introduction, Adamant Media Corporation, 2001, ISBN 1-4021-9543-5
  3. ^ a b Ana Paula Avelar, "Gorreia, Gaspar", in CHAM Letra
  4. ^ António Alberto Banha de Andrade, Gaspar Correia, o 1.º historiador português do Oriente. Instituto de Investigação Científica Tropical, Centro de Estudos de História e Cartografia Antiga, Lisbon, 1985.
  5. ^ Ethel M. Pope, [2] "India in Portuguese literature", p. 69, Asian Educational Services, 1989, ISBN 81-206-0496-2
  6. ^ Ethel M. Pope, India in Portuguese literature, p. 284, Asian Educational Services, 1989, ISBN 81-206-0496-2
  7. ^ Donald F. Lach, [3] "Asia in the Making of Europe, Volume I: The Century of Discovery", p. 338, University of Chicago Press, 1994, ISBN 0-226-46731-7


  • CORREIA, Gaspar. Lendas da Índia (introduction and review by M. Lopes de Almeida). Porto: 1975.
  • BELL, Aubrey Fitz Gerald, "Gaspar Corrêa", Hispanic notes & monographs; essays, studies, and brief biographies issued by the Hispanic Society of America. Portuguese series v, Volume 5 of Hispanic society of America, Oxford University Press, H. Milford, 1924.
  • BANHA de ANDRADE, António Alberto, Gaspar Correia, o 1.º historiador português do Oriente. (Gaspar Correia, the First Portuguese Historian of the Far East) Instituto de Investigação Científica Tropical, Centro de Estudos de História e Cartografia Antiga, Lisbon, 1985.

External links[edit]

  • CORREA, Gaspar. The Three Voyages of Vasco da Gama, and His Viceroyalty. From the Lendas da India of Gaspar Correa, accompanied by original documents (translated from the Portuguese, with notes and an introduction by the Hon. Henry E. J. Stanley). Printed for the Hakluyt Society, London: 1869. [4]
  • CORREA, Gaspar. Lendas da India. Lisboa: Academia Real das Sciencias de Lisboa, 1858-1866. 8 volumes. [5]
Preceded by
D. Leonis Correia
Colonial Governor of Cape Verde
Succeeded by
Estevão de Lagos