The Travels of Mendes Pinto

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University of Chicago Press, 1989 - History - 663 pages
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This text, ostensibly the autobiography of Portugese explorer Fernão Mendes Pinto, came second only to Marco Polo's work in exciting Europe's imagination of the Orient. Chronicling adventures from Ethiopia to Japan, Travels covers twenty years of Mendes Pinto's odyssey as a soldier, a merchant, a diplomat, a slave, a pirate, and a missionary, and continues to overwhelm questions about its source with the sheer enjoyment of its narrative.

"[T]here is plenty here for the modern reader. . . . The vivid descriptions of swashbuckling military campaigns and exotic locations make this a great adventure story. . . . Mendes Pinto may have been a sensitive eyewitness, or a great liar, or a brilliant satirist, but he was certainly more than a simple storyteller."—Stuart Schwartz, The New York Times
 

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I read the original in Portuguese: among the best books I have ever read. This is a biography, a novel of adventures, a book of travels, and above all a description of the arrival of the first Europeans to the shores of the far east and the Asiatic cultures of that time. From the most evolved city he has ever seen (Pekin) to the Japanese hospitality and nobility of character to the hostility of pirates and rival kingdoms. Commercial routes, customs, beliefs, war. Pinto's life resumes the permanent search for fortune, once and once again lost by stormy weather or piracy and above all, the author depicts a human vision of one of the most amazing moments in the history of humanity. Globalization began here. 

Contents

List of Illustrations
ix
Acknowledgments
xi
Introduction
xv
Europe under Charles V
xvi
Flowering of the Renaissance
xvii
Spain under Philip II
xix
Portugal under Manuel I and John III
xxi
Puhlication History of the Book
xxiii
The Vicar of Ningpo
132
A Banquet in Honor of Antonio de Faria
133
The Voyage to Calempluy
135
A Doubtful Course
138
Of Men and Beasts
140
Similau Disappears
143
The Fabulous Isle of Calempluv
144
Desecration of the Tombs
146

Translations
xxviii
Summary of the Text
xxx
Influences
xxxiv
The Historical Author
xxxvi
Satire and the FictiveAuthor
xxxix
A Note on the Translation
xlv
The Early Years i
1
The Passage to India
3
A Renegade in the Red Sea
4
The Land of Prester John
6
Captive in Mocha
8
On the Slave Block
9
The Siege of Diu
12
Impressment at Sea
13
The Queen of Honowar
14
Defeat at Honowar
15
The Queens Treachery
17
Departure for Malacca
18
The Battak Envoy
20
Through the Jungles of Sumatra
22
At the Court of the Battak
24
Observing the Battak at War
26
The Battak Army in Retreat
27
The Battaks Warning
29
A Malay Tyrant
31
The Elusive Isle of Gold
34
The Ambassador from Aaru
36
The Aaru on the Eve of War
38
Shipwrecked off the Island of Sumatra
40
Captive in Siak
42
Back in Malacca
44
The Achinese Threat to Porruguese Power
45
The Death of the King of Aaru
47
The Queen of Aaru Seeks Revenge
49
The Queen of Aaru in Malacca
50
The Queen of Aaru Departs in Anger
51
Jantana Lays Claim to Aaru
53
Jantana and Achin at War
55
Rescue at Sea
57
Tome Lobo in Danger
59
Murder of the King of Pahang
60
Disaster in the Harbor of Lugor
63
Lady of the Swamp
65
Antonio de Faria Swears Vengeance
66
In Search ofKhoja Hassim
68
Pirates off the Coast of Champa
69
Exploring Champa
72
Night Raid off Hainan Island
74
43 The Armenians Story
76
The Pearl Fishers of Quemoy
78
Gathering Information in Hainan
80
Encounter with a Chinese Pirate
81
The Unluckv Bride
85
No Word of the Lord
87
Problems Unloading the Cargo
90
Victorv in the Model River
91
The Corsairs Confession
93
King of the Sea
95
Shipwreck off the Isle of Thieves
98
Marooned
99
A Precocious Child
101
Partners in Piracy
104
News ofKhoja Hassim
106
Preparations for the Attack
109
A Glorious Victory
111
After the Battle
113
Grounded on the Coast of China
116
The Storms Ravages
117
The Prisoners of Nouday
119
The Mandarins Reply
121
The Sack ofNoudav 123
123
Pirates at the Gates of Ningpo
125
A Message from Ningpo
127
Antonio de Farias Reception in Ningpo
129
The Old Hermit of Calempluy
148
The Hermit Spreads the Alarm
150
Antonio de Faria Meets His End
152
So Castaways in China
153
The Wayside Shelter
155
Thrown to the Leeches
157
An UpperClass Chinese Family
159
Arrested in Taypor
162
Transferred to Nanking
163
Legal Aid for the Poor
165
A Letter of Recommendation
167
The City of Nanking
169
The Pagoda ofPocasser
171
The Great Albuquerque Defamed
175
Inez de Leiria
177
The Legend of Nancd
180
The Child Prophet
182
The Founding of Peking
183
The Great Wall of China
185
The Submerged City
187
Business and Trade Practices in China
191
The Floating Cities of China
194
More about the Wonders of China
197
too Arrival in Peking
200
A Favorable Ruling
202
Of Judges and Influence
204
Sentenced to Hard Labor
206
The Kindly Captain of Quansy
211
The Splendors of Peking
212
Chinese Banqueting Houses
215
Sightseeing in Peking
218
Prison of the Outcasts
220
109 Treasure House of the Dead
223
no The Shrine of the Queen of Heaven
225
in The Shrine of the 113 Kings
228
Social Welfare in China
230
Provisions against Famine
232
Farewell to Peking
233
A Point of Honor
236
A Chance Encounter with Vasco Calvo
238
The Tartar Invasion
241
Jorge Mendes Takes a Chance
243
A Portuguese Hero among the Tartars
245
124 At the Tartar Court
257
A Heathen Pope
263
The Oxhinese King Returns
271
A Shooting Accident
282
Shipwreck off the Ryukyu Islands
288
The Dowager Queen of
296
The Pathetic Little King
303
Arrival in Martaban
310
The Surrender Ceremony
318
154
325
Calaminhan
337
At the Palace of the Calaminhan
352
A Brief Description of
361
Funeral Rites for the Holy Rolim
367
The New Rolim Ascends the Holy
375
The Ambassadress from Java
382
A Portuguese Renegade
389
Struggle over a Life Raft
395
The King of Siam Poisoned by
401
The Queen and Her Lover Usurp
408
The Burmese Invade Siam
411
Rebellion in Pegu
417
The Abominable Crime of Diogo
425
The Burmese Recapture Pegu
432
The Xemindo Captured
439
2oo The Second Voyage to Japan
445
Two Japanese Passengers Taken
451
Repairing the Fleet
457
Currency
643
Copyright

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Page 657 - RELIGION IN CHINA; containing a brief Account of the Three Religions of the Chinese ; with Observations on the Prospects of Christian Conversion amongst that People.

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About the author (1989)

Very little is known about Pinto's life except what is related in his only work, Peregrinacao (translated as The Travels of Mendes Pinto). At his death the manuscript for the book passed to Pinto's daughters, but was not published until 1614. Pinto left his native Montemoro-Velho for Lisbon, embarking a few years later for the Orient, where he spent almost three decades. He claimed to have been a friend of St. Francis Xavier and, for more than 10 years, a pirate, merchant, and diplomat. While in Asia, he became a Jesuit lay brother for about two years, although he was possibly a Marrano.

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