Reception Studies: Biblical and Eastern Antiquity in the Portuguese Travellers’ Writings (16th-17th Centuries)

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Ever since ancient times, there are records of pilgrimages between Portugal and the Holy Land – this was especially true during Modern Age. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the adventurous spirit of Modern Man and the expansion of the Portuguese power into some Eastern areas resulted in the augmentation of the journeys and pilgrimages‘ records written by the Portuguese travelling to Jerusalem. For the most part, these men‘s travel diaries were extremely exhaustive regarding practical information about the journey, the preparation required, what they had witnessed or to whom they had spoken. In fact, descriptions of these contemporary themes held special interest, as these men aimed to create a document that would help and even encourage people to undertake journeys of this kind. However, these manuscripts contained more than trivial information and journey advice: in these writings, travelers also expressed their understanding about the Ancient History of the Near East, especially that concerning the Biblical history and the sacred places of Christianity. Nevertheless, in these same writings, several references to an extra- Biblical antiquity were found – most often, the references formulated were either about Mesopotamian or the Egyptian worlds, due to the geographic proximity; however some authors also mention – although less common – Greek and Roman Antiquity and the religious system practiced by each of these four civilizations. It is in these references to the extra-Biblical Antiquity that this paper will focus on. It aims to comprehend what motives these extremely faithful men had, which lead them to make such allusions to an extra-Biblical reality, as well as to evaluate what their perceptions about other religious systems were, and how they could associate
them to the history of Christianity. Overall, this study pretends to contribute to the discussion around the Reception of Antiquity during the 16th and 17th centuries, providing elements for several investigations that allow to better understand the mentality of the Modern man, in addition to their knowledge about the past.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020
EventAnnual International Conference on History & Archaeology: From Ancient to Modern - Athens, Greece
Duration: 1 Apr 20204 Apr 2020
Conference number: 18


ConferenceAnnual International Conference on History & Archaeology


  • Portuguese travelers
  • 16th – 17th centuries
  • land routes
  • Jerusalem
  • Biblical History
  • reception of Antiquity


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