Somewhere in the city of Goa, on the west coast of India, on an unspecified day in the middle of the sixteenth century, two Europeans are involved in a learned conversation about elephants and ivory. One of them is Garcia de Orta, the other is Ruano, both are physicians trained at the same Spanish universities. The lively discussion is interrupted by the arrival of a Milanese lapidary, who wishes to speak to Orta, concerning the sale of some precious stones. This curious episode, one of the many that can be found in the pages of the Coloquios dos simples e drogas medicinais da India, published in Goa in 1563, raises several interesting questions, which will be dealt with in the present text, and namely: the large network of informers that Orta brings into play throughout his learned colloquies; the methodology he uses to build a veritable encyclopedia of Asian natural history; the discreet but persistent involvement of the Portuguese naturalist in matters of merchandise; and also his attitude towards precious stones and the so-called lapidary medicine.
|Name||HUMANISMO E CIENCIA: ANTIGUIDADE E RENASCIMENTO|
|Publisher||Universidade de Coimbra|
|Conference||Colloquium on Dioscorides and the Portuguese Humanism|
|Period||21/11/13 → 22/11/13|