Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Historian, b. in Portugal, 1496; d. 20 October, 1570. Of his early youth little is known. In 1522, he went to Mina in Portuguese Africa, and was made treasurer of the Casa da India, Mina, and Ceuta (African possessions) in 1525, and again in 1532. Here he cultivated his literary inclinations and attached himself to the Crown of Portugal by other ties than those of a faithful subordinate and accountant. At the age of twenty-four, he published a romance of the Emperor Clarimundo, a legendary ancestor of the kings of Portugal. In 1539, when Brazil had begun to be looked upon as an important accession to Portuguese colonial possessions, he obtained a grant of fifty-leagues along the coast at the mouth of the Amazon and forthwith equipped an expedition to occupy it. Ten vessels with nine hundred men, under command of Aires da Cunha, set sail for Brazil, but were wrecked at the bar of the Maranhão, and nearly everybody perished. Two sons of Barros were in the expedition, but their fate is not given. This brought Barros almost to the verge of poverty. He thereafter clung to historic studies, protected and favoured by the king, at whose instigation he wrote his classical work, "Asia", considered of value as a fine piece of Portuguese literature and for the information it affords. Besides giving an account of discovery and conquest, it touches frequently upon the earl iest attempts at Christianization by the Portuguese in their African and Asiatic possessions, the founding of churches, etc. The first decade appeared in 1552. Only three have been fully published. A fourth, of somewhat questionable authenticity, has been partly printed.


More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Proverbs 21:1-6, 10-13
1 Like flowing water is a king's heart in Yahweh's ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 119:1, 27, 30, 34, 35, 44
1 How blessed are those whose way is blameless, who ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 8:19-21
19 His mother and his brothers came looking for him, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 23rd, 2014 Image

St. Padre Pio
September 23: Francesco, named in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, was born to ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter