Chapter

Portuguese Seas

R. Po‐chia Hsia

in A Jesuit in the Forbidden City

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199592258
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595622 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199592258.003.0002
Portuguese Seas

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After arrival in Portugal, Ricci received further training at the University in Coimbra. There is a description of Lisbon, the gateway of Portugal and Europe to the world, an entrepôt of exotic products and African slaves. The Jesuits in Portugal enjoyed the patronage of King Sebastian, who sponsored their Asian missions on board royal vessels. Ricci's voyage to Goa, India is described on the basis of the journals kept by his fellow Jesuit missionaries. The long, monotonous, and perilous sea voyage took the Portuguese around the Cape of Good Hope to Mozambique, where the Portuguese had established a base. As chaplains, the Jesuits provided spiritual comfort and Catholic sacraments for the sailors who faced the dangers of the oceans. This chapter also describes the task of the missionaries in Portuguese India, where Ricci spent three years finishing his theological studies. His first letters date from this period and include sharp observations on Portuguese colonialism and racial discrimination.

Keywords: maritime voyages; Lisbon; Portugal; Mozambique; Goa

Chapter.  11009 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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