Medieval Goa: A Socio-Economic History


Author: Teotonio R. De Souza

9788190568265 | PB | pp. 286 | 2009 | Goa 1556

Medieval Goa: A Socio-Economic History by Teotonio R de Souza studies the socio-economic pressures and opportunities in seventeenth century Goa and challenges the view that it was a period of golden rule.

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When Medieval Goa first appeared three decades ago, it represented a significant break in the tradition of Indo-Portuguese historiography, until then markedly Luso-Indian, even when Goan native historians were the authors. Medieval Goa represented an effort to question the biases of the colonial historiography, while avoiding to fall prey to equally questionable triumphs of nationalism. Medieval Goa covers a period which is generally regarded as the early Modern period in the West. However, we prefer to maintain the earlier designation, in common with the corresponding periodisation of the Indian historiography. Besides whatever semblance of modernity the Portuguese colonial regime brought to India, Goa had to wait for it until the 18th century or almost the 19th century, and that was largely due to the English intervention in the economy of Portuguese India through the Anglo-Portuguese treaty, the setting up of the railway link, and forcing the end of the Inquisition. It focuses the stage-lights upon the rural population as affected by the bustling urban and metropolitan politics. The main actors of Medieval Goa are the ordinary people of the city and the countryside. Their voice had been little heard, if it was heard at all, in the prestigious and magisterial works of the well-known historians of the Portuguese expansion.

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Teotonio R. De Souza







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Goa 1556





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About the Author

Teotonio R de Souza was one of the foremost Indo-Portuguese historians and has been founder-director of the Goa based Xavier Centre of Historical Research, at Alto Porvorim (1981-94). Based in Portugal since 1995, he headed the Department of History, in the Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias. He was Fellow of the Portuguese Academy of History since 1983, and of the Sociedade de Geografia de Lisboa since 2000. Of Goan origin, and a former Jesuit, this work is an updated edition of the book based on his PhD, which challenged the view that Portuguese rule In South Asia resulted in a period of golden rule in Goa in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. He is the author and editor of many books and research papers which can be consulted on the DeGois cyberlatform at http: // He died in 2019.


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