Powers in the Portuguese Overseas Empire

Academic year
Subject Area
Modern Era History
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
2nd Cycle Studies - Mestrado

Recommended Prerequisites

Portuguese and English. Useful approval on the followying course units of the 1º cicle in History or : History of the Portuguese Empire, Colonialism and Postcolonialism, History of Portugal in Africa, History of Brazil, History of Portugal in Asia.

Teaching Methods

Seminars including:

- Concise lectures opening each program item using a problematical strategy.

- colective analysis of historical sources and studies, under teacher supervision and guidance.

- critical debates on historical interpretations.

- presentations by the students of small works based on selected bibliography.

Learning Outcomes

Students are expected to achieve advanced knowledge on the political configuration of the local powers in the portuguese seaborne empire and:

- develop critical skills about historical reasoning.

- the ability of building, selecting and retrieving a thematical bibliography.

- recognise useful primary sources for the study of portuguesa overseas empire.

- abilities on structuring clearly and comprehensively their writings and oral presentations.

- improve their capacities of arguing.

- build a problematical and dense notion of historical process.

Work Placement(s)



1 – Empire local powers network configurations: a global insight.

2 – Royal power representatives: vice kings and governors.

3 – The militar power: captains.

4 – The strenght of the “man land”: municipalities.

5 – Ecclesiastical powers: episcopacy, cathedral chapters and regular clergy missions.

6 – The power of shaping beliefs and behaviours: the Inquisition.

7 – Assitence and the remembrance of the kingdom: the Misericórdias confraternities.

Head Lecturer(s)

José Pedro de Matos Paiva

Assessment Methods

Resolution Problems: 25.0%
Research work: 25.0%
Report of a seminar or field trip: 50.0%


BETHENCOURT, F. e CHAUDHURI, K. - História da Expansão Portuguesa. Lisboa, 1998

BETHENCOURT, F. e CURTO, Diogo Ramada (dir.) – A expansão marítima portuguesa 1400-1800. Lisboa: 2010

BOXER, C. – O império colonial português 1415-1825. Lisboa, 1969

BOXER, C. – Portuguese society in the tropics: the municipal councils of Goa, Macao, Bahia and Luanda, 1510-1800. Madison: 1965

PAIVA, J. P. e MARCOCCI, G. - História da Inquisição Portuguesa (1536-1821). Lisboa, 2013

PAIVA, J. P, – Os bispos de Portugal e do império (1495-1777). Coimbra, 2006

RUSSEL-WOOD, A. J. R. – Um mundo em movimento. Os portugueses na África, Ásia e América (1415-1808). Lisboa, 1998

SÁ, I. dos G. - Quando o rico se faz pobre. Misericórdias, caridade e poder no império português 1500-1800. Lisboa: 1997

ZUPANOV, I.  G. – Missionary tropics. The catholic frontier in India (16th-17th) centuries. Ann Arbor: 2005.