Duarte Barbosa

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Duarte Barbosa (c. 1480, Lisbon, Portugal; 1 May 1521, Philippines) was a Portuguese writer and officer from Portuguese India (between 1500 and 1516). He was a scrivener in a factory in Cannanore, and an interpreter of the local language, Malayalam.



The Book of Duarte Barbosa


Barbosa, Duarte, The Book of Duarte Barbosa, 2 vols., Hakluyt Society, London, 1918-21.

  • It is obviously an advantage in the sixteenth century Bengal to be a Moor, in as much as the Hindus daily become Moors to gain the favour of their rulers.
    • Barbosa, The Book of Duarte Barbosa, II, p.148. quoted from Lal, K. S. (1990). Indian muslims: Who are they.
  • The enthusiastic soldiers, who, in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, spread the faith of Islam among the timid race of Bengal, made forcible conversions by the sword, and, penetrating the dense forests of the Eastern frontier, planted the crescent in the villages of Sylhet. Tradition still preserves the names of Adam Shahid, Shah Halal Mujarrad, and Karmfarma Sahib, as three of the most successful of these enthusiasts.
    • Quoted from Lal, K. S. (1990). Indian muslims: Who are they.
  • The King allows such freedom that every man may come and go and live according to his own creed, without suffering any annoyance and without enquiry whether he is a Christian, ‘Jew’ Moor or Heathen. Great equity and justice is observed to all, not only by the rulers, but by the people one to another.
    • About freedom of religion in the Vijayanagara empire. Duarte Barbosa quoted from Jain, M. (editor) (2011). The India they saw: Foreign accounts. New Delhi: Ocean Books. Volume III Chapter 12
    • The Book of Duarte Barbosa, vol. I, p. 202. quoted in Lal, K. S. (1999). Theory and practice of Muslim state in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 2
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