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The Travels of Mendes Pinto

Edited and translated by Rebecca D. Catz
This text, ostensibly the autobiography of Portugese explorer Fernão Mendes Pinto, came second only to Marco Polo’s work in exciting Europe’s imagination of the Orient. Chronicling adventures from Ethiopia to Japan, Travels covers twenty years of Mendes Pinto’s odyssey as a soldier, a merchant, a diplomat, a slave, a pirate, and a missionary, and continues to overwhelm questions about its source with the sheer enjoyment of its narrative.

"[T]here is plenty here for the modern reader. . . . The vivid descriptions of swashbuckling military campaigns and exotic locations make this a great adventure story. . . . Mendes Pinto may have been a sensitive eyewitness, or a great liar, or a brilliant satirist, but he was certainly more than a simple storyteller."—Stuart Schwartz, The New York Times

752 pages | 34 halftones, 2 maps | 7 x 10 | © 1989

Asian Studies: General Asian Studies

History: Discoveries and Exploration

Literature and Literary Criticism: Romance Languages

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Europe under Charles
Flowering of the Renaissance
Spain under Philip II
Portugal under Manuel I and John III
Publication History of the Book
Summary of the Text
The Historical Author
Satire and the Fictive Author
A Note on the Translation

1. The Early Years
2. The Passage to India
3. A Renegade in the Red Sea
4. The Land of Prester John
5. Captive in Mocha
6. On the Slave Block
7. The Siege of Diu
8. Impressment at Sea
9. The Queen of Honowar
10. Defeat at Honowar
11. The Queen's Treachery
12. Departure for Malacca
13. The Battak Envoy
14. Through the Jungles of Sumatra
15. At the Court of the Battak
16. Observing the Battak at War
17. The Battak Army in Retreat
18. The Battak's Warning
19. A Malay Tyrant
20. The Elusive Isle of Gold
21. The Ambassador from Aaru
22. The Aaru on the Eve of War
23. Shipwrecked off the Island of Sumatra
24. Captive in Siak
25. Back in Malacca
26. The Achinese Threat to Portuguese Power
27. The Death of the King of Aaru
28. The Queen of Aaru Seeks Revenge
29. The Queen of Aaru in Malacca
30. The Queen of Aaru Departs in Anger
31. Jantana Lays Claim to Aaru
32. Jantana and Achin at War
33. Rescue at Sea
34. Tome Lobo in Danger
35. Murder of the King of Pahang
36. Disaster in the Harbor of Lugor
37. Lady of the Swamp
38. Antonio de Faria Swears Vengeance
39. In Search of Khoja Hassim
40. Pirates off the Coast of Champa
41. Exploring Champa
42. Night Raid off Hainan Island
43. The Armenian's Story
44. The Pearl Fishers of Quemoy
45. Gathering Information in Hainan
46. Encounter with a Chinese Pirate
47- The Unlucky Bride
48. No Word of the Lord
49. Problems Unloading the Cargo
50. Victory in the Madel River
51. The Corsair's Confession
52. King of the Sea
53. Shipwreck off the Isle of Thieves
54. Marooned
55. A Precocious Child
56. Partners in Piracy
57. News of Khoja Hassim
58. Preparations for the Attack
59. A Glorious Victory
60. After the Battle
61. Grounded on the Coast of China
62. The Storm's Ravages
63. The Prisoners of Nouday
64. The Mandarin's Reply
65. The Sack of Nouday
66. Pirates at the Gates of Ning-po
67. A Message from Ning-po
68. Antonio de Faria's Reception in Ning-po
69. The Vicar of Ning-po
70. A Banquet in Honor of Antonio de Faria
71. The Voyage to Calempluy
72. A Doubtful Course
73. Of Men and Beasts
74. Similau Disappears
75. The Fabulous Isle of Calempluy
76. Desecration of the Tombs
77. The Old Hermit of Calempluy
78. The Hermit Spreads the Alarm
79. Antonio de Faria Meets His End
80. Castaways in China
81. The Wayside Shelter
82. Thrown to the Leeches
83. An Upper-Class Chinese Family
84. Arrested in Taypor
85. Transferred to Nanking
86. Legal Aid for the Poor
87. A Letter of Recommendation
88. The City of Nanking
89. The Pagoda of Pocasser
90. The Great Albuquerque Defamed
91. Inez de Leiria
92. The Legend of Nancá
93. The Child Prophet
94. The Founding of Peking
95. The Great Wall of China
96. The Submerged City
97. Business and Trade Practices in China
98. The Floating Cities of China
99. More about the Wonders of China
100. Arrival in Peking
101. A Favorable Ruling
102. Of Judges and Influence
103. Sentenced to Hard Labor
104. The Kindly Captain of Quansy
105. The Splendors of Peking
106. Chinese Banqueting Houses
107. Sightseeing in Peking
108. Prison of the Outcasts
109. Treasure House of the Dead
110. The Shrine of the Queen of Heaven
111. The Shrine of the 113 Kings
112. Social Welfare in China
113. Provisions against Famine
114. Farewell to Peking
115. A Point of Honor
116. A Chance Encounter with Vasco Calvo
117. The Tartar Invasion
118. Jorge Mendes Takes a Chance
119. A Portuguese Hero among the Tartars
120. On to Peking with the Tartars
121. Summoned in Audience
122. The Tartar King
123. The Tartars Lift the Siege
124. At the Tartar Court
125. Jorge Mendes Stays Behind
126. Departure from Tartary
127. A Heathen Pope
128. En Route to Cochinchina
129. Death on the Suicide Pyre
130. The Tartar Ambassador at the Court of Cochin
131. The Cochinese King Returns in Triumph
132. The Discovery of Japan
133. The Inquisitive Prince of Tanegashima
134. How Firearms Came to Japan
135. The King of Bungo
136. A Shooting Accident
137. The Prince's Recovery
138. Shipwreck off the Ryukyu Islands
139. Arrested for Piracy
140. Under Sentence of Death
141. The Compassionate Women of the Ryukyus
142. The Dowager Queen of the Ryukyus
143. A Brief Description of the Ryukyu Islands
144. Mission to Martaban
145. The Pathetic Little King
146. A Throne of Straw
147. Arrival in Martaban
148. The Siege of Martaban
149. Martaban Capitulates
150. The Surrender Ceremony
151. The Sack of Martaban
152. The Burmese Tyrant's Revenge
153. Betrayed by a Portuguese Nobleman
154. The Burmese Attack Prome
155. The Fall of Prome
156. The Fall of Meleitay
157. New Military Alliances
158. Journey to the Land of the Calaminhan
159. The Pagoda of Tinagogo
160. The Festival of Xipatilau
161. The Frightful Penitents of Tinagogo
162. Encounter with a Portuguese Woman
163. At the Palace of the Calaminhan
164. News of the Redeemer
165. A Brief Description of the Calaminhan's Empire
166. Strange Races and Places
167. Funeral Rites for the Holy Rolim
168. Election of the New Rolim
169. The New Rolim Ascends the Holy Throne
170. Escape from Burmese Captivity
171. Back in Goa
172. The Ambassadress from Java
173. The Javanese Lay Siege to Pasuruan
174. The Amucks Sally Forth
175. The Pasuruans Attack Again
176. A Portuguese Renegade
177. A Young Assassin
178. Anarchy in Demak
179. Struggle over a Life Raft
180. Ransomed from Slavery
181. Portuguese Mercenaries in Siam
182. The King of Siam Poisoned by the Queen
183. The Good King of Siam
184. The Queen and Her Lover Usurp the Throne
185. The Burmese Invade Siam
186. The Siege of Ayuthia
187. The Final Burmese Assault
188. Rebellion in Pegu
189. The Marvelous Kingdom of Siam
190. The Burmese Tyrant Assassinated
191. The Abominable Crime of Diogo Soares
192. Stoned by the Mob
193. The Xemindo Proclaimed King of Pegu
194. The Burmese Recapture Pegu
195. Permission to Sack Pegu Denied
196. The Chaumigremh's Triumphant Entry into Pegu
197. The Xemindo Captured and Condemned
198. The Execution of the Xemindo
199. Funeral Rites for the Xemindo
200. The Second Voyage to Japan
201. The Prince Avenges His Father's Death
202. Two Japanese Passengers Taken Aboard
203. With Francis Xavier in Malacca
204. Repairing the Fleet
205. Diogo Soares Saves the Day
206. Victory in the Perlis River
207. Francis Xavier's Revelation
208. Francis Xavier in Japan
209. An Invitation from the King of Bungo
210. At the Court of Bungo
211. Francis Xavier and the Japanese Bonzes
212. Theological Disputations
213. The Disputations Continue
214. The Miracle of the Sloop
215. The Death of Francis Xavier
216. The Miracle of Incorruptibility
217. The Final Resting Place of Francis Xavier
218. A Letter from the King of Bungo
219. Anarchy in Malacca
220. En Route to Japan
221. Arrival in China
222. Earthquake in China
223. The Farce of the Wooden Hands
224. Embassy to the King of Bungo
225. Failure of the Evangelical Mission
226. Return to Portugal
    1. Foreign and Uncommon Words
    2. Weights, Measures, and Units of Currency
    3. Sixteenth-Century Ships and Other Vessels


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