Biography (Dictionary of World Biography: Renaissance)
Article abstract: Camões is the author of Os Lusíadas (1572; The Lusiads, 1655), the national epic of Portugal. Celebrating the voyage of Vasco da Gama, the poem recites the heroic history of the Portuguese nation.
Luís de Camões (sometimes written Camoëns) was born in 1524, the year Vasco da Gama died. He was probably born in Lisbon, although by 1527 his family was living with Luís’ grandparents in Coimbra; most likely they fled from Lisbon to escape the plague, which reached the capital in that year.
Luís’ father was Simão Vas de Camões, a gentleman of no great power or wealth. Little is known of Anna de Macedo or Sá, Luís’ mother, beyond her name. When his father returned to Lisbon to take a position in the king’s warehouse, Luís remained in Coimbra with his mother in the home of her family, who were influential people there.
As Luís grew into manhood, Coimbra was undergoing its own development into the educational center of Portugal. Under the guidance of John III, a great university was permanently established. In or near 1539, Luis entered the university and must have read Vergil, Ovid, Lucan, and Cicero in the original Latin. He learned to speak Spanish fluently and was also exposed to Italian, Greek, geography,...
(The entire section is 1958 words.)
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Biography (Critical Survey of Poetry)
Although he has had many biographers, little is known for certain of the adventuresome life of Luís de Camões, who represented so well in his life and works the Renaissance man and the Portuguese conquistador. The son of Simão Vas de Camões and Ana de Macedo or Sá, Camões was possibly related, through his paternal grandmother, to Vasco da Gama, as well as to other Portuguese notables dating as far back as 1370. Camões was a gentleman, then, although always of scant financial resources. It is clear, too, that he possessed a vast erudition. Because of the quantity and quality of Camões’s learning, it is likely that he studied at Coimbra University and therefore that he was born in Coimbra, as he probably would have been too poor to move there from Lisbon.
With some reputation as well as noble birth, Camões went to Lisbon between 1542 and 1545, to frequent the court and enjoy the greater activity of the capital. His enjoyment was short-lived, unfortunately, for in 1546 or 1547 he was banished to Ribatejo because of his passion for a lady of the court whose parents did not approve. It is known that during the years from 1547 to 1549, Camões was in Ceuta, Morocco, winning his spurs as a proper young nobleman but losing an eye, probably in combat with the Moors. In 1549, he was back in Lisbon, where he led a Bohemian existence until 1553, when, in a brawl, he injured his adversary so seriously that he was jailed.
Camões was released...
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Biography (Magill's Survey of World Literature, Revised Edition)
Luís de Camões (kuh-MOYNSH) is the preeminent poet of the Portuguese language, occupying a place in that language analogous to William Shakespeare in English or Dante in Italian in both the magnitude of his achievement and his influence upon Portuguese literature. Camões’s epic of discovery and conquest Os Lusíadas (1572; The Lusiads, 1655) is the work for which he is most renowned, but his lyric poetry and plays have also commanded attention.
Luís Vaz de Camões, the son of Simão Vaz de Camões and Ana de Sá, was born in Lisbon, Portugal, around 1524. His family was well off but did not inhabit the upper reaches of the aristocracy. Camões’s family was originally Galician in origin and had lived for some generations in the mountainous northern Portuguese town of Chaves. There are unsubstantiated rumors that some of his ancestors may have been converted Jews, but it is difficult to determine the validity of this claim.
His overseas travels aside, the details of Camões’s life are hazy, and beyond a few known facts what is generally thought about Camões’s biography is largely a product of scholarly conjecture. It is thought that Camões attended the newly relocated University of Coimbra, where his uncle Bento was the first chancellor. At Coimbra, Camões wrote Enfatriões (pr. 1540), a comic play in...
(The entire section is 953 words.)
Biography (Magill's Survey of World Literature, Revised Edition)
When the Brazilian singer Caetano Veloso in his song “Lingua” says, “I like to feel my tongue touch the tongue of Luís de Camões,” he is not only laying claim to an intimate contact with Portuguese literary tradition but also identifying himself with Camões as a bard and an artistic personality. In the twenty-first century, Camões is not merely a Portuguese national poet; he is a poet of the global Lusophone world, which includes Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, and East Timor. The highest literary award for a writer in Portuguese is the Premio Luís de Camões, testifying to the poet’s founding and indispensable role in worldwide Portuguese literary culture.
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Biography (Cyclopedia of World Authors, Fourth Revised Edition)
Born in 1524, Luís Vaz de Camões (kuh-MOYNSH)—his name is also sometimes written Camoëns—has the distinction of having two cities, Lisbon and Coimbra, claim him as a native son. Modern scholarship has been unable to determine with certainty which city is correct in its claim, but Lisbon presents a somewhat better case. Camões apparently was educated at the University of Coimbra, a flourishing university in the sixteenth century, thanks to the patronage of King Joao III of Portugal. In the middle 1540’s Camões left the university for Lisbon. A tradition no longer believed correct held that he went to Lisbon as a tutor; another tradition no longer believed was that he followed a beautiful woman of the court.es, Luís de[Camoes, Luís de]}es, Luís de[Camoes, Luís de]}es, Luís de[Camoes, Luís de]}
By 1547, Camões had made a name for himself as the author of three successful comedies: Enfatriões (also known as Os Amphitryões), El-Rei Seleuco, and Filodemo. In 1547 he enlisted in the Portuguese army and served in northern Africa for two years; during the campaign he lost the sight of his right eye. Upon his return to Portugal he apparently led a loose life on the edge of court circles, earning himself the sobriquet of “Swashbuckler.” In June, 1552, he had the misfortune to wound a court official in a...
(The entire section is 631 words.)