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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