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Iberian ModalitiesA Relational Approach to the Study of Culture in the Iberian Peninsula$
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Joan Ramon Resina

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781846318337

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781846318337.001.0001

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Immortality, Corruption, and the Sisè Seny: João deBarros's Empire of Language

Immortality, Corruption, and the Sisè Seny: João deBarros's Empire of Language

(p.197) Chapter Twelve Immortality, Corruption, and the Sisè Seny: João deBarros's Empire of Language
Iberian Modalities

Vincent Barletta

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines the complex theorization of empire, praxis, language, the senses, and immortality found in the introduction to the first volume of João de Barros's Décadas da Ásia (Lisbon, 1562). In this introduction, Barros speaks at length of the central place of historical narrative in the workings of empire, weaving together three seemingly disparate threads. The first of these is an episode from the history of Alexander the Great that deals directly with the link between poetry, praxis (what Barros calls feitos), and immortality. The second involves a strategic reworking of philosophical ideas regarding immortality. The third is the theory of affatus developed at the end of the thirteenth century by the Mallorcan polymath Ramon Llull, according to which language (framed as speech) constitutes a sixth human sense.

Keywords:   Portugal, Renaissance, Barros, Llull, Alexander the Great, history, empire, immortality

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