Topic: Portugal

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The Portuguese Bank Note Crisis of 1925

Biography Portugal Numismatics

Artur Virgílio Alves Reis (Lisbon, 8 September 1896 – 9 June 1955) was a Portuguese criminal who perpetrated one of the largest frauds in history, against the Bank of Portugal in 1925, often called the Portuguese Bank Note Crisis.

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Theory of the Portuguese discovery of Australia

Australia Portugal Australia/Australian maritime history Australia/History of exploration

The theory of Portuguese discovery of Australia claims that early Portuguese navigators were the first Europeans to sight Australia between 1521 and 1524, well before the arrival of Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon in 1606 on board the Duyfken who is generally considered to be the first European discoverer. This is based on the following elements:

  • The Dieppe maps, a group of 16th-century French world maps, which depict a large landmass between Indonesia and Antarctica. Labelled as Java la Grande, this land mass carries French, Portuguese, and Gallicized Portuguese placenames, and has been interpreted by some as corresponding to Australia's northwestern and eastern coasts.
  • The presence of Portuguese colonies in Southeast Asia from the early 16th century, particularly Portuguese Timor – approximately 650 kilometres from the Australian coast – c. 1513–1516.
  • Various antiquities found on Australian coastlines, claimed to be relics of early Portuguese voyages to Australia, which are more commonly regarded as evidence of Makassan visit of Northern Australia.

Precedence of Australia's discovery has also been claimed for China (Admiral Zheng), France, Spain, and even Phoenicia.

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Álvaro de Campos

Biography Portugal

Álvaro de Campos (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈalvɐɾu ðɨ ˈkɐ̃puʃ]; October 15, 1890 – November 30, 1935) was one of the poet Fernando Pessoa's various heteronyms, widely known by his powerful and wrathful writing style. According to his author, this alter ego was born in Tavira, Portugal, studied mechanical engineering and finally graduated in ship engineering in Glasgow. After a journey in Ireland, Campos sailed to the Orient and wrote his poem "Opiario" in the Suez Canal "onboard". He worked in 'Barrow-on-Furness' (sic) (of which Pessoa wrote a poem about) and Newcastle-on-Tyne (1922). Unemployed, Campos returned to Lisbon in 1926 (he wrote then the poem "Lisbon Revisited"), where he lived ever since. He was born in October, 1890, but Pessoa didn't put an end to the life of Campos, so he would have survived his author who died in November, 1935. Campos' works may be split in three phases: the decadent phase, the futuristic phase and the decadent (sad) phase. He chose Whitman and Marinetti as masters, showing some similarities with their works, mainly in the second phase: hymns like "Ode Triunfal", "Ode Marítima", and "Ultimatum" praise the power of the rising technology, the strength of the machines, the dark side of the industrial civilization, and an enigmatic love for the machines. The first phase (marked by the poem Opiário) shared some of its pessimism with Pessoa's friend Mário de Sá-Carneiro, one of his co-workers in Orpheu magazine. In the last phase, Pessoa drops the mask, and reveals through Campos all the emptiness and nostalgy that grew during his last years of life. In his last phase Campos wrote the poems "Lisbon Revisited" and the well-known "Tobaco Shop".

"I always want to be the thing I feel kinship with...
To feel everything in every way,
To hold all opinions,
To be sincere contradicting oneself every minute..."

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