Gaspar Correia

Gaspar Correia
Born c. 1496
Died c. 1563
Goa, Portuguese India
Nationality Portuguese
Occupation Historian

Gaspar Correia or Gaspar Corrêa (ca. 1496 ca. 1563 in Goa) was a Portuguese historian, author of "Lendas da Índia ("Legends of India"), one of the earliest and most important works about Portuguese rule in Asia, being referred to as a Portuguese Polybius.[1]


Little is known of the author. He lived mostly in Portuguese India, where he reported to have come very young, around 1512-14, to serve as a soldier and was chosen as secretary to Afonso de Albuquerque, of which he was very proud. He came to Portugal in 1529 but later returned to India. His work Lendas da Índia, though written in a rude style,[2] is considered an important contemporary reference, having profited from thirty-five years of Correia's work in India, and privileged sources unknown to Fernão Lopes de Castanheda or João de Barros. He made the first European account on Asiatic Cholera.[3] One theory states that he was murdered in Portuguese Malacca, by order of governor Estêvão da Gama, the son of Vasco da Gama.

Although some authors state that there was an issue of his work in 1556, it is most probable that manuscript copies of his 3,500 pages compendium had circulated among chosen recipients only, after having been brought from India to Portugal by Miguel da Gama shortly after Correia's death.[4] His family retained the manuscript of the original "Legends of India", which was first printed in 1858 (first part) and 1864 (second part) by the Royal Academy of Sciences of Lisbon.

Between 1527 and 1534, he was also colonial head of Cape Verde.


  1. Gaspar Corrêa, "The three voyages of Vasco da Gama: and his viceroyalty", Introduction, Adamant Media Corporation, 2001, ISBN 1-4021-9543-5
  2. Ethel M. Pope, "India in Portuguese literature", p. 69, Asian Educational Services, 1989, ISBN 81-206-0496-2
  3. Ethel M. Pope, India in Portuguese literature, p. 284, Asian Educational Services, 1989, ISBN 81-206-0496-2
  4. Donald F. Lach, "Asia in the Making of Europe, Volume I: The Century of Discovery", p. 338, University of Chicago Press, 1994, ISBN 0-226-46731-7


  • CORREIA, Gaspar. Lendas da Índia (introdução e revisão de M. Lopes de Almeida). Porto: 1975.
  • BELL, Aubrey Fitz Gerald, "Gaspar Corrêa", Hispanic notes & monographs; essays, studies, and brief biographies issued by the Hispanic Society of America. Portuguese series v, Volume 5 of Hispanic society of America, Oxford University Press, H. Milford, 1924
Preceded by
D. Leonis Correia
Colonial Governor of Cape Verde
Succeeded by
Estevão de Lagos
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