Biographical and Thematic Dictionary of Brazil in the Hispanic Monarchy (1580-1640)

La recuperación de Bahía de Todos los Santos
Characters of La recuperación de Bahía de Todos los Santos (1634-1635), by Juan Bautista Maíno. © Museo del Prado.

omen, soldiers, merchants, slaves, natives, governors, missionaries, writers, arbitrators, subaltern population and wealthy elites, multiple and diverse characters; all of them were protagonists in the territories of Portuguese America during the period when the Kingdom of Portugal was under the power of the Spanish Habsburgs, between 1580 and 1640.

During the 60 years of “union of the Iberian crowns”, very important transformations took place in many aspects of the territory occupied by the Portuguese in America. The transition between indigenous and African slavery was one of the most relevant changes, but there were also administrative reforms, profound legal changes, an intense exchange of people, goods, books or news and finally, important transformations in the way “Brasilienses” saw their world and the world around them.

In this Biographical- Thematic Dictionary many of these issues are shown. It does not intend to simply develop biographical data or case studies, but in each character and subject selected, in addition to providing basic information, those aspects that affect the broad framework of the Habsburg government and the moves of the time will be highlighted, thus demonstrating that, in many aspects, this was a “crucial period” for the formation of the Luso-American space.

BRASILHIS Dictionary is a derivation and completes the results of BRASILHIS Database, which compiles information on people who were related to the Luso-American territories during that same period.

Both projects, the Database and the Biographical-Thematic Dictionary, are the result of research carried out by various historians in Spain, Brazil, Germany, Holland and Portugal, members of the BRASILHIS Research Group, who are developing different lines of research related to these topics and framed within this same period.

Funding is provided by the national research projects “Political, commercial and military networks in Brazil during the Hispanic Monarchy and its aftermath (1580-1680)” ref. HAR2012-35978 (until 2016), “Circulation of people, books, objects and news between Brazil and the territories of the Hispanic Monarchy (1580-1668)”, from 2017, HAR2016-78099-P of the Ministry of Science and Innovation (formerly MINECO) and “Cultural exchanges, transculturation and Castilianisation in the territories of the Kingdom of Portugal and Brazil during the period of integration into the Hispanic Monarchy and its aftermath, 1580-1668″ of the Castile and Leon Regional Government, from 2020.


Council of Portugal

With the Union of Crowns between Spain and Portugal in 1580, the Portuguese territory and its overseas possessions were inserted into the Castilian polisinodial system, a system of councils that ...

Customs tithes (Taxes)

Since the Middle Ages, it was foreseen in feudal relations that vassals had the obligation to provide material and military aid to the lord, thus constituting the first approximation to ...

Diego Flores de Valdés

Captain General Diego Flores de Valdés was one of the most prominent and experienced navigators of the Spanish navy, with over thirty years of service to the Crown ...

Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen

Born in Dillenburg (Germany) in the Holy Roman Empire in 1604, Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen was the firstborn son of the marriage of Johan VII van Nassau-Siegen (1561-1623) to Margaretha ...

Jorge de Mascarenhas

The year of Jorge de Mascarenhas' birth is uncertain, some claim to have been in 1570, others in 1585, or even in 1579, as indicated by the most reliable source ...

Juana Catalina Ramírez de Velasco Ugarte

Date of birth: around 1610 "Creole" wife of Salvador Correá de Sá e Benavides, son of Martim Correa de Sá and grandson of Salvador Correa de Sá, o velho, governors ...