Goa, then.

Goa 1556, the alternative publishers based in Saligao have republished Medieval Goa, a book about the Goa that was. The author, Teotonio R de Souza, is currently head of the Department of History in the Universidade Lusofona de Humanidades e Tecnologias in Lisbon, and was the founder-director of the Xavier Centre of Historical Research at Porvorim. The book was first published here in 1979.

Medieval Goa " is an attempt to take a closer look at the common man's reality in rural and urban Goa during the early phase of Portuguese colonial rule here- the subaltern view, so to speak. This book, with Goa as its focus, looks at Portugal's rivals and neighbours in South Asia, the Goan rural heritage, agrarian organisation, and the urban "topography and demography" of Goa. It also looks at centuries old municipal organisation of the region and its urban economic life.

One unique addition of the book is a 22-page bibliographical essay. It lists and explains the worth of the primary sources -- both published and archival -- that is of relevance to anyone wanting to study the Goa of the yesteryears. These include official chronicles from Portuguese times, missionary reports, travelogues, and state papers.

Archival sources include treasures at the Historical Archives of Goa, records of farmed revenues, land and revenue registers, village community records, papers of the suppressed convents, municipal records and private records in Goa. The book also offers pointers to State archives abroad, and records from private collections abroad."

The Pune University historian A R Kulkarni called it a result of painstaking research efforts and makes a remarkable contribution to the existing literature on the socio-economic history of Medieval India.

In our History section, in hardcover, 284-pages. Rs 495. ISBN: 9788190568265

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