GOÍS, Damiao de

(1502-1574)
Damiao de Goís, a Portuguese diplomat, humanist, and composer, is best remembered for his histories, Chronica do felicissimo rei Dom Emanuel (1566 - 67) and Chronica do Principe Dom Ioam (1567). He is also noted for his travels and friendships with such humanists as Cornelius Grapheus and Desiderius Eras­mus.*
Goís, born into a noble Portuguese family, spent his early childhood years in the court of King Manuel I. In 1523 he was appointed to a secretarial post in a port trading establishment in Antwerp by John III, Manuel's successor. His diplomatic duties occupied him from 1528 to 1531, enabling him to travel ex­tensively throughout Europe. He studied at the University of Louvain and for a time was able to combine scholarship with his diplomatic duties. Refusing the post of treasurer in 1533, he returned to Flanders to dedicate himself to the life of Erasmian humanism.
Goíís had the means to travel and engage in intellectual pursuits. His many travels allowed him contact with different Protestant groups and contributed to his variety of ideas concerning Christianity. He met Erasmus through his asso­ciations with his close friend and teacher Cornelius Grapheus. In 1534, after being a guest of Erasmus for five months, Goís married and began a life of scholarly work. His work was interrupted by the French invasion of 1543, during which he was taken prisoner. Once he was freed by John III, he was summoned back to Portugal with his wife and three sons.
Upon his return to Portugal, Goís entered into his new post as chief keeper of the National Archive and was then chosen to write the official chronicle of King Manuel I, which he completed in 1567. His earlier associations with Prot­estants now came to haunt him, and in 1571 he was imprisoned by the Inqui­sition. Abandoned by family and friends, he died in 1574, two years after being convicted as a heretic.
Bibliography
E. Hirsch, Damiäo de Goís: The Life and Thought of a Portuguese Humanist, 1502­1574, 1967.
Catherine C. Pontoriero

Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary. . 2001.

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