Online Encyclopedia

RUY DE PINA (1440-1521)

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Originally appearing in Volume V21, Page 616 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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RUY DE PINA (1440-1521), Portuguese chronicler, was a native of Guarda. He acted as secretary of the embassy sent by King John II. to Castile in the spring of 1482, and in the following September returned there as sole envoy. He was present at the execution of the duke of Braganza at Evora in 1483, and in 1484 went to Rome as secretary of an embassy to Pope Innocent VII. On his return, the king charged him to write a history of his reign and gave him a pension for his support. Following the arrival of Columbus from his first voyage in 1493, Pina was one of the commissaries despatched to Barcelona by John II. to negotiate with the Catholic sovereigns respecting the limits of their, respective jurisdictions. In September 1495 he attested the will of John II. in his capacity as a notary public, and on the 25th of October of the same year he was present at his master's death at Alvor and opened and read his testament. King Manoel confirmed his pension and appointed him in 1497 chronicler of the kingdom, keeper of the archives and royal librarian, with a suitable salary. By 1504 Pina had completed his chronicles of Alphonso V. and John II. King John III. charged him with a history of his father, Manoel, and at his death Pina had carried it down to the capture of Azamor, as we know from Damiao de Goes, who used it in preparing his own chronicle of that monarch. It is probable that the chronicles of the early kings of Portugal from Sancho I. to Alphonso IV. which were published under Pina's name in the 18th century were written by Fernao Lopes and edited by Pina, while that of King Duarte seems to have been the joint production of Lopes and Azurara, with Pina again as the editor only. Pina was a favourite of fortune during his life, for, apart from royal benefactions, he received presents from public men who wished to figure well in his books, and after his death he obtained the credit for work that was not his. His authority as an historian is considerable, and his frankness is said to have provoked remark from contemporaries. Pina's chronicle of King Alphonso IV. was first published in Lisbon in 1853; those of King Duarte and King Alphonso V. in vol. i. of the Collecilo de livros ineditos da historia portugueza (Lisbon, 179o), and his chronicle of John II. in vol. ii. of the same collection (Lisbon, 1792). The introduction to the chronicle of King Duarte contains the fullest account of Pina's life. (E. PR.)
End of Article: RUY DE PINA (1440-1521)
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