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The Plundering of the Ceylonese Royal Treasury, 1551–1553: Its Character, Cost, and Dispersal

  • Hugo Miguel Crespo
Chapter
Part of the Europe's Asian Centuries book series (EAC)

Abstract

Following the mysterious death in 1551 of Bhuvanekabāhu VII, a thorough inventory of the Ceylonese royal treasury was drafted by Simão Botelho for the Portuguese State of India (the Estado). Although published in full by Sousa Viterbo in 1904, it has received little attention from scholars. Published in its original sixteenth-century Portuguese language and teeming with long forgotten words and an exotic vocabulary of Asian origin, the inventory has remained almost unknown since it was first printed. Meticulously drafted, it contains the inventory of the monies, gold pieces, and jewels removed from the royal treasury and also the treasury of the private royal temple. The present chapter aims to provide the first systematic analysis of its invaluable art historical content.

Keywords

Ceylon Portuguese India Treasury Gem trade Jewellery Gemstones 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hugo Miguel Crespo
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for HistoryUniversity of LisbonLisbonPortugal

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