Luís Serrão Pimentel (1613-1679): Cosmógrafo Mor e Engenheiro Mor de Portugal

The main cosmographer and engineer of Portugal, Luis Serrão Pimentel (1613-1679), gained notoriety at the service of nautical and military architecture teaching. Taking into account the positions he held it‟s possible to analyze the structure of the scientific culture of the country in the sixteenth century. In what Portuguese nautical science is concerned, we highlight the establishment of the „Esfera‟ Lesson and the Main Cosmographer Lesson in the context of technical studies of the Iberian Peninsula. The difficulties experienced in the maintenance of overseas possessions, attacked by other european powers, and the end of the Iberian Union in 1640 unveiled the urgent need of an internal organization in the Kingdom. The restructuring of the military authorities was a priority to the new King, John IV. Several organs emerged, such as the War Council, to reinforce the commitment to provide the country with military defenses to face the Spanish reluctance to accept the Portuguese independence. In this context, the military education was institutionalized with the establishment of the Fortification and Military Architecture Lesson, the first training school for future engineers, by request of Luís Serrão Pimentel.

Pimentel was author of the first portuguese fortification treaty, Methodo Lusitanico (1680), and several navigation manuals. As a professor, he was involved in the longitude issue, he examined future pilots and engineers, and he actively participated in important moments of the campaigns of the Independence Restoration. The legacy of his written production resulted of a theoretical knowledge developed from the practice obtained with the Discoveries and the military situation then experienced. Luís Serrão Pimentel has lived in a century of political, military and scientific revolutions and he knew how to take advantage from it. He was recognized by Cosimo III Medici and by Academia dos Generosos, a high selected club of intellectuals.

  • Dissertation
  • Nuno Alexandre Martins Ferreira
  • Departamento de História da Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa
  • 2009
  • Lisboa
  • Portuguese
  • Dissertação de Mestrado em História dos Descobrimentos e da Expansão na Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa. 205 p., pb. (Orientador: Professor Doutor Francisco Contente Domingues).
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Updated at 21/10/2019 by the tutor Projeto Fortalezas Multimídia (Jéssica Pedrini).



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