The present reprint of the first edition of the Lusiadas by Luís Vaz De Camões (1525?-1580) makes this most important work of Portuguese Renaissance poetry available again in its original form.
Camões relates the history of the Portuguese people from its legendary beginning at the time of their ancestor Lusus (hence the term 'Lusiad') up to his own time in the form of an epic, the highest genre of his day. The use of ancient forms - among his models was e.g. Virgils Aeneid - and the structure of the work reflect humanistic ideals: Portuguese overseas expansionism in connection with Christian missionary zeal puts man at the center of the world as a discoverer bringing salvation and change. At the same time the heroic history of the Lusiads satisfies Portugal's claim to a reorientation to national history and tradition.
Camões'work is distinguished by a high poetical talent and a gift for realistic descriptions of nature, which lead Alexander von Humboldt to call him a “great sea-painter“.