Ribeiro, Orlando

(1911-1997)
   Twentieth-century Portugal's most distinguished geographer. After receiving his undergraduate degree (1932) and his doctorate (1936) at the University of Lisbon, he taught as a faculty member in Portugal, Spain, France, and Canada. At the University of Lisbon, he founded a center for geographical studies and trained generations of geographers who studied Portugal as well as Portugal's overseas empire. A tireless researcher-traveler, Ribeiro carried out geographical, historical, and ethnographic studies in Portugal, Spain, and other countries as well as in Portugal's empire. Not limiting his perspective and methodology to geography, he favored a multidisciplinary approach to research and publishing, and produced works on the Cape Verdes, Azores, and Goa (former Portuguese India).
   Ribeiro's most famous and enduring published contribution, however, was the classical geographical study Portugal, O Mediter-raneo e o Atlântico, first published in 1945, but still in print after many editions in several languages. This definitive work influenced generations of scholars, including the principal social scientists of the following decades. It was a brilliant synthesis of sources that explained Portugal's regional variations, as well as the country's unique and common features within the framework of the Iberian Peninsula. Ribeiro's contribution also explained geographical aspects of Portuguese national identity and nation-building. With his wife, Suzanne Daveau, also a geographer, and the German geographer Hermann Lautensach, he collaborated on a monumental geography of Portugal, in four volumes, the capstone of his career.

Historical dictionary of Portugal 3rd ed.. . 2014.

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