Fernão Lopes Portal

The guiding objective of the Fernão Lopes Translation Project is to produce the first complete English translation of three Portuguese chronicles of the 15th century by Fernão Lopes: Crónica de D. Pedro, Crónica de D. Fernando and Crónica de D. João I, parts I and II.

Originally, when the present free access website was created at the University of Georgia, it was intended as a sort of interactive set of footnotes illustrating the printed English edition of the chronicles above. One other no less important objective was to build a useful tool for medievalists in general, researchers, students, and anyone with an interest for the life and times of Western Europe roughly between the mid-fourteenth and the mid-fifteenth century. This was a period of great upheaval, with strained relations between several kingdoms, reflected in the Hundred Years War, which also reached Portugal, as its main contenders, England and France, intervened in other conflicts raging in the Iberian Peninsula. Fernão Lopes’s chronicles offer a wealth of information not only on diplomatic and military affairs, but also on a wide range of other matters: economy, administration, monetary system, inflation, health, the survival of the lowly people at times of war and famine, and many other aspects of daily life across the social spectrum.

For technical reasons, the website could not remain at the University of Georgia. In December 2019, it migrated  to the Instituto de Estudos Medievais (IEM), at Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal. In doing so, with the collaboration of its professors, students and IT specialists, the website can now fulfill another important objective: to serve as a research and teaching tool integrated into the IEM’s Digital Humanities initiative. Despite its location in a  Portuguese institution, English remains the adopted language for the website in the hope of being able to reach and serve a wider international network of users.

One other objective since its inception, was to assist the team of translators working on the English edition of Fernão Lopes’s chronicles; and by extension, to encourage other translators to undertake new projects of this nature. To that end, the website contains a glossary of terms in Portuguese and respective equivalent English. There is also a database listing and cross-referencing the chronicles, respective chapters, personalities, and place names mentioned in each of them; interactive maps, genealogies, timelines, and other notes and links to further assist in integrating the chronicles in the context of the period covered, essentially from 1357 to 1411.

As a project dedicated to such extensive texts, the process of developing this website is bound to last several years. Nevertheless, as the information contained in the database can already be of use to many medievalists, it has been decided to make it public before completion. So far, the Chronicle of King Pedro of Portugal has been fully indexed, as well as numerous references to the other chronicles, though not systematically yet. We ask users to be patient with us, as some entries are still in progress.

Hopefully, in its new home at the IEM in Lisbon, Fernão Lopes’s own city and place of work, the website will enjoy the benefits of being installed in the server of an outstanding research institution populated by medievalists. In the name of the original Fernão Lopes Project Team, I offer our gratitude to Professor Maria João Branco, Director of the IEM, and to Doctor Tiago Viúla de Faria who, together with their dedicated team of IT specialists, have worked hard to guarantee the long-term survival and continued development of the Fernão Lopes website. May their initiative be rewarded with the success of one more objective — to earn for the chronicler and his work the recognition they deserve internationally.