The historian José Mattoso died


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The historian José Mattoso died today at the age of 90, informed the current director of the Torre do Tombo, highlighting his role in the modernization of the national and municipal archives.

José João da Conceição Gonçalves Mattoso (born at Leiria, January 23, 1933) was a Portuguese medievalist and university professor.

Mattoso earned his doctoral degree in medieval history from the Catholic University of Leuven, in Belgium, in 1966 (with a thesis on the abbey of Pendorada – “L’Abbaye de Pendorada : des Origines à 1160”), while he was Benedictine monk at the Abbey of Singeverga. He returned to secular life in 1970, and taught at the University of Lisbon and at the New University of Lisbon. He was also a director of National Archives / Torre do Tombo.

He is recognized in Portugal and internationally as one of the most distinguished scholars of the history of medieval Portugal, and much of his scholarly work is largely devoted to that period. His works include, among others, “Ricos homens, Infanções e Cavaleiros” (on the medieval society), “Fragments of a Medieval Composition” (in response to the arguments of Antonio Borges Coelho), and “Identification of A country Essay on the Origins of Portugal (1096–1325)” (Vol. I – ‘Opposition’ vol. II – ‘Composition’), with five editions constantly revised and updated between 1985 and 1995. Mattoso was awarded the Alfredo Pimenta prize of Medieval History, and the non-fiction Prize of Pen club for this work. He was also awarded the Fernando Pessoa Prize in 1987, among other important distinctions.

He acted as the scientific editor of a History of Portugal (1993–1995) in eight volumes.

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