Luso Tamil Catechism Lisbon 1554



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English: A page from Luso-Tamil Catechism (Cartilha or Primer) printed in Lisbon in 1554 CE. It is a bilingual work with Tamil and Portuguese phrases - both printed in Roman script. This is the earliest known printed work of Tamil (though in roman script). The books is 38 pages long with Tamil phrases in Red followed immediately by Portuguese translations printed in black (in smaller font). Authors of the book were Tamil Christians living in Lisbon - Vincente de Nazareth, Thome da Cruz and Jorge Carvalho(?). They were supervised by Father Joao Villa de Conde. The single surviving copy of the book is at the Ethnological Museum at Belem,

The title of the book reads Cartilho che conte brevemente ho q todo christavo deve aprender pera sua saluacum, a qual el rey dom joham terceiro deste nome nosso senhor mandou imprimir e lingua Tamul e Portugues co ha declaracum do Tamul por Cima de vermelho (Primer which contains in brief all that a Christian should know for his salvation and for which our lord, the king Dom John III, had ordered to be printed in the Tamil language and in Portuguese with the Tamil meaning printed above in red.)

This book was rediscovered by Fr. Xavier Thaninayagam in the 1950s.
Date 2 February 1554(1554-02-02)
Source Achchum Padhippum by Ma. Sa. Sambandhan 1980
Author Unknown
(Reusing this file)
Public domain This work is in the public domain in India because its term of copyright has expired.
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