Orlando Ribeiro

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Orlando Ribeiro (Lisbon, Portugal, 1911 - Lisbon, 1997), was a Portuguese geographer and historian.


Ribeiro devoted his life to the teaching and research in Geography and is often labelled as one of the main reformist of this science in Portugal. He graduated in Geography and History in 1932, and completed his doctorate at the University of Lisbon in 1935. Between 1937 and 1940 (that is, during World War II), he lived in Paris and worked at the Sorbonne University, alongside March Bloch, Emmanuel de Martonne and A. Demangeon. In 1940 he taught at the University of Coimbra, although he soon settled in his natal city of Lisbon. In 1943 he founded the Centro de Estudos Geográficos (Centre for Geographical Studies). Ribeiro also lived in Goa temporarily, where he worked as a geographer for the Portuguese government.

Among his publications one specific book stands out: Portugal, o Mediterrâneo e o Atlântico (1945). This is one of the cornerstones in his career, as he develops a detailed study on Portugal's "double nature", or in other words, "a country which is Atlantic by location but mostly Mediterranean in culture". Yet, this book had a wide impact, since Ribeiro deepens in the concepts of Atlantic Europe and Mediterranean Europe, linking central and southern Portugal to the Mediterranean culture and northern Portugal (together with Galicia) to a pan-Atlantic European culture. In fact, Ribeiro is one of the first geographers formulating the idea of Atlantic Europe as a geographical and cultural unit (it had been partially advanced by Otero Pedrayo), an idea which would be further developed by authors such as P. Flatrès, Emyr Estyn Evans, A. Bouhier, Meynier, J. García Fernández, Patrick O'Flanagan, Barry Cunliffe, Carlos Ferrás Sexto or Xoán Paredes.

In 1966, the Centro de Estudos Geográficos begins to publish the Geography journal Finisterra, which soon would become the main referent of geographical science in Portugal, to present day.

Ribeiro was also an accomplished photographer, and he would often take the pictures himself for his works.

Partial bibliography

  • A Arrábida. Esboço Geográfico (1935)
  • Portugal o Mediterrâneo e o Atlântico (1945 and 1990)
  • A Ilha de Fogo e as Suas Erupções (1954 and 1960)
  • Portugal (1955)
  • Mediterrâneo. Ambiente e Tradição (1968)

External links

See also

  • Atlantic Europe
  • Portugal
  • Mediterranean Sea