The DNA of Portuguese language and culture: The «Pioneer Works of Portuguese Culture» project

  • José Eduardo Franco Universidade Aberta; CLEPUL
  • Carlos Fiolhais Universidade de Coimbra


The identity of Portugal has been developed through its culture, which has produced its pioneer works between the 12th and 18th centuries. The Pioneer Works of Portuguese Culture (Franco and Fiolhais, 2017) is a collection of innovative works, now in press, which contributed to shaping Portuguese language and culture.

The Pioneer Works aim to make the founding texts of Portuguese culture widely known. According to our criteria of selection, these are the texts written in Portuguese language that inaugurated certain areas of knowledge within the country borders. The introductory essays of each volume contain essential insights about these texts that created knowledge in the most diverse fields, including grammar, history, fictional literature, pedagogy, ethics, politics, theology, nautical sciences, botany, medicine, physics, chemistry, engineering, etc., besides literature and artistic creation. A project of this kind, based on a rigorous systematization and textual assessment of the original sources, allows the dissemination of research results achieved in the last decades, after the discovery of previously unpublished or little known sources.