Portuguese Colonial Cities

Local Dynamics, Global Flows (c. 1500-1900)

Maria Sarita Mota, Cláudia C. Azeredo Atallah and Rodrigo da Costa Dominguez (editors)


Printed version


This book is focused on the study of the Portuguese Empire’s colonial cities from a long-term perspective. It seeks to highlight the multiple geographies and the various levels of interaction between overseas territories. The authors show how inland parishes, towns and port cities – places characterised by widespread slave trade, indigenous labor, circulation of goods and plagues, and a multicontinental judicial system – were integrally related to the global economic system of the modern world. These dynamic territories were not peripheral, but instead comprised an “entanglement of cities” they helped to shape. This simultaneous approach sees the historical past of Atlantic cities as being intertwined, thus revealing diversities, social hierarchies, inequalities, local autonomies and broad trans-imperial exchanges. These relations, in turn, mutually shaped modern urban structures, some of which would later receive the title of city.

Suggested citation:

Mota, M. S.; Azeredo Atallah, C. C.; da Costa Dominguez, R. (editors) (2023) Portuguese Colonial Cities, Buenos Aires. URL:

About the editors

Maria Sarita Mota is a Researcher at the Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology (CIES-Iscte) at the University Institute of Lisbon. She has been a visiting professor at the University of Lisbon (master’s degree in Brazilian Studies) and at Brazilian universities. She holds a Ph.D. in Social Sciences from the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro.
Cláudia C. Azeredo Atallah is an Adjunct Professor at the Federal Fluminense University and in the Postgraduate Program in Social History of the State University of Rio de Janeiro. She holds a Ph.D. in History from the Federal Fluminense University and a master’s degree in History from the State University of Rio de Janeiro.
Rodrigo da Costa Dominguez is a Research Associate at the Interdisciplinary Center of Social Sciences (CICS.NOVA) at the University of Minho, where he also teaches Economic History. He has been Visiting Scholar at the Appalachian State University (North Carolina, USA). He holds a master’s degree in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and a Ph.D. in History, both from the University of Porto (Portugal).