The Great Adventure. Television, Nationalism and the Portuguese Discoveries Commemorations




Nationalism, Portuguese Discoveries, Television, audiovisual culture, José Hermano Saraiva


The television programs of historian José Hermano Saraiva contributed to create a popular narrative on the History of Portugal. Recognizing the importance of television as a new mediator of cultural life, José Hermano Saraiva used his capacity as a communicator to convey a nationalist history which favored synthesis instead of background research. In this article I’ll try to circumvent the oblivion of audiovisual sources in the historiography and advance new hypotheses for the study of the National Commission for the Commemoration of the Portuguese Discoveries (CNCDP) programming by analyzing the television program “The Great Adventure”, broadcast by the Portuguese National Television (RTP). The article does not intend to extrapolate from a specific television program general considerations on the CNCDP’s programming, nor to suggest that the program transformed the transmission of the history of Portuguese discoveries, but rather to present a new way to map the dissemination of the Portuguese Discoveries in the postcolonial and democratic period and to verify how José Herma- no Saraiva’s performance favored its banalization.



How to Cite

Cardão, M. (2021). The Great Adventure. Television, Nationalism and the Portuguese Discoveries Commemorations. Práticas Da História. Journal on Theory, Historiography and Uses of the Past, (8), 17–47.



Dossier: History of the celebrations of the “Portuguese discoveries”