padrao, noun

Forms:
Also padrão, padrâo.
Plurals:
padraos, padrãos, padroes, padrões.
Origin:
PortugueseShow more Portuguese, inscribed post or pillar, monument; standard, gauge.
An inscribed stone pillar or cross, erected at several points along the South African coast by Portuguese explorers of the 15th and early 16th centuries to mark Portuguese sovereignty, proclaim Christianity, and serve as a landmark. See also beacon noun sense 2.
1900 E.G. Ravenstein Voy. of Diogo Cão & Bartholomeu Dias 1482–88 (1986) 3Cão was the first to carry ‘padrões,’ or pillars of stone on an exploring voyage. Up to his time the Portuguese had been content to erect perishable wooden crosses, or to carve inscriptions into trees, to mark the progress of their discoveries. King John conceived the happy idea of introducing stone pillars, surmounted by a cross, and bearing, in addition to the royal arms, an inscription recording..the date, the name of the king by whose order the voyage was made, and the name of the commander. The four padrões set up by Cão on his two voyages have been discovered in situ.
c1936 S. & E. Afr. Yr Bk & Guide 447Part of a ‘padrao,’ or marble cross erected by Bartholomew Diaz, at Angra Pequena, in 1486.
1964 L.G. Green Old Men Say 42Portuguese explorers left inscribed pillars called padrãos to mark their discoveries, and one or two of these have been pieced together in recent years.
1968 Dict. of S. Afr. Biography I. 242The squadron passed Cape Cross (lat. 21°47’S.) where Diogo Cão had placed his last padrão, an inscribed stone pillar of Portuguese limestone, surmounted by a cross, which proclaimed Portuguese sovereignty over the area.
1973 Std Encycl. of Sn Afr. VIII. 425Padrões, Inscribed stone pillars which were erected by Portuguese explorers from the time of Diogo Cão to early in the 16th century.
1988 Lubke & La Cock Vegetation & Ecology of Kwaaihoek (pamphlet)Dias carried on board his caravels on this exploratory voyage a number of padraõs or beacons sculptured from limestone from a quarry in Portugal.
1988 R.A. Lubke et al. Field Guide to E. Cape Coast 380Fragments of the padrão were recovered from pools at the leaward base of the headland by Axelson in 1938.
1988 R.G. Shuttleworth in Cape Times 13 Jan. 8Dias and his crew would have had no particular difficulty carrying the 250–300 kg padrao, since several of them would have carried it in a rope or canvas sling.
[1989 P.E. Raper Dict. of Sn Afr. Place Names 88The name [Cape Padrone] is derived from the Portuguese padrâo, a stone cross to mark Portuguese possession.]
1991 F.G. Butler Local Habitation 244Far from being without ‘ghosts’, the poem is an indaba of shades on the headland known as Kwaai Hoek, where Dias planted his padrao half a millenium ago.
An inscribed stone pillar or cross, erected at several points along the South African coast by Portuguese explorers of the 15th and early 16th centuries to mark Portuguese sovereignty, proclaim Christianity, and serve as a landmark.
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