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Página actualizada a 19-02-2020
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The Game of Moral Precepts

Celeste Pedro *

The Game of Moral Precepts, workshop about the Diálogo de Preceitos Morais (1540), of João de Barros

27 and 28 February | Sala de Reuniões 2

Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto


FREE ENTRANCE: Limited to 12 participants.

Prior registration, by email:


Session 1 | 27 February | 14h30 - 17h00

1. Short bio and bibliographical presentation of João de Barros; 

2. Typographical analysis of the first and second editions of the "Diálogo em modo de jogo"; 

3. The rhetorical and pedagogical devices used in the text; 

4. João de Barros' theory of virtues. 

Session 2 | 28 February | 14h30 - 17h00

5. The objectives and the instructions of the game; 

6. Playing "The Game of Moral Precepts". 


The Dialogo de preceitos moraes co[m] prática delles, em módo de iogo, published in 1540 by João de Barros, is a book on moral philosophy. Of all the interesting highlights of the author's conceptual ideas and communication strategies, there is one in particular that makes this book special: it contains a board game that the reader can play in order to learn how to live a "good life". It is, therefore, a true book-object and, as such, it requires a contextual approach that lives up to its multifaceted design. 

The objective of this workshop is to conduct a methodological test on the game's playability and effectiveness in transmitting João de Barros' theory and pedagogical aims, by interpreting the concepts around João de Barros' illustration of the Tree of Virtues and how they are actualised in the board game; and by testing the actual game, following the author's instructions and rules on how to play it. 

Materials to be provided: 

a) Prototypes of the Game 

b) Modern Transcription of the Diálogo de Preceitos Morais

Although a modern transcription of the book will be available during the workshop, the attendants are encouraged to get familiar with at least one of the following editions: 

Target audience: 

Grad Students or Master Students; PhD Students or Professionals; General Public or other 

Minimum: 4 / Maximum: 12 

*Celeste Pedro is a communication designer graduated at the Fine Arts Faculty in Porto, Portugal. Her main focuses have since been typography and editorial design. While working for ten years in design agencies she did her Masters in Design and Intermedia at the University of Barcelona, Spain. Her studies on dictionaries' design, have led her closer to the field of History of Typography and to the engagement in various language courses, workshops and summer schools related to the edition of texts and book production. In the past years, she specialised in early printed books and palaeography, launching in 2018, which was developed during her PhD research on History of Portuguese Typography in the Early Modern Period. She is currently a research collaborator at the Instituto de Filosofia of the University of Porto, where she continues her work on Early Modern Portuguese authors and printers.

Organization: José Higuera - José Meirinhos - Lídia Queiroz

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