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Wednesday January 24, 2007

Portuguese historian Antonio de Oliveira Marques dies at 73


LISBON, Portugal (AP) - Portuguese historian and professor Antonio de Oliveira Marques, considered one of the country's most prominent scholars has died, Lusa news agency said Wednesday. He was 73. 

Oliveira Marques died Tuesday at the Santa Maria hospital in Lisbon from heart failure, the agency said, quoting a family source. 

Antonio Henrique Rodrigo de Oliveira Marques was born in August 1933 in Sao Pedro do Estoril, a suburb of Lisbon. 

He studied history and philosophy and graduated in 1956 from the University of Lisbon, where he would start teaching the following year and gain a PhD in 1960. 

In 1962 his participation in student strikes against the right-wing regime of Oliveira Salazar resulted in his dismissal from the university as a scholar. 

He left for the United States where he taught history at a number of universities between 1965 and 1970. 

Oliveira Marques returned to Portugal in 1970, but only resumed teaching at Portuguese universities in 1974, the year a left-wing revolution toppled decades of dictatorship. 

In 1998 he was granted the Grand Cross of the Order of Liberty, a state accolade which distinguishes figures who have made a contribution to the values of civilization. 

Considered one of Portugal's greatest experts on Portuguese Medieval history, he wrote more than 60 books and numerous articles. One of his most famous works, "A History of Portugal'' is translated into several languages. 

"He leaves us a civic and intellectual legacy of great worth and it is with sadness that I pay my respects to his memory,'' former president Jorge Sampaio said in a note sent to Lusa news agency. 

There was no immediate information on survivors, and funeral arrangements were not immediately disclosed.-AP 

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