The 42 professors

The street atlas of Lisbon in the apartment lists 50 streets named after professors, from Rua Professor Abel Salazar to Rua Professor Vitor Fontes.

Because some of the names are duplicated, there are only 42 or 43 professors who are actually commemorated in this way. (I put 42 in the title because I guess that Professor Fernando Fonseca is probably the same person as Professor Fernando de Fonseca.)

Nonetheless, it seems like a very large number. Can you think of any other city which commemorates so many professors in this way?

You might expect them to cluster round the University, but in fact the Universidade de Lisboa has just two streets in this category, Av. Professor Gama Pinto and Av. Professor Anibal de Bettencourt.

This suggests a society in which a professor is respected, and more generally in which learning is valued. I hear hollow laughter from my Portuguese colleagues, but I think this must at least have been so once in order for this riot of naming streets after professors to have occurred.

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About Peter Cameron

I count all the things that need to be counted.
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2 Responses to The 42 professors

  1. Peter says:

    Sao Paulo certainly has its fair share of such streets. But one should bear in mind that in (Brazilian, at least) Portuguese, ‘professor’ simply means ‘teacher’; the university professor is ‘Professor Titular’, on the beach you find the ‘Professor de surf’.

    • My Portuguese colleague told me that probably some of these streets were named in the time of Salazar, who was himself a professor. This devalues my argument a bit, as does your comment. But actually I am even happier with a society that names streets after teachers (even professors de surf) than after University professors!

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