Portuguese literature developed since the 12th century from the lyrical works of João Soares de Paiva and Paio Soares de Taveirós. They wrote mostly from Portuguese oral traditions known as "cantigas de amor e amigo" and "cantigas de escárnio e maldizer" which were sung by troubadours.
Following chroniclers such as Fernão Lopes after the 14th century, fiction has its roots in chronicles and histories with theatre following Gil Vicente, whose works was critical of the society of his time.
Classical lyrical texts include Os Lusíadas, by Luís de Camões with other authors including Antero de Quental, Almeida Garrett and Camilo Pessanha.
Portuguese modernism is found in the works of Fernando Pessoa. Following the Carnation Revolution in 1974, the Portuguese society, after several decades of repression, regained freedom of speech.
José Saramago received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998.