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Gonzalez Fernandez de Oviedo
Oviedo on Columbus

J. M. Carrillo Castillo (ed.)
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224 p., 180 x 260 mm, 2000
ISBN: 978-2-503-51030-9
Languages: English, Spanish
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These are the collected writings of Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo who saw Columbus as both the initator of a new scientific era and agent of imperial expansion, and was the first natural historian to attempt a systematic description of the flora and fauna of the Americas.

For Bartolomé de Las Casas Columbus was the agent of God in a benign mission of evangelization but ended his career as a perpetrator of injustice against the indigenous peoples of the Antilles. A contrary image of Columbus as both the initiator of a new scientific era and agent of imperial expansion was first suggested by the author of the writings collected in this volume, Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo. Oviedo was a natural historian who Humboldt states was the first to attempt a systematic description of the flora and fauna f the Americas. But he was also a tireless champion of the Spanish conquest and occupation of the Americas. Oviedo´s work is certainly, as Jesús Carrillo demonstrates, one of the earliest in which the objectives of science and empire are yoked together in a way which later became a feature of botanical, zoological and anthropological writing. The work comprises an introduction, text and modern English translation of parts of the following works: De la Natural Historia de las Indias, the Cahálogo Real e Imperial de Castilla, La Historia General y Natural de las Yndias, the Diálogo on Alonso de Córdoba and the Diálogo on Pedro González de Mendoza, and from the Quinquágenas de los generosos e ilustres e non menos famosos reyes. Four maps, twelve plates and a detailed index are provided.


"Oviedo on Columbus demonstrates how powerful his work is with regards to interpreting the enterprise of the New World."
(S. Alamdari, Comitatus, 33, 2002)

Interest Classification:
Medieval & Renaissance History (c.400-1500)
The Renaissance world (c.1450-1550) : specific topics
Discoveries & Colonial history

This publication is also distributed by: ISD, Marston
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