This is a collection of original texts in chronological order detailing the reactions of Italian diplomats, merchants, and the papacy to the news of Columbus´s explorations in America and subsequent events down to the conquest of Mexico.
'The work succeeds in fulfilling Chiapelli's original goals for the Repertorium, for the newly edited and translated documents enable a wider audience to gain an understanding of how Italians perceived events in the New World.' - Michelle Mirandon, Comitatus, 33 (2002)
In a volume which opens with reports of information contained in the famous 'Santángel letter' and closes with the announcements of Cortés's conquests in Mexico and Magellan's circumnavigation, historian Geoffrey Symcox presents in chronological order a collection of original texts, accompanied by English translations, detailing the reactions of Italian diplomats, merchants, and the papacy to the news of Columbus's explorations in America and subsequent events down to the conquest of Mexico. These documents form part of the process by which the news of the lands and people of the Americas spread to the courts, chanceries, and educated public of the Italian states and reveal that news of the Americas - their flora and fauna, their exotic inhabitants, their fabled wealth - spread swiftly to a public hungry for information. But the collection also suggests that at least until the mid-sixteenth century the achievements of Columbus and his successors remained of secondary concern to statesmen and citizens seeking to survive as their stronger neighbours fought for hegemony in the Italian peninsula and in the Mediterranean.