Historia natural y moral de las Indias, en que se Tratan las Cosas notables del cielo, y elementos, metals, plantas, y animales dellas: y los ritos, y ceremonias, leyes, y govierno, y guerras de los Indios

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Author: Acosta, José de (1539-1600) from the library of George M Foster

Year: 1590

Publisher: Casa de Juan de Leon

Place: Seville

Description:

535+[xxxi] pages. Octavo (8" x 6 1/4") bound in full leather with raised bands and gilt lettering to spine. From the library of George M Foster. 1st edition.

José de Acosta (September/October 1539– February 15, 1600), was a Spanish 16th-century Jesuit missionary and naturalist in Latin America. Born at Medina del Campo in Spain, he became a novice in the Society of Jesus at the age of thirteen at the place of his birth. Four of his brothers successively joined the same order. Before leaving Spain, he was lecturer in theology at Ocana, and in April 1569, was sent to Lima, Peru, where the Jesuits had been established in the proceeding year. At Lima, Acosta again occupied the chair of theology; his fame as an orator had preceded him. In 1571 he went to Cuzco as a visitor of the college of the Jesuits then recently founded. Returning to Lima three years later, to again fill the chair of theology, he was elected provincial in 1576. He founded a number of colleges, among them those of Arequipa, Potosí, Chuquisaca, Panama and La Paz, but met with considerable opposition from the viceroy, Francisco de Toledo, Count of Oropesa. His official duties obliged him to investigate personally a very extensive range of territory, so that he acquired a practical knowledge of the vast province, and of its aboriginal inhabitants. At the provincial council of 1582, at Lima, Acosta played a very important part. Called to Spain by the King in 1585, he was detained in Mexico, where he dedicated himself to studies of the country and people; returning to Europe, he filled the chair of theology at the Roman college in 1594, as well as other important positions. At the time of his death, he was rector of the college at Salamanca. Aside from his publication of the proceedings of the provincial councils of 1567 and 1583, and several works of exclusively theological import, Acosta is best known as the writer of De Natura Novi Orbis, De promulgatione Evangelii apud Barbaros, sive De Procuranda Indorum salute and above all, the Historia natural y moral de las Indias. The first two appeared at Salamanca in 1588, the last at Seville in 1590, and was soon after its publication translated into various languages. It is chiefly the Historia natural y moral that has established the reputation of Acosta. In a form more concise than that employed by his predecessors, Francisco Lopez de Gómara and Oviedo, he treated the natural and philosophic history of the New World from a broader point of view. In it, more than a century before Europeans learned of the Bering Strait, Acosta hypothesized that Latin America's indigenous peoples had migrated from Asia to Latin America. He also divided them into three barbarian categories. The Historia also described Inca and Aztec customs and history, as well as other information such as farming practices.

George McClelland Foster, Jr born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on October 9, 1913, died on May 18, 2006, at his home in the hills above the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, where he served as a professor from 1953 to his retirement in 1979, when he became professor emeritus. His contributions to anthropological theory and practice still challenge us; in more than 300 publications, his writings encompass a wide diversity of topics, including acculturation, long-term fieldwork, peasant economies, pottery making, public health, social structure, symbolic systems, technological change, theories of illness and wellness, humoral medicine in Latin America, and worldview. The quantity, quality, and long-term value of his scholarly work led to his election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1976. Virtually all of his major publications have been reprinted and/or translated. Provenance from the executor of Foster's library laid in.

Condition:

Foster's stamp on front end paper, neat old signature on front end paper and on title verso, rubbing to extremities and corners, spine sunned else about very good of a very rare work.

SOLD 2009

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