Diccionario de la Lengua Tarasca o de Michoacan/Aqui comienza el vocabulario en la lengua castellana y michoacana

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Author: Gilberti, Maturino (1498?-1585) inscribed by editor

Year: 1901

Publisher: Tipografia de la Oficina Impresora de Estampillas

Place: Mexico


518 pages with facsimiles and wood cuts. Folio. (13" x 9 1/4") bound in half leather with marbled boards with gilt lettering to spine. Compiled and re-impression under the direction of Antonio Penafiel. Inscribed by Penafiel. First published in 1559. Second edition limited to 200 copies of which this is number 5.

When the Franciscans arrived in Michoacan in 1525, they found a new challenge, the language of the natives of the region, whom they came to call Tarascans was different from other native languages of New Spain. Maturino Gilberti, a Franciscan friar whose skills in the Tarascan language exceeded those of their peers. When his works were printed it was the first attempt of a systematic analysis of the language, and his vocabulary is still the best known Tarascan dictionary. Prior to his arrival in the new world, very little is know, it is thought that he may have been born in 1498. but it could have been in 1507 or 8 in the city of Poitiers, France. He studied arts and theology at the University of Toulouse and came to New Spain in 1531, shortly after his ordination. Fray Alonso de la Rea, Michoacan's Franciscan chronicler of the seventeenth century, says Gilberti went directly to Michoacan. He quickly learned the language and was held in high admiration by the natives. It seems that his first publication was a Christian doctrine that came out in 1553. In 1556 we find Fray Gilberti in Tzintzuntzan, were Quiroga established the episcopal see and where indigenous Tzintzuntzans and other subjected Indians were forced in building the cathedral. Gilberti stood against Bishop Quiroga and the enslavement of the indigenous to build and pay for the cathedral. In the summer of 1558 Gilberti proposed several books to be printed in Mexico. He Had obtained approval for them by James Daciano, guardian (superior of the convent)of the Franciscans in Tzintzuntzan, in July. He must have acted quickly, because on August 10 received letters from Archbishop Alonso, and the Franciscan provincial authorizing the publication of his books. Within the same twelve month period the Viceroy Luis de Velasco gave his written approval. In accordance with such approvals he would published four books in Mexico during the course of less than one year. All were published at the press of Juan Pablo. It seems that Gilberti had thought that his grammar (Arte) and dictionary (vocabulary) were two parts of the same work. This is probably the reason why the dictionary does not have the usual written approvals, because the dictionary is mentioned in the letters to the principle of grammar. Gilberti died in Tzintzuntzan 1585.


Inscribed on half title, spine, hinges, edges and corners rubbed, corners bumped. Internally very good in good binding.


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