The Discovery of the New World in the Writings of Peter Martyr of Anghiera

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Author: Lunardi, Ernesto, Elisa Magioncalda and Rosanna Mazzacane (editors)

Year: 1995

Publisher: Instituto Poligrafico e Zecca Dello Stato

Place: Rome


507 pages with indexes and bibliography. Small folio (12" x 8 1/2") bound in pictorial cloth. Translated by Felix Azzola, revised by Luciano F Farina. Volume II, Nuova Raccolta Colombiana. First edition. The publication of a collection of Peter Martyr of Anghiera's text in the Nuova Raccolta Colombiana affords the occasion to read in its Latin original and in translation of of the most important sources of information about Christopher Columbus and the discover of American lands, which were identified as "New World" by the author himself. Up to now there was no English translation of the more than eight hundred letters which make up the Opus Epistolarum [Epistolary], fifty of which provide precious information about Columbus, the events concerning the Atlantic travels and the Spanish penetration in the new lands at the end of the fifteenth century and the first decades of the sixteenth century. He was a friend of the Discoverer and witnessed his triumph and defeat. Faced with the ingratitude of the Crown and the slanders of Columbus's enemies, Peter Martyr withdrew into a bitter silence, interrupting for many years his writings of the New World, but continuing to collect all the information that he could obtain. There is a singular identity between him and Columbus: both were Italians who had to look for their road to success outside of their county, not disowning but hiding a bit their origins because they found themselves in a context in which belonging to the Spanish nobility was nearly indispensable as a means of avoiding humiliations. Both had the good fortune of meeting an exceptional person, Queen Isabella, who protected and helped them. In line with this volume the editors have chosen fifty-two letters of the Opus which deal with Columbus and the new lands. The texts are presented in their entirety in both the original Latin and the translations, so as to make evident the nature, breadth of interest and sharpness of observation of the letters, which rarely deal with only one topic. For the Decades the selection is limited to the three books which deal specifically with the travels and the discoveries of Columbus. What is presented is a critical text based on the collation of the oldest editions, since the original have not reached us.


A near fine copy.

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