Historia Eclesiastica Indiana

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Author: Mendieta, Geronimo de (1525-1604)

Year: 1945

Publisher: Salvador Chavez Hoyhoe

Place: Mexico City


4 volumes. xliv+185+[4 index] pages; 215+[4 index] pages; 227+[4 index] pages; 255+[4 index] pages with an alphabetical index. Royal octavo (9 1/4' x 6 3/4") bound in original publisher's wrappers. Con algunas advertencias del P Fray Joan de Domayquia Dirigida a Nuestro P Fray Antonio de Tejo. Second edition.

Geronimo Mendieta (1525-1604) was born in Vitoria, Spain. He arrived in Mexico in 1554, following the pioneering period of the famous twelve original Franciscans, among whom was Motolinia. Mendieta began writing his chronicle in 1571, finishing it in 1596. He died in Mexico City on May 10, 1604. Mendieta wrote at a time when many eyewitnesses of the initial contact between Indians and Europeans wee still alive; he utilized their information. He also drew not only on the works of Motolinia, but on those by Andres de Olmos, Bernardino de Sahagun, and others in the archives of the Convent of San Francisco. He attempted purposefully to be an historian, and his work shows a logical organization not found in Motolinia. Mendieta's Historia Eclesiastica Indiana is considered to be a major ethnohistorical source. It remained undiscovered until 1860. The Historia was unpublished until 1870, when it was issued in Mexico City by Joaquin Garcia Icazbelceta. This bulky quarto tome was reissued in a much more handy four-volume edition in 1945. The entire work is divided into five books and each book subdivided into chapters. The 1870 edition has a general table of contents at the beginning and an index at the end. The table of Contents in the 1945 edition is distributed at the end of each volume, with the index to the whole after the text of the final volume. Garcia Icazbalceta's introduction is printed in both editions. A bio-bibliographical study, it provides a brief and accurate account of the author and a penetrating critical evaluation of the work and it sources. He also notes use of the earlier unpublished manuscript by other historians, notably Juan de Torquemada.


Some light pencil marginalia, lightly soiled and light edge wear. Volume 4 unread with pages still uncut else a very good set.

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