The History of Mexico. Collected from Spanish and Mexican Historians, from Manuscripts, and Ancient Paintings of the Indians. Together with the Conquest of Mexico by The Spaniards

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Author: Clavijero [Clavigero] Echegaray, Francisco Javier (1731-1787)

Year: 1817

Publisher: Thomas Dobson

Place: Philadelphia


3 volumes. [2]+xxxviii+[2]+378 pages with frontispiece folding map, six plates and appendix. viii+[2]+444 pages with folding frontispiece map and twenty-two plates (some folding). iv+435 pages. Octavo (8 3/4" x 5 1/2") bound in modern red half morocco with five raised spine bands with gilt lettering to spine over marbled boards. Translated from the Italian by Charles Cullen. First English edition published in 1787 by G. G. J. and J. Robinson.

When the Jesuits were expelled from the king's domains, their activities, both as priests and educators, were very much restricted by royal and papal decrees. As a result, many of them turned to intellectual pursuits, like writing, to fill up their many leisure hours. Such was the case with Claviero. It was to Mexican history that he directed his principal attention. the major end result of all such activity was the Storia antica, although other projects also occupied his time. These included such works as the Storia della California, a lengthy correspondence with the Spanish Jesuit philologist, Lorenzo Hervas y Panduro on Mexican antiquities. the composition of an ecclesiastical history of New Spain which, although begun,, was never completed, and other works. Clavigero came to the field well prepared, In addition to having an excellent training in the humanities, he also possessed an understanding of the native Mexicans, had acquired a fluency in Nahuatl, and knew well the story of Mexico's Aztec past. The Jesuit historian's background eminently fitted him to try his hand at historical writing, which in the 18th century was "a species of literature, a humane study, an art, rather than a science." (Handbook of Middle American Indian Volume 13, 289-291).

Condition: Minor damp staining, folding frontispiece plates backed by tissue, minor wear else very good.