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Natural and Moral History of the Indies

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ISBN-10: 0822328453

ISBN-13: 9780822328452

Edition: 2002

Authors: Jos� de Acosta, Jane E. Mangan, Walter D. Mignolo, Frances M. Lopez-Morillas, Frances M. Lopez-Morillas

List price: $32.95
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One of the first comprehensive investigations of the New World, Acosta's study is strikingly broad in scope. He describes the region's natural resources, flora, animals and terrain and writes in detail about the Amerindians and their religious and political practices.
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Book details

List price: $32.95
Copyright year: 2002
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publication date: 10/15/2002
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 568
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.50" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.738
Language: English

Jane E. Mangan is associate professor of history at Davidson College and the author of Trading Roles: Gender, Ethnicity, and the Urban Economy in Colonial Potosi. She is currently researching a book on the subject of family in sixteenth-century Spain and Peru.

Walter D. Mignolo is the William H. Wannamaker Distinguished Professor and director of the Center for Global Studies and the Humanities at Duke University. This book is the third of a trilogy that includes "The Darker Side of the Renaissance: Literacy, Territoriality, and Colonization" and "The Darker Side of Western Modernity: Global Futures, Decolonial Options". He is also the author of "The Idea of Latin America".

Introduction to Jos� de Acosta's Historia Natural y Moral de las Indias
Prologue to the reader
Book I
Of the opinion held by some authors that the heavens did not extend to the New World
How the heavens are round everywhere and rotate around themselves
How Holy Writ gives us to understand that the earth is in the midst of the universe
In which a response is given to what is alleged in Scripture against the heavens being round
Of the shape and appearance of the heavens in the New World
How the world has both land and sea in the direction of both poles
Which refutes the opinion of Lactantius, who said that there were no antipodes
Of Saint Augustine's motives in denying the antipodes
Of Aristotle's opinion of the New World and what it was that caused him to deny it
How Pliny and most of the ancients believed the same as Aristotle
How some mentions of this New World is found in the ancients
What Plato believed concerning these West Indies
How some have believed that in Holy Scripture Ophir is this Peru of ours
What Tarshish and Ophir mean in Scripture
Of the prophecy of Abdias, which some say concerned these Indies
How the first men could have come to the Indies and how they did not sail purposely to these parts
Of the properties and remarkable virtue of the lodestone in navigation and how the ancients did not know of it
Which answers those who believe that in ancient times the ocean was crossed as in our day
How it may be believed that the first inhabitants of the Indies came there brought by storms and against their will
How it is more reasonable to believe that the first dwellers in the Indies came by land
How wild beasts and domestic animals crossed to the lands of the Indies
How the race of Indians did not come by way of Atlantis, as some believe
How the opinion of many, who believe that the Indians come from the race of the Jews, is false
Why there is no sure way to establish the Indians' origin
What the Indians are wont to say about their origin
Book II
Which will deal with the nature of the equinoctial line, or equator
What caused the ancients to have no doubt that the Torrid Zone was uninhabitable
How the Torrid Zone is very wet, and how in this the ancients were much mistaken
How outside the Tropics there is more rain when the sun draws farther away, which is the reverse of the Torrid Zone
How in the Tropics the rains come in summer, or time of heat, and the calculation of winter and summer
How the Torrid Zone has a great abundance of water and vegetation, though Aristotle denies it
Which deals with the reason why the sun, outside the Tropics, causes rain when it is most distant, and in the Tropics the reverse, when it is nearest
How what is said of the Torrid Zone must be understood
How the Torrid Zone is not excessively hot but only moderately so
How the Torrid Zone's heat is tempered by the abundance of rain and the brevity of the days
How in addition to the causes mentioned there are other reasons why the Torrid Zone is temperate, especially the proximity of the Ocean Sea
How the higher lands are colder and the reason for this
How cool winds are the chief reason why the Torrid Zone is temperate
How life in the equatorial region is very agreeable
Book III
How the natural history of the Indies is pleasant and enjoyable
Of winds and their differences and properties and causes in general
Of some properties of the winds that blow in the New World
How easterly winds always blow in the Torrid Zone and outside it both westerlies and easterlies
Of the differences between easterlies and southwesterlies and other kinds of winds
Why there is always an east wind for sailing in the Torrid Zone
Why westerly winds are more usually found when leaving the Torrid Zone, at higher latitudes
Of exceptions to be found in the rule just expressed and the winds and calms that exist on sea and land
Of some wonderful effects of winds in parts of the Indies
Of the ocean that surrounds the Indies and of the Northern and Southern Seas
Of the Strait of Magellan and how it was crossed on its southern side
Of the strait that some say exists in Florida
Of the properties of the Strait of Magellan
Of the ebb and flow of the Ocean Sea in the Indies
Of the different fish and methods of fishing of the Indians
Of the pools and lakes that are found in the Indies
Of various fountains and springs
Of rivers
Of the general nature of the earth in the Indies
Of the properties of the land of Peru
Of the reasons given as to why it does not rain on the plains
Of the properties of New Spain and the islands and the other lands
Of undiscovered regions and the difference of a whole day between east and west
Of volcanoes or vents of fire
Why the fire and smoke of these volcanoes persists for so long
Of earthquakes
How earth and sea clasp one another
Book IV
Of the three kinds of mixtures that will be dealt with in this history
Of the abundance of metals that exist in the Indies
Of the kind of land where metals are found, and how in the Indies all the metals are not worked, and how the Indians used metals
Of the gold that is produced in the Indies
Of the silver of the Indies
Of the mountain of Potos� and its discovery
Of the wealth that has been taken, and is still being taken daily, from the mountain of Potos�
How the mines of Potos� are worked
How silver ore is refined
Of the wonderful properties of quicksilver
Where quicksilver is found and how rich mines of it were discovered in Huancavelica
How quicksilver is extracted and how silver is refined with its use
Of the machinery for grinding ore and assaying silver
Of emeralds
Of pearls
Of bread in the Indies, and maize
Of yucca and cassava, and potatoes and chu�o and rice
Of different roots that grow in the Indies
Of different kinds of greenstuffs and vegetables, and of those called cucumbers, and pineapples and Chilean strawberries, and plums
Of aj�, or Indies pepper
Of the plantain
Of cocoa and coca
Of maguey, tunal, and cochineal and of indigo and cotton
Of mameys and guavas and alligator pears
Of chicozapote and anonas and capol�es
Of different kinds of fruit trees, and of coconuts and Andes almonds, and Chachapoyas almonds
Of various flowers, and some trees that bear only flowers, and how the Indians use them
Of balsam
Of liquidambar and other oils and gums and drugs that are brought from the Indies
Of the great forests of the Indies and of cedars and ceibas and other large trees
Of the plants and fruit trees that have been brought to the Indies from Spain
Of grapes and vines and olives and mulberries and
Of sheep and cattle
Of some European animals that the Spaniards found in the Indies and how they might have come
Of birds that exist in Europe and how they came to the Indies
How it can be possible that there are animals in the Indies not found in any other part of the world
Of birds native to the Indies
Of game animals
Of micos, or the monkeys of the Indies
Of the vicu�as and tarugas of Peru
Of alpacas and guanacos and the sheep of Peru
Of bezoar stones Prologue to the subsequent books
Book V
How the devil's pride and envy have been the cause of idolatry
Of the kinds of idolatries used by the Indians
How there is some knowledge of God among the Indians
Of the first sort of idolatry, that of natural and universal things
Of the idolatry practiced by the Indians with particular things
Of another kind of idolatry with the dead
Of the superstitions that were employed with the dead
Of the funeral rites that the Mexicans and other nations used
Of the fourth and last kind of idolatry that the Indians, especially the Mexicans, used with images and statues
Of a strange kind of idolatry that was practiced by the Mexicans
How the devil has tried to copy God in methods of sacrifices and of religion and sacraments
Of the temples that have been found in the Indies
Of the splendid temples of Mexico
Of the priests and the offices they performed
Of the monasteries of virgins that the devil invented for his service
Of the monasteries of religion that the devil possesses for his superstition
Of the penances and austerities that the Indians practiced at the devil's behest
Of the sacrifices the Indians made to the devil, and of what they consisted
Of the sacrifices of men what they made
Of the horrible sacrifices of men that the Mexicans performed
Of another kind of human sacrifice that the Mexicans performed
How the Indians themselves were exhausted and could not endure the cruelties of their gods
How the devil has tried to mimic the sacraments of Holy Church
How the devil tried in Mexico to mimic the feat of Corpus Christi and the communion used by Holy Church
Of the confession and confessors used by the Indians
Of the abominable unction used by the Mexican priests and those of other nations and of their sorcerers
Of other ceremonies and rites of the Indians that are similar to ours
Of some festivals that the Indians of Cuzco had and how the devil also tried to imitate the mystery of the Holy Trinity
Of the festival of rejoicing celebrated by the Mexicans
Of the merchants' festival performed by the Cholulans
The benefit that can be drawn from an account of the Indians' superstitions
Book VI
How the opinion of those who believe that the Indians lack understanding is false
Of the method of calculating time and the calendar that the Mexicans used
Of the method of counting years and months used by the Incas
How no nation of Indians h as been found to have the use of letters
Of the kinds of letters and books that the Chinese use
Of universities and studies in China
Of the kinds of letters and writing that the Mexicans used
Of the memory aids and reckonings used by the Indians of Peru
Of the order the Indians maintain in their writings
How the Indians dispatched their messengers
Of the government and monarchs that they had
Of the government of the Inca kings of Peru
Of the distribution that the Incas made of their vassals
Of the buildings and construction methods of the Incas
Of the Inca's revenues and the order of tributes he imposed on the Indians
Of the trades that the Indians learned
Of the posts and chasquis that the Inca used
Of the laws and justice and punishments that the Incas imposed and of their marriages
Of the origin of the Incas, lords of Peru, and their conquests and victories
Of the first Inca and his successors
Of Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui and what happened up to the time of Huayna Capac
Of the great Inca named Huayna Capac
Of the last successors of the Incas
Of the kind of commonwealth that the Mexicans had
Of the different ranks and orders of the Mexicans
Of the Mexicans' way of fighting and the military orders that they had
Of the Mexicans' great care and diligence in bringing up their youth
Of the Indians' dances and festivities
Book VII
Why it is important to know of the Indians' deeds, especially those of the Mexicans
Of the ancient dwellers in New Spain and how the Nahautlacas came there
How the six Nahautlaca clans settled the land of Mexico
Of the departure of the Mexicans and their route and the founding of Michoac�n
Of what befell them in Malinalco and in Tula and Chapultepec
Of the war they waged with those of Culhuac�n
Of the founding of Mexico
Of the rebellion of Tlatelolco and the first kind chosen by the Mexicans
Of the strange tribute paid by the Mexicans to the Azcapotzalcans
Of the second king and what befell him during his reign
Of the third king, Chimalpopoca, and of his cruel death and the cause of war waged by the Mexicans
Of Izcoatl, the fourth king, and the war against the Tepanecas
Of the battle the Mexicans fought with the Tepanecas and the great victory they achieved
Of the war and victory of the Mexicans over the city of Coyoac�n
Of the war and victory that the Mexicans won over the Xochimilcans
Of Moctezuma, fifth king of the Mexicans, first of this name
How Tlacaelel refused to be king and the election and deeds of Tizoc
Of the death of Tlacaelel and the exploits of Axacayatl, seventh king of Mexico
Of the exploits of Ahuitzotl, eighth king of Mexico
Of the election of the great Moctezuma, last king of Mexico
How Moctezuma ordered the service of his household and the war he waged for his coronation
Of Moctezuma's habits and great state
Of the strange omens and prodigies that appeared in Mexico before its empire perished
Of the news that Moctezuma received of the Spaniards who had reached his country and the embassy that he sent them
Of the Spaniards' entry into Mexico
Of the death of Moctezuma and the Spaniards' departure from the City of Mexico
Of some miracles that God has performed in the Indies in favor of the Faith, beyond the merits of those who brought them to pass
and last. Of the plan ordained by Providence in the Indies for the entry of the Christian religion there