Basel: Joannes Bebelius, 1533. ,92 leaves. Folio. Bound to style in old vellum. Some very light dampstaining in margins. Discreet contemporary marginal annotations throughout. Very good. Item #WRCAM41965
This esteemed early Americanum contains Martyr's initial three Decades, first published in 1516, supplemented in this edition by an abridgement of the fourth Decade. Martyr, a native of Italy, served the Spanish court in numerous capacities: soldier, priest, courtier, chaplain, teacher, historian, and ambassador. "In 1520 he became secretary to the Council of the Indies and later was appointed by emperor Charles V as the first official chronicler of the Indies. Although Martyr never set foot in the New World, he used his privileged position as a courtier to gather a great wealth of information from documents and through personal interviews. Following the model of the Latin historian Titus Livius, the Decades are volumes written in Latin divided into ten books each. They cover all aspects of the New World - the geography, the natural world...the natives, and all major events after the discovery" - Delgado-Gomez. Based on firsthand information the author was able to access through his position on the Council of the Indies, the Decades include accounts of the discoveries of Columbus, Vespucci, Cabot, and Cortés. In addition there is information concerning the conquest of Mexico and details regarding Spanish settlements in the New World including Florida, Cuba, Hispaniola, and the Caribbean. Included in this edition, as in the 1516 printing, is Martyr's account of his embassy to Egypt in 1501 on behalf of King Ferdinand. A nice copy of this fundamental text by the first Spanish historian of the New World. HARRISSE 176. CHURCH 65. SABIN 1557. MEDINA (BHA) 92. MAGGS BIBLIOTHECA AMERICANA VII:4923. BELL A213. EUROPEAN AMERICANA 533/1. JCB (3)I:108. DELGADO-GOMEZ, SPANISH HISTORICAL WRITING ABOUT THE NEW WORLD 3 (1516 ed). JCB GERMAN AMERICANA 533/1.