WORKS ISSUED BY
let rahting t Qociptgy
THE NATURAL AND MORAL HISTORY
OF THE INDIES.
NATURAL & MORAL
HISTORY OF THE INDIES,
FATHER JOSEPH DE ACOSTA.
REPRINTED FROM THE
ENGLISH TRANSLATED EDITION OF EDWARD GRIMSTON,
W ith iotes anbt an Inttronuction,
CLEMENTS R. MARKHAM, C.B., F.R.S.
THE NATURAL HISTORY
(BOOKS I, II, III, AND IV).
PRINTED FOR THE HAKLUYT SOCIETY.
\5 6 v.
T. o 37, G Q TRET, ..
T. RICHARDS, 37, GREAT OUEEN STREET, W.C.
THE HAKLUYT SOCIETY.
COLONEL H. YULE, C.B., PRESIDENT.
ADMIRAL C. R. DRINKWATER BETHUNE, C.B.
MAJoR-GENERiL SIR HENRY RAWLINSON, K.C.B.
W. A. TYSSEN AMHERST, Esq., M.P.
REv. DR. G.*P. BADGER, D.C.L.
J. BARROW, ESQ.
WALTER DE GREY BIRCH, Esq.
E. A. BOND, Esq.
E. H. BUNBURY, Esq.
ADMIRAL SIR RICHARD COLLINSON, K.C.B.
THE EARL Or DUCIE.
AUGUSTUS W. FRANKS, EsQ.
LIEUT.-GENERAL SIR J. HENRY LEFROY, C.B., K.C.M.G.
R. H. MAJOR, EsQ.
COLONEL SIE WM. L. MEREWETHER, C.B., K.C.S.I.
ADMIRAL StI ERASMUS OMMANNEY, C.B.
LORD ARTHUR RUSSI:LL, M.P.
THE LORD STANLEY or ALDERLEY.
EDWARD THOMAS, EsQ.
LIELT.-GENERAL SIn HENRY THUILLIER, C.S.I.
CLE3IENTS R. MARKHAM, C.B., HONORARY SECRETARY.
CONTENTS OF THE FIRST VOLUME.
DEDICATION TO THE INFANT ISABELLA i
TRANSLATOR'S DEDICATION TO SIR ROBERT CECIL xxiii
ADDRESS TO THE READER xxiv
ANALYTICAL TABLE OF CONTENTS xvii
THE NATURAL HISTORY. First Book 1
,, Second Book 73
ADVERTISEMENT TO THE READER 103
THE NATURAL HISTORY. Third Book 104
,, ,, Fourth Book 183
The two Volumes are paged throughout, and the Index will be at
the end of the Second Volume.
THE Natural and Moral History of the Western
Indies by Acosta, which has been selected to form
two volumes of the Hakluyt Society's series, is a valu-
able work for two reasons. It contains an exposition
of the ideas of learned men of the sixteenth century
on physical geography, and it is one of the leading V
authorities on the ancient civilisations of Peru and
Our chief knowledge of the author is derived from
his published works, only a few facts being forthcoming
from other sources. His parents lived at the town of
Medina del Campo, the city of the plain, about twenty-
four miles from Valladolid, in Old Castille,1 on the left
bank of the swampy river Zapardiel,2 and overlooked
by the old castle of La Mota.3 They had five sons,
named Geronimo, Christoval, Joseph, Diego, and Ber-
nardo; and at least two, if not more, of these boys
joined the Society of Jesus. Joseph de Acosta was
born in the year 1540, and he was devoted to the
Society before he had completed his fourteenth year.
Bernardo de Acosta entered upon the same career, and
1 Between Valladolid and Salamanca.
2 A southern affluent of the Douro.
s Where Queen Isabella died in 1504.
probably Christoval1 also. The Acostas were fellow
townsmen of that charming old soldier Bernal Diaz,
who told the story of the conquest of Mexico, but they
were many years his juniors.
Joseph de Acosta became a Jesuit in 1553, and for
the next eighteen years he must have devoted him-
self to the study of sacred and classical authors, for he
was a man of very great learning, when, at the age of
thirty-two, he sailed for the New World, in company
with several brethren of the same Society.
Acosta left Spain in the year 1570, touched at the
Canaries, and made a rapid passage across the Atlantic;
which, he tells us, would have been still more rapid if
the mariners had made more sail.2 He landed at Car-
thagena, and finally at Nombre de Dios, whence he
journeyed through eighteen leagues of tropical forest to
Panama.3 Here he enjoyed the beauties of the glori-
ous scenery, the novel sights at every turn, and was
interested, at Capira, in the clever antics of troops of
monkeys.4 From Panama the Jesuit, in pursuance of
his missionary work, embarked for Peru, looking for-
ward with curiosity, and some dread, to the passage
1 But this is not the Christoval de Acosta who wrote the well-
known book on the medicines and drugs of India. He was a native
of Burgos. His work (Tractado de las drogas y medicines de las
Indias Orientales con sus plants debuxadas at vivo por Christoval
A costa medico y cirrejano que las vi6 ocularmente: en -el equal se veri-
fica mucho de lo que escrivio el Dr. Garcia de Orta) was published
at Burgos in 1578. It contains plates of the spice-yielding and
other plants. Dr. Acosta, called El Africano, suffered captivity
in Africa, Asia, and China. His work completed what the learned
Portuguese. Dr. Orta, began.
2 Page 56. 3 Page 263. 4 Page 285.
across the equinoctial. For he was steeped in all the
lore of the ancient philosophers concerning the un-
bearable heat of the burning zone. He crossed the line
in March, and, to his surprise, it was so cold that he
was obliged to go into the sun to get warm, where he
laughed at Aristotle and his philosophy.1
On his arrival at Lima, he was ordered to cross the
Andes, apparently to join the Viceroy in the interior.
He took the route, with fourteen or fifteen companions,
across the mountainous province of Huarochiri, and by
the lofty pass of Pariacaca,2 where the whole party
suffered severely from the effects of the rarified atmo-
sphere.3 Acosta describes these sufferings, which he
tells us were renewed on the three other occasions that
he had occasion to cross the cordillera, by Soras and
Lucanas,4 by Collahuas,' and by Cavanas.6 He also
mentions an attack of snow-blindness, and the way in
which an Indian woman cured him.7
Acosta arrived in Peru at an important time. Don
Francisco de Toledo, second son of the Count of Oro-
pesa, a man advanced in years and of great adminis-
trative experience, had come out as Viceroy two years
before, in 1568. He was a stern man, capable of corn-
2 Pariacaca is over 14,000 feet above the level of the sea.
3 Page 130.
4 The road through the districts of Soras and Lucanas leads to
the coast valley of Nasca.
5 Collahuas is further north, in the modern department of
Ancachs, province of Huari.
6 Cavanas, in the department of Puno. This was one of the
routes' from the Collao to Arequipa. 7 Page 288.
mitting unjust and cruel acts to secure the success of
a policy; but, on the other hand, he was conscienti-
ously anxious to settle the government of the country
with a view to the well-being of the people, and his
energy and industry were marvellous. He was one
of the most prolific legislators in history, and his regu-
lations were suited to the wants of the time and were
enduring. In 1571 he had committed a great politi-
cal crime, in order to secure tranquillity, by beheading
the unfortunate young Ynca Tupac Amaru. He then
devoted five years to a tour through every part of the
Viceroyalty of Peru; and to a settlement of the coun-
try, in which he was aided by the Licentiate Polo de
Ondegardo, the Jesuit Acosta, and the Judge Mati-
enza. His labours were successful, and the Indians
themselves acknowledged that the land had not been
so well governed since the days of the good Ynca
Tupac Yupanqui.' Toledo was practically the founder
of the University of St. Mark at Lima. This Viceroy
saw what were the true sources of wealth of the country
he governed. He did not name silver and gold. But
he said that "the two things which Peru had that were
rich and of great nourishment-the two staples-were
maize and llamas," corn and wool.2
Our author accompanied the Viceroy to Charcas,3
and was with him during his unsuccessful expedition
against the fierce Chirihuana Indians.4 The principal
seat of the Jesuits was, at that time, in the little town
of Juli, near the western shores of Lake Titicaca.
1 Desde el buen Tupac Ynpanqui no habia estado la tierra tan
bien gobernada." 2 Page 256. s Page 155. 4 Page 151.
Here a college was formed, the languages of the
natives were studied, and eventually a printing-press
was established. Acosta probably resided much at
Juli during his stay in Peru. It was here, in all like-
lihood, that he observed the famous comet of 1577,
from 1st November to 8th December, which extended
like a fiery plume from the horizon nearly to the
zenith.1 Here, too, he devoted much of his time to
the preparation of several learned works, which he took
home with him in manuscript, including the first two
books of the Natural History of the Indies.2 The
particulars respecting the religion and festivals of the
Peruvians, in the work of Acosta, are chiefly derived
from the Licentiate Polo de Ondegardo.3 Several of
Acosta's brethren at Juli have been made known to us
through their works. Among these were Blas Valera,
whose valuable writings have been partially preserved
by the Ynca Garcilasso; Dr. Francisco de Avila, who
wrote on the folk-lore of Huarochiri; Pablo Jos6 de
Arriaga, the extirpator of idolatry in the Peruvian
coast valleys; the half-caste, Diego de Alcobaca, who
wrote religious confessionaries in the native languages;
and the learned Dr. Gonzalo Holguin, who composed
a valuable Quichua grammar. A few years later, the
college at Juli was the residence of Ludovico Bertonio,
who compiled a copious Aymara dictionary; and it
was at Juli that this dictionary was printed in 1611,
as well as a Life of Christ in the same language. At
Juli, Father Acosta received information respecting
the river Amazon from a brother who had formerly
been in the famous piratical cruise of Aguirre.4
1 Page 122. 2 Page 103. 3 Page 391. 4 Page 82.
Towards the close of the viceroyalty of Toledo,
Father Acosta appears to have moved from the interior
of Peru to Lima. Here he mentions having been en-
gaged in superintending the casting of a great bell,
and that there was difficulty in getting fuel for the
furnace, which made it necessary to fell some great
trees in the valley of the Rimac.' He mentions also
that he saw camels in Peru,2 which had been brought
from the Canaries; and that the Viceroy Toledo sent
home seeds of the beautiful white datura, which grows
round Lima, as worthy of a place in the royal gardens.3
In 1579 Sir Francis Drake was on the coast, and the
Viceroy dispatched a fleet under Don Pedro Sarmiento,
partly to chase the English pirate, and partly to ex-
plore and survey the Straits of Magellan. Acosta had
conversations with the pilot of Sarmiento's fleet, and
was allowed to inspect his chart, thus obtaining much
hydrographical information, and particulars respecting
the tides in the straits. He also conversed with the
new Viceroy Henriquez on the same subject.'
Don Francisco de Toledo returned to Spain in 1579,
and was succeeded by Don Martin Henriquez, a
younger son of the Marquis of Alcanises, who had
previously been Viceroy of Mexico. Don Martin
made his entry into Lima on May 4th, 1581. Three
weeks afterwards the new Archbishop, Dr. Toribio
Mogrovejo, was installed, and commenced his saintly
and active career; which acquired for him so great a
name for purity and holiness that he was eventually
1 Page 308. 2 Page 272. 3 Page 255.
Pages 133, 140, 143, 145.
canonised as St. Toribio. In 1582 a Provincial
Council was called to meet at Lima, consisting of
the Archbishop and the Bishops of Cuzco, Imperial,
Santiago de Chile, Paraguay, Quito, Chareas, and Tu-
Don Martin Henriquez opened the third Council of
Lima in person. He also founded the College of St.
Martin, to be managed by the Jesuits, and was active in
promoting useful measures; but his career as Viceroy
of Peru was cut short by death on March 12th, 1583.
The Council proceeded with its sittings, and got
through a vast amount of work. Full instructions
were drawn up for the guidance of parish priests, and
catechisms were prepared for the instruction of the In-
dians. It may be observed that the proceedings of
these Lima Councils throw much light on the religion
and folk-lore of the people. For they enter into many
minute details respecting the customs and superstitions
which the priests were to suppress, and have thus pre-
served an invaluable record of the beliefs of the ancient
Peruvians. Father Acosta was very busily employed
during the sessions of the third Council of Lima, and
he was its historian.
The last sitting took place on October 18th, 1583, on
which important occasion the Jesuit Father Joseph de
Acosta delivered an eloquent and learned oration.'
The proceedings were forwarded to Spain, and received
the royal assent on September 18th, 1591, having pre-
viously been confirmed by the Pope. The Papal
approval was announced by Cardinal Caraffa, in 1588,
1 Una elegant y docta oracion."-Muontalvo, page 214.
to the Archbishop of Lima.' Shortly after the close of
the last session of the Council, Acosta embarked, with
all his valuable manuscripts, representing the literary
labours of about fifteen years, and commenced his voy-
age -to Mexico. He shows himself, in his remarks
during the passage, to be a shrewd observer of nature,
and an eager seeker after knowledge.2 During this, or
the subsequent voyage home, he learnt from an expert
Portuguese pilot that there were four points of no
variation on the earth, and that one of them was the
island of Corvo in the Azores.3 Acosta landed, after a
long voyage, at the port of Guatulco,4 at the western
end of the Gulf of Tehuantepec, in the Oaxaca province,
whence he journeyed by land to Mexico, where he
resided in 1586.5 In this country he had opportuni-
1 There'are two lives of Archbishop Toribio Mogrovejo. One is
by the learned Don Antonio Leon-Pinelo, entitled Vida del Ilus-
trissimo Reverendissimo D. Toribio Alfonso Mogrovejo, Arcobispo de
la ciudad de los Reyes (1653). The other is by Dr. Juan Francisco
A. de Montalvo, and has a quaint title-page-El Sol del Nuevo
Mzundo ideado y compuesto en las esclarecidas operaciones del Biena-
venturado Toribio Arcosbispo de Lima (Rome, 1683). Leon Pinelo
gives very full particulars of the Archbishop's family and ancestry.
The work of Montalvo is valuable because it contains notices of
the lives of many Peruvian authors.
2 Page 127. S Page 52.
Page 400. Sir Francis Drake, during his famous voyage of
circumnavigation, arrived at Guatulco on.April 15th, 1579. Here
he got provisions, and also "a certain pot full of rials of plate
which we found in the towne, together with a chain of gold, and
some other jewels, which we intreated a gentleman Spaniard to
leave behind him, as he was flying out of towne." (Drake's Worlde
Encompassed, p. 113.) Here Drake landed a Portugal pilot whom
he had captured out of a vessel at the Cape Verde Islands. This
man is mentioned by Acosta; see page 140. 5 Page 454.
ties, of which he diligently availed himself, for collect-
ing information touching the natural products, and the
civilisation and ancient religion of the Aztecs. His
chief informant, respecting the rites and festivals of
the Mexicans, was a brother of the Company of Jesus
named Juan de Tobar, who was then a Prebend in the
church at Mexico.' He also enjoyed the pleasure of
seeing his brother Bernardo once more, a Jesuit who
died at Mexico on May 29th, 1613.
Acosta went home to Spain in the fleet of 1587,
which had a most precious cargo. It contained twelve
chests of gold,2 each weighing 100 lbs.; 11,000,000
pieces of silver;3 two chests of emeralds,' each weighing
100 lbs.; 22,053 cwts. of ginger,' 50 of sarsaparilla,
48 of cassia fistula, 350 of lignum sanctum, 1309 of
Brazil wood,' and 99,794 hides from St. Domingo.7
When they unloaded at Seville, he says that it was a
wonderful thing to behold the river and the arsenal,
with such piles of hides and merchandise.8
The first object of Acosta, after his return to Europe,
appears to have been to make arrangements for the
publication of his manuscripts. In February 1588 he
was in Madrid, at which place he wrote the dedication
to Philip II of the two books on the Natural History
of the Indies, and of his work on the Conversion of the
Indians, which were- published in Latin at Salamanca
in 1588 and 1589. He then went to Rome, where his
theological works saw the light. His De Christo
Page 391. 2 Page 194. 3 Page 204.
4 Page 226. 5 Page 239. 6 Page 260.
7 Page 271. 8 Page 271.
revelato appeared in 1588, and his De temporibus
novissimis in the same year. His Concilium Limense
appeared shortly afterwards, and his Concionum in
1596. His complete work on the Natural and Moral
History of the Indies was published at Seville in 1590.
Acosta was head of the Jesuits' College at Valladolid,
and Visitor in Aragon and Andalusia. Finally, he was
appointed to the charge of the College at Salamanca,
where he died' on the 15th of February 1600, in his
The theological works of Acosta give evidence of
great learning. The De Christo in scripturis revelato
consists of nine books, dedicated to Cardinal Caraffa.
They are intended to prove that Christ is the centre of
all scriptures, the Saviour whose coming was announced
by the Baptist, and that heretics twist the words of
revelation to their own purposes.2 This work was pub-
lished at Rome in 1588, and again in 1590, in quarto.
Other editions appeared at Paris in 1592, at Sala-
manca, at Venice; and, finally, at Paris in 1841.' The
1 But not in the grand college of the Jesuits (La Clericia)
which may new be seen at Salamanca. It was not built until
1614. In the time of Acosta the Jesuits occupied another build-
ing, now the cemetery; and it was here that Acosta died. See
2 Lib. I. Universum scripture scopum esse Christum. i. Falli
HBereticos que scripture sensem facilem jactant. il. Recte divi-
nam scripturam tractari cum ad Dei dilectionem dirigetur. Iv.
Jesus verus. v. Jesus salvator. vi. Jesus Mater Maria supra
omnes Deo grata et nostrs salutis administra elect divinitas.
vnI. Jesum Joannes Baptista Prmcursor annuntiat. viii. x.
3 In the Scripturce Sacrce cursus completus ex commentaries om-
nium perfectissimis ubique habitis, et a magna parte episcoporum
De temporibus novissimis is usually bound up with
the De Christo revelato. It consists of four books on
the prophecies, and on the latter days, with specula-
tions on the coming of the day of the Lord.' The
Concionum, in three volumes, was published at Sala-
manca in 1596, at Venice in 1599 (4to.), and at Cologne
in 1600 (8vo.). The Concilium Limense, a record of
the proceedings of the Council of Lima in 1583, was
composed in three books, in Latin.
The results of Acosta's South American researches
first saw the light at Salamanca in 1588 and 1589,
the two works being usually bound up together. De
natural novi orbis, libri duo, et de promulgatione
Evangelii apud barbaros, sive de procuranda In-
dorum salute, libri sex. The De natural is the first two
books of the Natural History in Latin. These books
were written in Peru. A second edition was published
at Salamanca in 1595, and again at Cologne in 1596.
The De promulgatione is an interesting essay on the
conversion of the Indians. Acosta here maintains that
the salvation of the people of Peru must not be des-
paired of, on account of the difficulties which surround
the missionaries. He urges the importance of study-
necnon theologorum Europce Catholicce universim ad hoc interroga-
torum designatis unied confletus. Tom. ii (Paris, 1841); 398 pages,
beginning at page 698. It is preceded by a short life of Acosta,
and is furnished with a good index.
Lib. I. Sacris literis trade, Diem Judicii propinquare. ii. De
magna tribulatione sub Antichristo future deinceps dicendum.
in. Ecclesiam non esse Antichristi quamvis valida persecution
superandam. iv. An Dies Domini repentinus an potius veheineuter
ing the native languages, and gives advice on the
various details of a well organised parochial system.
Acosta then translated the two books of the De
natural from Latin into Spanish, and added five others,
which completed the Historia natural y moral de las
Indias. The first four books are devoted to the
natural history, the last three to the moral history, of
the Indies. In the former, the learned Jesuit touches
upon all points of interest relating to physical geo-
graphy as it was then understood, comparing the
knowledge of his time with the opinions and beliefs of
ancient philosophers and Fathers of the Church. In
this spirit he discusses the form of the earth and of
the heavens, the distribution of land and sea, the
habitability of the tropics, and the way in which
America may have been peopled. In the first two
books the discussion is more general, while the next
two treat especially of the New World and its produc-
tions. Chapters are devoted to the winds and tides,
and to the fisheries, others to the lakes and rivers, to
the varied aspects of the lands, to volcanoes and earth-
quakes, to the mineral resources, and to the vegetable
and animal kingdoms. The last three books, including
the "Moral History of the Indies", give an interesting
account of the religion and government of the people
of Peru and Mexico, and form a valuable body of in-
formation respecting those ancient American civilisa-
tions. Acosta was a man of great learning; he was
an intelligent and indefatigable observer, as well as a
very diligent collector of information, and he had ex-
ceptionally good opportunities; so that his work will
always rank high as an authority on the subjects of
which it treats.
The HIistoria Natural, in its complete form, was first
published at Seville in 1590 (4to.), next at Barcelona
in 1591 (8vo.). The Madrid editions appeared in 16081
and 1610. An Italian translation, by Giovanni Paolo
Gallucio, appeared in 15962 at Venice.
The work of Acosta was translated into Dutch by
the great traveller J. Huyghen van Linschoten, and
published at Enckhuysen in 1593 (8vo.), and at Am-
sterdam in 1624 (4to.).3 The French translation was
by R. Regnauld, and two editions appeared at Paris in
1597 and 1600.* De Bry published the work in Latin
at Frankfort in 1602 (fol.) and 1603, and a German
edition in 1601 (fol.): being Part IX of his America.6 A
compilation from it was published by De Bry at
Frankfort, in Latin in 1624, and in German in 1623;6
SIt is with the Madrid edition of 1608 that the translation, now
reprinted, has been collated.
2 Historia natural e morale delle Indie, novamente tradotta delle
lingua Spagnuola nella Italiana de G. P. Galucci. (Venetia, 1596,
3 Historic natural ende morael van de Westersche Indien nu
eerstmeal uyt den Spaenschen overgheset door J. Iluyghen van Lin-
schoten. (Enckhuysen, 1598, 8vo.)
4 Histoire naturelle et morale des Indes traduite par B. Reg-
nauld. (Paris, 1597, 8vo.)
5 Theodorde Bry. Americce novel pars ... de novis orbis nature.
Acosta. America, Pars ix. (Francoforti, 1602, fol.)
Von gelegenheit der Elemente natur-de Newer Welt J. H. van
Linschoten. De Bry. (1601, fol.)
6 Paralipomena Americe, hoc est discursus accurataque Americae
description. T. de Bry. America, Pars xii. (Frankfort, fol., 1624.)
and it also appeared in Dutch, in the collection of
P. van der Aa, in 1727.1
The English translation of Acosta, which is reprinted
in the present volume, was first published in London
in 1604. On the title-page only the initials of the
translator are given-" E. G." But it has been ascer-
tained that this was Edward Grimston, a writer and
translator of note, during the reigns of Elizabeth and
James I. Edward Grimston belonged to an Essex
family, which sprung originally from the Grimstons of
Grimnston Garth, in Yorkshire. Edward served in the
wars, was made prisoner at Calais in 1558, and after-
wards escaped from the Bastille. Besides translating
Acosta, he wrote a history of France, and a general
history of the Netherlands. The latter work, published
in London in 1609, is a translation of the History of
Jean Franqois le Petit (Dordrecht, 1601), with addi-
tions from the manuscripts of Sir Roger Williams, and
brought down to 1608. Edward Grimston, who is
said to have lived to the age of ninety-eight, was the
grandfather of Sir Harbottle Grimston of Bradfield, a
well-known politician during the civil wars, and an-
cestor of the present Earl of Verulam.
Grimston's translation of Acosta is, on the whole,
creditable and trustworthy. There are some omissions,
and occasional blunders, especially as regards proper
SOntdekking van West Indien vlijtig ondersogt, aangeteekend door
J. D'A. op sign Reys Togl derwaarts gedaan. Anno 1592 en ver-
volgens uyt het Spaans vertaald.
In P. van der Aa. De Aanmerkens waardigste Zee en Landreizen
der Portugeezen, etc. Deel 8. (1727, fol.)
names and native words, which have been carefully
corrected in the present edition.
The Natural History of Acosta has been much used
by subsequent writers on Peru and Mexico. It is
quoted twenty-seven times in the Royal Commentaries
of the Ynca Garcilasso de la Vega, and sometimes
these quotations consist of long passages. I have
given a list of them in the index to my translation of
the first part of the Royal Commentaries.' A full
notice of Acosta and his works is given by Antonio.2
Purchas, in his Pilgriiage, quotes largely from
Acosta, in his account of the Mexican superstitions
and sacrifices, and of Peruvian religious ceremonies
and government.8 An abstract of the Natural and
i n, page 547.
2 "Josephus de Acosta. Medinensis, postquam in sodalitio So-
cietatis, cui se puerum Salmantica tradidit, omni disciplinarum
genere, indefessi vir laboris, ingenium prestans atque acre judicium
instruxisset, in occidentalem Indiam delatus, provinciam ibi Peru-
anam sodalium rexit propositus, septemdecimque totos annos com-
moratus est, ca curiose observans et in commentaria digerens, qua
hodie magno cum fructu atque opere pretio de rebus Indias ab eo
extant. Inde reversus visitatorem egit in provinciis Aragonis ao
Boticem, neenon et aliquando procuravit Romse promovitque salutis
Indorum spiritualem causam; quod postremum ab eo impensum
officium Bibliothece Societatis scriptorem fugit. Sexagenarius
tandem e vita migravit munus gerens rectoris in Salmantino col-
legio, pluribus scriptis clarus, superstesque anno 1599." Then
follows a list of his works: Bibliotheca Hispana Nova sive Hispan-
orum Scriptorum qui ab anno M.Do.-ad M.D.c.LXXXIV floruere notitia :
auctore D. Nicolao Antonio Hispalensi, J. C. (Madrid, 1783, fol.,
i, page 800.)
3 Purchase, Pilgrimage (1623), lib. v, page 869; and lib. vi,
Moral History is given in Harris's voyages,/ and in
other similar collections, and the work is much relied
upon as an authority by Robertson, and by Prescott
in his histories of the conquests of Peru and Mexico.
Mr. Prescott quotes Acosta nineteen times in his Con-
quest of Peru, and nine times in his Conquest of
Mexico. Adopting Mr. Prescott's Peru as a test, Acosta
takes the fourth place as an authority. Garcilasso de
la Vega is quoted eighty-nine, Cieza de Leon forty-five,
Polo de Ondegardo forty-one, and Acosta nineteen
times. Then follow Pedro Pizarro, Montesinos, Zarate,
Herrera, and Gomara.
Harris's Voyages, vol. I, lib. v, cap. xiii, pages 751 to 799.
[ Translation of the Spanish Title page of the 3rd Edition.
NATURAL AND MORAL
History of the Indies.
In which are discussed the notable things of the heavens,
the elements, metals, plants, animals; and the rites,
ceremonies, laws, government, and wars of
COMPOSED BY THE
FATHER JOSEPH DE ACOSTA
(A Priest of the Company of Jesus).
DEDICATED TO THE
MOST SERENE INFANT DONA ISABELA CLARA
EUGENIA DE AUSTRIA.
In the Year i 1 6o8.
Printed in Madrid, in the house of Alonso Martin. At the charges of
Juan Berrillo, seller of books.
To the Most Serene Infanta Doita Ysabela Clara
Eugenia de Austria.1
LADY,-The King's Majesty, our Lord, having given me
permission to offer to your Highness this small work,
entitled The Natural and Moral History of the Indies, it
should not be attributed to me as want of consideration, to
desire to occupy the time which is so fully spent by your
Highness in matters of importance, by diverting it to
subjects which, in treating of philosophy, are somewhat
obscure, and, as describing barbarous races, may seem out
of place. LBut as a knowledge of, and speculations con-
cerning the works of nature, especially if they are remarkable
and rare, causes a feeling of pleasure and delight in refined
understandings, and as an acquaintance with strange cus-
toms and deeds also pleases from its novelty, I hold that
this work may serve as an honest and useful entertainment
to your Highness I-t will give occasion to consider the
works which have Ibeen designed by the Most High in the
machinery of this world, especially in those parts which we
call the Indies, which, being our territory, give us more to
consider, and being the abode of new vassals, whom the
Most High God has given to the crown of Spain, a know-
ledge of it is not altogether strange to us. My desire is
that, during some spare moments, your Highness should
amuse yourself with the reading. With this object it is
1 Daughter of Philip II, by Elizabeth of Valois, and afterwards wife
of the Archduke Albert, and sovereign of the Spanish Netherlands. She
was married in 1595, went to Brussels in the following year, and died
in 1633, without children.
written in the vulgar tongue, though, if I do not deceive
myself, it is not for vulgar understandings. It may be that,
as in other things so in this, your Highness showing a
liking for it, this little work may be favored so that the
King our Lord may choose to pass a short time in the con-
sideration of affairs and of people so nearly touching his
royal crown. I dedicated another book to his Majesty,
which I composed in Latin, touching the preaching of the
evangel to those Indians. I desire that all I have written
may serve, so that the relation of what God, our Lord, de-
posited of his treasures in those kingdoms, may cause the
people of them to receive more aid and favor from those to
whose charge His high and divine providence has entrusted
I entreat your Highness that if some parts of this little
work are not agreeable, you will not desist from passing
your eyes over the rest, since it may be that other parts
may please, and, if so, they cannot fail to be highly profitable;
for this favor will be beneficial to people and countries
sorely needing such favor. God, our Lord, preserve and
1''.: 'r' your Highness for many years, as is the daily and
earnest supplication of your servants to the Divine Majesty.
Amen. In Seville, the 1st of March, in the year 1590.
JOSEPH DE ACOSTA.
and Morall Historie of the
East and iWest
Intreating of the remarkable things of Heaven, of
the Elements, Mettalls, Plants, and Beasts which
are proper to that Country: Together with
the Manners, Ceremonies, Lawes,
Governments, and Warres
of the Indians.
Written in Spanish by loseph Acosta, and translated into
English by E. G.
Printed by Val. Sims for Edward Blount and William
To the Right Honorable Sir Robert Cicill, Knight,
Baron of Essingden, Vicount Cranborne, principal
Secretary to his Maiestie, master of the Court of Wardes
and Liveries, and one of his Highnesse most
honourable Privie Counsell.
RIGHT HONORABLE,-If it appeared presumption in me to
shew my love, my dutie betraies me to it. The advantage
I have gleaned from idle hours, in exchanging this Indian
History from Spanish to English, is commended to your
Honors Patronage, whose first father loseph Acosta, hath
with great observation made worthie the over-looking. A
greater motive then that you are your self, needed not to
excite me to this dedication. I beseech you, my good
Lord, take it into shelter, and receive that which is not, for
that which I would it were. Let my insufficiencie be measured
by my good will. So shall my poore abilities thrive vnder
your encouragement, and happily leade me on to some
stronger vndertaking, wherein I shall bee bound to thanke
you for mine owne paines, and for ever remain
Your Lordships most devoted,
The Authors advertisement to the Reader.
MLJANY have written sundry books and discourses of the
New World at the West Indies, wherein they describe new
and strange things discovered in those parties, with the
actes and adventures of the Spaniards, which have con-
quered and peopled those Countries. But hitherto I have
not seene any other Author which treates of the causes and
reasons of these novelties and wonders of nature, or that
hath made any search thereof. Neither have I read any
booke which maketh mention of the histories of the antient
Indians and natural inhabitants of the New World. In
truth, these two things are difficult. The first being the
works of Nature, contrarie to the antient and received
Philosophy, as to shew that the region which they call the
burning Zone is very moist, and in many places very tem-
perate, and that it raines there, whenas the Sunne is neerest,
with such like things.} For such as have written of the
West Indies have not made profession of so deepe Philoso-
phie; yea, the greatest part of those Writers have had no
knowledge thereof. LThe second thing it treats of is, of the
proper historic of the Indians, the which required much
conference and travaile among the Indians themselves: the
which most of them that have treated of the Indies could
not doe, either not understanding the language or not
curious in the search of their Antiquities; so as they
have been contented to handle those things which have
been most common and superficial. Desiring, therefore,
to have some more particular knowledge thereof, I have
TO THE READER. XXV
been careful to learned from men of greatest experience
and best seen in these matters, and to gather from their
discourses and relations what I have thought fit to give
knowledge of the deedes and customer of these people.jAnd
for that which concerns the nature of those Countries and
their properties, I have learned it by the experience of many
friends, and by my dilligence to search, discover, and con-
ferre with men of iudgement and knowledge. In my
opinion, there are many advertisements which may serve
and benefit better wits for the teaching out of the truth,
or, to proceed farther, in finding that pleasing which is
contained herein. So, as although this new World be not
new, but old, in respect of the much which hath been writ-
ten thereof; yet this historic may, in some sort, be held for
new, for it is partly historical and partly philosophical, as
well for that they are the workers of nature as of free will,
which are the deedes and customers of men, the which hath
caused mee to name it the Naturall and Morall Historic of the
Indies. Containing these two things: In the first two
books mention is made of that which concerns the heavens,
temperature and habitation of the world, which books I had
first written in Latine, and now I have translated them into
Spanish, vsing more the liberty of an author then the strict
bonds of a translator, to apply my self the better to those
for whom it is written in the vulgar tong. In the two fol-
lowing books is treated of that which concerns the Ele-
ments and natural mixtures, as Mettalls, Plants, Beasts,
and what else is remarkable at the Indies. The rest of
the books relate what I could certainly discover, and
what I thought worthie memory of the Indians them-
selves, their Ceremonies, Customs, Governments, Wars,
and Adventures. In the same Historie shall be spoken (as
I could learned and comprehend) of the figures of the antient
Indians, seeing they had no writing nor characters as we
have, which is no small industry to have preserved their
xxvi TO THE READER.
Antiquities without the vse of letters; To conclude, the
scope of this work is, that having knowledge of the workers
of nature, which the wise Author of all nature made, we
may praise and glorifie the high God, who is wonderful in
all things and all places. And having knowledge of the
Indians customers, we may helpe them more easily to follow
and persevere in the high vocation of the Gospel; to the
knowledge whereof the Lord would draw this blinde nation
in these latter dales. Besides al these things, every one
may sucke out some profit for himself; for that the wise
do alwaies draw forth some good out of the smallest sub-
iect, as we finde deep Philosophie in the least and basest
creatures. I must only advertise the reader, that the two
first books of this historic or discourse were written in
Peru, and the other five since in Europe, dutie binding me
to return into these parties: so as some speaker of matters
of the Indies as of things present, and others as being
absent. And therefore I have thought it good to advertise
the Reader heereof that this diversitie of speech may not be
troublesome vnto him.
ANALYTICAL TABLE OF CONTENTS.
DEDICATION TO THE INFANT ISAELA xix
TRANSLATOR'S DEDICATION TO TIE RIGHT HONOURABLE SIR
ROBERT CIOILL, KNIGHT xxiii
To THE READER xxiv
CHAPTER 1.-Of the opinions of some authors which supposed that
the Heavens did not extend to the new found land.
View of St. Chrysostom 1
Opinions of Thoodorot and Lactantius 2
,, St. Jerome and St. Augustine 2
Fathers of the Church may err -- 3
CHAPTER 2.-That the Heaven is round, on all parts moving in his
course of itself.
Opinion of Aristotle correct 4
The Author's own experience 4
Proofs that the earth is round 5
Motions of the stars 6
Void places in the Heavens 7
CHAPTER 3.--Hot the Holy Scripture teacheth us that the earth is
in the middest of the world.
Roundness of the Heavens 8
The waters 9
The earth rests upon nothing 10
Wisdom of the Creator 11
XXviii ANALYTICAL TABLE OF CONTENTS.
CHAPTER 4.-Containing an answer to that which is objected out of
the Holy Scripture against the roundness of the earth.
Explanation of St. Paul's words 12
The letter kills the spirit quickeneth 13
CHAPTER 5.-Of the fashion and forme of Heaven at the new found
Comparison of stars in North and South 14
The Southern Cross 14
Art of navigation 15
Milky Way 15
CHAPTER 6.-That there is Land and Sea under the two Poles.
Men as near Heaven in Peru as in Spain 15
The Pole Antarticke 16
Distribution of land and sea 17
Land and sea at the Poles 18
Question of a North West Passage 18
CHAPTER 7.-To confute the opinion of Lactantius, who holdes there
be no Antipodes.
Lactantius and St. Augustine on the Antipodes 19
Reason corrects imagination 20
The use of imagination 21
CHAPTER 8.-The reason why St. Augustine denied the Antipodes.
Opinions of St. Augustine 22
His difficulty in the greatness of the ocean 23
Concurrence of St. Gregory Nazianzen 23
The Scriptures speak only of the then known world 24
CHAPTER 9.-Of Aristotle's opinion touching the new Worlde, and
what abused him to make him deny it.
Opinions of the ancients as to heat of the burning Zone 25
Aristotle's opinion 25
Want of knowledge among the Ancients 26
Extreme cold and heat of Arctic and Torrid Zones 27
The southern Zones 29
ANALYTICAL TABLE OF CONTENTS. XxiK
CHAPTER 10.-That Plinie and the auncients held the same opinion
Pliny thought the tropics uninhabitable 29
Arguments of the ancients. 30
CHAPTER 1.-That in ancient Bookes we finde some knowledge of
this newe world.
Voyage of Hanno 32
Voyage of Eudoxus 33
Ancient knowledge of the East Indies 33
Sumatra and Malacca 33
Prophecy of Seneca 34
CHAPTER 12.-Of the opinions which Plato held of the West Indies.
Timmus and Critias 36
Interpretation of sayings of Plato -- 36
CHAPTER 13.-That some have held opinion that in places of Holy
Scripture, whereas they speaker of Ophir, is to be understood
of our Peru.
Hispaniola said to be Ophir 37
Whether Peru be Ophir 37
Fancied resemblance of names -- 38
Ophir was in the East Indies 39
CHAPTER 14.--What Tharsis and Ophir signify in the Holy
Identification of Tarshish 40
Tarshish has divers meanings 41
A general term 42
CHAPTER 15.-Of the Prophecie of Abdias, which some doe interpret
to be the Indies.
The discovery of America said to have been foretold in
Prophecy of Obadiah 43
Sepharad (Zarephath) supposed to be Spain 43
XXX ANALYTICAL TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Cities of the South may be the Indies 43
Prophecy of Isaiah 44
Many nations to whom Christ has not yet been preached 44
CHAPTER 16.-By what neanes the first men might come to the Indies,
the which was not willingly nor of set purpose.
The New World not peopled by a miracle 45
Opinion of the Author 46
Passage in ships considered 46
New World not reached in ships 47
The ancients were ignorant of the compass -- 48
CIIAPTER 17.-Of the properties and admirable virtue of the
Adamante stone for navigation, whereof the Ancients had no
Use of the compass in navigation 50
Virtues of the load stone 50
Time of its discovery uncertain 51
Variation of the compass 52
Four points of no variation 52
CHAPTER 18.-Wherein an answer is made to them that say that in
times passed they have sailed through the Ocean as at
Long voyages not proved by Scripture 53
In ancient books no proof of long voyages 54
The ancients only coasted along the shore 54
CHAPTER 19.-That we may conjecture how the first inhabitants of
the Indies came thither by force of weather and not willingly.
Story of the discovery of America by a nameless pilot 54
Most new countries discovered by chance 55
Wonderful voyage recorded by Cornelius Nepos 55
Ship of Carthage driven to the New World 55
Giants said to have landed in Peru 56
People of Yea and Arica sailed in South Sea 56
Most discoveries due to chance -- 57
ANALYTICAL TABLE OF CONTENTS. XXxi
CHAPTER 20.-Notwithstanding all that hath bene said, it is more
likely that the first inhabitants of the Indies came by land.
The beasts could not have come by sea 57
No new creation in America 58
Beasts could not have swum to the New World 59
Belief of the Author in a narrow strait 60
CHAPTER 21.-By what means tame beasts passed to the Indies.
The Indians could only make short voyages 61
No beasts on the West Indian Islands 62
Animals reach islands by swimming 63
CHAPTER 22.-That the lineage of the Indians hath not passed by
the Atlantis Island as some do imagine.
The Atlantis of Plato 64
Atlantis a fable 66
Pliny on Mount Atlas and Atlantis .- 66
CHAPTER 23.-That the opinion of many which hold that the first
race of the Indians comes from the Jews is not true.
A text of Esdras applied to the Indies 67
Resemblance between dress of Jews and Indians 67
Points of difference 68
The opinion confuted 69
CHAPTER 24.--The reason why we can find no beginning of the
The peopling of the Indies was gradual 69
The first arrivals savage and hunters 70
CHAPTER 25.-What the Indians report of their beginning.
Tradition of a deluge 70
Origin of the Yncas 71
Origin of American civilizations 72
XXxii ANALYTICAL TABLE OF CONTENTS.
CHAPTER 1.-That it is not out of purpose, but necessarie to treated of
the nature of the Equinoctiall.
The Equinoctial defined 73
CHAPTER 2.-For what reasons the ancients held that the burning
Zone was not inhabitable.
Effect of Sun's motion on temperature .- 74
The further a country is from the Sun's course the colder 74
The hottest near the Zodiacs 74
Dryness and moisture caused by the Sun 75
Hence Aristotle's opinion of the Southern heat 75
CHAPTER 3.-That the burning Zone is very moist, contrary to the
opinion of the Ancients.
Yet the burning Zone is inhabited 76
The seasons occur, but at different times -- 76
Seasons of greatest moisture 77
CHAPTER 4.--That in the Regions which be without the Tropicks there
is greatest store of waters whenas the Sunne is farthest of,
contrary to that under the burning Zone.
Climate of Chile 78
Cause of inundation of the Nile 78
Inundation of the Paraguay or river Plate 78
CHAPTER 5.-That betwixt the two Tropicks the greatest aboundance
of raine is in Summer, uith a discourse of Winter and Summer.
Winter and Summer in the Tropics 79
Seasons in Peru 80
CHAPTER 6.-That the burning Zone abounds with waters and
pastures, against the opinion of Aristotle who holds the contrarie.
Abundance of Water in the Tropics 81
The great river Amazons 82
ANALYTICAL TABLE OF CONTENTS. XXX111
Lake Titicaca 83
Question of drainage of Titicaca 84
CHAPTER 7.-Shewing the reason why the Sunne without the Tropicks
causeth greatest quantities of waters when it is farthest of; and
contrariwise within them it breedeth most when it
Rain caused by heat of the Sun 84
Effect of the Sun on vapour 85
Effect of heat on moisture 87
Dry regions in the tropics 88
CHAPTER 8.-How wee should understand that which hath been
.formerly spoken of the burning Zone.
Dry region on the coast of Peru 88
Exceptions to natural rules 89
CHAPTER 9.-That the Burning Zone is not violently hotte, but
Moderate heat in the tropics 90
The Author's experience 90
CHAPTER 10.-That the heat of the burning Zone is temperate, by
reason of the rayne and the shortness of the dayes.
Heat tempered by rain 91
Length of days and nights 92
Causes for moderate heat in the tropics 93
CHAPTER 11.-That there be other reasons besides the former men-
tioned, which shew that the burning Zone is temperate,
especially alongst the Ocean.
Causes for temperate climate in the tropics 94
The sea tempers the heat 95
CHAPTER 12.-That the'highest lands are the coldest, and the reason
The middle region of the air the coldest 96
Nature of the elements 97
XXXiv ANALYTICAL TABLE OF CONTENTS.
CHAPTER 13.-That the colde windes be the principal cause to make
the burning Zone temperate.
Coolness of the night not sufficient to moderate Sun's heat 99
Effect of winds in the tropics 99
Land and Sea Breezes -- 100
CHAPTER 14.--That they which inhabited under the Equinoctiall live
a swueete and pleasant life.
Importance of healthy air 101
A healthy life possible in the tropics -- 103
These two books written in the Indies. The five following
in Europe 103
CHAPTER 1.--That the natural IHistorie of the Indies is pleasant
He that takes delight in the works of nature shall taste the
true pleasure of Histories 104
The Author will write briefly 105
CHAPTER 2.-Of the windes, their differences, properties, and causes
Properties of the winds 106
Names of winds 107
CHAPTER 3.-Of certain properties of windes which blowe at the new
Origin of the south wind 110
Winds in Peru 111
CHAPTER 4.-That in the burning Zone the Brisas, or Easterly
windes do continually blowe, and without the Zone the western,
and that the Easterly are ordinarie alwaies there.
The trade windes 113
ANALYTICAL TABLE OP CONTENTS. XXXV
Voyages of the Spanish fleets 114
Navigation in the South Sea 115
Winds without the tropics 116
CHAPTER 5.--Of the diferences of the Brisas or Easterne winds,
and the Westerne, and likewise of other windes.
Direction of the trade winds 117
Names of the winds 119
CHAPTER 6.-What is the reason why, sailing vnder the burning
Zone, we.finde always Easterly winds.
Cause of the trade winds 121
Motion of the Comet of 1577 122
Father Alonzo Sanches on trade winds -- 124
CHAPTER 7.-Why, without the Zone, in a greater altitude, we find
always westerly windes.
Explanation of westerly winds outside the tropics 125
Variable winds in 40 N. Lat. 125,
CHAPTER 8.-Of the exceptions to the foresaid Rules, and of the
Windes and Calmes, both at Land and at Sea.
On land the same rule does not hold -- 125
Land and Sea Breezes 126
Rain-bearing winds 127
The author's voyage from Peru to Mexico -- 127
CHAPTER 9.-Of some marvellous effects of the winds, which are in
some parties of the Indies.
Strange effects of winds 128
Sea sickness 129
Sickness at great heights 130
Remedy for sickness 131
Intense cold of the Punas 132
CHAPTER 10.-Of the Ocean that environs the Indies, and of the
North and South Seas.
No inland seas 135
XXxvi ANALYTICAL TABLE OF CONTENTS.
The South Sea 135
Question of cutting the Isthmus -- 135
Straits of Magellan 136
Voyages of Drake and Sarmiento 137
CHAPTER 11.--Of the Straight of Magellan, and how it was passed
on the south side.
Expedition of Sarmiento 137
CHAPTER 12.-Of the Straight which some holde to be in Florida.
The North West Passage 141
CHAPTER 13.- Of the properties of the Straight of Magellan.
Depth. Length 142
CHAPTER 14.-Of the ebbing and flowing of the Indian Ocean.
Tides in the Mediterranean 144
Tide at Panama 145
Tide in Magellan Straits 145
CHAPTER 15.-Of sundry Fishes, and their manner of fishing at the
Fish in the South Sea 146
Voracity of sharks 147
Whale fishing 149
Fishing in balsas 150
Chirihuana fishing 151
CHAPTER 16.-Of Lakes and Pooles that be at the Indies.
Lake Titicaca 151
Lakes in the Andes 152
Lakes in Mexico 153
CHAPTER 17.-Of many and divers Springs and Fountains.
Hot spring at Huancavelica 154
ANALYTICAL TABLE OF CONTEN.S. XXXvii
Springs of pitch 15
Fountain of salt near Cuzco 155
Springs flowing by sarsaparilla plants -- 156
Springs rising on Vilcafiota 156
Colored springs 156
CHAPTER 18.-Of rivers.
River Marafion or Amazons 156
Passage of the Pongo 157
Paraguay or river Plate 158
Passage of rivers. Irrigation 159
CHAPTER 19.-Of the qualitie of the land at the Indies in general.
Coast valleys of Peru 160
Sierra of Peru 161
Temperate valleys 162
CHAPTER 20.-Of the properties of the land of Peru.
Extent of Peru 163
Physical features of Peru 164
Rainfall in Peru 165
The Collao 166
CHAPTER 21.--The reason why it does not rain on the Llanos, along
the sea coast.
Cause of no rain on the coast of Peru 167
Fertilizing mists 168
CHAPTER 22.-Of the properties of new Spaine, of the Hands, and of
Vineyards in Peru 168
Pastures in Mexico 168
Soil of the Antilles 169
Climate of Chile 170
CHAPTER 23.-Of the unknown Land, and the diversitie of a whole
day betwixt them of the East and the West.
Conjectured land of Australia 170
XXXVIII ANALYTICAL TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Unknown parts 171
Discoveries between Peru and Brazil -- 172
Difference of time 173
CHAPTEn 21.-Of the Volcanos or Vents of Fire.
Description of volcanoes 174
Volcano at Guatimala 175
Ashes from Volcano near Quito 175
CHAPTER 25.-T-hat should be the reason why the fire and smoake
continue so long in these Volcanos.
Cause of irruptions 176
Death of Pliny 177
CHAPTER 26.-Of Earthquakes.
Earthquakes in sympathy with volcanos -- 178
Great earthquake.in Chile 179
Earthquake of Arequipa in 1582 179
Earthquake 9 June, 1586, at Lima 179
Earthquake at Quito -179
Sea coast most subject to earthquakes -- 180
Land slip at Angoango -180
CHAPTER 27.-IHow the land and sea imbrace one another.
Indentations of coast lines -- 181
Shape of South America 182
CHAPTER 1.-Of three kindes of mixtures or compounds, of the which
I must intreate in this Historie.
Study of God's works 184
ANALYTICAL TABLE OF CONTENTS. XXxix
CHAPTER 2.-Of the aboundance and great quantitie of Mettall at
the West Indies.
Uses of metals 185
Gold and silver 186
Mineral wealth of Peru 187
CHAPTER 3.-Of the qualities and nature of the earth where the met-
tails are found, and that all these mettalls are not employed at
the Indies, and how the Indians used them.
Mineral wealth generally in barren lands -- 188
Gold, silver, and copper -- 188
Use of barter 189
CHAPTER 4.-Of gold which they dig and refine at the Indies.
The Yncas had abundance of gold 191
Found in grains 191
In veins 192
Mines of Caravaya and Valdivia 192
Method of refining 193
CHAPTER 5.-Of the silver of the Indies.
Veins of silver 195
Method of refining by Indians 195
CHAPTER 6.-Of the mountain or hill of Potosi and the discovery
Situation of the mines of Potosi 197
Description of the hill 198
Discovery of the mines 198
CHAPTER 7.-Of the treasure which is daily drawn from the rock
or mountain of Potosi.
Pliny on the mines of Spain -201
Yield of Potosi 202
King's share 203
Amount sent home in 1587 204
xl ANALYTICAL TABLE OF CONTENTS.
CHAPTER 8.--fow they labour in the mines of Potosi.
Great labour and peril of mining 205
Chief veins at Potosi 206
Number of Mines 207
Labour in continual darkness 207
Method of working 208
CHAPTER 9.-HIow they refine the lIettall of Silver.
Kinds of silver ores 209
Method of refining with furnaces 210
With quicksilver 210
CHAPTER 10.-Of the wonderful properties of Quick silver.
Properties of quicksilver 211
CHAPTER 11.-Of the place where they finde quicksilver, and how
they discovered these rich mines in IIvancavilca.
Discovery in Peru 215
Mercury brought to Potosi in 1571 217
King's profit from Huancavilca mine 217
CHAPTER 12.-The manner how to drawe out Quick-silver and how
they refine silver.
Method of working the quicksilver mine 217
Transport to Potosi and the coast -- 218
Use in refining silver 219
CHAPTER 13.-Of their engines to grinde the mettall, and of their
trial of silver.
Method of grinding silver ores 220
Water mills 222
Assay Master; Alloy 223
Testing the silver 223
CHAPTER 14.-Of Enmera des.
Value of emeralds 224
Localities where found 225
ANALYTICAL TABLE OF CONTENTS. xli
CHAPTER 15.-Of Pearles.
Grow in oyster shells .. 226
Yield .. 228
CHAPTER 16.-Of the Indian bread and of maize.
Bread of Peruvians made of maize 229
Description of maize 229
Different kinds 229
Various ways of cooking it 230
Fermented liquor from maize 230
CHAPTER 17.-Of Yucas, CaFavi, Papas, (l'ilt7as, and Rice.
Cassava bread made from Yuca 232
Method of making Chu)us .. 233
CHAPTER 18.-Of divers roots which growe at the Indies.
Various edible roots .. .235
Abundant Spanish roots in Peru 235
CHAPTER 19.-Of divers sortes of green Herbes and Pulses, and of
those they call Pepinos and Pine Apples, Strawberries of
Chile, and of Cherries.
Pine apples 236
CHAPTER 20.-Of Axi or Indian Pepper.
Ginger grown in the Indies 239
Cultivation of capsicum 239
Capsicum very hot, but much used 240
CHAPTER 21.-Of the Plantain.
Cultivation of the plantain 241
Description of the plant 242
May be used for paper 244
xlii ANALYTICAL TABLE OF CONTENTS.
CHAPTER 22.-.Of Cacao and Coca.
Description of the Cacao 244
Chocolate made from it 245
Coca in Peru 245
Value of coca 245
Cultivation of coca .. 246
Used by the Yncas 246
CHAPTER 23.-Of Macguey, Tunal, Cockenelle, Anis, Cotton.
Uses of Maquey 247
Prickly pear or Tunal 247
CHAPTER 24.-Of Alamays, Guayavos, and Paltas.
Mamay apples 249
Alligator pears 250
CHAPTER 25.-Of Chicoqapote, Anonas, and Capolies.
CHAPTER 26.-Of various sortes of fruit Trees, of Cocos, Almondes
of the Andes, and Almondes of Chachapoyas.
Cocoa nuts 253
CHAPTER 27.-Of many and diverse flowers, and of some trees which
yeelde only a flower, and how the Indians do use them.
The Indians love flowers 255
Numerous kinds of flowers 255
The Datura 255
CHAPTER 28.-Of Balsam.
Balsam of the Indies 257
Different kinds 257
ANALYTICAL TABLE OF CONTENTS. xliii
CHAPTER 29.-Of Amber and other Oyles, Gums, and Drugges,
which they bring from the Indies.
Cassia fistula 260
Storax and copal 260
Sarsaparilla .. 260
Brazil wood 260
CHAPTER 30.-Of great forests at the Indies of Cedars, of Cayvas,
and other great trees.
Great variety of timber trees 262
Strange adventures in a forest .. 262
Cedars and Laurels 263
Oak of Guayaquil 263
Schinus Molle 264
CHAPTER 31.-Of Plants and fruits which have bin carried out of
Spaine to the Indies.
Corn and garden vegetables 265
Fruit trees 265
CHAPTER 32.-Of virn" vines, olives, mulberries, and canes of
Vineyards in Peru 267
Fig-tree.at Mala 268
Mulberries and silk-worms 269
Sugar estate at Nasca 269
Olives in Mexico and Peru 269
CHAPTER 33.- Of Beasts bearing wooll and of kine.
Sheep and cloth-making 270
Wild cattle in St. Domingo 271
Trade in hides 271
Horses and dogs 272
xliv ANALYTICAL TABLE OF CONTENTS.
CHAPTER 34.-Of some Beasts of Europe which the Spaniardes found
at the Indies, and how they passed thither.
Fierce and wild beasts the same as in the Old World 273
Indian hunts called Chacu 273
Tigers and beasts 274
Bees and honey 274
CHAPTER 35.-Of Fowles which are here, and are at the Indies, and
how they could passe thither.
Partridges, pigeons, herons, eagles .. 275
Birds might pass the sea 275
Hens and eggs 276
CHAPTER 36.--How it should be possible that at the Indies there
should be anie sortes of beasts, whereof the like are no
All animals must have passed from the Old World 277
God may have made a new creation of beasts .. 277
Very different from those of Europe 278
CHAPTER 37.-Of fowles that are proper to the Indies.
Birds of Paradise from China 279
Humming birds in Peru 279
Condors and Turkey buzzards 279
Work in feathers 280
Guano and its use as manure 281
CHAPTER 38.-- Of Beasts for the Chase.
Armadillos and Yguanas 283
Chinchillas and Uiscachas 284
CHAPTER 39.-Of Micos or Indian Monkeys.
Various kinds of monkeys 285
Tricks of monkeys 285
ANALYTICAL TABLE OF CONTENTS. xlv
CHAPTER 40.-Of Vicuilas and Tarugas of Peru.
Description of Vicufias 287
Vicuia hunts 287
Wool and cloth made from it 287
CHAPTER 41.-Of Pacos, Huanacos, and Sheep of Peru.
Uses of llamas and alpacas 289
Llamas beasts of burden 290
Disease of llamas 291
CHAPTER 42.-Of the bezoar stone.
Bezoar stone found in llamas, etc. 292
Virtues of the bezoar stone 294
THE FIRST BOOK
Of the Naturall and Morall Historie of the
East and West Indies.
CHAP. T.-Of the opinions of some Authors, which supposed
that the Heavens did not extend to the new-found world.
THE Ancients were so farre from concept that this new- LI .
found world was peopled by any Nation, that many of them
could not imagine there was any land on that part; and
(which is more worthie of admiration) some have flatly
denied that the Heavens (which we now beholde) could
extend thither. For although the greatest part (yea, the
most famous among the Philosophers) have well known
that the Heaven was round (as in effect it is), and by that
means did compasse and comprehend within it self the
whole earth; yet many, (yea, of the holy doctors of greatest
authorities) have disagreed in opinion vpon this point; sup-
posing the frame of this vniversall world to bee fashioned
like vnto a house; whereas the roofe that covers it invirons
only the upper part and not the rest; inferring by their
reasons, that the earth should else hang in the middest of
the ayre, the which seemed vnto them voyd of sense. For
as we see in every building, the ground-worke and founda-
tion on the one side, and the cover opposite vnto it, even so
in this great building of the world, the Heaven should re-
maine above on the one part, and the earth vnder it. The
glorious Chrysostome (a man better seene in the studied of
holy Scriptures then in the knowledge of Philosophic)
seems to be of this opinion, when in his Commentaries
2 OF THE FOM OF THE EARTH.
,IB. i. vpon the Epistle to the Hebrewes, he doth laugh at those
hrysost., which hold the heavens to be round. And it seems, the
andsxviTi holy Scripture doth inferre as much, terming the Heavens a
etre. Tabernacle or Frame built by the hand of God. And hee
passeth farther vpon this point, saying, that which mooves
and goes is not the Heaven, but the Sunne, Moone, and
chry.i, Starres, which moove in the heaven, even as Sparrowes and
in enes. other birds moove in the ayre; contrary to that, which the
nichpop. Philosophers hold, that they turne with the Heaven it selfe,
Theodoret. as the armes of a wheele doe with the wheele. Theodoret,
a very grave Authour, followed Chrysostome in this opinion,
Theophil. and Theophilus likewise, as hee is accustomed almost in all
8,adHebre. things. But Lactantius Firmian, above all the rest,
diin. st., holding the same opinion, doth mocke the Peripatetickes and
Academickes, which give the heaven a round forme, placing
the earth in the middest thereof; for that it seemeth ridi-
culous vnto him, that the earth should hang in the ayre, as
is before sayde. By which his opinion he is conformable
vnto Epicurus, who holdeth, that on the other part of the
earth there is nothing but a Chaos and infinite gulph. And
ie. inepist. it seemeth that S. Ierome draweth neere to this opinion,
lib. iic. 4. writing vpon the Epistle to the Ephesians in these words:
The natural Philosopher by his contemplation pierceth to
the height of heaven, and on the other part he findeth a
great vast in the depth and bowels of the earth." Some
likewise say that Procopius affirmes (the which I have not
sixtus seen) vpon the booke of Genesis, that the opinion of Aris-
ib. v, bib. totle, touching the forme and circular motion of the Heaven
iii. is contrarie and repugnant to the holy Scriptures. But
whatsoever the Ancients say or hold touching this point,
it must not trouble vs, for that it is wel known and verified
that they have not been so studious in the knowledge and
demonstrations of Philosophie, being busied in other studies
of farre greater importance. But that which is more to be
admired is, that S. Augustine himself, so well seene in all
DOCTORS OF HOLY CHURCH HAVE ERRED. 3
natural Sciences, yea, very learned in Astrologie and LI'-
Physicke, remaynes yet still in doubt, not able to resolve, Au., lib. ii,
de Gen. ad
whether the Heaven did compasse in the earth on all parts. ut. c. 9.
"What care I", saith he, if we suppose the Heaven doth id. Psal.
inviron the earth on all parts like vnto a bowl, being in .
the middest of the world, as a bottom is compassed with
three :2 or that we say it is not so, and that the Heaven
covereth the earth of one part only as a great Basin that
hangs over it."3 In the same place he seemeth to shew (nay,
hee speaketh plainely) that there is no certain demonstra-
tion to proove the figure of the world to be round, but only
by simple coniectures. In which places cited and others,
they hold the circular motion of the Heaven very doubtful.
But wee ought not to take it offensively, nor esteeme lesse
of the Doctors of the holy Church, if in some points of Phi-
losophie and natural knowledge, they have varied in opinion
from that which is helde for good philosophies; seeing all
their studied hath been to know, preach, and serve the
Creator of all things, wherein they have bin excellent, and
having well employed their studies in causes of greater
weight, it is a small matter in them not to have known all
particularities concerning the creatures. But those vaine
Philosophers of our age are much more to bee blamed who,
having attayned to the knowledge of the being and order of
the creatures, and of the course and motion of the Heavens,
haue not yet learned (wretched as they are) to knowe the
Creator of all things, but busying themselves wholly in his
workers, have not yet mounted by their imaginations to the
knowledge of the Soveraigne Author thereof as the holy S p'xiii.
Scripture teacheth vs; or if they have known him, they
have not served and glorified him as they ought, blinded
with their imaginations, whereof the Apostle doth accuse
and blame them.
1 Come una bola."
Estando ella en medio del mundo come en el fil."
3 Come un plato grande que esta encima."
4 PROOFS THAT THE EARTH IS ROUND.
CHAP. i.-That the Heaven is round on all parts, moving
in his course of it self.
LIB. I. But coming to our subject, there is no doubt but the
opinion which Aristotle and the other Peripateticks held with
the Stoicks (that the figure of Heaven was round, and did
move circularly in his course), is so perfectly true, as we
which doe now live in Peru see it visibly. Wherin expe-
rience should be of more force then all Philosophicall de-
monstrations, being sufficient to proove that the Heaven is
round, and comprehends and contaynes the earth within it
of al parts. And to cleere any doubt that might grow, it
sufficeth that I have seene in this our Hemisphere that part
of Heaven which turnes about this earth, the which was vn-
knowne to the Ancients; and have observed the two Poles
whereon the Heavens turne, as vpon their Axeltrees. I say,
the Articke, or North Pole, which those of Europe beholde,
and the other Antarticke, or Southerne Pole (whereof saint
Aug.,lib.ii Augustine is in doubt), the which we change and take for
ait., cap. the North here at Peru, having passed the Equinoctiall line.
Finally, it sufficeth that I have sayled neere 70 degrees from
North to South, that is, forty of the one side of the line and
23 on the other, omitting at this present the testimony of
others which have sayled much farther then my selfe, and
in a greater height, coming neere 70 degrees towards the
South. Who will not confess but the ship called the Vic-
torie1 (worthie doubtlesse of eternall memories) hath wonne
the honor and praise to have best discovered and compassed
the round earth, yea, that great Chaos and infinite Vast
which the ancient Philosophers affirmed to bee vnder the
1 Magellan's ship, which, is represented on the covers of the volumes
of the Hakluyt Society. See an account of her at page 16 (note) of
vol. i of my translation of the first part of the Royal Commentaries of
the Yncas, by the Ynca Garcilasso de la Vega. (Hakluyt Society's
volume for 1869.)
PROOFS THAT THE EARTH IS ROUND.
earth, having compassed about the world and circled the LIt. .
vastnesse of the great Oceans. Who is hee then that will
not confesse by this Navigation but the whole earth (al-
though it were bigger then it is described) is subject to the
feet of man, seeing he may measure it? Thus, without
doubt, the Heaven is of a round and perfect figure; and the
earth likewise imbracing and ioyning with the water makes
one globe or round bowl framed of these two elements,
having their bounds and limits within their own roundnes
and greatnes. The which may be sufficiently proved by
reasons of Philosophie and Astrologie, leaving al subtil de-
finitions commonly objected. That, to the most perfect
body (which is the Heaven), we must give the most perfect
figure, which, without doubt, is round, whose circular
motion could not be firme nor equally in it selfe, if it had
any corner or nooke of any side, or if it were crooked (as of
necessitie it must be), if the Sun, Moone, and Stars made
not their course about the whole world. But leaving all
these reasons, it seems that the Moone is sufficient in this
case as a faithful witness of the Heaven it selfe, seeing
that her Eclypse happens, but when as the roundnesse of
the earth opposeth it selfe diametrally betwixt her and the
Sunne, and by that means keepes the Sunnebeames from
shining on her. The which could not chance if the earth
were not in the midst of the world, compassed in and in-
vironed by the whole Heaven. Some haue doubted whether
the light of the Moone were borrowed from the brightnes
of the Sunne; but it is needlesse, seeing there can bee
found no other cause of the Eclipses, full, and quarters of
the Moone, but the communication of the beames which
proceed from the Sunne. In like sort, if wee will carefully Aug., ep.
cix, ad Ian-
examine this matter, we shall find that the darkenesse ofuarium,
the night proceeds from no other cause but from the
shadow which the earth makes, not suffering the light of
the sunne to passe to the other parte of the heaven, where
6 MOTIONS OF THE STARS.
LIm.. his beames shine not. If then it be so, that the sunne
passeth no farther, neyther doth cast his beames on the
other part of the earth, but only turnes about, and returns
to his setting, making a ridge vpon the earth by his
turning (the which he must of force confesse that shall
denie the roundnes of the heaven, seeing (according to their
saying) the heaven as a basen doth only couer the face of
the earth), it should then plainly follow that wee could not
obserue the difference betwixt the daies and nights, the
which in some regions be short and long according to the
seasons, and in some are alwaies equally, the which S. Au-
Augst., gustine noteth in his books De Genes, ad litteram. That
litteran we may easily comprehend the opposition, conversions,
cap. 19. elevations, descents, and all other aspects and dispositions
of planets and starres, when we shall understand they move,
and yet notwithstanding the heaven remains firme and
immoveable. The which seemeth to me easie to compre-
hend, and will be to all others, if it may be lawfull to im-
agine that which my fancy doth conceive; for if we suppose
that every star and planet be a body of it selfe, and that it
Dan. xiv. be led and guided by an Angell, as Habacuc was carried
into Babilon, who I pray you is so blind but seeth that all
the diverse aspects which we see appeared in planets and
starres may proceed from the diversity of motion which he
that guides them doth voluntarily giue them. We cannot
then with any reason affirme but that this space and region
by which they faine that stars do continually march and
rowle is elementarie and corruptible, seeing it divides it
selfe when they pass, the which vndoubtedly do not passe
by any void place. If then the region wherein the starres
and planets move be corruptible, the stars and planets of
their owne motion should be by reason likewise corruptible,
and so by consequence they must alter, change, and be
finally extinct; for naturally that which is contained is no
more durable then that which conteineth. And to say that
VOID PLACES IN THE HEAVENS. 7
the Celestiall bodies be corruptible, it agreeth not with the Lin. i.
psalme, "That God made them for euer": And it is lesse Psal.cxiviii.
conformable to the order and preservation of this vniversall
world. I say moreover, to confirm this truth, that the
heauens move, and in them the starres march in turning,
the which we cannot easily discerne with our eyes, seeing
we see that not only the starres do moue, but also the re-
gions and whole parts of heaven ; I speaker not only of the
shining and most resplendent parts, as of that which we
call Via lactea, and the vulgar S. Iaques way, but also of the
darker and obscurer parts of heaven. For there we see
really as it were spots and darkenes, which are most appa-
rent: the which I remember not to haue seene at any
time in Europe, but at Peru, and in this other Hemis-
phere I haue often seen them very apparent. These
spots are in colour and forme like vnto the Eclips
of the Moone, and are like vnto it in blacknes and
darkenes; they march, fixed to the same starres, alwaies of
one forme and bignes, as we haue noted by infallible ob-
servation. It may be this will seemed strange to some, and
they will demand whence these spots in heaven should
grow. To the which I cannot answer otherwise at this
time, but (as the Philosophers do affirme) that this Via
lactea, or milken way, is compounded of the thickest parts
of the heaven, and for this cause it receives the greater
light; and contrariwise, there are other parts very thinne
and transparent, the which receiving lesse light seemed more
black and obscure. Whether this be the true reason or no
I dare not certenly affirme. Yet is it true that, according
to the figure these spots have in heaven, they moue with
the same proportion with their starres without any separa-
tion, the which is a true, certain, and often noted expe-
rience. It followeth then by all that we haue said, that the
heaven containeth in it all the parts of the earth, circling
continually about it, without any more doubt.
8 ROUNDNESS OF THE HEAVENS.
CHAP. I.--How the holy Scripture teacheth vs that the
earth is in middest of the world.
LIE. I. Although it seems to Procopius Gaza,1 and to some others
of his opinion, that it is repugnant to the holy Scripture to
est. xiii. place the earth in the middest of the world, and to say that
Psal.jvii, the heaven is round, yet in truth this doctrine is not re-
Xixxxix' pugnant, but conformable to that which it doth teach vs.
Eccies. i. For laying aside the tearmes which the Scripture it self
doth vse in many places, The roundnesse of the earth";
and that which it sayeth in an other place, that whatsoever
is corporeall is invironed and compassed in by the heavens
and conteyned within the roundnes thereof, at the least they
cannot deny but that place of Ecclesiastes is very plain
where it is said, "The Sunne riseth and sets, and returns
to the same place, and so begins to rise again; he takes
his course by the South, turning towards the North; this
spirit marcheth compassing about all things, and then
returns to the same place." In this place the paraphrase
and exposition of Gregorie Neocesarien, or Nazianzene,
sayeth, The Sunne having runne about the whole earth,
returns as it were, turning to the same point." That which
Solomon sayeth (being interpreted by Gregorie) could not
be trve if any part of the earth were not invironed with the
eIrom., cap. heaven. And so S. Ierome doth understand it, writing
Ephes. vpon the Epistle to the Ephesians in this sort, "The most
common opinion affirmes (agreeing with Ecclesiastes) that
the heaven is round, moving circularly like vnto a bowle."
And it is most certain that no round figure conteyneth in
it eyther longitude, latitude, heigth, or depth, for that all
asil., hom. parts are equally. Whereby it appears, according to S.
Hexam. lerome, That those which hold the heaven to be round are
not repugnant to the holy Scripture, but conformable to the
same." And although that S. Basile especially, and S.
Ambrose (who doth vsually imitate him in his books called
THE WATERS. 9
Ilexameron) seemed somewhat doubtful of this point, yet in 'B. r.
the end they grant that the world is round. It is true that
S. Ambrose doth not yeelde to this quintessence' which Amb.,lib.x.
Aristotle attributes to the heavens, without doubt it is a cap. 6.
goodly thing to see with what a grace and excellent stile
the holy Scripture creates of the situation and firmenes of
the earth to breed in vs a wonderful admiration, and no
lesse content to behold the vnspeakable power and wisedome
of the Creator. For that in one place God himself saies iPal.
that it was hee which planted the pillers which support the
earth; giving vs to understand (as S. Ambrose doth well Amb. i,
expound it) that the vnmeasurable weight of the whole
earth is held vp by the hands of the divine power. The
holy Scripture doth commonly so call them, and vseth this
phrase, naming them the pillers of heaven and earth, not
those of Atlas, as the Poets faine, but of the eternall word
of God, who by his vertue supports both heaven and earth.
Moreover, the holy Scripture in an other place teacheth, Job ix, 26.
that the earth, or a great part thereof, is ioyned to and com-
passed in by the Element of water, speaking generally, that
God placed the earth vpon the waters. And in another Heb.i.
place, that hee framed the roundnes of the earth vpon the
Sea. And although S. Augustine doth not conclude vpon
this text, as a matter of faith, that the earth and the water
make one globe in the midst of the world, pretending by
this means to give another exposition to the words of the
Psalme; yet notwithstanding it is most certain that by the Aug. in
words of the psalme we are given to understand that we
haue no other reason to imagine any other ciment or vniting
to the earth then the Element of water, the which although
it be pliant and moveable, yet doth it support and inviron
this great masse of the earth, the which was wrought by the
wisedome of that great Architect. They say, the earth is
built vpon the waters and vpon the sea; but contrariwise,
the earth is rather vnder the waters; for according to com-
1 Quinta substantial "
10 THE EARTH RESTS UPON NOTHING.
LIB. mon iudgement and imagination, that which is on the other
part of the earth which we inhabited seems to be vnder the
earth, and so by the same reason, the waters and sea which
doe compass in the earth on the other part should be
underneath and the earth above; yet the very truth is, that
what is properly beneath that is alwaies in the midst of the
vniversall; but the holy scripture frames it selfe to our
manner of conceiving and speaking. Some may demand
(seeing the earth is set vpon the waters, as the scripture
sayeth) whereon the waters are placed and what support
haue they ? And if the earth and the water make one round
globe, how can all this monstrous masse be sustained ? To this
the holy scripture answereth them in another place, giving
vs greatest cause to admire the power of the Creator, and
Job xxvi. saith in these words, "The earth extends towards the
North vpon the Vast, and states hanging vpon nothing."
The which in truth is very well spoken, for that really it
seems this heape of earth and water is set vpon nothing,
when we describe it in the middest of the ayre, as in trueth
it is. But this wonder, which men so much admire, God
Job xxxviii. himself hath not layd open, demanding of the same lob in
these termes-" Tell mee if thou canst, who hath layd the
lyne or cast the lead for the building of the world, and
with what morter the foundations have been played and
ioyned." Finally, to make vs understand the fashion and
modell of this admirable frame of the world, the Prophet
Dauid, accustomed to sing and praise his divine works, sales
very well in a Psalme made of this subject in these words,
Psal. ciii. Thou which hast built the earth vpon firmenes it selfe,
that it cannot stagger nor move for ever and ever."
Meaning to shew the cause why the earth set in the midst
of the ayre falleth not, nor staggereth from place to place,
for that by nature it hath sure foundations, played by the
most wise Creator, to the end it might sustain it self
without any other support. Mans imagination is therefore
WISDOM OF THE CREATE. 11
deceived in this place, seeking other foundations of the LI. I.
earth, and for want thereof, doth measure divine things
according to humaine reason. So that we needed not to
feare (how great or heavy soever this masse of earth then
hanging in the aire seemeth to be) that it can fal or turned
topsy turuy, being assured vpon this point; for that the
same Psalmist saieth that it shall neuer be overthrown.
Truly Dauid with reason (after he had beheld and sung the
wonderful workers of the Lord) doth not cease to praise him
in the same, saying, "0, how great and wonderful are the
workers of the Lord." It appears that all spring from al. ciii.
his knowledge. And in truth (if I shall freely speaker
my opinion touching this point), often in my trauell passing
the great gulfes of the Ocean, and marching by other
regions of so strange lands, staying to behold and consider
the greatnes of these workers of the Lord, I felt a wonder-
full consolation of the soveraigne wisedome and greatnes of
the Creator, who shines in his works; in comparison whereof
all the Pallaces, Castells, and princely buildings, together
with all the inventions of man, seemed nothing, yea, are base
and contemptible in respect thereof. 0 how often hath
come into my mind and mouth that place of the Psalme
which sayeth thus-" Great comfort hast thou given me, 0
Lord, by thy workers ; I will not cease to reioyce in the con-
templation of the workers of thy hands." Really and in
truth the workers of God haue (I know not what) secret and
hidden grace and vertve; the which although they be often
beheld, yet do they still cause a new taste and content,
whereas contrariwise, the workers of man, although they be
built with exquisite art, yet often seen, they are no more
esteemed, but breede a distaste; be they most pleasant
Gardins, Pallaces, or stately Temples, be they Piramides of
proud buildings, Pictures, carved images, or stones of rare
work and invention, or whatsoever else adorned with all
the beauties possible. Yet is it most certen that viewing
12 ANSWER TO OBJECTIONS.
Lm*. them twice or thrice with attention, the eye presently turnes
away, being glutted with the sight thereof. But if you be-
holde the sea with attention, or some steepe mountain
growing from a plane to a strange heigth, or the fields
clad in their natural verdure with pleasant flowres, or the
raging course of some river beating continually against the
rocks, finally, what work of nature soever, although it be
often viewed, yet doth it still breede a new content, and
never gluttes the sight; the which is like vnto a stately
bancket of the divine wisdom, which doth alwaies cause a
new consideration without any clothing.
CHAP. iv.-Containing an answer to that which is objected
out of the holy Scripture, against the roundnes of
Returning then to the figure of heaven, I know not out
of what authorities of the holy scripture they can prove
that it is not round, nor his motion circular: neither do I
Heb. viii. see (whereas S. Paul calls the heaven a Tabernacle, or a
Tent which God made, and not man:) how can it be applied
to this purpose: for although he telleth vs that it was made
by God, yet must we not therefore coniecture that the
heaven covereth the earth like to a roofe on the one part
only, neither that the heaven was framed without motion,
as it seems some would inferre. The Apostle in this place
treated of the conformity of the ancient Tabernacle of the
lawe, saying therevpon, that the Tabernacle of the new
law of grace is heaven: into the which, the great Priest
lesus Christ, entered once by his bloud: and thereby is
understood, that there is as great preheminence of the new
aboue the old, as there is difference betwixt the author of
the new, which is God, and of the olde which was man:
although it be most certen, that the olde was built by the
ANSWER TO OBJECTIONS. 13
wisedome of God, who instructed his workman Bezeleell. LIB. .
Neither must we imagine that these comparisons, parables, Exo. xxxvi.
and allegories, doe in all things agree with that wherevnto
they are applyed, as the happy Crysostome hath learnedly Chrisost. in
spoken vpon this point. The other authorities (which S.
Augustine sales is alleged of some to shew that the heaven
is not round) is this, The heavens stretch forth like vnto a Psal. ciii.
skin." Whereby he concludes that it is not round, but flat
on the vpper part, wherevnto the same Doctor doth an-
swere verie well and familiarly, gluing vs to understand
that that place of the Psalme is not properly to be vnder- As. ii, d
Gen. ad lit-
stood of the figure of heaven, but only to shew with what eram., c.
facilities God built so great a heaven, being no more paine-
full for him to build so huge a couer as the heaven is, then
to vnfould a double skin. Or else the Psalmist pretending
to shew vs the great maiesty of God, to home the heaven,
with his greatnes and beautie, doth serve in like manner as
our tents and pavilions in the field. The which was well
expressed by a Poet calling it, "The Tent of the cleere
heaven". In like sort, the place of Isaii, which sayeth,
" Heaven serves mee as a chair, and the earth for a foote- Isaie ixvi.
stoole". But if wee follow the error of the Antromorphites,
which did tribute corporall members vnto God, according
to his divinitie, we should haue occasion vppon this last
text, to examine how it were possible the earth should be
a foote-stoole to Gods feete, and how the same God could
hold his feete of the one part and the other, and many
heads round about, seeing that hee is in all parties of the
world, which were a vaine and ridiculous thing. Wee must
therefore conclude, that in the holy scriptures we ought
not to follow the letter which killes, but the spirit which
quickneth, as saith S. Paul. 2Corint.ii.
14 STARS IN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE.
CHAP. v.-Of the fashion and forme of Ieaven, at the new-
Lin. Many in Europe demand of what forme and fashion
Heaven is in the Southerne parts, for that there is no
certaintie found in ancient books, who, although they
graunt there is a Heaven on this other part of the world,
yet come they not to any knowledge of the forme thereof,
although in trueth they make mention of a goodly great
Pp., l'.v,' Starre seene in those parties, which they call Oanopus.
Those which of late dayes have sayled into these parts,
have accustomed to write strange things of this heaven;
that it is very bright, having many goodly starres: and in
effect, things which come farre are commonly described
with increase. But it seems contrary vnto me, holding it
for certain, that in our Region of the North, there is a
greater number and bigger Starres: finding no starres in
these parties, which exceed the Fisher or the Chariot in
bignesse. It is true, that the Crosse in these parties is
very fayre and pleasing to behold: wee call the Crosse,
four notable and apparent starres, which make the forme
of a crosse, set equally and with proportion. The ignorant
suppose this Crosse to be the southern Pole, for that they
see the Navigators take their heigth thereby, as we are
accustomed to doe by the North starre. But they are
deceyved, and the reason why Saylers doe it in this sorte,
is for that in the South parts there is no fixed starre that
markes the Pole, as the North starre doth to our Pole.
And therefore they take their heigth by the starre at the
foot of the Crosse, distant from the true and fixed Pole
Antarticke thirtie degrees, as the North starre is distant
from the Pole Articke three degrees or little more. And
so it is more difficult to take the heigth in those parts, for
that the sayd starre at the foote of the Crosse must bee
TIE SOUTHERN HEAVENS. 15
right, the which chanceth but in one hour of the night; Li-. T.
which is in divers seasons of the yeere in divers hours,
and often times it appeareth not in the whole night, so as
it is very difficult to take the heigth. And therefore the
most expert Pilots regard not the Crosse, taking the
heigth of the Sunne by the Astrolabe, by which they
know in what height they are: wherein commonly the
Portugals are more expert, as a Nation that hath more
discourse in the Arte of Navigation then any other. There
are also other starres in these southern parts, which in
some sort resemble those of the North. That which they
call the Milken way, is larger and more resplendent in the vialactea.
south parts, appearing therein those admirable black
spots, whereof wee have made mention. As for other
particularities, let others speaker of them with greater
curiositie, and let this which wee have sayd suffice for this
CHAP. vi.-That there is Land and Sea Under the two
It is no smal labour to have vnfolded this doubt with
this knowledge and resolution, that there is a Heaven in
these parts of the Indies, which doth cover them as in
Europe, Asia, and Affricke. And this point serveth often
against many Spaniards, who being here, sigh for Spaine,
having no discourse but of their countries. They wonder,
yea, they grow discontented .with vs, imagining that we
have forgotten and make small accompt of our native soyle.
To whom we answer, that the desire to return into
Spaine doth nothing trouble vs, being as neere vnto
Heaven at Peru, as in Spaine : as saint lerome saith well,
writing unto Paulinus; That the gates of Heaven are as
neere vnto Brittanie, as to Ierusalem. But although the
Heaven doth compasse in the world of all parts, yet must
16 THE POLE ANTARTICKE.
Lis. we not imagine that there is land necessarily on all parts of
the world. For being so, that the two elements of earth
and water make one globe or bowle, according to the
Et. Ii. do opinion of the most renowmed ancient authors, (as Plutarch
9il and testifieth) and as it is proved by most certain demon-
strations, wee may conjecture, that the sea doth occupied all
this part, which is vnder the Antartike or southern Pole,
so as there should not remain any place in these parties for
the earth, the which saint Augustine doth very learnedly
hold against them that maintain the Antipodes, saying,
that although it bee proved, and wee believe that the
world is round like to a bowle, wee may not therefore
inferre, that in this other part of the world, the earth is
uncovered, and without water. Without doubt, saint
xvi, de Augustine speaks well vpon this point; and as the con-
9. trary is not proved, so doth it not follow, that there is
any land discovered at the Antarticke Pole. The which
experience hath now plainely taught vs, for although the
greatest part of the world vnder the Pole Antarticke be
sea, yet is it not altogether, but there is likewise land, so
as in all parts of the world, the earth and water imbrace
one another, which truely is a thing to make vs admire and
glorifie the Arte of the soveraigne Creator. We know
Genes. i. then by the holy Scripture, that in the beginning of the
world, the waters were gathered together in one place, so
as the earth remained vncovered. Moreover, the same
holy Writte doth teach vs, that these gatherings together
of the water were called Sea; and as there be many, so of
necessitie there must be many Seas. And this diversitie
of seas is not only in the Mediterranean Sea, whereas one
is called Euxine, another the Caspian, an other the Ery-
threan or redde Sea, another the Persian, an other of Italie,
and so many others. But also in the great Ocean, which
the holy Scripture doth vsually call a gulph: although
really and in trueth it be but a Sea, yet in many and divers
DISTRIBUTION OF LAND AND SEA. 17
manners: as in respect of Peru and all America, the one is I"T.
called the North Sea, the other the South; and at the East
Indies, the one is called the Indian sea, the other that of
China. And I have observed, as well by my owne naviga-
tion, as by the relation of others, that the Sea is never
divided from the Lande above a thousand Leagues. And
although the great Ocean stretcheth farre, yet doth it never
passe this measure. I will not for all this affirme that wee
sayle not above a thousand leagues in the Ocean, which
were repugnant to trueth, being well known that the
shippes of Portugal have sailed four times as much
and more, and that the whole world may bee compassed
about by sea, as wee have seen in these dayes, without
any further doubt. But I say and affirme, that of that
which is at this day discovered, there is no land distant
from any other firm land, by direct line, or from some
Islands neere vnto it above a thousand leagues; and so
betwixt two firm lands there is no greater distance of sea,
accompting from the neerest parts of both the lands: for,
from the ends of Europe or Affricke and their coastes, to
the Canaries, the Isles of Agores, Cape Verd and others in
the like degree, are not above three hundred leagues, or
five hundred from the Mayne land. From the said Ilands
running along to the West Indies, there are scant nine
hundred leagues, to the Ilands of saint Dominick, the
Virgins, the Happy Ilandes and the rest; and the same
Islands runne along in order to the Ilandes of Barlovent1
which are Cuba, Hispaniola, and Boriquen;2 from the same
Ilands vnto the Mayne land are scarce two or three hun-
dred leagues, and in the neerest part farre lesse. The firm
land runnes an infinite space; from Terra Florida to the
land of Patagones, and on the other side of the South, from
1 Barlovento, windward; and sotavento, leeward.
2 Boriquen or Brieque Island, also called Crab's Island, is one of the
Virgin Isles, two leagues from Porto Rico.
18 LAND AND SEA AT THE POLES.
LIa. I. the Straight of Magellan,1 to the Cape of Mendoce,2 there
runnes a long Continent but not very large ;3 for the largest
is here in Peru,4 which is distant from Brazil about a
thousand leagues. In this South Sea, although they have
not yet discovered the ended towards the West, yet of late
they have found out the Ilands which they call Salomon,5
the which are many and great, distant from Peru about
eyght hundred leagues. And for that wee find by observa-
tion, that whereas there bee many and great Ilandes, so
there is some firm Land not farre off, I my selfe with many
others doe believe that there is some fire land neere unto
the Ilands of Salomon, the which doth answer vnto our
America on the West part, and possibly might runne by
the heigth of the South, to the Straightes of Magellan.
Some hold that Nova Guinea is firm Land, and some
learned men describe it neere to the Ilands of Salomon; so
as it is likely, a good part of the world is not yet dis-
covered, seeing at this day our men sayle in the South Sea
vnto China and the Philippines; and wee say, that to go
from Peru to those parts, they passe a greater Sea, then in
going from Spaine to Peru. Moreover, wee know,.that by
that famous Straight of Magellan these two Seas doe
ioyne and continue one with an other (I say the South sea
with that of the North) by that part of the Antarticke Pole,
which is in fiftie one degrees of altitude. But it is a great
question, wherein many have busied themselves, whether
these two Seas ioyne together in the North part; but I
have not heard that any vnto this day could attayne vnto
this point: but by certain likelihood and coniectures, some
affirme there is an other Straight vnder the North, opposite
2Cape Mendocino, on the coast of California.
'No nuy ancha", not very wide.
Aqui en esta parte del Peru."
5 Discovered by Alvaro Mendafia in 1567.
ARGUMENTS OF LACTANTIUS. 19
to that of Magellan. But it sufficeth for our subject, to Lm.r.
knowe that there is a firme Land on this Southerne part, as
bigge as all Europe, Asia, and Affricke; that vnder both
the Poles we finde both land and sea, one imbracing an
other. Whereof the Ancients might stand in doubt, and
contradict it for want of experience.
CHAP. vn.-To confute the opinion of Lactantius, who holdes
there be no Antipodes.
Seeing it is manifest that there is firme land vpon the
South part or Pole Antartike, wee must now see if it be
inhabited; the which hath bene a matter very disputable Lct.,1b.-
in former times. Lactantius Firmian and S. Augustine vin., cap.
mocke at such as hold there be any Antipodes, which is as Aug., ib.
much to say, as men marching with their feete opposite to suitale,c.9.
ours. But although these two authors agree in this ieasts,1
yet doe they differ much in their reasons and opinions, as
they were of very divers spirits and iudgements. Lactan-
tius followed the vulgar, seeming ridiculous vnto him that
the heaven should be round, and that the earth should bee
compassed in the midst thereof, like vnto a ball, whereof
he writes in these tearmes: What reason is there for some
to affirmed that there are Antipodes, whose steppes are
opposite to ours ? Is it possible that any should bee so
grosse and simple as to believe there were a people or
nation marching with their feete upwardes, and their heades
downwardes, and that things which are placed heere of
one sort, are in that other part hanging topsie turvie; that
trees and corne growe downwards, and that raine, snow,
and haile, fall from the earth upward." Then, after some
other discourse, the same Lactantius vseth these words:
"The imagination and conceit which some haue had, sup-
S"Cosa de burla."
20 REASON CORRECTS IMAGINATION.
LT. I. posing the heaven to be round, hath bene the cause to
invent these Antipodes hanging in the aire. So as I know
not what to say of such Philosophers, whoe having once
erred, continue still obstinately in their opinions defending
one another." But whatsoever he saieth, wee that live now
at Peru, and inhabited that part of the world which is
opposite to Asia and their Antipodes (as the Cosmographers
do teach vs) finde hot our selves to bee hangingin the aire,
our heades downward, and our feete on high. Truly it is
strange to consider that the spirit and understanding of
man cannot attain vnto the trueth, without the vse of
imagination; and on the other part, it were impossible but
he should erre and be deceived, if hee should wholy forbeare
it. We cannot comprehend the heaven to be round as it is,
and the earth to bee in the middest of it, without imagina-
tion. But if this imagination were not controuled and
reformed by reason, in the end wee should be deceiued;
whereby we may certainly conclude, that in our soules there
is a certain light of heaven, whereby wee see and iudge of the
interior formes which present themselves vnto vs, and by the
same we alow of, or reiect that which imagination doth offer
vnto vs. Hereby we see that the rational soule is above all
corporall powers: and as the force and eternall vigour of
truth doth rule in the most eminent part of man: yea, we
plainely see that this pure light is participant and proceeds
from that first great light, that whoso knoweth not this, or
doubteth thereof, we may well say that he is ignorant, or
doubts whether he be a man or no. So, if we shall de-
maund of our imagination what it thinks of the roundnes
of heaven, without doubt she will answer vs as Lactantius
doth, That if the heaven were round, the Sun and starres
should fall, when as they move and change their places,
rising towards the South. Even so, if the earth did hang
in the ayre, those which inhabite the other part, should go
with their feete vpwards, and their heades downward, and
THE USE OF IMAGINATION. 21
the raine which falles from above, should mount vpward; L'". .
with many other ridiculous deformities. But if we consult
with the force of reason, she will make small accoumpt of
all these vaine imaginations, nor suffer vs to believe them
no more than a foolish dream. But Reason will answer
with this her integritie and gravitie, that it were a very
grosse error, to imagine the whole world to be like vnto a
house, placing the earth for the foundation, and the heaven
for the covering. Moreover she will say, that as in all
creatures the head is the highest part and most elevated,
although all creatures have not heades placed in one and
the same situation, some being in the highest part, as
man, some athwart, as sheepe, others in the middest, as
spiders, even so the heaven, in what part soeuer it be,
remains above, and the earth likewise in what part
soever, remains vnderneath. Our imagination therefore is
grounded vpon time and place, the which she cannot com-
prehend nor conceive in general, but in particular. It
followeth, that when wee shall raise it to the consideration
of things which exceed the time and place which are
known vnto her, then presently she shrinkes and cannot
subsist, if reason doth not support her. In like sort wee
see, vpon the discourse of the creation of the world, our
imagination straies to seeke out a time before the creation
thereof, and to build the world; she describes a place, but
shee comes not to consider that the world might bee made
after another fashion. Notwithstanding, reason doth teach
vs, that there was no time before there was a motion,
whereof time is the measure, neyther was there any place
before the vniversall, which. comprehendes within it all
place. Wherein the excellent Philosopher Aristotle doth Arist., do
Cel., ca. 3.
plainely satisfied, and in a few words, that argument madee, a.
against the place of the earth, helping himself with our
vse of imagination, when hee sayeth, and with trueth,
"That in the world the same place of the earth is in the
22 OPINIONS OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
LI. I. midst and beneath, and the more a thing is in the middest,
the more it is vnderneath". The which answer being pro-
duced by Lactantius Firmian, yet hee doth passe it over
without confutation, by reason, saying that he cannot stay
theron, and omitte the handling of other matters.
CHAP4 viii.-ThIe reason why S. Augustine denied the
The reason which moved S. Augustine to deny the Anti-
podes was other then that formerly alleadged, being of a
higher iudgement, for the reason before mentioned, that the
Antipodes should go vpwards, is confuted by the same
Aug., lib. Doctor in his booke of sermons in these words, "The
i'n'.e 10, ancients hold that the earth of all parts is beneath, and the
heaven above, by reason whereof the Antipodes, which they
say go opposite vnto vs, have like vnto vs the heaven above
their heads." Seeing then S. Augustine hath confessed
this to bee conformable to good Philosophie, what reason
shall we say did move so learned and excellent a man to
follow the contrary opinion. Doubtlesse he drew the
motive and cause from the bowels of divinitie, whereby the
holie Writ doth teach vs that all mankind doth come from
the first man Adam ; and to say that men could passe to
that new world, crossing the great Ocean, were incredible,
and a meere lye. And in truth if the success an expe-
rience of what we have seene in these ages had not satisfied
vs in this point, wee had yet held this reason to bee good.
And although we know this reason neither to be pertinent
nor true, yet will we make answer therevnto, shewing in
what sort, and by what means, the first linage of men
might passe thither; and howe and by what means they
came to people and inhabited the Indies. And for that wee
mean heereafter to intreat briefly of this subiect, it shall
OPINIONS OF ST. AUGUSTINE. 23
be fit now to understand what the holy Doctor Augustine L'"I-'
disputes uppon this matter in his books of the cittie of
God, "It is no point that we ought to believe, as some Lip. vi,
affirme, that there are Antipodes, that is to say, men which
inhabited that other part of the earth, in whose region the
Sunne riseth when it sets with vs, and that their steppes
be opposite and contrarie to ours, seeing they affirme not
this by any certain revelation which they have, but only
by a Philosophicall discourse they make, whereby they con-
clude that the earth being in the middest of the world,
invironed of all parts and covered equallie with the heaven,
of necessities that must be in the lowest place which is in
the midst of the world." Afterwards hee continues in
these words, "The holie Scripture doth not erre, neither is
deceived in anie sort; the truth whereof is well approved in
that which it propoundeth of things which are passed, for
as much as that which hath bene fore-told, hath succeeded
in every point, as we see; And it is a. thing void of all
sense to say that men could passe from this continent to
the new found world and cut through the Vast Ocean, seeing
it were impossible for men to passe into those parts any other
way, being most certain that al men desced from the first
man." Wherein we see that all the difficulties S. Augustine
hath found was nothing else but the incomparable greatness
of this vast Ocean. Gregorie Nazianzene was of the same Nazianop.
opinion, assuring, as a matter without any doubt, that it 1"mimO
was not possible to saile beyond the Straights of Gibraltar;
and vpon this subiect he writes in an Epistle of his, "I
agree well with the saying of Pindarus, 'That past Cadiz,
that Sea is not nauigable'." And hee himself in the
funeral Sermon he made for saint Basil saith, "It was not
tollerable for anie one sailing on the Sea to passe the
Straight of Gibraltar." And it is true, that this place of
Pindarus, where he saith, That it is not lawfull, neyther
for wise men nor fooles, to know what is beyond the
24 OPINIONS O THE ANCIENTS.
L_._ .S Straight of Gibraltar", hath been taken for a Proverbe.
Thus we see by the beginning of this Proverbe, how the
Ancients were obstinately settled in this opinion; as also by
the books of Poets, Historiographers, and ancient Cosmo-
graphers, that the end and bounds of the earth were set at
Cadiz in Spaine, where they plant the pillars of Hercules;
there they set the limits of the Romane Empire, and there
they describe the boundes of the world. And not only
prophane writers speaker in this sort, but also the holy
Scripture, to apply it selfe to our phrase saith, That the
edict of Augustus Cssar was published, to the end that all
the world should be taxed; and of Alexander the great,
that he stretched forth his Empire even to the end and
vttermost bounds of the earth. And in another place they
say, that the Gospell did flourish and increase through the
vniversall world. For the holy Scripture by an vsuall
phrase, calleth all the world, that which is the greatest
part thereof, and was at that time discovered and known.
And the Ancients were ignorant that the East Indian Sea,
and that of the West were navigable, wherin they have
generally agreed. By reason whereof, Plinie writes as a
a certain trueth, that the seas which are betwixt two
lands take from vs a iust moitie of the habitable earth.
For, saith he, we cannot passe thither, neyther they come
hither. Finally, Tullie, Macrobius, Pomponius Mela, and
the ancient Writers, hold the same opinion.
CHAP ix.-Of Aristotles opinion touching the new Worlde,
and what abused him to make him deny it.
Besides all the former reasons there was yet an other,
which moved the Ancients to believe it to be impossible for
men to passe to this new world the which they held, for
that besides the vastnesse of the great Ocean. the heat of
that Region, which they call the burning Zone, was so ex- La.!.
cessive, as it would not suffer any man, how venturous or
laborious so ever, to passe by sea or land from one Pole to
an other. For although these Philosophers have themselves
affirmed that the earth was round (as in effect it is), and
that vnder the 2 Poles there was habitable land, yet could
they not conceyve that the Region, containing all that
lyeth betwixt the two Tropickes (which is the greatest
of the five Zones or Regions by the which the Cosmogra-
phers and Astrologers divide the Worlde) might be inha-
bited by man. The reason they give to maintain this
Zone to be inhabitable was, for the heat of the Sunne,
which makes his course directly over this Region, and ap-
procheth so neere as it is set on fire, and so by consequence
causeth a want of waters and pastures. Aristotle was of
this opinion, who although he were a great Philosopher,
yet was hee deceyved in this poynt; for the cleering
whereof it shall be good to observe his reasons, and to
note wherein he hath discoursed well, and wherein he hath
erred. This Philosopher makes a question of the Meri- Arist., ii,
dionall or Southerne winde, whether wee should believe it 6.
takes his beginning from the South, or from the other
Pole contrary to the North, and writes in these terms:
"Reason teacheth vs that the latitude and largenesse of
the habitable earth hath her boundes and limits, and yet
all this habitable earth cannot bee vnited and ioyned one to
the other, by reason the middle Region is so intemperate.
For it is certain that in her longitude, which is from East to
West, there is no immoderate cold nor heate, but in her
latitude and heighth, which is from the Pole to the Equi-
noctiall Line. So as we may well passe the whole earth in
her longitude, if the greatnesse of the Sea, which ioynes
lands together, were nio hinderance." Hitherto there is no
contradicting of Aristotle, who hath great reason to affirme
that the earth in her longitude, which is from East to West,
26 WANT OF KNOWLEDGE AMONG THE ANCIENTS.
LE'. runnes more equally and is more proper for the life and
habitation of man then in her latitude from North to South.
The which is true, not only for this foresaid reason of
Aristotle, that there is always one temperature of the
Heavens from East to West, being equally distant both
from the Northerne cold and the Southerne heate. But
also for an other reason, for that travelling always in
longitude we see the dayes and nights succeed one another
by course, the which falleth not out going in her latitude;
for of necessitie wee must come to that Region vnder the
Pole, whereas there is continually night for sixe Moneths, a
very inconvenient thing for the life of man. The Philo-
sopher passeth on further, reprooving the Geographers,
which described the earth in his time, and saith thus,
"Wee may discerne the trueth of that which I have sayd,
by the passages which may be made by land, and the navi-
gations by sea, for there is a great difference betwixt the
longitude and the latitude, for the distance from the pillars
of Hercules at the Straight of Gibraltar, vnto the East
Indies, exceeds the proportion of about five to three, the
passage which is from Ethiopia to the lake of Meotis in
the farthest confines of Scythia, the which is confirmed by
the account of iourreys by land, and by saying, as we do
now know by experience; we have also knowledge of the
habitable earth, even vnto those parties which are inhabit-
able." And truely in this point wee must pardon Aristotle,
seeing that in his time they had not discovered beyond the
first Ethiopia, called the exterior, ioyning to Arabia and
Affricke; the other Ethiopia being wholy vnknowne in his
age. Yea, all that great Land which we now call the Land
of Prete Ian, neyther had they any knowledge of the rest
that lyes vnder the Equinoctiall, and runnes beyond the
Tropicke of Capricorne vnto the Cape of good Hope, so
famous and well known by the navigation of Portugals;
so as if wee measure the Land from this Cape vnto Scythia
OPINIONS OF ARISTOTLE. 27
and Tartaria, there is no doubt but this distance and lati- LI. I.
tude will proove as great as the longitude, which is from
Gibraltar vnto the East Indies. It is certain the Ancients
had no knowledge of the springs of Nilus, nor of the ended
of Ethiopia, and therefore Lucan reprooves the curiositie Lucal,x.
of lulius Caesar, searching out the springs of Nilus in these
O Romaine, what availes thee so much travell'
In search of Niles first source thy self to gravell."
And the same Poet speaking to Nile sayth :
Since thy first source is yet so unrevealed,
Nile, what thou art, is from the world concealed."2
But by the holy scripture we may conceive that this
land is habitable, for if it were not, the Prophet Sophonias Soph., ca.
would not say (speaking of these nations called to the Gos-
poll), The children of my dispersed (so he calleth the
Apostles) shall bring me presents from beyond the bancks
of Ethiopia". Yet, as I have said, there is reason to pardon
the Philosopher who believed the writers and Cosmo-
graphers of his time. Let vs continue and examine what
followed of the same Aristotle. "One part of the world
(saith he) which lieth towards the North, beyond the tem-
perate zone, is inhabitable for the exceeding cold; the
other part vpon the South is likewise inhabitable beyond
the Tropicke for the extreme heat. But the parties of
the world lying beyond India on the one side, and the
pillars of lercules on the other, without doubt cannot bee
ioyned and continued one with the other; so as all the
habitable earth is not contained in one continent by reason
of the sea which divides it." In this last point he speaks
truth. Then hee continues touching the other parties of
1 4 Que tienes tu Romano quo ponerte
A inquirir de Nilo el nacimiento? "
2 Pues es tu nacimiento tan oculto
Que ignora el mundo todo cuyo seas."
28 THE SOUTHERN ZONES.
i. i. the world, saying, "It is necessarie the earth should have
\ the same proportion with the Pole Antarticke, as this our
part which is habitable hath with the North; and there is
no doubt but in that other world all things should be ordered
as in ours, especially in the growing and order of the
winds." And having alleged other reasons to no purpose,
he concludes, saying, We must confesse of necessity that
the Southerne wind is that which blowes and comes from
the burning zone, the which being so neere the sunne
wants water and pastures". This is Aristotles opinion,
and in truth mans conjecture can hardly passe any farther.
So as I do often consider, with a Christian contemplation,
how weake the Philosophie of the wise of this world hath
been in the search of divine things, seeing in humaine
things (wherein they seemed so well read) they often erre.
Aristotle holds that the habitable earth of the Pole Ant-
artike in longitude from East to West is very great, and in
latitude from the Pole Antartike to the Equinoctiall is very
small; the which is so contrary to the truth, that in a
maner all the habitation on this side the Pole Antartike is
in latitude (I meane from the Pole to the line), and in
longitude from East to West it is so small, as the latitude
exceeded it three parties or more. In his other opinion he
affirmes, that the middle region is inhabitable, being vnder
the burning zone, burnt up by the excessive heat caused
by the neereness of the sunne, and by this reason hath
neither waters nor pastures. The which is 'in like sort
contrary; for the greatest part of this new world is scitu-
ated betwixt the two Tropickes vnder the burning zone,
and yet it is found very well peopled and inhabited by men
and other sortes of creatures, being a region of all the
world the most fruitfull of waters and pastures, and very
temperate in the greatest part, which the will of God hath
so appointed, to shew that even in natural things he hath
confounded the wisedome of this world. To conclude, wee
OPINION OF PLINY. 29
must believe that the burning zone is well inhabited, Li.' T.
although the auncients have held it impossible. But the
other zone or region, which lyeth betwixt the burning zone
and that of the Pole Antartike, although it bee in a climate
more commodious for the life of man, yet it is small
peopled and inhabited, seeing wee know no other dwelling
in it but the Kingdom of Chile and a small portion ioyning
to the Cape of good Hope. The rest is possessed by the
Ocean. Although many be of opinion, the which I likewise
hold, that there is much more land not yet discovered, the
which should be firme land opposite to the Kingdom of
Chile, which runnes beyond the circle or Tropicke of
Capricorne. And if there be any, without doubt it is a land
of an excellent temper, being in the midst of two extreames,
and situate in the same climate with the best regions in
Europe. And in this regard Aristotles conjecture was
good. But speaking of what is discovered at this day in
this zone, it is little in regard of the large countries inha-
bited vnder the burning zone.
CHAP. x.-That Plinie and the ancients held the same opinion
This opinion of Aristotles, hath bene held by Plinie, who Plin., lib. i,
saith thus: "The temperature of the middle region of the
world, where the sunne continually runnes his course, is
scorched and burnt vp as with a neere fire." Ioyning to
the same region, there are two others of eyther side, which
(lying betwixt the heat of this burning zone and the cruell
cold of the other two extreams) are very temperate, and
can have no communication one with another, by reason of
the excessive heate of the heaven, which hath bene the
opinion of the Ancients, generally described by the Poet
in these verses:
30 VIEWS OF THE ANCIENTS.
LE. I. Heavens circuit is of flue zones, one whereof,'
irgilin TWhich still the sunne burnes, makes the earth below
Georg. With flames intempestiue red hotte to glow."
And the same Poet in another place,
Eneid. Heare this, if any harbour in that seate2
Whose quarter vnder that large zone is set
Amidst four others by the sunne enlightened "
And another Poet speaks more plainely,
Ovid, Mota. As many regions are there on the ground,
As are in heaven, wherein flue parts are found,
Whereof the midst, through heate raised from the rayes
Of scorching sunne, inhabitable states."
The Auncients have grounded their general opinion vpon
one reason, which seemed to them certain and not to be
confuted; for finding that the more a region drew neere
vnto the South, the hotter it was; the proofe whereof was
so infallible in those regions, as by the same reason in Italie,
Apulia is hotter then Tuscane, and in Spaine Andaluzia
then Biscaie. A thing so apparent, that although there
bee but eight degrees difference or lesse betwixt the one
and the other, yet do wee finde the one extreme hotte,
and the other very colde, whereby they did inferre that
the region so neere the South, having the sunne so
directly for zenith, must of necessity bee continually
scorched with heate. They did likewise see, that the
divers seasons of the yeere, as the Spring, Summer,
Autumne, and Winter, were caused by the neerenes and
distance of the sunne, finding also that although they were
farre from the Tropicke, by which the sunne doth passe in
S"Quinque tenent coelum zone : quarum una corusco
Semper sole rubens, et torrida semper ab igni."
Georg., lib. i, 1. 233.
2 "Audiit, et si quem tellus extrema refuse
Submovet Oceano, et si quem extent plagarum
Quatuor in medio dirimit plaga solis iniqui."
iEnid, lib. vii, 1. 225.
FORMER OPINIONS RESPECTING A NEW WORLD, 81
summer, yet when it approached neere vnto them, at the LraI
same season they felt great heat. Whereby they did
conjecture that if they had had the sunne so neere vnto
them as to go directly over their heads, the heat would
have bene so insupportable, as it would burne and consume
men with the vehemency thereof. The same reason moved
the Auncients to think that the middle region was not
habitable, and therefore they called it the burning zone.
And in truth, if visible experience did not vnfold this
doubt, we should yet confess that this reason were very
peremptorie and Mathematicall ;1 whereby we may see how
weake our understanding is, to comprehend these natural
things. But wee may say, it is fallen out to the great
good and happiness of our age, to have the knowledge of
these two great wonders, that is, to know how easily we
may saile through the great Ocean, and that vnder the
burning zone men inioy a very temperate heaven, the which
the Auncients could never believe. Of the last of these
two wonders, touching the qualitie and habitation of the
burning zone, by the grace of God we-will discourse amply
thereof in the next book. I think it therefore fit in this
book to treat of the maner of sailing through the Ocean,
for that it imports vs much for the subject of this.worke.
But before wee come to this point, it shall be good to shew
what the Auncients thought of these new men, home we
CHAP. xr.-That in ancient Bookes we fnde some knowledge of
this newe world.
Let vs return to that which hath been formerly spoken.
Wee must necessarily conclude that the Ancients did be-
leeve that eyther there were no men beyond the Tropicke
SQue era razon concluyente y Matematica."
32 RECORDS OF VOYAGES OF THE ANCIENTS.
Lm. i. of Cancer, as S. Augustine and Lactantius doe affirme, or
Plutarch, if there were any, at the least they did not inhabite betwixt
iii, de placi-
tus phil., the two Tropicks, as Aristotle and Plinie have maintained,
and before them the Philosopher Parmenides, the contrarie
whereof is before sufficiently proved, both for the one and
the other. But many through curiositie may demand, if
the Ancients had no knowledge of this trueth, which to vs
is now so apparent; seeing that in trueth it seemeth very
strange that this newe world which is so spacious as we
doe visibly see it, should be hidden from the Ancients by
so many ages. But some at this day, seeking to obscure
the felicitie of this age and the Glory of our Nation, strive
to proove that the new-found world was known to the
s. Terom., Ancients. And in truth wee cannot deny but there was
1,adEphes. some apparency.1 S. Ierome writing vpon the Epistle to
the Ephesians, sayth: We seeke with reason what the
Apostle meaneth in these words, where he saith: you
have walked for a season according to the course of this
world, whether he would have vs to understand that there
is an other world, which neither is nor depends of this
world; but other worlds, whereof Clement writes in his
Epistle, the Ocean and the worldes which are beyond the
Ocean". These are the words of S. lerome, but in trueth
I cannot finde this Epistle of S. Clement cited by S. Ierome,
yet I believe vndoubtedly, that S. Clement hath written it,
seeing S. Ierome maketh mention thereof. And with
reason saint Clement saith, that beyond the Ocean there is
an other world, yea, many worldes, as in trueth there is;
seeing there is so great distance from one newe world to
an other new world (I meane from Peru and the West
Indies, to China and the East Indies). Moreover, Plinie,
who hath been so curious a searcher out of strange things,
reports in his natural Historie, that Hannon, a Captaine
of the Carthaginians, sayled through the Ocean, from the
SY realmente no se puede near, que aya desto algunos rastros."
KNOWLEDGE OF TTHE ANCIENTS. 33
Straight of Gibraltar, coasting alongst the land, even vnto LJ. I.
the confines of Arabia, and that hee left this his Naviga- Pni., Jib.ii,
tion in writing. If it bee as Plinie writes, it followed that' 67.
IHannon sayled as farre as the Portugals do at this day,
passing twice vnder the Equinoctiall, which is a feare-
full thing. And the same Plinie reports of Cornelius
Nepos a very grave Authour, who saith, that the same
course hath been sayled by an other man, called Eudoxus,
but by contrary wayes, for this Eudoxus, flying from the
King of Latyros, passed by the redde sea into the Ocean;
and turning back, came to the Straight of Gibraltar, the
which Cornelius Nepos affirms to have happened in his
time. And also other grave Authors do write, that a ship
of Carthage driven by force of winde into the Ocean, came
to a Land which vntill then was vnknowne; and returning
to Carthage, kindled a great desire in the Citizens to dis-
cover and people this land; the which the Senate per-
ceyving, did forbid this navigation by a rigorous decree,
fearing that with the desire of new lands they should leave
to love their owne Countrie. By all this wee may gather
that the Ancients had some knowledge of the new world,
yet shall you hardly finde in the books of Ancient writers
any thing written of our America and all the West Indies ;
but of the East Indies, I say, there is sufficient testimonie,
not only of that on the other side, but also of that on this
side, which then was farthest off, going thither by a contrary
way to that at this day. Is it not easier to find Malaca in
ancient books, which they called the golden Chersouese;
the Cape of Comorin, which was called the Promontorie of
Cori, and that great and famous Iland of Sumatra, so well
known by the ancient name of Taprobana. What shall
wee say of the two Ethiopias, the Brachmanes, and that
great Land of the Chinas ? Who doubts, but there was
often mention made thereof in ancient books ; But of the
West Indies, wo find not in Pl-inie, that in this 'Nvi,0ation h .Q>
}I. JV~~~~~~ l.,i l~ iei ..
34 PIROPHECY OF SENECA.
LiT. T. they passed the Ilands of the Canaries, which he calleth
Fortunate; the principal whereof is sayd to be called
Canarie, for the multitude of dogs which are in it. But
there is scarce any mention in ancient books of the voyages
which are made at this day beyond the Canaries, by the
Gulph which with reason they call great. Yet many hold
opinion that Seneca the Tragedian did prophecie of the
West Indies, in his Tragedie of Medea, which translated,
saith thus :
Senec. in An age shall come, ere ages ende,
ii, in sin. Blessedly strange and strangely blest,
When our Sea farre and neere or'prest,
His share shall farther yet extend.
Descryed then shall a large Land be,
By this profound Seas navigation,
An other World, an other nation,
All men shall then discovered see.
Thule accounted heretofore
The worlds extreme, the Northerne bound,
Shall be when Southwest parts be found,
A neerer Isle, a neighbour sharee"
This, Seneca reports in these verses; and we cannot wel
deny, but understandingg it literally) it is very true; for if
we reckon the many yeeres he speaks of, beginning from
the time of the Tragedian, it is above a thousand and four
hundred yeeres past; and if it were from the time of Medea,
it is above two thousand yeeres, the which we see plainely
now accomplished; seeing the passage of the Ocean so long
time hidden, hath been found out, and that they have dis-
covered a great land and a new world inhabited, more
spacious then all the Continent of Europe and Asia. But
therein may a question with reason be made, whether
Seneca spako this by divination, or poetically and by chance.
And to specke my opinion, I believe hoe did divine, after
the manner of wise men and. well advised; for that in his
time they vndertooke newe voyages and navigations by sea,
PROPHECY OF SENECA. 35
hee know well, like a philosopher, that there was an other i
land contrary and opposite vnto vs, which they call Antich-
thon.1 And by this ground he might conceyve that the
industries and courage of man might in the ende passe the
Ocean, and discover new lands and another world, for that
in Senecas time they had knowledge of the Voyage which
Plinie speaketh of, whereby they passed the great Ocean.
The which seems to bee the motive of Senecas prophecie,'
as he giveth vs to understand by these former verses, after
the which having described the careful life of the Ancients,
free from malice, he followeth thus:
Now is it not as earst it was,
For whether the Ocean will or nill,
He traverst is by hardy will:
Which pastime makes time so to passe."
And a little after he saith thus:
"Now every boat dares swimme, and sport
On surging Seas, fearing no wracke;
Passengers seeking what they lake,
So long a voyage think but short.
"Nothing is nowe more to discover,
No place is now left to surprise,
Townes now that for defence devise,
With new fortifications cover.
"All in the world turn'd round about,
No thing in place as 'twas enured,
Nothing vnseene, nothing assured
This Circle universe throughout.
The Indian, whom at home heate fries,
Drinkes of Araxis waters cold:
The Persian, rich in gems and gold,
Wash in the Rhine and Elbe likewise."
Seneca did coniecture this by the great courage of men,
as that which shall happen last, saying, It shall fall out in
the latter age, etc., as hath bin before mentioned.
86 OPINION OF PLATO
CHAP. xiI.--Of the opinion which Plato held of the West
LIn. i. If any one hath treated more particularly of the west
Indies, the honor belongs to Plato, who in his Timmeus saith
thus: "In those dayes they could not sayle this Gulph"
(meaning the Atlantike Sea, which is the Ocean which
meetes at the Straight of Gibraltar) for that the passage
was stopped at the mouth of the pillars of Hercules" (which
is the same Straight of Gibraltar) and this Iland was in
those dayes ioyned to the foresaid mouth, and was of that
bignesse as it exceeded all Asia and Affricke together; and
then was there a passage to goe from these Ilands to others,
and from those other Ilandes, they went to the fire Land,
the which was neere invironed with the very Sea". This is
reported by Critias in Plato. And such as believe that this
narration of Plato is a true Historie, delivered in these
terms, say that this great Atlanticke Iland, the which did
exceed both Affricke and Asia in greatnesse, did then com-
prehend the greatest part of the Ocean called Atlantike,
which the Spaniards nowe sayle in; and that those other
Ilands, which, he sayde, were neere vnto this great one, are
those which wee now call the Ilands of Barlovento ; that is,
Cuba, Hispaniola, S. Iohn de Port ricco,2 Iamaica, and other
Islands of that Countrie; and that the maine Land whereof
hee maketh mention, is the same wee now call Tierra Firme,
that is, Peru and America; and that Sea, which he sayth is
adioyning to the Tierra Firme, is the South Sea, the which he
calleth the very Sea, for that in comparison of her greatness,
all other Seas, both Mediterranean, yea and the Atlantike
Sea, are small in regard thereof. Hereby in trueth they
give a cunning and wittie interpretation to these words of
Plato. But whether this interpretation should be held for
true or not, I am resolved to declare in another place.
I The Windward Islands. 2 Porto Rico.
WHETHER OPHII IS PERU. 37
CHAP. xin.-That some have held opinion that in places of
holy Scripture, whereas they speake of Ophir, is to
be understood of our Peru.
Some hold opinion that mention is made of the West LIE. I.
Indies in the holy scripture, taking the region of Peru for
that Ophir which they make so famous. Roberto Stefano, or
to say more truly Francisco Batablo, a man well seene in the
Hebrew tong (as I have heard our master report, who was his
disciple) saith in his annotations vpon the 9 chapter of the 3
book of Kings, that the Iland of Hispaniola which Christo-
pher Colombus found out, was that of Ophir, from whence
Solomon caused to bee brought four hundred and twentie In.,iii,ib.
REeg., cap. 9.
or four hundred and 50 talents of most fine and pure golde,
for that the gold of Cibao which our men bring from Aria Mon-
Hispaniola, is of the same fashion and qualitie. And there apparatin
are many others which affirme that our Peru is Ophir, ca.9.
deriving one name from another, who believe that when as
the booke of Paralipomenon1 was written, they called it 'Paralip.-
Peru, grounding it vpon that which the'holy scripture saith, 3 e. x.
that they brought from Ophir pure gold, precious stones,
and wood which was rare and goodly-which things abound
in Peru, as they say. But in my opinion it is farre from
the truth, that Peru should be Ophir so famous in the
Bible. For although in this Peru there be good store of
gold, yet is there not yet such aboundance as it may be
equalled with the fame of the riches that was in ancient
time at the East Indies. I finde not that in Peru there are 2Para.,viii.
4 Reg., xxii.
such precious stones, or such exquisite woods, as the like 3 Re., ix.
have not been seene at lerusalem. For although there be ex-
quisite Emeralds, and some hard trees of Aromaticall wood,
yet do I not find any thing of so great commendation as
the scripture giueth vnto Ophir. Moreover it seems not
38 FANCIED RESEMBLANCES OF NAMES.
LIB. I. likely that Solomon would leave the East Indies, most rich
and plentiful, to send his fleetes to this farther land, whether
if they had come so often, as it is written, we had surely
found more signes and testimonies thereof. Moreover the
Etimologie of the name of Ophir, and the change or reduc-
tion thereof to Peru, seems to me of small consideration,
being most certain that the name of Peru is not very
ancient, nor common to all that countries 1 It hath been
vsuall in the discoveries of the new world, to give names to
lands and portes of the sea according to the occasions pre-
sented at their ariuall; and I believe that the name of Peru
hath bene so found out and put in practice; for we find heere
that the name hath bene given to all the countries of Peru,
by reason of a river so called by the inhabitants of the
countries, where the Spaniards arrived vpon their first dis-
coverie. Whereby we maintain that the Indians them-
selves bee ignorant, and do not vse this name and appella-
tion to signifie their land. It seemeth moreover, the same
Authors will say, that Sefer spoken of in the scripture, is
that which we now call Andes, which are most high moun-
taines in Peru. But this resemblance of names and appel-
lations is no sufficient proofe. If that were of force, we
IectanCTiu might as well say that Yucatan is lectan mentioned in the
csan holy scripture. Neither may we say that the names of
Ab~Ihee Titus and Paul, which the Kings Inguas2 of Peru do vse,
cen. xxv. come from the Romans or Christians, seeing it is too weake
an argument to draw a conclusion of great matters. We
see plainely that it is contrarie to the intention of the holy
scriptures, which some have written, that Tharsis and Ophir
were one Province or were reached in the same voyage, con-
ferring the 22 chapter of the 4 book of the Kings, with the
'See my translation of the Royal Commentaries of Garcilasso de la
Vega, i, p. 27, for the derivation of the word Peru.
2 Titu and Paullu are names of several Yncas. Titu means "august"
or "magnanimous".-Royal Comm., i, p. 145.
OPHIR WAS IN THE EAST INDIES. 39
20 chapter of the second booke of Paralipomenon, for that Ln.-'.
in the book of the Kings, it is said that losaphat prepared
a fleete of shippes in Asiongaber to fetch golde at Ophir;
and in Paralipomenon, it is written, that the same fleet was
furnished to go vnto Tharsis. Whereby it may b6 supposed
that in these fore-said books, where the scripture speaks
of Tharsis and Ophir, that it means one thing. Some one
may demand what region or Province that Ophir was,
whether Solomons fleet went with the Mariners of Hyram
King of Tyre and Sidon to fetch gold. And whether King Rix.
4 Reg., XX.
losaphats fleete, pretending to go, did suffer shipwracko
and perish in Asiongaber, as the holy scripture doth testified.
In this I do willingly agree with the opinion of losephus, in
his books of Antiquities, where he saith that it is a Province
of the East Indies, the which was found by that Ophir the
sonne of lectan, whereof mention is made in the 10 of Gn. .
Genesis; and that Province did abound with most fine
gold. Thereof it comes, they did so much extol the gold of
Ophir or of Ophas, or as some wil say, this word of Obrise,
is the same with Ophrise, for finding there seven sortes or
kindes of gold, as S. lerome reports, that of Ophir was
held for the most fine, as here we esteeme the gold of
Valdivia and Caravaya. The chiefest reason which moves
me to think that Ophir is at the East Indies and not in the
West, is, for that Solomons fleete could not come hither
without passing the East Indies, all China, and a great part of
the sea; being vnlikely they would passe all over the world
to come thither for gold, that continent especially lying in
that sort, as they could not come to the knowledge thereof
by any voiage by land. And hereafter we wil shew that the
Ancients had never knowledge in the arte of Navigation,
without the which they could not runne so farre into the
sea. Finally, in these matters (when as there appears
no certain proofes, but only light coniectures) we are not
bound to believe but what we shall think good.
40 IDENTIFICATION OF TARSHISHI.
OCAP. xiv.-What Tlarsis and Ophir signifie in the holy
La r.i If every mans conjecture and opinion may be allowed,
for my part I hold that in the holy scripture these words of
Tharsis and Ophir most commonly do not signifie any
certain place; but it is a word and signification general
to the Hebrewes, as in our vulgar tongue this word of
Indies is general vnto vs in our vsuall manner of speech;
for wee meane by the Indies those rich countries which are
farre off, and strange vnto vs. So we Spaniards do in-
differently call Indies, the countries of Peru, Mexico, China,
Malaca, and Bresil; and from what parts soever of these
any letters come, wee say they bee from the Indies, which
countries be farre distant and different one from another.
Yet we cannot denie but that name of Indies is properly
to be understood of the East Indies. And for that in olde
time they did speaker of these Indies as of a countries farre off,
so likewise in the discoveries of other remote lands, they
have given them the names of Indies, being distant from
the rest, and held as the end of the world. Even so, in
my indgement, Tharsis in the holy scripture doth not
signifie any certain and determined place, but only regions
a farrow off, and according to the vulgar opinion, very rich
and strange; for that which losephus and some others
would affirmed, that Tharsis is Tarsus, according to the
meaning of the scripture, in my opinion hath bene well
orin a refuted by S. Ierome, not only for that these words are
a tomo. written with divers letters, the one with an aspiration, the
other without; but also that many things are written of
Tharsis, which cannot agree with Tarsus, a Citie in Cilicia.
It is true, that in some places of the scripture, Tharsis is
said to be in Cilicia, the which you shall find in the book
Indith ii. of ludith, speaking of Holophornes, who having passed the
MEANING' OF THE WORD TARSHISIT. 41
limits of Assyria, he came to the great mountains of Ange, LIn.i.
which perchance is Taurus, which hilles be on the left hand
of Cilicia, and that he entered into all the Castells, where he Lego Plino,
i Jlib. v, cap.
assembled all his forces; having destroyed that famous Citie 27.
of Melithi, he ruined all the children of Tharsis and of
Israeli, which were ioyning vnto the desert, and those which
were in the South, towards the land of Cellon, and from
thence passed Euphrates; but as I have side, that which is
so written of Tharsis, cannot be applied to the Citie of Teodorin
Tarsus. Theodoret and some others, following the inter-
pretation of the 70, in some places they set Tharsis in
Affrike, saying it was the same Citie which was aunciently tAu, ibid.,
and in alfa-
called Carthage, and is now the kingdom of Tunis; and betoappa-
they say that lonas ment to go whether, when, as the scrip-
ture reports, that he fled from the Lord into Tharsis.
Others pretend that Tharsis is a certain countries of the
Indies, wherevnto it seems that S. Ierome is inclined. I will ;: ad Mar-
not now decide these opinions, but I holde that in this case
the scripture doth not alwaies signifie one region or certain
part of the world. It is true that the wise men or Kings
that came to worship Christ were of the East; and the
scripture saith they were of Saba, Esia, and Madian. And
some learned men holde that they were of Ethiopia, Arabia,
and Persia; and yet the Psalmist and the Church sings of rPal. ix.
them, The Kings of Tharsis shall bring presents." Wee
agree then with S. lerome, that Tharsis is a word that hath
many and divers significations in the scripture. Sometimes
it signifies the Crisolite, or Iacinth stone, sometimes a
certain region of the Indies, sometimes the sea, which is of
the colour of a lacinth by the reverberation of the sunne.
But the same Doctor doth with reason deny that Tharsis is
any region of the Indies whither lonas would fly, seeing
that parting from loppa, it had been impossible to saile
vnto the Indies by that sea, for that loppa, which at this
day wee call Iaffl, is no port of the red Sea, ioyning to the
42 TARSISH A GENERAL TERM.
Li. I. East Indian Sea, but of the Mediterranean Sea, which hath
no issue into the Indian. Whereby it doeth plainely ap-
peare that the voyage which Solomons Fleet made, parting
from Asiongaber (whereas the shippes of king losophat
were lost), went by the redde Sea to Tharsis and Ophir, the
which is directly testified in the Scripture. The which
voyage was very different from that which lonas pretended
to Tharsis; seeing that Asiongaber is the port of a Cittie of
Idumea, seated vpon the Straight, whereas the red sea ioynes
with the great Ocean. From this Ophir and this Tharsis
they brought to Salomon gold, silver, Elephants teeth,1
Monkies, Indian Cocks,2 and their voyage was of three yeeres;
all which without doubt ought to bee understood of the East
Indies, which is fruitfull and aboundant of all these things,
as Plinie testifieth, and our owne experience doth witness.
From our Peru doubtlesse they could not bring any Ele-
phants teeth, those beastes being vnknowne there; but
they might well bring gold, silver, and pleasant monkies.3
Finally, the holy Scripture, in my opinion, doth commonly
understand by this word of Tharsis, either the great Sea,
or farre and strange Regions. So as he supposeth that the
prophecies which speaker of Tharsis (seeing the spirit of
Prophecie may comprehend all things) may often be applied
to things of our new world.
CHAP. xv.-Of the Prophecie of Abdias, which some doe
interpret to be the Indies.
Many say and affirme that in the holy Scripture it was
foretold long before that this new world should be con-
verted to lesus Christ by the Spanish nation, and to this
purpose they expound the text of the Prophecie of Abdias,
which sayth thus: "And the transmigration of this host of
S"Marfil." "Pavos." 3 Monos muy graciosos."
TIE PROPHECY OF OBADlII. 43
the children of Ishmael shall possess all the dwellings of the Li. '.
Cananites vnto Sarepte, and the transmigration of lerusa-
lem, which is at Bosforo, shall possess the Citties of the
South, and they that shall save, shall come vp to the hill of
Sion to iudge the mount of Esau, and the kingdom shall
bee the Lordes."' There is.no sufficient testimony of the
Ancients, nor pertinent reasons to proove that Sepharad,
which S. Ierome doth interpret the Bosphor or Straight,
and the 70 Interpreters Euphrates, should signifie Spaine,
but only the opinion of some who hold it. Others
alleage the Caldean Paraphrase, which is of this opinion,
and the ancient Rabbins, which expound it on this sort;
as also that Zarphat is France, which the vulgar and the 70
Interpreters call Sarepta. But leaving this dispute, which
belongs to men of more leisure, what necessitie is there to
believe that the cities of the South or of Negeb (as the
70 write) be those of this new world? Moreover, what need
is there to believe and to take the Spanish Nation for the
transmigration from Ierusalem to Sapharad, vnlesse we
will understand Ierusalem spiritually, and thereby the
Church? So as by the transmigration from Ierusalem to
Sapharad, the holy spirit shewes vs the children of the
holy Church, which inhabit the ends of the earth and the
banks of the Sea, for so is Sapharad understood in the
Syrian tongue, and doth well agree with our ich
according to the Ancients is the ende of the earth, being
in a manner all invironed with Sea. And by the Citties of
the South we may well understand these Indies, seeing the
greatest part of this newe world is seated in the South,
and the better part looks to the Pole Antartike. That
1 "And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel shall
possess that of the Canaanitcs even unto Zarephath, and the captivity
of Jerusalem, which is in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the south.
And saviours shall come up on Mount Zion to judge the Mount of
Esau; and the kingdom shall be the Lord s."--Obadiah, verses 20, 21.
44 PROPHECY OF ISATAII.
Li. .I which followeth is easier to interpret, viz., They which
procure Salvation shall ascend the hill of Sion to iudge the
mount of Esau". For wee may say they vnite themselves
to the doctrine and strength of the holy Church, which
seeke to break and disperse the prophane errors of the
Gentiles, for that may be interpreted to iudge the mount of
Esau, whereby it followed that in those daies the Realme
shall neyther bee for the Spaniards nor for them of Europe,
but for Iesus Christ our Saviour. Whosoever shall expound
the Prophecie of Abdias' in this sort ought not to be blamed;
being most certain that the holy Spirit did understand all
secrets long before. And it seems there is great reason to
believe that mention is made in the holy Scripture of a
matter of such importance as the discoveries of the Indies, of
the new world, and their conversion to the faith. Isaias
say. xviii, saith in these words: "Oh the wings of ships which come
iuxta, 70 In-.
torp. from the other part of Ethiopia."2 Many learned Authors
hold that aT this Chapter is understood of the Indies; and
Isay. lxvi. that same Prophet in an other place saith: Those which
shall escape out of Israel shal goe farre off to Tharsis and to
remote Ilands, where they shal convert many Nations vnto
the Lord." Amongest the which hee names Greece, Italie,
Affricke, with many others; the which without doubt may
well bee applied vnto the conversion of the Indies. Being
most certain that the Gospel shall be preached generally
throughout the world, as our Saviour hath promised, and
then the ende of the world shall come. It followed then,
and so we ought to understand it, that there be many
Nations vpon the face of the earth to whom lesus Christ
hath not yet been preached. Whereby we may gather that
there remained a great part of the world vnknowne to the
Ancients, and that yet at this day there is a good part to
"' "Woe to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers
of Ethiopia."-Isaiah xviii, 1.
THE PEOPLING OF TIE NEW WORLD. 45
CHAP. xvI.-By what means the first nmen~ might come to the
Indies, the which was not willingly, nor of set purpose.
Now it is time to make answer to such as say there are Lin. .
no Antipodes, and that this region where we live cannot bee
inhabited. The huge greatnes of the Ocean did so amaze
S. Augustine as he could not conceive how mankind could
passe to this new-found world. But seeing on the one side
wee know for certain that many yeeres agoe there were
men inhabiting in these parts, so likewise we cannot deny
but the scripture doth teach vs cleerely that all men are
come from the first man, without doubt we shall be forced
to believe and confess that men have passed hither from
Europe, Asia, or Affricke, yet must wee discover by what
means they could passe. It is not likely that there was an
other Noes Arke by the which men might be transported
into the Indies, and much lesse any Angell to care the
first man to this new world, holding him by the haire of the
head, like to the Prophet Abacuc; for we intreat not of the
mightie power of God, but only of that which is conform-
able vnto reason, and the order and disposition of humane
things. Wherefore these two things ought to be held for
wonderful and worthie of admiration, yea, to bee numbred
among the secrets of God. The one is, how man could
passe so huge a passage by Sea and Lande; the other is,
that there being such multitudes of people they have yet
been vnknowne so many ages. For this cause I demand,
by what resolution, force or industries, the Indians could
passe so large a Sea, and who might be the Inventer of so
strange a passage ? Truely I have often times considered
thereof with my selfe, as many others have done, but never
could I find any thing to satisfied mee. Yet will I say what
I have conceived, and what comes presently into my minde,
seeing that testimonies failed mee whom I might follow,
46 PEOPLING OP THE NEW WORLD.
Li. I. suffering myself to be guided by the rule of reason, although
it be very subtill. It is most certain that the first men
came to this land of Peru by one of these two means,
either by land or by sea. If they came by sea, it was
casually, and by chance, or willingly, and of purpose. I
understand by chance being cast by force of some storme or
tempest, as it happens in tempestuous times. I mean
done of purpose, when they prepared fleetes to discover
new lands. Besides these two means I see it is not pos-
sible to find out any other, if wee will follow the course of
humane things and not devise fabulous and poeticall fictions;
for no man may think to finde another Eagle as that of
Ganimede, or a flying Horse like vnto Perseus, that should
care the Indians through the aire; or that peradventure
these first men haue vsed fishes, as Mirmaids, or the fish
called a Nicholas,' to passe them thither. But laying aside
these imaginations and fopperies,2 let vs examine these two
means, the which will bee bothpleasant and profitable. First,
in my iudgement, it were not farre from, reason to say that the
first and ancient people of these Indies have discovered
and peopled after the same sort as wee do at this day, that
is, by the Arte of Navigation and aide of Pilots, the which
guide themselves by the heigth and knowledge of the hea-
vens, and by their industries in handling and changing of
their sales according to the season. Why might not this
well be ? Must we believe that we alone, and in this our
age, have only the Arte and knowledge to saile through
the Ocean ? Wee see even now that they cut through the
Ocean to discover new lands, as not long since Alvaro Men-
dafia and his companions did, who parting from the Port of
Lima came alongst the West to discover the land which
lieth Eastward from Peru; and at the end of three months
they discovered the Ilands which they call the Ilands of
1 "Pexes Syrenas y Nicolaos."
"Platicas de burlas."
PEOPLING OF THE NEW WORLD. 47
Salomon,' which are many and very great, and by all likele- L. I
hood they lie adioyning to new Guinnie, or else are very
neere to some other firm land. And even now by com-
mandement from the King and his Counsell they are re-
solved to prepare a new fleete for these Ilands.2 Seeing it
is thus, why may we not suppose that the Ancients had the
courage and resolution to travel by sea, with the same
intent to discover the land, which they call Anticthon, oppo-
site to theirs, and that, according to the discourse of their
Philosophie, it should be with an intent not to rest vntill
they came in view of the landes they sought ? Surely there
is no repugnancie or contrarietie in that which wee see
happen at this day, and that of former ages, seeing that the
holy scripture doth witness that Solomon tooke Masters and
Pilots from Tyre and Sidon, men very expert in Naviga- 2 r"1., i
3 Reg., x.
tion, who by their industry performed this voiage in three
yeeres. To what end think you doth it note the Arte of
Mariners and their knowledge, with their long voiage of
three yeeres, but to give vs to understand that Solomons
fleet sailed through the great Ocean ? Many are of this
opinion, which think that S. Augustine had small reason
to wonder at the greatnes of the Ocean, who might well
conjecture that it was not so difficult to saile through, con-
sidering what hath been spoken of Solomons Navigation.
But to say the truth, I am of a contrary opinion, neither can
I persuade my selfe that the first Indians came to this new
world of purpose, by a determined voiage; neither will I
yeeld, that the Ancients had knowledge in the Art of
Navigation, whereby men at this day passe the Ocean, from
one part to another, where they please, the which they
perform with an incredible swiftnes and resolution; nei-
ther do I finde in all Antiquities any markes or testimonies
of so notable a thing and of so great importance. Besides,
2 The second expedition of Mendafia sailed from Peru in 1595.
48 THE ANCIENTS IGNORANT OF THE COMPASS.
Ln. I finde not that in ancient books there is any mention
made of the vse of the Tman or Loadstone,1 nor of the Com-
passe to saile by;2 yea, I believe they had no knowledge
thereof. And if we take away the knowledge of the corn-
passe to saile by, we shall easily iudge how impossible it
was for them to passe the great Ocean. Such as haue any
knowledge of the sea understand me well; for that it is as
easier to believe that a Mariner in full sea can direct his
course where hee please without a compasse, as for a blinde
man to shew with his finger any thing, be it neere or farrow
off. And it is strange that the Ancients have been so long
ignorant of this excellent properties of the load stone;
rcin., lib for Plinie, who was so curious in natural causes, writing of
iii, cap. 6;
xivap. this load stone, speaks nothing of that vertue and pro-
1, 14; and t
ib vii, ap. pertie it hath, alwaies to turne the iron which it toucheth
S towards the North, the which is the most admirable vertue
Dios., lib. it hath. Aristotle, Theophrastus, Dioscorides, Lucretius,
v, cap. 10.
Lucret., nor any other Writers or natural Philosophers that I have
seene, make any mention thereof, although they treat of the
Aug. de load stone. Saint Augustine, writing many and sundry
4e vbi r properties and excellencies of the load stone in his books
demagneto. f the Citie of God, speaks nothing thereof. And with-
out doubt all the excellencies spoken of this stone are
nothing in respect of this strange properties, looking alwaies
towards the North, which is a great wonder of nature.
lin.. lib. There is yet another argument, for Plinie, treating of the
vii, c. 16.
first inventors of Navigation, and naming all the instru-
ments, yet he speaks nothing of the compasse to sailed
by, nor of the load stone. I say only, that the art to
know the starres was invented by the Phoeniciens. And
there is no doubt but whatsoever the Ancients knew of the
Art of Navigation was only in regard of the starres, and
observing the Shoares, Capes, and differences of landes.
1 "Iman"--the load stone.
A "Aguja de Marear"-Mariner's compass.