De insulis nuper inventis Fernandi Cortesii
Cologne, for Birckman, August 23, 1532
(Harrisse 168; Church 63; Medina BHA: 86; Palau 63192)
In folio, XIX full black calf (30x20 cm)
Spine comparted. Title printed in gilt.
4 nn lvs, including engraved title page
30 nn lvs (carta de relacion 2)
33 nn lvs (carta de relacion 3)
1 nn leaf (Martin de Valencia, carta de Yucatan)
4 nn lvs (Two letters one by bishop Zumarraga, one by Herborn)
Numerous, often historiated, woodcut initials. This copy is fully rubricated in red by a contemporary hand.
Condition: lacks the 8 nn lvs , the text of Peter Martyrs De insulis. Minor smear and marginal water stain here and there. Overall excellent copy
This is the second edition in Latin of Cortes second and third carta de relacion: his conquest of Mexico as told by himself. The missionary letter by Friar de Valencia, dated June 12, 1531, is the first printed report ever from Yucatan. The book ends with Zumarragas report on the earliest missionary work of the Franciscans in Mexico. Zumarraga was the first Bishop of Mexico. His report was presented to the general meeting (Capitel) of Franciscans in Toulouse in 1532. In that "Capitel" representatives of the Franciscan missions in Mexico and of those in Peru (Tumbes) participated (Kuhut in Mayer, Alicia: America en la cartografia, Mexico, 2010:51). There is special emphasis on the Franciscan schools in Mexico and for the conversion and teaching of the Indian population. A similar account exists by Nicolaus Herborn.
So the book has - apart from its interest as a very early presentation of Cortes' letters - its own historical interest in regard to Yucatan and the Franciscans in Mexico.