Calvete De Estrella's De Rebus Indicis, a Latin History of the Spanish Conquest of Peru: A Study of Classical Influences and Spanish Sources

Price:$219.95 + shipping
(Click the PayPal button to buy)
Juan Cristobal Calvete de Estrella (c. 1510/20-1593) was a Spanish humanist with close connections to the courts of Charles V and Philip II, to the latter of whom he was a tutor. Among his many works in Latin and Spanish was De Rebus Indicis, a Latin history of the accounts of chroniclers, used documents probably supplied by the family of Cristobal Vaca de Castro, Francisco Pizarro’s successor as governor. The book is commonly thought to be the longest continuous history of its subject in Latin. It tracks down and compares the primary sources drawn upon for De Rebus Indicis, in so far as these are accessible, and then determines the nature of Calvete’s use of these sources, both in Spanish and Latin, as he sought to transform them into a work of art suitable for a European audience.
This book endeavors to do two things. First, it tracks down and compares the sources of content for De Rebus Indicis, and discovers that Calvete was more concerned with causation than other historians. He also interprets facts, rather than merely reporting on them, and provided more information about the capture of Atahualpa than any other historian past or present.


“No student of the Peruvian conquest would ignore or discount a new history of the conquest, but would read it, weight it, compare it with others, and learn. Calvete challenges facts and offers new interpretations of events.”

-Prof. Richard C. Lounsbury,
Brigham Young University

“Weeks writes with clarity, has superb command of the pertinent primary and vast secondary literature. The work is well organized, effective in the presentation of the evidence, and compelling in its arguments. Above all, Weeks shows a praiseworthy sensibility in his examining and exploiting of the extant texts. It is an important contribution to the field.”

-Prof. Teofilo F. Ruiz,
University of California Los Angeles

“The publication of the most prestigious Latin texts has been instrumental in the dissemination of the work, which now, in addition to its proper importance, is especially interesting because it is one of the most reported history texts of the sixteenth century.”

-Prof. Juan J. Martos Fernandez,
University of Seville

"Weeks has achieved a very careful, and at times philological, reconstruction of the historical text. Much of his evaluation is framed by Quintillian's rhetorical analysis and his arguments are very convincing because of his detailed knowledge of the Latin original. Calvete de Estrella's historiography is carefully analysed in a study that will be of interest not only to researchers in the general fields of historiography and the Classical and Modern models, but also to those interested in the court of Phillip II and in many of Calvete de Estrella's readers such as Ercilla." -Prof. Rosa Helena Chinchilla, University of Connecticut

Table of Contents

Foreword by Richard C. Lounsbury

Biography of Juan Cristobal Calvete de Estrella
Importance of De Rebus Indicis

Chapter 1: State of the Question
Brief Mentions of Calvete
Short Biographical Sketches
Scholarly Introductions and Articles
Plagiarism and De Rebus Indicis

Chapter 2: Francisco Lopez De Gomara And Augustin de Zarate
Calvete’s Reasons for Writing This History
Four Sources of the First Four Books
Francisco Lopez de Gomara
The Unknown Pilot
New Lands or India?
Mutiny and Malice
Augustin de Zarate

Chapter 3Ñ Pedro De Cieza De Leon And Pedro De La Gasca
Pedro Cieza de Leon
Pedro de la Gasca
Geographical Excursus
Place Names
Narrator and Exornator

Chapter 4: Sources of Books Five Through Seven
Cristobal Vaca de Castro
Private and Public Letters (Located Sources)
Private and Public Letters (Unlocated Sources)
Legal Documents
Defense of Vaca de Castro
“Causa Contra Barragan”
Personal Accounts
Unlocated Sources

Part Two: Sources of Form
Chapter 5: Classical Influences
Specific Influences
General Influences
Character Sketches
Other General Influences
Formal Influences

Chapter 6: Speeches
Speeches Given by Vaca de Castro

Chatper 7: Exploits
Battle of Chupas
Death of Pizarro

Chapter 8: Methods and Purposes
The Prefaces
Defense of Vaca de Castro
The Divine in De Rebus Indicis
The Great Man
Morality (Fides)
Civil War
Worthy of Memory


Other Latin America and South America Books