Author

Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas cover

photo credits: Unknown - CC-PD-Mark

Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas

historian

1549   -   1626

country of citizenship: Spain
language of expression: Spanish
educated at: University of Salamanca
occupation: historian, writer

Ebooks: on Wikisource

Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas (1549 – 28 March 1626 or 27 March 1625) was a chronicler, historian, and writer of the Spanish Golden Age, author of Historia general de los hechos de los castellanos en las Islas y Tierra Firme del mar Océano que llaman Indias Occidentales ("General History of the Deeds of the Castilians on the Islands and Mainland of the Ocean Sea Known As the West Indies"), better known in Spanish as Décadas and considered one of the best works written on the conquest of the Americas. It is worth noting that Herrera never visited or lived in any part of the Americas. Therefore his work was largely conjectural. He was Chief Chronicler of Castile and the Americas during the reigns of Philip II and Philip III. Cristóbal Pérez Pastor called him the "prince of the historians of the Americas". He is considered the most prolific historian of his era, and his works also include a general history of the world, a history of Portugal, and a description of the Americas. His output also features translations of works from Italian and Latin into Spanish, and a translation of his own Descripción de las Indias Occidentales ("Description of the West Indies") into Dutch. Herrera is not given much value by modern historians. A standard Spanish reference work describes him as "an official historian, who was not impartial....[He was] an opportunist, a schemer, and greedy.... He plagiarized entire works which were unpublished at the time.... He had no interest in Native American civilization and therefore never dealt with it."
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