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An Account, Much Abbreviated, of the Destruction of the Indies: With Related Texts

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Hackett Pub Co Inc

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Fifty years after the arrival of Columbus, at the height of Spain's conquest of the West Indies, Spanish bishop and colonist Bartolomé de las Casas dedicated his Brevísima Relación de la Destruición de las Indias to Philip II of Spain. An impassioned plea on behalf of the native peoples of the West Indies, the Brevísima Relación catalogues in horrific detail atrocities it attributes to the king's colonists in the New World. The result is a withering indictment of the conquerors that has cast a 500-year shadow over the subsequent history of that world and the European colonisation of it. Andrew Hurley's daring new translation dramatically foreshortens that 500 years by reversing the usual priority of a translation; rather than bring the Brevísima Relación to the reader, it brings the reader to the Brevísima Relación -- not as it is, but as it might have been, had it been originally written in English. The translator thus allows himself no words or devices unavailable in English by 1560, and in so doing reveals the prophetic voice, urgency and clarity of the work, qualities often obscured in modern translations. An Introduction by Franklin Knight, notes, a map, and a judicious set of Related Readings offer further aids to a fresh appreciation of this foundational historical and literary work of the New World and European engagement with it.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
The Indies in Las Casas' Time viii
Introduction xi
Spain in the Age of Bartolomé de las Casas
The Americas in the Age of Las Casas
Las Casas and the Utopian View of the Americas
A Note on the Text and the Translation li
Some Earlier English Translations of Bartolomé de las Casas'
Brevisima relación de la destruición de las Indias
An Account, Much Abbreviated, of the Destruction of the Indies 1(88)
Argument of the Present Epitome
[An Introduction to the Relation]
On the Island Hispaniola
On the Kingdoms That Once Were to Be Found upon the Island of Hispaniola
On the Two Islands of San Juan and Jamaica
On the Island of Cuba
On Terra Firma
On the Province of Nicaragua
On New Spain, I
On New Spain, II
On the Province and Kingdom of Guatimala
Of New Spain and Pánuco and Jalisco
On the Kingdom of Yucalán
On the Province of Sang Marta
On the Province of Cartagena
On the Coast of Pearls and on Paria and the Island of Trinidad
Of the River Yuyapari
On the Kingdom of Venezuela
On the Province of Terra Firma in the Part Called Florida
On the Rio de la Plata, or the River of Plate
On the Great Kingdoms and Great Provinces of Perú
On the New Kingdom of Granada
The Laws of Burgos (1512-1513) 89(4)
New Laws of the Indies 93(10)
A Treatise on the Just Causes for War against the Indians 103(4)
The True History of the Conquest of Mexico, by Captain Bernal Diaz del Castillo 107(4)
From Hernán Cortés, Cartas de relación 111(10)
Table of Weights and Measures Used in the Text 121(2)
Glossary of Political and Military Terms Used in the Text 123(4)
Index 127

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