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- Little is known about Juan Rodríguez Freyle, the author of Conquista i descubrimiento del Nuevo Reino de Granada de las Indias Occidentales del Mar Océano y fundación de la ciudad de Santa Fé de Bogotá (Conquest and discovery of the New Kingdom of Granada in the West Indies of the Ocean Sea and foundation of the city of Santa Fe de Bogotá), a work commonly known as El carnero (The billygoat). He was born in April 1566 in Santa Fe de Bogotá, the first city in the Colombian part of the Spanish colony of New Granada. After primary school he entered seminary, but he never took orders. He participated in Spanish expeditions of conquest, including one against the indigenous Pijaos. He later became a farmer of modest means and suffered from various physical debilities, said to have been caused by obesity. He wrote El carnero between 1636 and 1638. He claimed that he intended to offer, in this collection of comic tales of the human condition, a history that everyone else had ignored. His rich narrative covers the history of the colony interspersed with stories of the native people, crime, gossip, scandals, and witchcraft. The mixture of fact and fiction makes the work a highly original and entertaining example of colonial literature. Freyle died in 1642 at age 76. Six copies of the original manuscript circulated over the centuries, until it was finally published in 1859. One of these manuscripts, dating from 1795, is presented here.
Title in Original Language
Conquista i descubrimiento del Nuevo Reino de Granada de las Indias Occidentales del Mar Océano y fundación de la ciudad de Santa Fé de Bogotá
Type of Item
- 164 pages ; 31 centimeters