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Compendium of Works on Medicine by Avenzoar and Averroes
This work is a compendium of the Latin translations of several works by two renowned Andalusian authors of the 12th century: ʻAbd al-Malik ibn Abī al-ʻAlāʾ Ibn Zuhr (died 1162), known in the Latin West as Avenzoar; and Abu ’l-Walīd Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad ibn Rushd, the celebrated Averröes (1126–98) of the Latin West. Ibn Zuhr’s well-known medical treatise Taysīr fi ’l-mudāwāt wa ’l-tadbīr (Practical manual of treatments and diets) is presented here, as well as Ibn Rushd’s great medical work, al-Kulliyāt fī al-ṭibb (The general ...
Compendium of Medical Texts by Mesue, with Additional Writings by Various Authors
This compendium of medical texts was printed in Lyon, in the shop of Benoît Bonyn (active 1523–44) in 1523. The major part and most significant text is by the renowned Nestorian Persian physician Yūḥannā Ibn Māsawayh (circa 790–857), known in the Latin West as Mesue, who was born in Samarra, present-day Iraq. According to al-Qiftī, Yūḥannā’s father, Abu Yūḥannā Māsawayh, a physician at the famed medical center at Jundīshāpūr (in southwest Persia, near modern Dezful) was asked to establish a hospital in Baghdad during the reign of ...
Imperial Calendar in the Third Year of Emperor Jia Jing’s Reign in the Ming Dynasty
The Da Ming Jiajing san nian datong li (Imperial calendar, or great universal system of calculating astronomy) is based upon the system of calendrical astronomy developed by the astronomer Guo Shoujin during the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368). It was officially adapted by the Ming Bureau of Astronomy in 1384. It specified the phases of the moon and contained predictions of when lunar and solar eclipses would occur. The great Chinese navigator Zheng He used Guo Shoujing's methods to determine latitude and longitude on his voyages to the Pacific and Indian ...
The Splendid Narrative of Ferdinand Cortes About the New Spain of the Sea and Ocean Transmitted to the Most Sacred and Invincible, Always August Charles Emperor of the Romans, King of the Spaniards in the Year of the Lord 1520: In Which is Contained Many Things Worthy of Knowledge and Admiration About the Excellent Cities of Their Provinces…Above All About the Famous City Temixtitan and Its Diverse Wonders, Which Will Wondrously Please the Reader
Between July 1519 and September 1526, Hernando Cortés (1485-1547), the soldier and adventurer who in 1519-21 conquered for Spain what is now central and southern Mexico, sent five extended letters to Emperor Charles V in which he described his exploits and placed himself and his actions in a favorable light. This book contains the first Latin edition of Cortes’s second letter. In it, Cortés gives an account of his first meeting with the Aztec emperor, Montezuma II. Dated October 30, 1520, the letter was translated from Spanish into Latin ...
Newspaper About the Country that the Spaniards Found in 1521, Called Yucatan
This small tract contains one of the first European descriptions of the Aztec civilization of Mexico and the earliest known European attempt to picture the city of Tenochtitlán (present-day Mexico City). Most likely published in Augsburg in 1522, the work is a translation into German of an earlier Spanish account of Hernando Cortes’s expedition to Tenochtitlán in 1519-20. The city is pictured rather fancifully as having five towers and five bridges. Another woodcut shows an Aztec religious ceremony involving human sacrifice. Cortés first reached Tenochtitlán in November 1519. He ...
This early-16th century manuscript, known as a Testerian catechism, is one of the more notable documents in the archives of the Center for the Study of the History of Mexico. In the early period of the Spanish conquest of Mexico, before religious instructors had learned the languages of the indigenous peoples, they used pictorial stories describing basic teachings to spread the Christian Gospel. These catechisms were called Testerians, after Father Jacobo de Testera, a Franciscan priest who pioneered this method of teaching.
Journal of Magellan's Voyage
This manuscript volume, dating from around 1525, details Ferdinand Magellan's voyage around the world in 1519-22. The work is attributed to Antonio Pigafetta, a Venetian scholar who was born in Vincenza, Italy, around 1490 and who accompanied Magellan on the voyage. Pigafetta kept a detailed journal, the original of which is lost. However, an account of the voyage, written by Pigafetta between 1522 and 1525, survives in four manuscript versions: one in Italian and three in French. This version, in French, is from the library of Yale University, and ...
The Matrícula de tributos (Tribute roll) records in pictographic writing the tributes that subject towns paid to Mexico-Tenochtitlan, the center of the triple alliance of Mexico, Tetzcoco, and Tacuba in the period just before the conquest of Mexico by the Spanish. The roll was very likely copied or elaborated on from a pre-Hispanic original circa 1522-30 by order of the conqueror Hernán Cortés, who wanted to learn more about the economic organization of the alliance's empire. Each page of the Matrícula represents one of 16 tributary provinces. The main ...
Book of Hours
The Book of Hours was a prayer book for the laity that developed in late medieval Europe and that was used for private devotion. These works were often personalized for individual patrons and illuminated with miniature paintings depicting the life of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and individual saints. The text included a calendar of liturgical feast days and a series of prayers to be recited eight times a day, according to established practice. By the early Renaissance period the popularity of the Book of Hours demonstrated the growing interest of ...
The Book of the Delight of the Eye Regarding the Movement of the Two Luminaries
Little is known about the astronomer Muḥammad ibn ʻAbd al-Qādir al-Khalīlī al-Jaʻbarī, who wrote the treatise Kitāb qurrat al-‘ayn and prepared the accompanying astronomical tables preserved in this copy. Some information about the original work can be inferred from information provided on the last page of this manuscript, where the colophon specifies that the copy was produced in the year 932 AH (1525), based on an older, quite damaged manuscript. This information gives us a terminus ante quem (latest possible date) for the original work. The treatise also opens ...
Royal Coin, Francis I. Sample Teston
This gold sample teston (16th-century French silver coin) representing the King Francis I (1494–1547; reigned, 1515–47) of France is one of the most characteristic monetary expressions of the Renaissance. The realistic portrait, classical inspiration, significant relief, and weight of the piece are all features that represent a break from the money of medieval times. The 19th-century numismatist, Henri de La Tour, showed that this 1529 coin was the work of Matteo del Nassaro (circa 1490–1547), an Italian artist from Verona who first entered the service of Francis ...
The Book of the Interpreter
This 16th-century manuscript is an old copy of the classified Syriac–Garshuni glossary by Elias of Nisibis (975–1046). Elias was an eastern Syriac scholar and monk, who was later a bishop and from 1008–46 metropolitan of Nisibis in northern Mesopotamia (present-day Nusaybin in southeastern Turkey). He was an important figure in Syriac and Christian Arabic literature and an early grammarian. In addition to this glossary, his literary output included a bilingual (Syriac–Arabic) chronicle, liturgical poetry, and letters. This work is prefaced by Eliya's address to the ...
About the Natural History of the Indies
Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo (1478–1557) was one of the most important early chroniclers of the Spanish presence in the Americas. Born in Madrid of noble parents from Asturias, at age 12 he became a page to the Duke of Villahermosa. He witnessed the surrender of Granada and, in 1492, entered the service of Prince Don Juan I, whose death in 1497 changed the path of his life. After living several years in Italy, Oviedo returned to Spain around 1505 and, from then onward, began traveling between the Iberian Peninsula ...
Narrative Letter by Hernán Cortés
The name of Hernán Cortés (1485–1547) and the controversy surrounding him are linked to the conquest of Mexico, which was the most important event of his life. Cortés was born in Medellín, Spain. He studied at the University of Salamanca, took part in Spain’s conquest, in 1506, of Hispaniola and Cuba, and rose to become a municipal official in Cuba. In 1518, he took command of an expedition to secure the interior of Mexico. Cortés’s letters are an essential source for understanding the early Spanish presence in ...
Complete Book on the Judgment of the Stars
Abu al-Hassan Ali Ibn Ali Ibn Abi al-Rijal (also known as Haly or Hali, and by the Latinized versions of his name, Haly Albohazen and Haly Abenragel) was a late 10th-century–early 11th-century Arab astrologer and astronomer who served as court astrologer in the palace of the Tunisian prince, al-Muizz Ibn Badis. His best-known treatise, Kitāb al-bāri' fi ahkām an-nujūm (Complete book on the judgment of the stars), was one of the works translated by the team of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim scholars that King Alfonso X of Castile (reigned ...
The Comprehensive Book on Medicine
Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Zakariya al-Razi (also known by Latinized versions of his name, Rhazes or Rasis, circa 865–925) was a Persian polymath, physician, and philosopher who made major and lasting contributions to the fields of medicine, music, philosophy, and alchemy and was the author of more than 200 books and treatises. He was known in the fields of both medicine and chemistry and undertook chemical experiments to create medicines to treat particular diseases. He followed a scientific approach in his research using the methods of monitoring and observation ...
Order for the Lord's Supper
This German text of the Ordnu[n]g des Herren Nachtmal (Order for the Lord's Supper) provides an inside view of the developing Christian Reformation in the 16th century. Martin Bucer (1491–1551) led the reforms in Strassburg (present-day Strasbourg, France), and this pamphlet of 24 pages documents the changes underway in the mass—the central liturgical service of the church—and in the rite of baptism and the blessing of marriage. The Ordnung includes printed music for the sung parts of the liturgy as well as woodcuts of ...