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35 results
Map of the City and Bay of Cartagena de las Indias
This hand-colored pen-and-ink manuscript map was drawn by Antonio de Ulloa (1716–95) in 1735, based on an earlier map by Juan de Herrera dating from around 1721. It shows in great detail the bay of Cartagena de Indias and the adjacent coastal area of the present-day city of Cartagena, Colombia. The territory was then part of the Viceroyalty of New Granada in the Spanish Empire. The map is oriented by a compass rose with north pointing to the left. Longitude is set in relation to the Royal Astronomical Observatory ...
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National Library of Spain
Upper View of the Castillo del Morro Situated at the Mouth of the Bay of Havana
This 18th-century manuscript map shows the plan of Morro Castle, located at the entrance of Havana Bay, Cuba. The fortress was built by the Spaniards, starting in 1585. The Italian military engineer Battista Antonelli (1547–1616) was commissioned to design the fortifications. The structure originally was conceived as a small fort surrounded by a dry moat, but it was expanded and rebuilt on several occasions and became a major fortress of great strategic importance for the island. The map is oriented with north to the left and tilted up at ...
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National Library of Spain
A Hydrographical and Chorographical Chart of the Philippine Islands
This magnificent map of the Philippine archipelago, drawn by the Jesuit Father Pedro Murillo Velarde (1696–1753) and published in Manila in 1734, is the first and most important scientific map of the Philippines. The Philippines were at that time a vital part of the Spanish Empire, and the map shows the maritime routes from Manila to Spain and to New Spain (Mexico and other Spanish territory in the New World), with captions. In the upper margin stands a great cartouche with the title of the map, crowned by the ...
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National Library of Spain
General Atlas of All the Islands in the World
Islario general de todas las islas del mundo (General atlas of all the islands in the world) is the greatest work by Seville cosmographer Alonso de Santa Cruz (1505–67). The atlas was begun during the reign of Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain Charles V and finished in that of his son King Philip II, to whom it was dedicated. It consists of 111 maps representing all the islands and peninsulas of the world, and showing all the discoveries made by European explorers from 1400 to the mid-16th ...
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National Library of Spain
Atlas of Joan Martines
This manuscript atlas by Joan Martines, cosmographer to King Philip II of Spain, dated 1587, represents the combination of two cartographic schools that existed at the time of its creation. The older one was the traditional school of Majorca, which specialized in decorative portolan maps that by this time were obsolete with regard to the geographic information they conveyed. The newer one was the cartographic school of the Low Countries, which applied Renaissance principles and used different forms of cartographic representation based on new concepts in astronomy, mathematics, and geography ...
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National Library of Spain
History of Byzantium
This Greek manuscript on parchment dating from the 12th to the 13th centuries is one of the most valuable codices in the National Library of Spain, treasured for the richness of its illumination. The work, by Ioannes Scylitza (flourished 1081), is a history of the Byzantine emperors from 811 to 1057, covering events from the proclamation of Michael I Rangabe in 811 to the reign of Michael VI in 1056–57. The manuscript contains 577 miniatures by different artists. Most of the scenes are accompanied by a caption that explains ...
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National Library of Spain
The Art of Making Mechanical Timepieces for Church Towers, Rooms, and Pockets
Manuel del Río was a Spanish Franciscan, said to have been a skilled watchmaker, who probably learned the trade in Oporto, Portugal, with Tomás Luis de Sáa. Del Río belonged to the Franciscan community in Santiago, where in 1759 he published Arte de los reloxes de ruedas (The art of making mechanical timepieces). The work was reissued in 1789 in Madrid by del Río’s disciple Ramón Durán. That edition is presented here. The prologue states that one of the reasons for writing the book was the lack of manuals ...
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National Library of Spain
Theatrical Design
Francisco Rizi was a painter of Italian descent who trained in the workshop of Vicente Carducho. In 1637 he began to work for King Philip IV of Spain, who appointed him the royal painter in 1656. His most productive period coincided with the reign of Philip, for whom he worked both on decorations of a mythological character for the Alcázar de Toledo and on the design and construction of theater sets from 1657 on. This drawing probably was made for a theatrical presentation at the Buen Retiro Palace, Madrid. It ...
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National Library of Spain
An Examination of the Talents Required for the Sciences
Examen de ingenios para las sciencias (An examination of the talents required for the sciences), first printed in 1575, is the only known work by Juan Huarte de San Juan, who was born in Navarre, Spain, in around 1529. The work seeks to clarify various questions regarding human knowledge and the capacities and abilities found in some persons but not in others, and such questions as what makes a person skilled in one science but not in another and how to recognize which art and science are best suited to ...
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National Library of Spain
Account of the Composition of the Human Body
Juan Valverde was a Spanish medical anatomist who was born in Amusco, in the present-day province of Palencia, around 1525. He left for Italy around 1542, and later practiced medicine and taught in Rome. He was the great Spanish follower of the new anatomy established by Andreas Vesalius in 1543 with his work De humani corporis fabrica (On the fabric of the human body). Vesalius was responsible for a new vision of the human body in the modern world. Valverde helped to spread this vision through the 16 editions in ...
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National Library of Spain
El melopeo y maestro: Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Music
Pedro (Pietro) Cerone (1566–1625) was born in Bergamo, Italy. After training as a musician, singer, and priest in Italy, he travelled to Spain as a pilgrim to Santiago de Compostela in about 1593. A year later, mired in poverty and living in Madrid, he came under the protection of Santiago Gratii (Caballero de Gracia), in whose music academy he was able to work. Thanks probably to Caballero de Gracia, he was able to serve in the Royal Chapel of Phillip II and later that of Philip III. Around 1603 ...
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National Library of Spain
The Book of Calixto and Melibea and of the Old Whore Celestina
La Celestina is undoubtedly one of the greatest bestsellers in Spanish literature. It is said to have been printed in more than 200 early editions, although fewer than half of these have survived. The work, by Fernando de Rojas (died 1541), began as a comedy in 16 acts, which was extended to 21 acts in the tragicomedy, which became the popular version. In addition to being published throughout Spain, the Spanish text was printed in Lisbon, Rome, Venice, Milan and Antwerp. Early translations into Italian, French, German, English, and Dutch ...
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Codicil of Queen Isabel the Catholic, Executed at Medina del Campo, on November 23, 1504
On November 23, 1504, three days before her death, Queen Isabella of Spain signed, in Medina del Campo, a codicil before the same notary, Gaspar de Gricio, and five of the seven witnesses who had been present on October 12 for the signing of her last will and testament. In the testament, the queen addressed the fundamental aspects of government by the Catholic monarchs. In the codicil, besides reaffirming what she had stipulated in the testament, she addressed questions directly affecting peninsular government and showed her concern for Spanish policy ...
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National Library of Spain
The Seville Bible
Biblia hispalense (The Seville Bible), also known as the Toletanus Codex, is a manuscript from the first half of the tenth century, in Latin written in lower-case Visigothic script by at least four copyists. The titles also appear in Hebrew, and there are notes in Arabic in the margins. The manuscript consists of booklets of eight sheets each, on parchment, with the text in three columns of 63–65 lines. Included are the texts of the Old and New Testaments, with a preface, prologues, and commentaries by Saint Jerome, Saint ...
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National Library of Spain
Beato of Liébana: The Codex of Fernando I and Doña Sancha
Around the year 776, a monk by the name of Beato or Beatus, possibly the abbot of the monastery of Santo Toribio de Liébana, wrote a work entitled Comentarios al Apocalipsis (Commentary on the apocalypse), which had an extraordinary success in the following five centuries. Thanks to his great erudition, Beato combined in this text, as a summa, many commentaries on the topic of the apocalypse by such authors as Saint Irenaeus of Lyon, Saint Gregory the Great, Saint Isidore of Seville, and the 4th-century scholar Ticonius. The genre of ...
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National Library of Spain
Etymology
Etymologiae (Etymology) is the best known work by Saint Isidore of Seville (circa 560–636), a scholar and theologian considered the last of the great Latin Church Fathers. It takes its name from a method of teaching that proceeds by explaining the origins and meaning of each word related to a topic. Saint Isidore drew on many different sources in his attempt to summarize all ancient knowledge and save it for posterity. The fame of the work led to it being widely copied and disseminated, and its popularity lasted even ...
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National Library of Spain
Playing with Fire: Operetta in Three Acts
Francisco Asenjo Barbieri (1823–94) is one of the best known figures in the history of Spanish music. He was a composer, musicologist, director, and bibliophile. The core music holdings of the National Library of Spain consist of Barbieri’s own library, which he bequeathed to the institution in his will. Barbieri’s bequest is one of the most important sources for the history of Spanish music. The national library also acquired, in 1999, Barbieri’s personal archive, which includes autographed scores. The relationship between Barbieri and the national library ...
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National Library of Spain
Seven-Part Code
This illuminated manuscript of the Siete partidas (Seven-part code), on parchment in Gothic script, dates from the 13th–15th centuries. The codex is important for several reasons. It was written in one scriptorium (except for Partida I, which was added in the 15th century) and it includes the complete Partidas with their ornamentation, and bibliographic clues that shed light on their origins. This body of law, commissioned and begun by Alfonso X and supplemented by later reforms, constitutes the most widely known legal system that governed Spain from the Middle ...
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National Library of Spain
The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha
In 1829, the Spanish scholar and bibliographer Vicente Salvá determined that this book was the true editio princeps (first printed edition) of the first volume of El ingenioso hidalgo don Quixote de la Mancha (The ingenious gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha). Until then, it had been considered a second edition, printed in the same year. Encouraged by the success of other fictional works, such as Mateo Alemán’s Guzmán de Alfarache (The life of Guzman de Alfarache), Francisco de Robles, printer to the king, bought the rights to publish ...
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National Library of Spain
Painting of the Governor, Mayors, and Rulers of Mexico
This 16th-century pictographic manuscript, written in Mexico, contains the declarations of the defendants and witnesses in an investigation into charges of misrule and abuse against Viceroy Don Luis de Velasco and other Spanish authorities in New Spain, as Mexico was then called. The investigation was carried out in 1563–66 by Don Jeronimo de Valderrama, who was sent to Mexico for this purpose by order of Philip II of Spain. The people and their statements are represented through pictographs, followed by an explanation in Nahuatl and Castilian Spanish for the ...
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National Library of Spain
Map of the Kingdom of Aragon by Juan Bautista Labaña
This map is the oldest known image of Aragon, the first Spanish map produced according to scientific procedures, and the most important map for 17th- and 18th-century Spanish cartography. It became the basis for all subsequent maps of the region, and is the only one that was made using direct measurement and surveys. The map was created by order of the Deputation of the Kingdom of Aragon by cartographer Juan Bautista Labaña (1555–1624), who employed the triangulation method. In 1610–15, Labaña travelled around the country making the necessary ...
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National Library of Spain