Conquest of the Malukus


This is the first edition, published in Madrid in 1609, of a work that recounts in detail the struggle among Portugal, Spain, and local kings and sultans for control of the Maluku (Moluccan) Islands in the 16th century. Also called the Spice Islands, the Maluku are part of present-day Indonesia. Among the individuals who figure in the story are the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, the English privateer Sir Francis Drake, and King Tabariji of Ternate. The author of this work, Bartolomé Leonardo de Argensola (1562-1631), was a priest who served as a royal chaplain and the rector of Villahermosa, Spain. Known for its elegant style, the work includes discussions of the natural history, language, manners, and customs of the native peoples of the islands. It later was translated into English, French, and German.

Last updated: September 18, 2015