De Novo Orbe, or the Historie of the West Indies,


De Novo Orbe, or the Historie of the West Indies,
contayning the actes and adventures of the Spanyardes, which have conquered and peopled those Countries, inriched with varietie of plesant relation of the Manners, Cermeonies, Lawes, Governments, and Warres of the Indians.
London, Thomas Adams, 1612.

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De Novo Orbe, or the Historie of the West Indies,

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Peter Martyr (1457-1826), the first historian of America, was a friend and contemporary of Christopher Columbus, Vasco da Gama, Hernando Cortes, Ferdinand Magellan, Sebastian Cabot, and Amerigo Vespucci. He was also in the privileged position of being a member of the Council of the Indies, having been appointed Chronicler in 1511. This position gave him unrivalled access to documents not available to other historians.

This edition saw the first publication in English of all eight of the author’s Decades. From the First with its reports of the Spanish Voyages to the New World (including Columbus’s); the Second describing his own mission to Egypt; the Third covering Balboa’s sighting of the Pacific, and Columbus’s fourth voyage; the Fourth, the voyages of Cordoba, Grijalva and Cortes; the Fifth, the conquest of Mexico and Magellan’s circumnavigation; the Sixth, Avila on the West coast of Central America; the Seventh, South Carolina, Cuba, Florida, Haita and the Isthmus of Panama; and finally the Eighth, with Cortes’s campaigns.


First English (language) edition. Decorative initials throughout. Small 4to. Unobtrusive circular stamp of the London Medical Society to the margin of the title. Nineteenth-century polished calf by C. Smith, gilt, expertly rebacked, original spine richly gilt laid down, a.e.g., with morocco-backed slipcase, with matching buckram chemise. [1](blank), [5](title & prelims), 318 ll.

Provenance: Herman LeRoy Edgar (armorial bookplate).


Church, 358; Sabin, 1563.


Stock ID: 97330