Penn Library

CULTURAL READINGS: Colonization & Print in the Americas

Jay I. Kislak Foundation
Christopher Columbus,
De insulis nuper in mari Indico repertis.

Bound with Carlo Verardi,
In laudem...Ferdinandi Hispaniarum regis...

Basel: Johann Bergmann de Olpe, 1494.

This second illustrated edition of Columbus's letter announcing his voyage to the Caribbean is the first to contain representations of the New World itself. It was translated from the Spanish into Latin by Leander de Cosco. Between 1493 and 1500, the letter went through some twenty editions.

Columbus's brief account of his "discovery" of "a new island in the Indian Ocean" reflects the press of business and belies the complex, learned man this Genoese Admiral really was. The letter's straightforward reportorial style conceals a host of assumptions that informed Columbus's expedition. He came, he saw, he possessed - in the name of the Spanish Crown.

Title page Columbus

[See also in this exhibition, another woodcut representing Columbus's first encounter with Indians]

Promotion and Possession

Exhibition Contents | Introduction | Essays | Bibliography & Links

Last update: Monday, 05-Oct-2015 00:01:41 EDT
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