Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 2000.
Book — 281 p. ; 28 cm.
List of illustrations-- Preface and acknowledgments-- Abbreviations-- A note on texts and translations-- Chronology of the texts of Francisco Hernandez-- Introduction--
1. Mexico, 1571-1615--
2. The Low Countries, 1630-1648--
3. Italy, c.1580-1651--
4. England, 1659-1825--
5. Spain, 1790-- Appendix-- Glossary-- Index.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)
This volume consists of a selection of English translations from the extensive writings of Dr. Francisco Hern ndez (1515-87). Celebrated in his own day as one of Spain s leading physicians and naturalists, he is now best remembered for his monumental work on the native plants and materia medica of central Mexico. Sent to New Spain in 1570 by King Philip II to research and describe the natural history of the region, to assess the medical usefulness of the natural resources, and to gather ethnographic materials for an anthropological history, Hern ndez was the first trained scientist to undertake scientific work in the New World. For seven years he gathered information throughout the Valley of Mexico, learning Nahuatl, recording local medical customs, studying indigenous medicines, and writing down all his observations. The result was The Natural History of New Spain, written in Latin, which consisted of six folio volumes filled with descriptions of over 3,000 plants previously unknown in Europe (along with descriptions of a much smaller number of animals and minerals) and ten folio volumes of paintings by Mexican artists illustrating the plants and animals he described. (source: Nielsen Book Data)