In a volume which opens with reports of information contained in the famous 'Santangel letter' and closes with the announcements of Cortes's conquests in Mexico and Magellan's circumnavigation, historian Geoffrey Symcox presents in chronological order a collection of original texts, accompanied by English translations, detailing the reactions of Italian diplomats, merchants, and the papacy to the news of Columbus's explorations in America and subsequent events down to the conquest of Mexico. These documents form part of the process by which the news of the lands and people of the Americas spread to the courts, chanceries, and educated public of the Italian states and reveal that news of the Americas -- their flora and fauna, their exotic inhabitants, their fabled wealth -- spread swiftly to a public hungry for information. But the collection also suggests that at least until the mid-sixteenth century the achievements of Columbus and his successors remained of secondary concern to statesmen and citizens seeking to survive as their stronger neighbours fought for hegemony in the Italian peninsula and in the Mediterranean.P D Diehl is the author of 'Italian Reports on America, 1493-1520: Letters, Dispatches, and Papal Bulls (Repertorium Columbianum)', published 2001 under ISBN 9782503511801 and ISBN 2503511805.
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