Peter Martyr d'Anghiera

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Peter Martyr d'Anghiera (1457-1526) was an Italian-born historian of Spain and of the discoveries and explorations in the Americas.

The international form of his name is Pietro Martire d'Anghiera. In different languages, his name is written:

  • English - Anghiera, Peter Martyr d'
  • French - Martyr d'Anghiera, Pierre
  • German - Anghiera, Peter Martyr von
  • Italian - Martire d'Anghiera, Pietro
  • Latin - Anglerius, Petrus Martyr
  • Spanish - Anglería, Pedro Mártir de

He was born on February 2, 1457 at Arona, near Anghiera (called now Angera) on Lake Maggiore, Lombardy, Italy. He went to Rome in 1477, at the age of twenty, and there he met important persons of the Church. In 1486, Anghiera met the Spanish ambassador in Rome, and with him to Spain in August, 1487, to the court of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella of Castile.

He wrote in latin the first accounts of explorations in the Americas in a series of letters and reports that were published from 1511 to 1530 in chapters called "Decades". The first three "Decades", together with a description of his experiences in Egypt, were published in 1516 under the title: De orbe novo decades cum Legatione Babylonica or, for short, De orbe novo ("On the New World").

He was the first writer to use the word Hispaniola to name the island that Columbus named La Española. He also wrote that the Taíno name of the island was Quizqueia, a name that no other historian of that time mentioned. Quizqueia is used now as Quisqueya or Kiskeya for the whole island (in Haiti) or for the eastern part (in the Dominican Republic).

He died in October 1526 at Granada, Spain.

References[change | edit source]

  • Frati, Carlo (1929) (in Spanish). El mapa mas antiguo de la isla de Santo Domingo (1516) y Pedro Martir de Angleria. Firenze: Leo S. Olschki. pp. 22.