Biography of: Fray Juan de Torquemada | Spanish historian and missionary, Franciscan order.

(Torquemada, 1557 - 1624, Mexico) Spanish historian and missionary. As a child he went to Mexico, where he entered the Franciscan order. He is the author of indiana monarchy, written in 1609 and published in Seville in 1615. Although the work is ecclesiastical issues, deals especially with the history of new Spain and of the Customs and traditions of the Indians.

Fray Juan de Torquemada
Although little news of the first years of his life, several authors suggest that it is likely that he was born at Torquemada (Palencia), from where it would have embarked bound for America. In 1579 he took habits in the convent of San Francisco, in Mexico, and later served as provincial of the order in the same city. Man's restless spirit, Juan de Torquemada studied philosophy and became interested in indigenous languages, to learn nahuatl.
Despite not having received architectural training, contributed to the development of urban planning in New Spain, and was responsible for the building of the Church of the convent of Santiago Tlatelolco, which would be the guardian since 1600; starting from 1607 he directed improvements in several roads and dams, damaged by the great floods of that year.
In 1609 he wrote indiana monarchy, his most famous work, in which Fray Juan de Torquemada makes a firm defense of the Indians and their customs, taking care, however, soften some criticism for not standing up to the Council of the Indies. The book was published in Seville in 1615, and known many years later a reissue by Andrés González de Barcia (Madrid, 1723).
Inspired by the works of Fray Bernardino de Sahagún and Fray Jerónimo de Mendieta, indiana monarchy narrates the events which ranging from precolonial times to the Government of the marques de Guadalcazar (1612-1622) and offers abundant information on life forms and indigenous traditions of new Spain, with special attention to their religious rites and to the progress of evangelization. He was also the author of a life of the venerable Fray Sebastián de Aparicio.
Extracted from the website: Biografías y Vidas
Biographies of historical figures and personalities

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