Natural astrology, which included medical astrology and what today would be considered astronomy, was not only permitted by the Catholic Church but was also widely practiced. The Inquisition prohibited judicial astrology, which predicted future events based on the positions of planetary and stellar objects in relationship to the Earth. In addition to astrological and astronomical texts, Pérez de Soto's collection included medical texts and also books that specifically addressed the cosmological influences on the city's inhabitants.



23 Avelar, André do. Chronographia ou reportorio dos tempos o mais copioso que te agora sayo a luz, conforme a noua reformação do Sancto Papa Gregorio XIII. Lisbon: Simão Lopez, 1594.

André do Avelar (1546-1622) was a New Christian, born in Lisbon, Portugal. His Chronographia ou reportorio dos tempos was originally published in 1585 and went through many editions. It is a compilation of information on a diverse range of topics, though its primary focus is on astronomy and astrology. As with many similar works of the period, Avelar drew on the writings of other authors to construct his work. He was condemned by the Inquisition in 1620, and this work was added to the Index in 1632.



24. Reisch, Gregor. Margarita philosophica. [Freiburg?], 1504.

Written by the Carthusian monk Gregor Reisch, the Margarita philosophica was intended to be a textbook for his students at Freiburg. It contains chapters on the Trivium (grammar, logic, rhetoric) and the Quadrivium (arithmetic, music, geometry, astronomy), along with chapters on natural and moral philosophy. Among the illustrations are some of the earliest depictions of the human eye and internal organs. The Margarita philosophica went through at least 11 editions in the sixteenth century.


25. Monardes, Nicolás. Primera y segunda y tercera partes de la historia medicinal de las cosas que se traen de nuestras Indias Occidentales que siruen en medicina. Seville: Alonso Escrivano, 1574.

Nicolás Monardes, a Seville-based physician, wrote what was probably the most successful book on New World medical plants published during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It went through over 40 editions in six languages. The first English edition of 1577 helped to popularize the medicinal use of tobacco in Northern Europe.


26. Tornamira, Francisco Vicente de. Chronographia, y repertorio de los tiempos, a lo moderno, el qual trata varias y diuersas cosas: de cosmographia, sphera. Pamplona: Thomas Porràlis de Sauova, 1585.

Although still following the Ptolemaic and Aristotelian conception of the universe, the Inquisition heavily censured Tornamira’s astrological and astronomical text. This exemplar of Tornamira's Chronographia has annotations indicating that it was expurgated (censored) in 1632, 1640, and 1707.


27. Acosta, Cristóbal, and Garcia de Orta. Tractado delas drogas, y medicinas de las Indias Orientales. Burgos: Martin de Victoria, 1578.

Born in Mozambique, Acosta spent many years in Goa, where he met fellow Jesuit, Garcia de Orta. He ended his life as a physician in Burgos. Acosta's adaptation of Garcia de Orta's Coloquios dos simples e drogas he cousas medicinais da India is considered more useful owing to its illustrations, and for the inclusion of medicinal plants from the Americas.


28. Hernández, Francisco. Quatro libros. De la naturaleza, y virtudes de las plantas, y animales que estan receuidos en el vso de medicina en la Nueua España. Mexico: Viuda de Diego Lopez Dávalos, 1615.

Commissioned by Phillip II to study the natural history of the New World, Spanish physician Francisco Hernández de Toledo collected a compendium of materia medica that included 3,000 plants. His work was not printed in full until after his death. The Quatro libros is the earliest published extract of Hernandez's work.


29. Cisneros, Diego de. Sitio, naturaleza y propriedades, de la ciudad de Mexico. Mexico: Joan Blanco de Alcaçar, 1618.

Medical practice in the Early Modern period depended greatly on astrology and an understanding of climatic conditions for diagnosing illnesses and recommending treatments. The encounter of Europeans and Native Americans gave rise to profound debates among physicians who argued over the influence of new stars in the new world, the climatic difference between Spain and Mexico, and perhaps most problematic, the intermarriage of Spaniards and Native Americans.


30. Cepeda, Fernando de. Relacion vniversal legitima, y verdadera del sitio en que esta fundada la muy noble, insigne, y muy leal ciudad de Mexico, cabeça de las provincias de toda la Nueva España. Mexico: Francisco Salbago, 1637.

The city of Mexico was situated on an island located among a network of five lakes. In years of severe rainfall, such as 1629, much of the city was flooded. The flooding of 1629 was so severe that much of the city remained under water for three years. From the early days following the Spanish conquest, there were efforts made to drain the lakes. This Relación is a summary of those efforts.


Exhibition prepared by Kenneth Ward. John Carter Brown Library
John Carter Brown Library John Carter Brown Library John Carter Brown Library