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The Epistemological Politics of Vernacular Scripture in Sixteenth-Century Mexico

  • Martin Austin Nesvig (a1)


The year 1577 was a watershed for linguistic politics in Mexico. After more than five decades in Mexico, the Spanish crown signaled a break from its previous tolerance of the use of indigenous language in catechesis and doctrinal publications. The landmark case is the crown's confiscation of Bernardino de Sahagún's Historia General in 1577. Simultaneously, the Mexican Inquisition pursued an assault on vernacular Scripture, confiscating dozens of Spanish scriptural editions, and culminating in the Inquisition's prohibition of Nahuatl and other indigenous-language translations of Scripture, in particular Ecclesiastes and the Epístolas y Evangelios (Epistles and Gospels). Also central was the second trial of a noted Erasmian, Alonso Cabello, who had spent much of the same year in house arrest in Tlatelolco. All this came on the heels of the establishment of the Holy Office in Mexico in November 1571 and its first full-scale purge of prohibited books, including well over 200 editions of Scripture—dozens of them in Spanish and a few in Nahuatl—that had circulated freely in Mexico. Prior to the 1570s exico had witnessed intense debates about the role of language in missionary projects, in catechesis, and in the education of indigenous Mexicans, alongside those regarding the proper language for Scripture and devotional works.



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I wish to thank the many individuals who offered valuable advice, criticism, and generally welcome feedback on versions and portions of this article: Jorge Cañizares, Mark Christensen, Susan Deeds, Emily Michelson, James Muldoon, David Tavárez, Ken Ward, and Daniel Wasserman. 1 also thank the anonymous reviewers for The Americas who offered careful critiques of a previous version of this article and whose suggestions have, hopefully, improved the final version. Time for research and writing of this article was facilitated by funding from a Charles A. Ryskamp Fellowship from the ACLS and from a Provost Research Award from the Uni¬versity of Miami. All translations are mine unless otherwise noted.

1. The case is well known to scholars of the colonial period. For an overview, see León-Portilla, Miguel Bernardino de Sahajjún: pionero de la antropología (Mexico: UNAM, 1999), pp. 161180.

2. Archivo General de la Nación de México [hereafter AGN] Inquisición [hereafter Inq.], vol. 43, exp. 4, vol. 43, exp. 5.

3. Cabello’s two trials are found in AGN Inq., vol., 88, exp. 1, vol. 116, exp. 1.

4. There are various allusions to the ban from the Suprema found in the Mexican Inquisition’s files. The clearest evidence for this date is a letter in inquisitor Bonilla’s hand of 1579 (the month is illegible, though probably October) that refers to the Spanish Inquisition’s ban on Náhuatl translations of Ecclesiastes or any other parts of the Bible, issued on May 10, 1576: AGN Jesuítas, III-26, exp. 1. Likewise, a letter of April 9, 1578, from inquisitors general in Madrid to the Mexican inquisitors references the May 10, 1576, date of the ban: Baudot, Georges La pugna franciscana por Mexico (Mexico: Conacuita, 1990), p. 213 n20. The original document cited by Baudot is in AGN Inq., vol. 223, exp. 21, f. 60. The questionnaire sent to Sahagún and Molina, as well as to the Dominicans Domingo de la Anunciación and Juan de la Cruz, was circulated some¬time in 1577, though certainly before the responding 1579 letter, which refers to the questionnaire in AGN Inq., vol. 1A, exp. 41, and again c. 1577 in AGN Inq., vol. 43, exp. 4, fs. 133–139.

5. The memoria is found in AGN Jesuítas, III-26, exp. 22.

6. The split is discussed in Nesvig, Martin Austin Forgotten Franciscans: Works by an Inquisitional Tlic-orist, a Heretic, and an Inquisitional Deputy (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2011).

7. This article is indebted to the extensive indigenous-language historical scholarship, better known as the New Philology, but also looks to examine debates about Náhuatl use in Christianization efforts in a mul¬tilingual context, in which theologians were concerned about both Náhuatl and Spanish vernacular access to theological mysteries. An excellent example of the application of New Philological approaches to religious and theological questions is found in Christensen, MarkNahua and Maya Catholicisms: Ecclesiastical Texts and Local Religion in Colonial Central Mexico and Yucatán” (Ph.D. diss., Pennsylvania State University, 2010) and Christensen’s, The Tales of Two Cultures: Ecclesiastical Texts and Nahua and Maya Catholicisms,The Americas 66:3 (January 2010), pp. 353377. For the classic model of the New Philology, see Lockhart, James The Nahuas after the Conquest: A Social and Cultural History of the Indians of Central Mexico, Sixteenth through Eighteenth Centuries (Stanford, Calif: Stanford University Press, 1992). Lockhart’s, Nahuas and Spaniards: Postconquest Central Mexican History and Philology (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1991) offers discussion of language in multilingual contexts, especially for the Toluca Valley case. For a recent and complex cultural history of the Toluca valley, see Pizzigoni, Caterina Tlie Life Within: Local Indigenous Society in Mexico’s Toluca Valley, 1650–1800 (Stanford, Calif: Stanford University Press, 2012). For an overview of the development of indigenous language studies, see Restali, MatthewA History of the New Philology and the New Philology in History,Latin American Research Review 38:1 (2003), pp. 113134.

8. There is extensive material. For the development of Italian vernacular spiritual tradition, see Barbieri, EdoardoFra tradizione e cambiamento: Note sul libro spirituale del secolo XVI,” in Libri, biblioteche e cul¬tura nell’Italia del Cinque e Seicento, Barbieri, Edoardo and Zardin, Danilo eds. (Milan: Vita e Pensiero, 2002); Barbieri, , Le Bibbie italiane del quattrocento e del cinquecento: Storia e bibliografìa ragionata delle edizioni in lingua italiana dal 1471 al 1600 (Milan: Editrice Bibliografica, 1992); Bernardelli, AndreaVolgar¬izzare o tradurre: Appunti per una ricerca sulle prime Bibbie italiane a stampa (1471–1545),Qiiaderni d’i-talianistica 17:2 (Autumn 1996), pp. 3759; and Leonardi, LinoI volgarizzamenti italiani della Bibbia (sec. XIII–XV): Status quaestionis e prospettive per un repertorio,Mélanges de l’école française de Rome 105:2 (1993), pp. 837844. For the suppression of Italian vernacular Bibles, see Fragnito, Gigliola La Bibbia al rogo: La censura ecclesiastica e i volgarizzamenti della Scrittura (1471–1605) (Bologna: Il Mulino, 1997). For the Spanish tradition, see Espada, Lorenzo AmigoLas Biblias en romance y Biblias en ladino: evolución de un sistema de traducción,La ciudad de Dior 203 (1990), pp. 111142; and López, Sergio Fernández Lecturay prohibición de la Biblia en lengua vulgar: defensores y detractores, prologue by Luis Gómez Canseco (León: Universidad de León, 2003).

9. de Bujanda, J.M. Index espagnols 1551–1559, in Index de livres interdits (Sherbrooke, Quebec: Centre d’études de la Renaissance, Editions de l’Université de Sherbrooke; Geneva: Droz, c. 1984-c. 1996).

10. For a comprehensive study of the Carranza case, see Tellechea Idígoras, José Ignacio El arzobispo Carranza y su tiempo, 2 vols. (Madrid: Ediciones Guardarrama, 1968).

11. See Espada, AmigoLas Biblias en romance;” Fernández López, Lectura y prohibición; and Tellechea Idígoras, J.I.La censura inquisitorial de Biblias de 1554,Anthologica Annua 10 (1962), pp. 89142.

12. For an overview, see Fuller, Ross The Brotherhood of the Common Life and Its Influence (Albany, N.Y.: SUNY Press, 1995). The devotio moderna refers to a spiritual movement emphasizing inner reflection.

13. Bataillon, Marcel Erasmo y España: estudios sobre la historia espiritual del siglo XVI, Antonio Ala-torre, trans. (Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1966).

14. For good discussions of spiritualism in sixteenth-century Spain representative of this turn, see for example Bilinkoff, Jodi The Avila of Saint Teresa: Religious Reform in a Sixteenth-Century City (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1989); Christian, William A. Jr., Local Religion in Sixteenth-Century Spain (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1989); Homza, Lu Ann Religious Authority in the Spanish Renaissance (Baltimore, Md.: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004); and Nalle, Sara T. God in La Mancha: Religious Reform and the People of Cuenca, 1500–1650 (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008).

15. For discussion of the fray Luis case, see Proceso inquisitorial de Fray Luis de León, Alcalá, Ángel ed. (Salamanca: Junta de Castilla y León, Consejería de Cultura y Turismo, 1991). For a recent study of Valdés and humanism in Spain and Naples, see Crews, Daniel A. Twilight of the Renaissance: Tlie Life ofJuan de Valdés (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008).

16. Bataillon, , Erasmo y España, pp. 524540.

17. In his ship inspections in September and October 1605, the inquisitional deputy of Veracruz found sailors who had brought copies of Don Qiijiote with them to Mexico: AGN Inq., vol. 276, exp. 13, fs. 291–.332; vol. 291, exp. 6a. The first scholar to show definitive proof that copies of the first edition of Don Quijote arrived in the Americas appears to be Marin, Francisco Rodríguez in El “Qtiijote” y don Qtiijote en America (Madrid: Librería Hernando, 1911). For data on the success of Cervantes’s novel, especially in the transatlantic market, see González Sánchez, Carlos Alberto Los mundos del libro: medios de difusión de la cultura Occidental en las Indias de los siglos XVI y XVII (Seville: Universidad de Sevilla, Diputación de Sevilla, 1999); Ramírez, Pedro Rueda Negocio e intercambio cultural: el comercio de libros con America en la carrera de Indias (siglo XVII) (Seville: Universidad de Sevilla, Diputación de Sevilla; Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Escuela de Estudios Hispano-Americanos, 2005).

18. Kamen, Henry The Phoenix and the Flame: Catalonia and the Counter Reformation (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993), pp. 221231.

19. See Borromeo, AngeloInquisizione spagnola e libri proibiti in Sicilia ed in Sardegna durante il XVI secolo,Annuario dell’istituto storico italiano per l’età moderna e contemporanea 35–36 (1983–1984), pp. 219271; and Rundine, Angelo Inquisizione spagnola: Censura e libri proibiti in Sardegna nel ‘500 e ‘600 (Sassari: Università di Sassari, 1996).

20. I have provided a portrait of an Inquisition in Mexico characterized by internal disagreement and debate in Ideology and Inquisition: The World of the Censors in Early Mexico (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009).

21. See Messana, Maria Sofia Inquisitori, negromanti e streghi nella Sicilia moderna (1500–1782) (Palermo: Sellerio, 2007), pp. 2951; Renda, Francesco L’Inquisizione in Sicilia: i fatti, le persone (Palermo: Sellerio, 1997); and Rodríguez, Ignacio RuizLa Inquisición Siciliana,Revista de la Inquisición 9 (2000), pp. 101112.

22. Elliott, John in Empires of the Atlantic World: Britain and Spain in America, 1492–1830 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006), p. 132.

23. See for example Hespanha, António Manuel As vésperas do Leviathan: instituiçôes e poder político: Portugal, séc. XVII (Coimbra: Livraria Almedina, 1994); and Anzoátegui, Víctor Tau La ley en América his¬pana. Del descubrimiento a la emancipación (Buenos Aires: Academia Nacional de la Historia, 1992). For an excellent reconsideration of the perennial debate about derecho indiano and the particularity of the Mexican case as related to the presumed universalism of Spanish law, see Owensby, Brian Empire of Law and Indian Justice in Colonial Mexico (Stanford, Calif: Stanford University Press, 2008).

24. Innocent III remains a controversial a figure. For good discussions, see Moore, John C. Pope Innocent III (1160/61–1216): To Root Up and to Plant (Leiden: Brill, 2003); and Powell, James M. Innocent III: Vicar of Christ or Emperor of the World? (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1994). Likewise, there is debate as to whether Cathars, or “the good men,” still existed when Innocent unleashed a crusade against them. For the argument that the Cathars had ceased to exist as a specific group by the thirteenth century, see Pegg, Mark Gregory A Most Holy War: The Albigensian Crusade and the Rattle for Christendom (Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2009). The opposite view is taken by Lambert, Malcolm in The Cathars (Oxford: Blackwell, 1998) and Weis, René in The Tellow Cross: The Story of the Last Cathars, 1290–1309 (London: Viking, 2000).

25. I Cor 3:1–2.

26. Decretales, lib. V, tit. VII, c. XII: “Tanta est enim divinae scripturae profunditas, ut non solum sim-plices et illiterati, sed etiam prudentes et docti non plene sufficient ad ipsius ¡ntelligentiam indagandam.”

27. López, Fernández Lectura y prohibición, p. 28.

28. In addition to Fernández López, Lectura y prohibición, I have relied on the following discussions for overviews of the medieval background of Spanish vernacular Bible production: The Cambridge History of the Bible. Vol. 2: The West from the Fathers to the Reformation, Lampe, G.W.H. ed. (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1969), esp. Sutcliffe, E.F.Jerome,” pp. 80101; Foster, KenelmVernacular Scriptures in Italy,” pp. 452465; Morreale, MargheritaVernacular Scriptures in Spain,” pp. 465491; and The Cambridge History of the Bible. Vol. 3: The West from the Reformation to the Present Day, Greenslade, S.L. ed. (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1963), esp. Wilson, E.M.Spanish Continental Versions to c. 1600,” pp. 125129. For an excellent summary account, see Morreale, MargheritaApuntes bibliográficos para la iniciación al estudio de las traducciones bíblicas medievales en castellano,Sefarad: Revista de Estudios Hebraicos y Sefardíes 20:1 (1960), pp. 66109.

29. See Gutwirth, E.Religión, historia y las Biblias romanceadas,Revista Catalana de Teología 13:1 (1988), pp. 115133; and Espada, Lorenzo Amigo El Pentateuco de Constantinopla y la Biblia romanceada judeoespañola, criteros y fuentes de traducción (Salamanca: Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca, 1983).

30. Morreale, “Vernacular Scriptures.”

31. See López, Fernández Lectura y prohibición, pp. 6980.

32. Morreale, “Vernacular Scriptures.”

33. See Haebler, KonradThe Valencian Bible of 1478,Revue Hispanique 21 (1909), pp. 371387; Blasco, L. TramoyeresLa Biblia Valenciana de Bonifacio Ferrer,Revista de Archivos, Bibliotecas y Muscos 21 (1909); and Ventura, Jordi La Biblia Valenciana: Recuperado de la historia d’un incunabale en cátala (Barcelona: Curiel, 1993).

34. de Castro, Alfonso Depista hacreticorum punitione (Madrid: Ex typographia Blasii Roman, 1773), lib. 1, c. 19: “In materia de praedestinatione, et praescientia Dei, quilibet sutor, et sartor argumentan novit, et ñervos adhibere argumentis; illis tamen vix poterit responderé doctissimus vir, qui cuique alteri viro erudito facile responderet.”

35. See Nesvig, Martin AustinThe Index in Sixteenth Century Mexico: Theological Conservatism and Adaptive Responses to Censorship,Journal of Religious and Tlieological Information 10:3/4 (2011), pp. 103124; and Rueda Ramírez, Negocio e intercambio cultural.

36. For consideration of Castro and his career, see Castillo, Santiago Alfonso de Castro y el problema de las leyes penales: o la obligatoriedad moral de las leyes humanes (Salamanca: N. Medrano, 1941); Olarte, Teodoro Alfonso de Castro (1495–1558): su vida, su tiempo y sus ideas filosoficas-jurídicas (San José, Costa Rica: Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica, 1946); and Molinero, Marcelino Rodríguez Origen español de la ciencia del derecho penal: Alfonso de Castro y su sistema penal (Madrid: Editorial Cisneros, 1959).

37. de Zumárraga, Juan La doctrina breve muy provechosa (Mexico: Cromberger, 1543). The review of his work, and its ban, are in AGN Inq., vol. 43, exp. 4.

38. Castro’s theology is discussed in Nesvig, Ideology and Inquisition, various pages throughout.

39. The manuscript is found in Archivo General de Indias [hereafter AGI], Indiferente 858. A tran¬scription, along with discussion, is in Labayen, Juan B. OlaecheaOpinión de los teólogos españoles sobre dar estudios mayores a los indios,Anuario de estudios americanos 15 (1958), pp. 113200. A bilingual Latin-Spanish version is included in Romero, Ignacio Osorio La enseñanza del latin a los indios (Mexico: UNAM, 1990), and an English translation in Nesvig, Forgotten Franciscans, pp. 26–52.

40. For a general discussion of the issue, see Osorio Romero, La enseñanza.

41. The scholarly literature abounds. For an intriguing reconsideration of Tlatelolco and the role of indigenous writers, see Moon, SilverThe Imperial College of Tlatelolco and the Emergence of a New Nahua Intellectual Elite in New Spain (1500–1760)” (Ph.D. diss., Duke University, 2007). Among excellent broad works are Bernardino Sahagún, General History of the Things of New Spain, 13 vols., translated from the Aztec into English, with notes and illus., by Anderson, Arthur J.O. and Dibble, Charles E. (Santa Fe: School of American Research, 1950–1982); D’Olwer, Luis Nicolau Fray Bernardino de Sahagún (1499–1590), Mauricio J. Mixco, trans., with foreword by Miguel León-Portilla (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1987); Kobayashi, José María La educación como conquista (empresa franciscana en México) (Mexico: El Colegio de México, 1974); León-Portilla, Sahagún; Mathes, Michael Santa Cruz de Tlatelolco: la primera biblioteca académica de las Américas (Mexico: SRE, 1982); and Schwaller, John F. ed., Sahagún at 500: Essays on the Quincentenary of the Birth ofFr. Bernardino de Sahagún (Berkeley: Academy of American Franciscan History, 2003).

42. For a good overview of Gilberti’s biography, see Warren, J. BenedictIntroduction,” to Maturino Gilberti, Arte de la lengua de Michuacan (Morella: Fímax Publicistas, 1987).

43. See Rea, Alonso de la Chronica de la órden de N. Seráphico PS. Francisco, Prounicia de S. Pedro y S. Pablo de Mechuacán en la Nuota España (Mexico: Viuda de Bernardo Calderón, 1643), pp. 5759.

44. AGI México, 212 n24.

45. For good discussions of Gilberti’s work as a writer and Purépecha scholar, see Warren, , “Introduction” and José Bravo Ugarte’s preface to Maturino Gilberti, Diccionario de la lengua tarasca o de Michoacán (Guadalajara: n.p., 1967).

46. The censorship trials of Gilberti’s works are found in AGN Inq., vol. 43, exp. 6; vol. 43, exp. 20; and vol. 72, exp. 35. They have been transcribed in Libros y libreros en el siglo XVI, selección de documentos y paleografia de Francisco Fernández del Castillo (Mexico: AGN, 1914), pp. 4—44. His broader movements can be found in Alanís, Ricardo León Los orígenes del clero y la iglesia en Michoacán, 1525–1640 (Morelia: Universidad de San Nicolas de Hidalgo de Michoacán, 1997).

47. Gárate, Román Zulaica Los franciscanos y la imprenta en Mexico en el siglo XVI (Mexico: Ed. Pedro Robredo, 1939), pp. 125168.

48. See Alanís, León Los orígenes, pp. 9294.

49. The inventory is found in AGN Jesuítas, III-26, exp. 13. The date is not exact but it can be firmly placed as no earlier than 1617, as that is the latest imprint date listed on the inventory. This was a response to the usual activity following the publication of a new Index (in this case the 1613 Index) in which inquisitors and inquisitional deputies required individuals to report the holdings of their personal libraries to root out prohibited books.

50. Other scholars have taken a more positive interpretation of Quiroga’s efforts, placing them within the well-known interpretation of “Tata” Quiroga of Utopian designs. See Krippner, James Rereading the Con-quest: Power, Politics, and the History of Early Colonial Michoacán, Mexico, 1521–1565 (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2001); and Warren, J. Benedict Vasco de Quiroga y sus pueblos-hospitales de Santa Fe (Morella: Universidad de San Nicolas de Michoacán, 1997). The other side to this story, offered by Gilberti himself, can be seen in Alanís, León Los orígenes, and Rodrigo Martínez Baracs, Caminos cruzados: Fray Maturino Gilberti en Perivan (Zamora: Colegio de Michoacán; INAH, 2005). The latter work portrays Quiroga as not especially interested in indigenous rights but rather motivated by desire for political power. Cázares, Alberto Carrillo in Vasco de Quiroga: la pasión por cl derecho, 2 vols. (Zamora: El Colegio de Michoacán, 2003), shows the extent to which Quiroga was motivated by his legal training and his view of religious authority in which the old privileges of the mendicants needed to be controlled by the diocesan polity.

51. AGN Inq., vol. 43, exp. 6.

52. The events of the Tlazazalca rivalry and encounters are recounted in detail in Cázares, Carrillo Vasco de Quiroga, Voi. 1, pp. 125166.

53. The discussions have been transcribed in Libros y libreros, pp. 4–44.

54. AGN Inq., vol. 43, exp. 6, f. 199 indicates the January 1571 date of Gilberti’s appearance before Portillo. There is some confusion because a later (likely nineteenth-century) hand reads “1561” at the top of the folio, and the notary hand of the original is inconclusive as to 1561 or 1571. However, f. 199v shows that Gilberti, in response to standard inquisitional questioning, stated he was 63 years old and had been in Mexico for 30 years. Because we know Gilberti was born in 1507 or 1508 and arrived in Mexico in 1542, the 1561 date must be discounted in favor of 1571. See Warren, “Introduction.”

55. AGN Inq., vol. 43, exp. 6.

56. See Martínez Baracs, Caminos cruzados.

57. AGN Inq., vol. 43, exp. 6, fs. 202–3.

58. Ibid.

59. De la Rea, , Chronica, p. 58.

60. AGI Mexico, 212 n24.

61. For a comprehensive and sympathetic discussion of Montúfar’s ame as archbishop (and Ledesma’s role as his confidant), see Lundberg, Magnus Unificación y conflicto: la gestión episcopal de Alonso de Montt’far, OP, arzobispo de México, 1554–1572, Alberto Carrillo Cázares, trans. (Zamora: El Colegio de Michoacán, 2009).

62. For an overview of Moya de Contreras’s career see Poole, Stafford Pedro Moya de Contreras: Catholic Reform and Royal Power iti New Spain, 1571–1591, 2nd ed. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2011).

63. AGN Inq., vol. 77, exp. 43, Inq., vol. 78, exp. 20.

64. See Nesvig, , Ideology and Inquisition, pp. 226246.

65. The original appointment is not found but other documents attesting to his role as censor (AGN Inq., vol. 60, exp. 8) and as governor of the archdiocese (AGN Inq., vol. 86, exp. 1 ) speak to his role as the preferred agent of the new Inquisition in late 1571.

66. The report is in AGN Jesuítas, III-26, exp. 22. Examples of Ledesma’s hand can be found in AGN Inq., vol. 4, exp. 9; vol. 8, exp. 1; and vol. 8, exp. 3. Examples of Bonilla’s and De los Ríos’s hands are virtually innumerable and can be found throughout the Inquisition files from 1571 through 1579.

67. AGN Inq., vol. 1486, exp. s/n, fs. 63–64; Granados, Jorge García El deán turbulento (Guatemala: Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, 1962), p. 16. And Duran, Diego Historia de las indias de Nueva España, translated, annotated, and with an introduction by Doris, Heyden (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1994).

68. AGN Jesuítas, III-26, exp. 22, f. 6v; Libros y libreros, p. 488.

69. Libros y libreros, pp. 471–473: again, no archival citation is given. One wonders if Fernández was keeping this information close to the vest, as his other transcriptions bear archival citations.

70. Bataillon, , Erasmo y España, p. 45; Dulcet, Antonio Palau y Manual del librero hispano-americano: inventario bibliográfico de la producción científica y literaria de España y de la América Latina desde la inven¬ción de la imprenta hasta nuestros días, con el valor comercial de todos los artículos descritos, 7 vols. (Barcelona: Librería anticuaría, 1923–1927), vol. 5, p. 230.

71. AGN Inq., vol. 77, exp. 43, and Palau y Dulcet, Manual, vol. 5, p. 230.

72. Bataillon, , Erasmo y España, p. 45 ; Morreale, , “Vernacular Scriptures,” p. 483; and Palau y Dulcet, Manual, vol. 3, p. 167.

73. AGN Jesuítas, 111–26, exp. 22, f. 7v.

74. AGN Inq., vol. 78, exp. 20, f. 334.

75. AGN Inq., vol. 1A, exp. s/n, fs. 457–458.

76. Palau y Dulcet, Manual, vol. 7, p. 105, claims this as 1555.

77. Bataillon, , Erasmo y España, pp. 543544; Huerga, AlvaroDomingo de Valtanás, prototipo de las inquietudes espirituales en España al mediar el siglo XVI,Teología espiritual 2 (1958), pp. 419466 and 3 (1959), pp. 47–96.

78. Wilson, , “Spanish Continental Versions,” p. 127.

79. For the dominance of the Salamanca Dominicans in the fashioning of the 1583 Index, which banned most of Ferus’s works, see Crespo, Virgilio Pinto Inquisición y control ideológico en la España del siglo XVI (Madrid: Taurus, 1983). For biographical information on Wild, see Enciclopedia cattolica (Vatican City: Ente per l’Enciclopedia cattolica e per il Libro cattolico, c. 1950), voi. 5, p. 1210; Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), vol. 4, pp. 273–274; and Zawart, Anscar The History of Franciscan Preaching and of Franciscan Preachers (1209–1927): A Bio-Bibliographical Study (New York: J.F. Wagner, 1929), pp. 419423.

80. AGN III-26, exp. 22, f. 6v. For Mateo Arévalo Sedeño as audiencia judge and consultor, see AGN Inq., vol. 31, exp. 3.

81. AGN Jesuítas, III-26, exp. 22, f. 4v. For his role as holder of the chair of the Código, see Carreño, Alberto María La Real y Pontificia Universidad de Mexico 1536–1865 (Mexico: UNAM, 1961); and de la Plaza y Jaén, Cristóbal Bernardo Crónica de la Real y Pontificia Universidad de Mexico, Rangel, Nicolas ed. (Mexico: Talleres Gráficos del Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Historia y Etnografia, 1931).

82. de Puga, Vasco Prousiones cédulas Instruciones de su Magestad: ordenanzas de difuntos y audiencia, farà la Buena expedición de los negocios y administración de justicia: y ¿¡alternación desta nueua España: y para el buen tratamiento y obseruación de losyndios (Mexico: Pedro Ocharte, 1563). He is noted as audiencia judge and consultor for Montúfar’s inquisition in AGN Inq., vol. 3, exp. 2, and vol. 31, exp. 3.

83. AGN Jesuítas, III-26, exp. 22, f. 7v.

84. Ibid., f. 6r. Portillo’s activity as inquisitor ordinary is extensive. He began acting as inquisitor ordinary in 1565 (AGN Inq., vol. 29, exp. 10) and was still adjudicating as many as ten cases in 1571 as Montúfar’s inquisitor ordinary: AGN Inq., vol. 45, exp. 10; vol. 45, exp. 18; vol. 45, exp. 19; vol. 45, exp. 20; vol. 46, exp. 2; vol. 46, exp. 3; vol. 91, exp. 9; vol. Ill, exp. 4; vol. Ill, exp. 6; vol. Ill, exp. 14; vol. Ill, exp. 17; and vol. 113, exp. 1.

85. AGN Inq., vol. 43, exp. 6.

86. The issue was taken up at length by the influential jurist de Covarrubias, Diego In Bonifacii Octavi Constitutionum in Opera, vol. 1 of 2 (Antwerp: n.p., 1610–1614), esp. la pars, § 1.

87. For their positions as canon law professors, see Efemérides de La Real y Pontificia Universidad de México según sus libros de claustros, 2 vols., Alberto María, Carreño, ed. (Mexico: n.p., 1963), Vol. 1, pp. 32, 40; and Clara Inés, Ramírez González Grupos de poder clerical de las universidades hispánicas: los regulares en Salamanca y México durante el siglo XVI, 2 vols. (Mexico: UNAM, 2001), Vol. 2, p. 38.

88. AGN Inq., vol. 84, exp. 31, f. 161: “las Epístolas y euangelios en Romance y las oras en romance las quemara en lugar secreto que nadie lo vea por el escándalo que se podría reçiuir de ver quemar libros de que por tan tiempo usa la yglesia.”

89. A good overview is in Miranda, José El erasmista mexicano: Fray Alonso Cabello (Mexico: UNAM, 1958).

90. AGN Inq., vol. 116, exp. 1.

91. For a discussion of Sequera, see Baudot, GeorgesFray Rodrigo de Sequera, abogado del diablo para una historia prohibida,” in La pugna fransicana, pp. 203227.

92. AGN Inq., vol. 88, exp. 1.

93. Bataillon, >, Erasmo y España, pp. 829831.

94. AGN Inq., vol. 89, exp. 28.

95. Baudot, “Fray Rodrigo de Sequera.”

96. See Solano, Francisco ed., Documentos sobre política lingüística en Hispanoamérica (1491–1800) (Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 1991).

97. See Schwaller, John F.The Expansion of Náhuatl as a Lingua Franca among Priests in Sixteenth-Century Mexico,Ethnohistory 59:4 (Fall 2012), pp. 675690.

98. Morales, >Francisco Ethnic and Social Background of the Franciscan Friars (Washington, D.C.: Academy of American Franciscan History, 1973); Lundberg, MagnusEl clero indígena en Hispanoamérica: de la legislación a la ¡mplementación y práctica eclesiástica,Estudios de historia novohispana 38 (January-June 2008), pp. 3962.

99. Còdice franciscano, siglo XVI: informe de la provincia del Santo Evangelio al visitador Lic. Juan de Ovando; informe de la provincia de Guadalajara al mismo (Mexico: Ed. Hayhoe, S. Chávez 1941), p. 60, identifies Molina as the author of the Náhuatl Hours. Also see Zulaica, Los franciscanos y la imprenta, p. 92.

100. Although there are extant Náhuatl manuscripts, such as the Náhuatl version of the Contemptus mundi studied by David Tavárez published in this journal ( Tavárez, DavidNahua Intellectuals, Franciscan Scholars, and the Devotio Moderna in Colonial Mexico,Americas 70:3 (October 2013)) there was no knowledge up to the present year (2013) of any extant manuscript of an indigenous translation of Scripture. In an archival discovery that is sure to offer a profound reassessment of that understanding, Tavárez has located (in the Hispanic Society’s collection) most of the Náhuatl translation by Luis Rodriguez of Proverbs (a fact to be noted in a research note in the journal Ethnohistory). To date we do not know who penned the Náhuatl Eccle-siastes manuscript, and we must rely on anecdotal mentions of authorship, since these manuscripts have prob-ably vanished.

101. Christensen has discussed this in his dissertation, cited above, but fuller transcriptions and translations of the Náhuatl sermon as well as various other indigenous language religious manuscripts will be pub¬lished as Translated Christianities: Náhuatl and Maya Religious Texts (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, in press [c. 2014]).

102. Burkhart, Louise M. The Slippery Earth: Nahua-Christian Moral Dialogue in Sixteenth-Century Mexico (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1989).

103. Charles E., DibbleThe Nahuatlization of Christianity,” in Sixteenth Century Mexico: The Works of Sahagún, Edmonson, Munro S. ed. (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1974), pp. 225233. For further discussions of this issue (that is, the perforce adoption of Nahua cultural norms to a presumably universal Catholicism), see Burkhart, Louise Holy Wednesday: A Nahua Drama from Early Colonial Mexico (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996); Griffiths, Nicholas and Cervantes, Fernando eds., Spir¬itual Encounters: Interactions between Christianity and Native Religions in Colonial America (Birmingham, U.K.: University of Birmingham Press, 1999); and Pardo, Osvaldo F. The Origins of Mexican Catholicism: Nahua Rituals and Christian Sacraments in Sixteenth-Century Mexico (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2004).

104. For discussion, see Baudot, GeorgesLos huehuetlatolli en la cristianización de México,Estudios de cultura náhuatl 15 (1982), pp. 125145; Quintana, Josefina GarcíaEl Huehuetlatolli—antigua palabra— como fuente para la historia sociocultural de los nahuas,Estudios de Cultura Náhuatl 12 (1976), pp. 6171; and Sullivan, ThelmaThe Rhetorical Orations, or Huehuetlatolli, collected by Sahagún,” in Sixteenth Century Mexico, Edmonson, , ed., pp. 79109.

105. That the questionnaire was formulated in such a way suggests that the ban was yet to be placed in full effect and that the inquisitors general in Madrid may have been expecting pushback and resistance.

106. de Lorenzana, Francisco Antonio ed., Concilios provinciales primero, y segundo, celebrados en la muy noble, y muy leal ciudad de México, presidiendo el Illmo. y Rmo. Señor D. Fr. Alonso de Montúfar, en los años de 1555, y 1565 (Mexico: Impr. de el Superior Gobierno, de Joseph Antonio de Hogal, 1769), pp. 201202.

107. AGN Inq., vol. 90, exp. 42.

108. AGN Inq., vol. 85, exp. 25. The petition is transcribed in Baudot, , La pugna franciscana, pp. 240242.

109. Christensen, MarkThe Use of Náhuatl in Evangelization and the Ministry of Sebastian,Ethno-history 59:4 (Fall 2012), pp. 691711.

110. Béligand, NadineLecture indienne et chrétienté. La bibliothèque d’un alguacil de doctrina en Nouvelle-Espagne au XVI siècle,Mélanges de la Casa de Velázquez 31:2 (1995), pp. 2171.

111. AGN Inq., vol. 312, exp. 57.

112. See Carochi, Horacio Grammar of the Mexican Language, with commentary by Lockhart, James trans, and ed. (Stanford, Calif: Stanford University Press, 2001), pp. 375, 420–21, 424, 436, 458 (in the explanatory notes by Lockhart).

113. AGN Inq., vol. 84, exp. 31, f. 161: “las Epístolas y euangelios en Romance y las oras en romance las quemara en lugar secreto.”

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The Epistemological Politics of Vernacular Scripture in Sixteenth-Century Mexico

  • Martin Austin Nesvig (a1)


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