Fernández de Piedrahita, Lucas (1624–1688)

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Fernández de Piedrahita, Lucas (1624–1688)

Lucas Fernández de Piedrahita was a Jesuit historian. Born in Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia, he earned degrees from the Colegio de San Bartolomé and the Universidad de Santo Tomás. He held several ecclesiastical positions in the cathedral, including that of archiepiscopal governor, which he used to improve relations with the Real Audiencia. He also served as bishop of Santa Marta and Panamá. He traveled to Spain to defend himself of the accusations by a visitador and after six years obtained a favorable judgment of the Consejo de Indias. In Madrid he began to write his Historia general de las conquistas del Nuevo Reino de Granada, based on the chronicles of Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada, Juan de Castellanos, Antonio Medrano, and Pedro de Aguado. With this work, he intended to demonstrate to Europeans the importance of the territory, "third in greatness and Majesty of all those that exist in this expanded monarchy."

In a writing style more modern than that of his predecessors, Piedrahita provided a chronological narration of events, tied to the geography, resources, and population of the region and giving historical identity to the society of New Granada. He was one of the first writers to describe the emergent, distinguishing characteristics of Colombianness. He also had a major influence on colonial historiography in its account of the diminution of the indigenous population through the mestization process. He died in 1688, without having seen the edition of his history published in Amberes that same year.

See alsoAudiencia; Colombia: From the Conquest through Independence; Jesuits.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Fernández de Piedrahita, Lucas. Historia general del Nuevo Reino de Granada. [1688.] Bogotá: ABC, 1942.

Fernández de Piedrahita, Lucas. Noticia historial de las conquistas del Nuevo Reino de Granada, 2 vols. Bogotá: Kelly, 1973.

Vergara y Vergara, José María. Historia de la literatura en Nueva Granada, 2 vols. [1867.] Bogotá: Banco Popular, 1974.

                          Rodrigo de J. GarcÍa Estrada

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