Torquemada, Juan de (c. 1562–1624)

views updated

Torquemada, Juan de (c. 1562–1624)

Juan de Torquemada (b. c. 1562; d. 1 January 1624), Franciscan missionary and historian. Passages in Torquemada's major work, Monarquía indiana (Indian Monarchy), lead us to believe that he was born in Spain. He was ordained around 1587 and held several important positions in the Franciscan order. Torquemada was the chronicler of the order, a guardian in Santiago de Tlatelolco and Tlaxcala, and provincial of the Holy Gospel. The Monarquía indiana comprises observations on the daily life of the colony and descriptions of Nezahualpilli's and Motecuhzoma's palaces and other archaeological remains, as well as writings on the pre-Hispanic period that built on the work of such Franciscan historians and linguists as Andrés de Olmos, Bernardino de Sahagún, and Jerónimo de Mendieta. Torquemada also consulted Indian codices and maps and the work of the mestizo historians Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxóchitl and Diego Muñoz Camargo; he followed the ethnographic tradition of Olmos and Sahagún of drawing testimonies from Indian informants. This variety of sources has led critics to refer to Torquemada as the "chronicler of chroniclers."

See alsoFranciscans; Sahagún, Bernardino de.


Howard Francis Cline, Torquemada and His Franciscan Predecessors: Further Notes on Sources and Usages in the Monarquía Indiana (1969).

Juan De Torquemada, Monarquía indiana, 7 vols. (1975–1983), esp. vol. 7, which is a collection of studies of Torquemada and the Monarquía indiana.

Additional Bibliography

Baudot, Georges. Utopia and History in Mexico: The First Chronicles of Mexican Civilization, 1520–1569. Niwot: University Press of Colorado, 1995.

Moreno Toscano, Alejandra. Fray Juan de Torquemada y su Monarquía Indiana. Xalapa: Universidad Veracruzana, 1963.

                                             JosÉ Rabasa

About this article

Torquemada, Juan de (c. 1562–1624)

Updated About content Print Article