Calancha, Antonio de la

views updated


Historian and chronicler of colonial Peru; b. Chuquisaca (now Sucre), Bolivia, 1584; d. Lima, Peru, March 1, 1654. At the age of 14 he joined the Augustinians and later, at the University of San Marcos in Lima, he earned the doctorate in theology. Among the offices that he occupied in his order were those of rector of the Colegio San Ildefonso in Lima and prior of the monasteries in Arequipa, Trujillo, and Lima. His fame as a preacher was considerable. Some half dozen works have been attributed to Calancha; best-known among them is the Corónica moralizada del orden de San Agustín en el Perú, con sucesos egemplares en esta monarquia (pt. 1 Barcelona 1638; pt. 2 Lima 1653). Part 1, the longer and more valuable volume, contains not only a history of the Augustinians in the period 1551 to 1597, but also an interesting compilation of information about the Peruvian natives, their religion, and their customs. Part 1 was later printed in an abridged form in Latin (tr. Joachim Brulius, OSA, Antwerp 1651) and in French (translator unknown, Toulouse 1653); selections from part 1 were published also in Italian (Genoa 1645) and in Spanish (Madrid 1659, Mexico City 1763, and La Paz 1939). Calancha's work, though not scientific by modern standards, is a valuable source for both history and ethnology. Another of his writings, Historia de la Universidad de San Marcos hasta el 15 de julio de 1647, was edited by L. A. Eguiguren (Lima 1921).

Bibliography: g. de santiago vela, Ensayo de una biblioteca iberoamericana de la orden de San Agustín, 7 v. in 8 (Madrid 191331) 1:487494. a. palmieri, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques 3:764765.

[a. j. ennis]