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Córdoba, Pedro de


Dominican missionary in the Caribbean; b. Córdoba, Spain, 1482; d. Santo Domingo, 1521. Las Casas described this man, who is credited with having induced him to give up his encomiendas, join the Dominican Order, and become the defender of the indigenous people, as being "tall of stature and of a handsome appearance of excellent judgment, prudent and by nature very discreet and very tranquil." Pedro joined the Order of Preachers early in life and received the habit in the convent of San Esteban de Salamanca. In 1510 he went to Santo Domingo, where, with other companions in religion, he founded the first convent of the order in the New World and the province of the Holy Cross, of which he was vice provincial. His mission work was not limited to the island of Española but extended to Cuba and to Cumaná on the mainland. With Bp. Alonso Manso he was inquisitor of the Indies. Córdoba, like other religious, envisioned the ideal of a native society converted to Catholicism with minimal colonization, in which the King of Spain would exercise nominal sovereignty and the government would be in the hands of the friars. He wrote memorials to the king, sermons, and instructions, etc., but they are as yet unpublished, and many have been lost. In 1544 his Doctrina cristiana para instrucción e información de los indios, por manera de historia was published posthumously in Mexico. It was reprinted in a bilingual edition (Spanish-Nahuatl) in 1548.

Bibliography: pedro de cÓrdoba, Doctrina Cristiana, ed. e. rodriguez demorizi (Santo Domingo 1945). p. henrÍquez ureÑa, La cultura y las letras coloniales en Santo Domingo (Buenos Aires 1936).

[j. malagÓn barcelÓ]

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