José de Acosta

(c. 1539 - 1600)

Born in Spain, José de Acosta arrived in Lima to work as a Jesuit missionary in 1572. There he taught theology, advised the Third Lima Council, and prepared the first book printed in Peru, a catechism in the Quechuan and Aymaran languages for use among the indigenous parishes. After completing The Natural and Moral History of the Indies, which earned him the reputation of the “Pliny of the New World,” he returned to Spain aboard a ship laden with twelve chests of gold, each weighing a hundred pounds; two chests of emeralds; and eleven million pieces of silver.

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