Translating the Nahuas: Fray Bernardino de Sahagún’s Parallel Texts in the Construction of Historia universal de las cosas de Nueva España

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Abstract

The Franciscan missionary, Fray Bernardino de Sahagún (1499–1590), arrived in Mexico‐Tenochtitlan in 1529 to engage in the zealous indoctrination of the Nahuas or Aztecs. Yet, unlike the majority of his fellow missionaries, he spent over 50 of his 60 years of evangelical mission in three further proselytising‐related objectives: firstly, the education of an élite of Nahua neophytes, aimed at governing and controlling a new Christianised indigenous society; secondly, the composition of doctrinal works in their language, Nahuatl, crucial for efficient indoctrination and orthodox celebration of Catholic rituals; and thirdly, an investigation of the Nahuas' culture designed to document religious practices the Spaniards considered idolatrous, with the specific aim of providing means for their eradication.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-37
Number of pages10
JournalBulletin of Latin American Research
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2011

Bibliographical note

Negotiating Difference in the Hispanic World: From Conquest to Colonisation, edited by Eleni Kefala

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