APRIL 23, 1616


Born Gómez Suárez de Figueroa on April 12, 1539, in Cuzco, Peru, Garcilaso was one of the great Spanish chroniclers of the 16th century, authoring works on the history of the Indians in South America and the Spanish expeditions.  The illegitimate son of a conquistador/poet from whom he took his pseudonym and an Inca woman of royal heritage, he absorbed both the traditions.  In the fall of 1560, he left for Spain and served in the Spanish armies, reaching the rank of captain. Later he entered the priesthood, becoming a minor ecclesiastic in 1597.  Garcilaso’s literary career included:  His translation into Spanish of the Italian Neoplatonic dialogue, Dialoghi di amore (“Dialogues of Love”), by the Jewish humanist Léon Hebreo, published in 1588; La Florida del Ynca (an account of Hernando de Soto’s expeditions north of Mexico); and his own history of Peru.  Garcilaso’s writing places him within the currents of Spanish Renaissance literature.  He died either April 23 or 24, 1616, in Córdoba, Spain.

Source:  “Garcilaso de la Vega,” Encyclopædia Britannica.  Retrieved 6/28/2019, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Garcilaso-de-la-Vega-Spanish-chronicler
Photo:  Garcilaso de la Vega (1539-1616), 1605.  Title page of La Florida del Ynca.  John Carter Brown Library.  Public Domain in U.S.:  Pre 1/1/1925.  Public Domain elsewhere where copyright term is author’s life plus 70 years or less. 

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