An Arab's Journey to Colonial Spanish America: The Travels of Elias Al Mūsili in the Seventeenth Century

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Syracuse University Press, 2003 - History - 117 pages
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Reverend Antūn Rabbāt, a respected Jesuit scholar of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, discovered these extraordinary writings in a Jacobite diocese in Aleppo, Syria. Rabbāt immediately transcribed into Arabic those portions relating to the remarkable experiences of Reverend Elias-al-Mūsili, a priest of the Chaldean Church, the first person ever to come to the Americas from Baghdad.

Surrounded by a world seemingly filled with exotic miracles, al-Mūsili shares his perceptions of native peoples, their customs, beliefs, and treatment by Spanish conquistadors. Because of the uniqueness and significance of his journey, al-Mūsili was supported by the pope himself and authorized by the queen regent of Spain. He provides insightful descriptions of high-level officials and clerics in the New World. And he tells of uncommon visits to royalty in Catholic Europe prior to embarking on a voyage that would turn into a twelve-year adventure (1668-1680). Also featured are rare notes culled from a manuscript in a monastery of the Chaldean Christian rite in Baghdad.

Aesthetically appealing and historically important, this unique account remains an invaluable document for scholars of early modern history and of the church in Latin America.

 

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Contents

Book of Travel
5
2 Tour of France
8
3 Spain and Italy
11
4 Preparing for the Journey to America
14
5 The Journey to South America
16
6 Arriving in America
17
7 Proceeding along the Coast of Venezuela
18
8 Description of Cartagena
19
33 Minting Silver
55
35 Freeing Some PrisonersA Marble Quarry
56
36 Wealth Illegally Gathered
57
37 Travel to Oruro and Potosi
58
38 A Visit to the Mint and Silver Mine
59
39 Describing the Extraction of Silver
60
40 Journeying to Chuquisaca
61
41 Describing Tucuman and Buenos Aires
63

9 The Journey to Panama
21
10 The Journey to Panama City
23
11 From Panama to Guayaquil in the Land of Peru
25
12 Describing the Alligator Called Caļman
27
13 From Guayaquil to Quito
28
14 Quito and Its Environs
30
Describing the Bullfight
33
16 Mines of Gold
34
17 Journeys and Dangers
35
18 The Cave of Gold in Piura
36
19 From Piura to Trujillo
37
20 The Journey to Lima
39
21 Residing in Lima
40
22 Description of Lima
41
23 The Journey to Huancavelica
43
24 Mercury Mines
44
25 Petrified WaterDescribing the Cactus
45
26 Arriving in Aguamanga
46
27 The Journey to Cuzco
47
28 Traveling to Abancay
49
29 Describing Abancay
50
30 The Indians of Paucartambo
51
31 Mines of Silver
52
42 The Deposed Viceroy
65
43 A Traveler Befriending the Wronged
68
44 The Return to Panama from Peru
69
45 The Journey from Panama Solomons Island
71
46 The Land of Nicaragua
73
47The Land of San Salvador Describing the Plant of the Nile
74
48 The Land of Guatemala
75
49 The Land of Chiapa a Messenger of Peace
77
50 The Journey to Mexico
78
51 Describing Mexico
80
52 The Wondrous Church of the Virgin
81
53 Heretics Attack the Port of Vera Cruz
83
54 From Mexico to Baghdad via China
85
55 Tales of China and the Philippines
87
56 The Mariannes Islands
88
57 The Return to Europe
89
58 From Spain to Rome
91
Pedro the Candian Cretan One of the Conquerors of Peru
92
Appendix B Christian Relics in Central and South America
94
Glossary
107
Index
109
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