The Myths of Mexico and Peru/Chapter VIII



The following bibliography is not intended to be exhaustive, but merely to indicate to those who desire to follow up the matter provided in the preceding pages such works as will best repay their attention.


Acosta, Jose de: Historia Natural y Moral de las Yndias. Seville, 1580.

Alzate y Ramirez: Descripcion de las Antiguedades de Xochicalco. 1791.

Bancroft, H. H.: Native Races of the Pacific States of America. 1875. A compilation of historical matter relating to aboriginal America, given almost without comment. Useful to beginners.

Boturini Benaduci, L.: Idea de una Nueva Historia General de la America Septentrional. Madrid, 1746. Contains a number of valuable original manuscripts.

Bourbourg, Abbé Brasseur de: Histoire des Nations Civilisées du Mexique et de l’Amérique Centrale. Paris, 1857-59. The Abbé possessed much knowledge of the peoples of Central America and their ancient history, but had a leaning toward the marvellous which renders his works of doubtful value.

Charnay, Désiré: Ancient Cities of the New World. London, 1887. This translation from the French is readable and interesting, and is of assistance to beginners. It is, however, of little avail as a serious work of reference, and has been superseded.

Chevalier, M.: Le Mexique Ancien et Moderne. Paris, 1886.

Clavigero, Abbe: Storia Antica del Messico. Cesena, 1780. English translation, London, 1787. Described in text.

Diaz, Bernal: Historia Verdadera de la Conquista de Nueva Espana, 1837. An eye-witness's account of the conquest of Mexico.

Enock, C. Reginald: Mexico, its Ancient and Modern Civilisation, &c. London, 1909.

Gomara, F. L. de: Historia General de las Yndias. Madrid, 1749.

Herrera, Antonio de: Historia General de los Hechos de los Castellanos en las Islas y Tierra Firme del Mar Oceano. 4 vols, Madrid, 1601

Humboldt, Alex, von: Vues des Cordilleres. Paris, 1816. English translation by Mrs. Williams.

Ixtlilxochitl, F. de Alva: Historia Chichimeca; Relaciones. Edited by A. Chavero. Mexico, 1891-92.

Kingsborough, Lord: Antiquities of Mexico. London, 1830.

Lumholtz, C.: Unknown Mexico. 1903,

MacNutt, F. C.: Letters of Cortes to Charles V. London, 1908.

Nadaillac, Marquis de: Prehistoric America. Translation. London 1885.

Noll, A. H.: A Short History of Mexico. Chicago, 1903.

Nuttall, Zelia: The Fundamental Principles of Old and New World Civilisations. 1901.

Payne, E. J.: History of the New World called America. London, 1892-99. By far the best and most exhaustive work in English upon the subject. It is, however, unfinished.

Penafiel, F.: Monumentos del Arte Mexicano Antiguo. Berlin, 1890.

Prescott, W. H.: History of the Conquest of Mexico. Of romantic interest only. Prescott did not study Mexican history for more than two years, and his work is now quite superseded from a historical point of view. Its narrative charm, however, is unassailable.

Sahagun, Bernardino de: Historia General de las Cosas de Nueva España. Mexico, 1829.

Seler, E.: Mexico and Guatemala. Berlin, 1896.

Serra, Justo (Editor): Mexico, its Social Evolution, &c. 2 vols, Mexico, 1904.

Spence, Lewis: The Civilization of Ancient Mexico. A digest of the strictly verifiable matter of Mexican history and antiquities. All tradition is eliminated, the author's aim being to present the beginner and the serious student with a series of unembellished facts.

Starr, F.: The Indians of Southern Mexico. 1899.

Thomas, Cyrus, and Magee, W. J.: The History of North America 1908.

Torquemada, Juan de: Monarquia Indiana. Madrid, 1723. Bulletin 28 of the Bureau of American Ethnology contains translations of valuable essays by the German scholars Seler, Schellhas Förstemann, &c.

Many of the above works deal with Central America as well as with Mexico proper.

Central America

Cogolludo, D. Lopez: Historia de Yucathan. 1688. Very scarce.

Diego de Landa: Relacion de Cosas de Yucatan. Paris, 1836. Translation by Brasseur.

Dupaix, Colonel: Antiquités Mexicaines. Paris, 1834-36.

Maudslay, A.P.: Biologia Centrali-Americana. Publication proceeding. Contains many excellent sketches of ruins, &c.

Spence, Lewis: The PopolVuh. London, 1908.


Enock, C. R.: Peru: its Former and Present Civilisation, &c. London 1908.

Markham, Sir Clements R.: History of Peru. Chicago, 1892.

Prescott, W. H.: History of the Conquest of Peru. 3 vols. Philadelphia, 1868.

Squier, E. G.: Peru: Incidents of Travel and Exploration in the Land of the Incas. London, 1877.

Tschudi, J.J. von: Reisen durch Südamerika. 5 vols. Leipsic, 1866 68. Travels in Peru. London, 1847.

Vega, Garcilasso el Inca de la: Royal Commentaries oj the Incas, 1609. Hakluyt Society's Publications.

In seeking the original sources of Peruvian history we must refer to the early Spanish historians who visited the country, either at the period of the conquest or immediately subsequent to it. From those Spaniards who wrote at a time not far distant from that event we have gained much valuable knowledge concerning the contemporary condition of Peru, and a description of the principal works of these pioneers will materially assist the reader who is bent on pursuing the study of Peruvian antiquities.

Pedro de Cieza de Leon composed a geographical account of Peru in 1554, devoting the latter part of his chronicle to the subject of the Inca civilisation. This work has been translated into English by Sir Clements R. Markham, and published by the Hakluyt Society.

Juan José de Betanzos, who was well acquainted with the Quichua language, and who married an Inca princess, wrote an account of the Incas in I551, which was edited and printed by Señor Jimenes de la Espada in 1880.

Polo de Ondegardo, a lawyer and politician, wrote his two Relaciones in 1561 and 1571, making valuable reports on the laws and system of administration of the Incas. One of these works has been translated by Sir Clements R. Markham, and printed by the Hakluyt Society.

Augustin de Zarate, accountant, who arrived in Peru with Blasco Nunez Vela, the first Viceroy, is the author of the Provincia del Peru, which was published at Antwerp in 1555.

Fernando de Santillan, judge of the Linia Audience, contributed an interesting Relacion in 1550, edited and printed in 1879 by Señor Jimenes de la Espada.

Juan de Matienzo, a lawyer contemporary with Ondegardo, was the author of the valuable work Gobierno de el Peru, not yet translated.

Christoval de Molina, priest of Cuzco, wrote an interesting story of Inca ceremonial and religion between 1570 and 1584, which has been published by the Hakluyt Society. The translator is Sir C. R. Markham.

Miguel Cavello Balboa, of Quito, gives us the only particulars we possess of Indian coast history, and the most valuable information on the war between Huascar and Atauhuallpa, in his splendid Miscellanea Austral, I576, translated into French in 1840 by Ternaux-Compans.

A Jesuit priest, José de Acosta, compiled a Natural History of the Indies, which was published for the first time in 1588. An English translation of the work is provided by the Hakluyt Society.

Fernando Montesinos in his Memorias Antiguas Historiales del Peru and Anales Memorias Nuevas del Peru quotes a long line of sovereigns who preceded the Incas. These works were translated into French in 1840.

Relacion de los Costombras Antiguas de los Naturales del Peru, written by an anonymous Jesuit, records an account of Inca civilisation. The work was published in Spain in 1879. Another Jesuit, Francisco de Avila, wrote on the superstitions of the Indians of Huarochiri and their gods. His work was translated into English and published by the Hakluyt Society. Pablo José de Arriaga, a priest who policed the country, destroying the false gods, compiled in 1621 Extirpacion de la Idolatria del Peru, describing the downfall of the ancient Inca religion.

Antonio de la Calancha compiled an interesting history of the Incas in his work on the Order of St. Augustine in Peru (1638-1653).

In his Historia de Copacabana y de su Milagrosa Imagen (1620) Alonzo Ramos Gavilan disclosed much information concerning the colonists during the time of the Inca rule.

A valuable history of the Incas is provided by Garcilasso el Inca de la Vega in his Comentarios Reales. The works of previous authors are reviewed, and extracts are given from the compilations of the Jesuit Bias Valera, whose writings are lost. The English translation is published by the Hakluyt Society.

Relacion de Antiguedades deste Reyno del Peru, by Pachacuti Yamqui Salcamayhua, an Indian of the Collao, was translated into English by Sir C. R. Markham, and published by the Hakluyt Society.

The Historia del Reino del Quinto, compiled by Juan de Velasco, was translated into French by Ternaux-Compans in 1840.

Antonio de Herrera gives a brief account of the history and civilisation of the Inca people in his General History of the Indies.

In his History of America Robertson was the first to compile a thorough account of the Incas. Prescott, however, in 1848 eclipsed his work by his own fascinating account. Sir Arthur Helps has also given a résumé of Inca progress in his Spanish Conquest. (1855).

The Peruvian Sebastian Lorente published in 1860 a history of ancient Peru, which presents the subject more broadly than the narratives of the American and English authors, and as the result of many years of further research he contributed a series of essays to the Revista Peruana.

One of the best works dealing with the antiquities of the Inca period is Antiguedades Peruanas, by Don Mariano Rivero (English translation by Dr. Hawkes, 1853). The compilation on Peru by E. G. Squier (1877), and a similar narrative by C. Weiner (Paris, 1880), both of which stand in accuracy above the others, are also worthy of mention.

The work of Reiss and Stubel, narrating their excavations at Ancon, is richly presented in three volumes, with 119 plates.

The works of Sir Clements Markham are the best guide to English scholars on the subject.