XEREZ, Francisco de
Libro Primo de la Conqvista del Perv & Prouincia del Cuzco de le Indie Occidentali
[Colophon: Vinegia (i.e. Venice): Stampato per Stephano da Sabio, 1535]. Small quarto.  leaves. 19th-century pebbled pigskin, spine gilt. Boards and extremities lightly rubbed. Some minor soiling, a few leaves lightly toned. Two small tears, on titlepage and second leaf, neatly repaired.
Men of Cajamarca: two eyewitness accounts of events.
As one of the "Men of Cajamarca," Francisco de Xerez holds a very special place among writers on the earliest period of Spanish contact with the Inca of Peru: He was there from day one, a member of the very small band of men who left Panama with Pizarro and Almagro to seek fame and fortune in South America. At Cajamarca he participated in the taking of the Inca leader, Atahualpa, the slaughter of his army, and the sharing of the ransom demanded of the Inca nation for the return of their leader. By training a notary public and practiced writer, he was by choice Pizarro's secretary/confidant, the two having been close since at least 1524, when they met in Panama; and when in 1534 he returned to Spain, he took with him his share of the wealth of Atahualpa, a broken leg, and a tale to tell that was significant, stirring, and in fact tellable by no other man. He conceived of his book as being at once a socially and politically useful celebration of Pizarro's deeds and his own, a celebration of the glory of Spain as that was expressing itself in a remote and wondrous New World, and as a true entertainment cast in the tradition of the romance of chivalry; not surprisingly, it was a blockbuster. Xerez's eyewitness account of the conquest of Peru was originally published in Spain in 1534 in Spanish as the Verdadera Relación de la Conquista del Peru y Provincia del Cuzco llamada la Nueva Castilla. Demand for news of the new, "exotic" kingdom of Peru, which had only been conquered in 1532, was found to be keen not only in Spain but all across Europe, leading to this rapid translation into Italian. Appended to Xerez's account (fols. [43v] to [55r]) is a translation of Miguel de Estete's account of Pizarro's army's journey from Cajamarca to Pachacamac and then to Jauja. Estete too was present at Cajamarca and is said to have been the first Spaniard to lay hands on Atahuallpa. Both of these first translations into Italian are from the pen of Domingo de Gaztelu (secretary of Don Lope de Soria, Charles V's ambassador to Venice) and are taken from the second edition of the Spanish-language original. The text is printed in roman type and has a large heraldic woodcut device on the tittle-page and a xylographic printer's device on the verso of the last leaf.
Church 73; Harrisse 200; Sabin 105721; European Americana 535/21; Huth 1628; BM STC, Italian, p.738; Medina (BHA) 95; JCB I:119.