- Garcilasso de la Vega (1503-1536)
- Garcilasso de la Vega (1503-1536)† Catholic_Encyclopedia ► Garcilasso de la VegaSpanish lyric poet; b. at Toledo, 6 Feb., 1503; d. at Nice, 14 Oct., 1536. A noble and a soldier, he spent much time in Italy during the campaigns of Charles V, whose entire confidence he enjoyed. For a brief space (1531-2), he lost the imperial favour in consequence of his connivance at the marriage of his nephew with a royal ward contrary to the emperor's wishes, and was imprisoned on an island in the Danube. When liberated, he entered the service of the Spanish viceroy at Naples, shared in the expedition which, in 1535, Charles directed against Tunis, and in the following year met his death while leading an attack upon a castle in Southern France at the command of his master. In the history of Spanish literature Garcilasso occupies a prominent place because of the part which he played, along with Boscan, in naturalizing the Italian verse-forms in Spanish. To him is due no little credit for the skill with which he transplanted, even excelling his older comrade Boscan, the Italian sonnet with its hendecasyllable, the canzone, the terza rima, and other forms. The bulk of his poetry as preserved is not great. In the first edition, which was printed by Boscan's widow at the end of the volume containing the first edition of her husband's compositions, it embraces, besides some early villancicos in the older and native Spanish manner, three eglogas, two elegias, an epistola in blank verse, five canciones, which are rather complicated in their structure, and thirty-seven or thirty-eight sonnets. Although he passed his life in the camp, he hardly reflects at all in his poetry the martial spirit that actuated him; the pastoral note with its gentle melancholy is most persistent in his strains. As he was well acquainted with the Italian poets of the Renaissance, he does not fail to echo here and there some of their best passages, and reminiscences of Tansillo, Sannazzaro, and Bernardo Tasso are easily found in his work. Of the ancients, Horace had much to do with the development of his graceful poetic manner.J.D.M. FORDTranscribed by Gerald M. Knight♦ Garcilasso de la Vega (the Inca)† Catholic_Encyclopedia ► Garcilasso de la Vega (the Inca)Historian of Peru; b. at Cuzco, Peru, 12 April, 1539; d. at Córdoba, Spain, c. 1617. The name Garcilasso is a corruption of Garcia Laso, his real name. The historian's father was the Spanish conqueror, Sebastian Garcilasso de la Vega y Vargas, who was born at Badajoz, Spain, and died at Cuzco, 1559. The elder Garcilasso had served in Mexico under Hernán Cortez, in Guatemala under Deigo de Alvarado, and in Peru under Francisco Pizarro. In 1548, he had been named Governor of Cuzco, where, unlike others of the conquerors, he had done much to better the condition of the natives. Earlier in life, he had married an Inca princess, the historian's mother. He died in 1559, while still Governor of Cuzco, being one of the very few Spanish conquerors of Peru who did not die a violent death. The Inca mother taught her son the language of the ancient inhabitants of Peru, and suggested to him the idea of writing a history of these people. For this purpose, Garcilasso travelled over the entire empire of the Incas, got as much information suitable for his purpose as he could gather from both the natives and the new colonists, and consulted the few remaining monuments of that race. Being fearful of Garcilasso's growing influence with the natives of Peru, Philip II ordered him to proceed to Spain, whither he went in 1559, shortly after the death of his father. He served there for some time under John of Austria in the latter's campaign against the Moors of Granada. About 1584, he wrote his "Historia de la Florida", describing the expoits of Hernando de Soto in that country, and published it in London. In 1600, he began the first part of his "Comentarios Reales", which is a general history of Peru. This first part, dealing with the early history of the Incas, he finished in 1604, and published at Lisbon in 1609. In 1612, he finished the second part, dealing with the conquest of Peru by the Spaniards, and published it at Cordova in 1616. As a historian of Peru and its people, Garcilasso enjoyed singular advantages, for his mother, an Inca princess and her relations told him everything concerning their ancestors, omitting nothing, as they considered him one of their race. On the other hand, his father, who was the Governor of Cuzco, was on intimate terms with many of the conquerors, so that from them the historian heard the accounts of their deeds. Garcilasso, therefore, was in a position to get information at first hand from both the natives and their conquerors. His work is of great historic value, as it constitutes practically the only document we possess of the ancient civilization of Peru. The first part was translated into French by Pradelle-Beaudoin (Paris, 1633, and Amsterdam, 1737, 2 vols.), and again by Dalibard (Paris, 1744, 2vols.), into German by Bottgeer (Nordhausen, 1786). The second part was translated into French by Pradelle-Beaudoin (Paris, 1646, 1658, and 1707), and into English by Rigault (London, 1688).PRESCOTT, "Conquest of Peru" (New York, 1855); MARKHAM, "Garcilaso's Royal Commentaries" (tr. London, 1869).VENTURA FUENTESTranscribed by John Looby Dedicated to Dante Valdivia Laso of Mollendo
The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat. 1910.