On 25 April, 1566, a field justice of the Spanish city of Coria, Extremadura went before a scribe with an alarming story - "a monstrous thing, and never before seen, and which repugnates nature." When a chicken had died laying eggs, a white male cat took it upon himself to hatch and raise them. A white cat, from a 1800s Thai manuscript on cat breeds. The field justice, Miguel de Muxica, told the city scribe Francisco Pérez del Aguila in disbelief that the cat, "hatched them,
"This is a transcript of a letter that fell from heaven to earth in which God wrote from his heart, and must be believed by all, which was found in Saint Mary the New which is seven leagues from Ávila, and goes like this..." Jan Provost (Jean Provost). Sixteenth Century CE. The Judeo-Christian Eye of God. Place: The Louvre, Paris, France, Bruges, Belgium. So begins a letter that fell from the sky in Ávila sometime in the early modern era. We need not ask about its author, for
Men ran the Council of the Indies, so says every book and almost every document we know about it. Little wonder; during the Habsburg era all of its 458 officials and ministers were men. But in the late 1560s word on the street in Madrid was that the wives of important ministers ran a sort of shadow Council under the nose of the King. There was Licenciate Muñatones' sister in law doña Gerónima de Carvajal, privy to the contents of the Pizarro dynasty's top-secret court cases.
Welcome to Non Sufficit Orbis - a new blog about the history of the Atlantic world and beyond. My name is Adrian Masters. I'm a graduate student at UT Austin, and will be a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Austin at Texas's Institute for Historical Studies between September 2018 and September 2019. Stay tuned. Expect posts on eclectic topics, mainly about early modern Spanish imperial law, race, archives, and society, as well as a range of historical oddities. True to
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