Manuscript Monday: Ms. Codex 1642 – De las doze cargas

Dot Porter, Curator, Digital Research Services at the University of Pennsylvania Library, offers a video orientation to Penn Library’s Ms. Codex 1642, the responses of Bartolomé de las Casas to Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda’s twelve refutations following the junta of Valladolid. The junta was convened by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in 1550 and 1551 to consider the justice of the wars being waged by Spain in the western hemisphere, with Sepúlveda arguing that force could be used against the Native Americans and they could be enslaved, and Las Casas arguing that the Native Americans were capable of reason and should not be coerced or enslaved.

The first four leaves, containing the first two responses and the beginning of the third response, are lacking. Las Casas published both Sepúlveda’s objections and his own responses in his work titled Aqui se contiene una disputa o controversia: entre el obispo don fray Bartholome de las Casas, o Casaus, obispo que fue de la ciudad Real de Chiapa que es en las Indias, parte dela nueva España: y el doctor Gínes de Sepulveda Coronista del Emperador nuestro señor … (Seville, 1552).

Virtual orientation to Ms. Codex 1642

You can read the complete record for this document (and find links to digitized copies) on Franklin. You can also download a copy of this video from ScholarlyCommons, the University of Pennsylvania’s open access institutional repository.

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