Parution : The Conquest on Trial : Carvajal’s Complaint of the Indians in the Court of Death

The Conquest on Trial


  • Jáuregui, Carlos A.

Carlos Jáuregui is Associate Professor of Latin American Literature and Anthropology at Vanderbilt University.


Michael de Carvajal’s fascinating and unusual play—published by Luis Hurtado de Toledo in 1557—is a rare sixteenth-century theatrical piece about the conquest of the New World. It is a long-ignored but fundamental source for the study of Latin American cultural history. A theatrical version of the Spanish Conquest clearly influenced by Bartolomé de Las Casas, the play centers on a group of American natives filing a complaint against the Spanish conquistadors—before a tribunal presided over by Death. They denounce the horrors and crimes committed against them by the conquistadors and colonizers in their idolatrous greed for gold. The play constitutes an allegorical summary of the debates of the day about the emergence of the Spanish Empire, the justification of conquest, the right to wage war against the Indians, the evangelization of the natives, the discrimination against the newly converted peoples of the New World, the exploitation of Indian labor, the extent of the emperor’s sovereignty, and the right to resist tyranny. The translation by Carlos Jáuregui and Mark Smith-Soto is the first English edition of this important work. It is presented in an annotated, bilingual edition, with a critical introduction that discusses the origins and ideological significance of the play.


  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: The Conquest on Trial: Carvajal’s Complaint of the Indians in the Court of Death / Carlos A. Jáuregui
  • Note on the Translation / Carlos A. Jáuregui and Mark Smith-Soto
  • Complaint of the Indians in the Court of Death [Scene XIX of The Court of Death], 1557, by Michael de Carvajal and Luis Hurtado de Toledo (Spanish and English texts)
  • Appendix: Facsimile of the 1557 Edition
  • Bibliography
  • About the Authors
  • Index

Informations pratiques

  • Éditeur : University Park, Pennsylvania : The Pennsylvania State University Press
  • Date de parution : 2008
  • Description matérielle : 1 vol. (160 p.) : [9] ill. ; 22 cm
  • Collection : (Latin American originals ; ).
  • ISBN 978-0-271-02513-1 (br.) : 26,95 $


  • Absent à la BnF (en 2022)

OpenEdition vous propose de citer ce billet de la manière suivante :
Olivier Jacquot (21 mai 2023). Parution : The Conquest on Trial : Carvajal’s Complaint of the Indians in the Court of Death. Amoxcalli. Consulté le 19 juillet 2024 à l’adresse

Olivier Jacquot

Chargé de collections : manuscrits des fonds américains, Service des manuscrits ORientaux (SOR), département des Manuscrits (MSS), Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF)

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