This work, commonly known as "Tesoro Messicano" (Mexican Treasure), is a scientific manuscript listing Southern American animals and plants for medical use. It was commissioned in 1570 by King Philip II of Spain, who instructed his court physician Francisco Hernández to create an account of New World nature to be used for health purposes.
Hernández spent seven years in Mexico cataloging plants, animals, and minerals, and crafted some of the illustrations in the volume with the help of native artists.
Because the King was unsatisfied with the volume, the manuscript remained unpublished until 1628, when Federico Cesi and Francesco Stelluti, of the Lincei Science Academy in Rome, edited and printed its first issue. The document was further enriched and revised in 1630, 1648, and 1651.
The "Tesoro Messicano" was initially titled Rerum medicarum Novae Hispaniae thesaurus, seu, Plantarum animalium mineralium Mexicanorum historia (Inventory of medical items from New Spain, or, History of Mexican plants, animals and minerals), and is also known as the “Esemplare Cesiano” for its rich handwritten annotations by Federico Cesi, the Italian naturalist and founder of the Lincei Science Academy.
We have 1 facsimile edition of the manuscript "Rerum Medicarum Novae Hispaniae Thesaurus": Rerum Medicarum Novae Hispaniae Thesaurus facsimile edition, published by Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato, 1992Request Info / Price