Japanese historian presents conference in INTEC on Father Las Casas
Based on the works of who wrote the first Historia de Indias, Professor Someda, from the Kansai Gaidai University, shared with Dominican historians
SANTO DOMINGO.- How Father Las Casas's thinking was transformed and what impact the colonization process has on the globalized world was the main theme that Professor Hidefuji Someda addressed during a conference presented at the Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo (INTEC) before Dominican historians.
Someda, a professor at Kansai Gaidai University and professor emeritus at the University of Osaka (Japan), has dedicated himself to the investigation and analysis of the thought of Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, who was a Spanish encomendero before becoming a Dominican friar, chronicler, philosopher, theologian and jurist in favor of the natives.
The president of the Dominican Academy of History, Bernardo Vega, and the historians Frank Moya Pons, José Antinoe Fiallo and José Guerrero attended the meeting entitled "Ideological Transformation of Father Las Casas - a new interpretation of the Brief Relation of the Destruction of indias (1552). "It was organized by the Vice-Rector for Research and Liaison of INTEC.
"The Very Brief Relationship had, has and will have an incalculable value not only as a historical document about the Spanish conquest of the sixteenth century, but also as an admonitory book on the pseudo-humanitarian domination that is underway in the globalized world at the expense of the dominated" , said Professor Someda.
Someda presented its conclusions from the comparison of several editions of this historical document, based on the description made by Las Casas of the Civil Wars of Peru, and broke down four aspects that are generally claimed about this work:
1) Exaggeration of the number of victims in the Spanish conquest and of the population of the Indians on the eve of the "Columbian discovery", and the geographical overestimation of the Indies (greatness, wealth and beauty).
2) Repetition of extremely stereotyped expressions (the Indians = gentle sheep, the Spaniards = cruel lobes), and phrases of similar content (inhumanity and cruelty of the conquerors and the miserable circumstance of enslaved Indians).
3) Total omission of the names of the conquerors.
4) Lack of credibility of the information about the conquests.
"La Brevísima Relacion is not a booklet full of maliciously invented and unfounded facts related to conquest, but rather has value as a" classic "document in which historical events of the sixteenth century are treated, although in style and content it is very different from the other chronicles, "said the researcher on the works of Las Casas, part of them published just half a century after the opening of the era of large European navigations.
The conference concluded with a panel with historians José Antinoe Fiallo and José Guerrero.
Photo: Leandro Feliz