Epidemic diseases introduced during the Spanish Conquest and colonization of Mexico and the Americas have long been acknowledged as key features that helped shape European expansion into the Americas (see Chávez Balderas, Chapter 9, this volume).1 One of the most devastating and enigmatic of these diseases was cocoliztli. Beginning in 1575, a cocoliztli epidemic swept through Mexico City and the surrounding region, leaving many dead in its wake. Cocoliztli is associated with a wide array of symptoms, including hemorrhagic bleeding, gangrene, jaundice, delirium, convulsions, and dysentery. According to various eyewitness accounts, the indigenous population was particularly hard-hit, dying in alarming numbers. In response to the death toll, the viceroy of New Spain ordered Francisco Hernández, a Spanish physician in Mexico on a Crown-sponsored visit, and Alonso López de Hinojosos, a barber-surgeon at the Royal Indian Hospital in Mexico City, to conduct a series of Indian autopsies and report on the results in the hopes of finding a cure.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Invasion and Transformation: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Conquest of Mexico|
|Publisher||University Press of Colorado|
|Number of pages||14|
|State||Published - 2008|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities(all)