2005 Student Research Conference:
18th Annual Student Research Conference

Language & Literature

Superstitions in 17th century Spain
Jeremy M. Jordan
Dr. Matthew Tornatore, Faculty Mentor

The text “Phisonomia y varios secretos de la naturaleza” (“Physiognomy and Various Secrets about Nature”) by Gerónimo Cortes represents Spain at an interesting time. Whether one examines the text from the point of reference of linguistics, medicine, or anthropology, Cortes illustrates something interesting for everyone in his five treatises. By examining the text from an anthropological vantage point, the text offers a glimpse into the quotidian life of a Spaniard in the 1600s. Through treatises on medicine, herbal remedies and precious stones Cortés illustrates a superstitious culture trapped in a realm where the quest for knowledge meets witch doctor medicine. Consequently, the cultural significance of the text can give the reader a better idea about Spain and Europe during that era.

Keywords: Physiognomy, Spain, Nature, Medicine, 17th Century, superstition

Topic(s):Spanish

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 38-3
Location: VH 1304
Time: 2:45

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