Indigenous Epistemology and Transformations in European Science in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries

I am investigating the relationship between Indigenous (primarily Nahua) epistemology and European natural histories in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. More particularly I am considering the relationship between four projects: The “Codex Borgia” (c. 1400 - 1518), Book 11 of the Florentine Codex (1565 – 1577), Francisco Hernández’ “De historiae animalium et mineralium Novae Hispaniae” (1576-1577), and the Ornithology of Francis Willughby (1678). As a result of this research, I propose that Nahua scholars commingled European and Indigenous epistemologies in the sixteenth century and that the resulting epistemological innovations account, at least in part, for the enormous and influential popularity of “De historiae animalium” in European academic circles in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.