This book contains the indispensable texts of the Spanish conquest printed in full. The location of the source is appended to each document, and a brief note of recent editions and, in some cases, of commentary or related material, follow. The word “theory” in the title refers mainly to what is implied in these texts which, as one reads them, illustrate the evolution of Spain’s imperial design.

This volume is a most welcome standby reference to the unique documentation of the Spanish conquest which the author has assembled over thirty years of work in the field. He opens with a list of Portuguese bulls and the text of Romanus Pontifex of 1453. The last texts are of the ordinances concerning pacification in 1573. The book represents a backbone of documentation to the many studies by Morales Padrón, especially his Fisionomía de la conquista and Historia del descubrimiento y conquista de América. It is a very useful addition to scholarly reference.