Abstract

This article offers a reassessment of the Bibliotheca Mexicana controversy (ca. 1745–1755), a key moment in the development of “creole patriotism” as most famously articulated by David A. Brading in The First America: The Spanish Monarchy, Creole Patriots, and the Liberal State 1492–1867 (1991). Through a rereading of the original sources and a reconstruction of the historiographical origins of creole patriotism in German existentialism, the article argues that the identity of the New World protagonists in the controversy had little to do with either creolism or protonationalist patriotism. These creole and peninsular “Mexicans” (Mexicani) certainly felt pride in their flourishing urban center of Mexico City and its dependent territories. However, this patria was analogous to early modern city-states, like the Duchy of Milan, rather than to modern nation-states, like Mexico. This local identity was also entirely compatible with a strong loyalty to the Hispanic Monarchy, a larger pan-Hispanic caste identity, and a sense of membership in the Catholic Republic of Letters.

In 1718, Manuel Martí (1663–1737), the dean of Alicante and Spain's leading late humanist scholar, wrote a letter to a young Spaniard named Antonio Carrillo, who was considering crossing the Atlantic. Martí, who saw in the young man some talent for study, was horrified by this idea and displayed his disdain in a letter that would become infamous:

To whom among the Indians will you turn in such a vast desert of letters? I won't ask to which teacher will you go, from whom you might learn something, but will you find anyone at all to listen to you? I won't ask whether you will find anyone who knows anything, but anyone who wants to know anything at all, or, put simply, anyone who does not despise letters. Indeed, which books will you leaf through and which libraries will you peruse . . . ? So ponder this: What does it matter if you are in Rome or Mexico City, if you just want to haunt the avenues and street corners, to gaze at the magnificence of the buildings, to be idle, and to waste away while you schmooze with all and sundry like a slimy politician?1

When this letter came to the attention of scholars in Mexico City several years later, it unleashed a response that would echo for several decades. At the inauguration of the academic year at the Royal and Pontifical University in 1745, Juan Gregorio de Campos y Martínez (b. 1719) delivered an acerbic Ciceronian oration in which he accused Martí of libel under Roman and Spanish law. The leading light at the university, Juan José de Eguiara y Eguren (1696–1763), also quickly set about compiling the ultimate repudiation, a Latin biobibliographical encyclopedia that detailed the rich intellectual traditions of “Mexican America” (America Mexicana), the first volume of which appeared in 1755 under the title Bibliotheca Mexicana. This elegant folio volume included outlines of the life and works of every scholar of note from the conquest to his own day. The tome also opened with a series of detailed prefatory essays (anteloquia) in which Eguiara y Eguren defended the learning of the ancient Mexica and the contemporary “American Spaniards” (hispani americani), attacking the view of the famous baroque savant Athanasius Kircher (1602–1680) that Mexica pictographs were inferior to Egyptian logographic hieroglyphs.

Beyond its important place in the history of scholarship in the Iberian Atlantic, the fame of the Bibliotheca Mexicana controversy is due in large part to the prominent place assigned to it in the development of “creole patriotism.” Creole patriotism was a specifically New World identity that developed among the inhabitants of pure Spanish descent born in the Viceroyalties of New Spain and Peru. The seeds of this increasing alienation of native-born Spaniards, referred to in modern scholarship as “creoles” (criollos), from European Spaniards dubbed “peninsular Spaniards” (peninsulares) and the local patriotism that this engendered were planted with the bitter complaints of the dispossessed sons of conquistadores against newer immigrants and germinated as the result of increasing competition between European- and American-born Spaniards for secular and ecclesiastical offices. These hardy saplings, nurtured by the creoles' increasingly ambivalent attitude to the conquest and their growing appreciation of the American landscape, pre-Columbian antiquity, and the cult of the Virgin of Guadalupe, then came into full flower when faced with Enlightenment theories regarding the physical inferiority of those born in the Americas. Finally, this escalating pride, resentment, and sense of difference served as the intellectual kindling for the independence movements of the nineteenth century, when patriotism turned political.

According to Benjamin Keen, the Bibliotheca Mexicana controversy was the first large-scale articulation of a uniquely creole identity replete with its patriotic, indigenist, and Guadalupan elements, anticipating in many ways Francisco Javier Clavijero's Storia antica del Messico (1780–1781).2 For Walter Mignolo, it was the moment when the literary weapons of Renaissance humanism were finally turned against the European invaders.3 For Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra, it marked the birth of a “patriotic epistemology,” since Eguiara y Eguren, he argued, relied exclusively on creole, native, and foreign authors with creole guides to build his argument, spurning European armchair philosophers; as the “heirs” to pre-Columbian civilization, the creoles were the only trustworthy interpreters of American culture.4 Other historians have also been attracted to the overt use of the term “Mexican” (Mexicanus), which Eguiara y Eguren used to designate a territory larger than just Mexico City, while the engraving of Our Lady of Guadalupe that graced the first page of Eguiara y Eguren's monumental encyclopedic work led Jacques Lafaye to claim an important role for the controversy in the development of this apparently uniquely American devotion (figure 1).5 It was, however, in David A. Brading's magisterial study The First America: The Spanish Monarchy, Creole Patriots, and the Liberal State 1492–1867 (1991) that the Bibliotheca Mexicana found its most explicit treatment as an expression of creole patriotism. In Brading's account, the identity of Eguiara y Eguren and the other creoles stood in opposition to an “imperial tradition,” the heir to the chauvinist views of the Spanish humanist and theologian Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda (1494–1573) during the Valladolid debate on the nature of the Indians (1550–1551). This dark undercurrent in Renaissance humanism logically stressed loyalty to a benign Hispanic Monarchy, the providential nature of the conquest, cultural pan-Hispanism, and American reliance on Europe for all aspects of the Christian religion, although Brading only provided a rough sketch of this competing tradition.6 In this clash of worldviews, Brading concluded, the Bibliotheca Mexicana represented nothing less than the “culmination of an entire cycle of creole culture.”7

This article offers a reassessment of the Bibliotheca Mexicana controversy, which, in being cast as a key moment in the development of creole patriotism, has been shoehorned into a tight teleology. A close reading of the original sources in Latin reveals a much more complicated picture. The identity of Eguiara y Eguren and his collaborators included a Russian doll of local and translocal affiliations ranging from a sense of membership in the Republic of Letters to a caste-based pan-Hispanism, pan-Catholicism, a staunch loyalty to the Hispanic Monarchy, and a foralismo (localism) centered on the city and the “kingdom” (reino) of New Spain. This they combined with an antiquarian, if not necessarily patriotic, interest in pre-Columbian antiquity modeled on ancient Egypt rather than Greece and Rome and an ethnocentric, although not exclusive, devotion to the Virgin of Guadalupe, who as patroness of the conquest had first brought Spain and Spanishness to the Americas. Furthermore, the controversy hinged not on a defense of Mexico or Mexicans per se but on a vindication of New Spain's branch of what contemporaries called the Republic of Letters. This branch of that larger learned community was centered in Mexico City and populated by local scholars who may have been born on either side of the Atlantic but who were in different ways rooted in Mexican America. As such, their epistemology could not be narrowly patriotic. Indeed, in the context of Eguiara y Eguren's response, the idea of a separate imperial tradition appears as something of a straw man that serves to emphasize only the elements of Novohispanic thought that pave the historiographical road to the age of revolutions and nineteenth-century liberalism.

In this way, this article contributes to the ongoing reassessment of creole identity, which is increasingly recognized to have been much more diverse than previously thought.8 The most direct criticism came from the late and great María Elena Martínez, who called the standard approach to creole identity “doing history backwards.” Instead, she argued, creole elites had invariably celebrated the conquest and frequently denigrated the Indians, pre- and post-Columbian, in the interest of defending their own pan-Hispanic caste privileges.9 Martínez's forthright assessment was the culmination of a series of smaller critiques that had accumulated over the previous decades. Around a decade before her study appeared, social historians had begun to call into question any sharp distinction between creoles and peninsular Spaniards, noting that status and identity were less functions of birth than of long-term residency in the Americas and that ethnic and cultural Spanishness was a far more prominent category than creole or peninsular.10 Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra then fully collapsed the dichotomy between creoles and peninsular Spaniards, going as far as to rename the new colonial identity “creole-clerical” patriotism.11 More recently, legal and institutional historians have reshaped our understanding of New World identity by showing the importance of categories such as citizenship (vecindad) and nativeness (naturaleza) over and above categories like creole and peninsular and underlining the need to place identity formation within the context of the constitutional framework of the Hispanic Monarchy.12 The recently discovered role of cacique patriots such as Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl in pre-Columbian antiquarianism and the cult of the Virgin of Guadalupe has also called into question the exclusively creole nature of many facets of this identity.13 At the same time, the traditional chronology of the rise of the cult of the virgen morena has been questioned by Cornelius Conover's archival work on the cabildo of Mexico City, which has revealed that Guadalupe was not the first (or even the second) port of call for creoles in Mexico City before the mid-eighteenth century.14 Finally, this has all taken place within a shift in methodological focus away from canonical texts by the leading creole scholars and clerics and toward the role of archives, images, and objects in the production of identity.15

All of this has led to an unraveling of the creole patriotism narrative into a more varied if less orderly tapestry. It is now the moment for Eguiara y Eguren too to join the polyphony of voices in this new, more complex soundscape. Eguiara y Eguren's unique if not atypical worldview, this article argues, was conditioned by his social context, ethnic loyalties, and professional commitments, as well as the rhetorical exigencies of the Bibliotheca Mexicana controversy. However, before we delve into the eclectic, late baroque world of Eguiara y Eguren and his contemporaries, it is worth briefly recounting the largely unknown origins of the creole patriotism narrative through which the Bibliotheca Mexicana controversy is normally read. By treating the genesis of the paradigm that has shaped all modern scholarship on Eguiara y Eguren in parallel with the text of the Bibliotheca Mexicana itself, this article contributes to the ongoing reevaluation of individual and group identities in the early modern Americas, which must proceed with careful attention to both historiography and historical fidelity.

Creole Patriotism: The Origins of a Historical Paradigm

Sixty-two years ago in this journal John Leddy Phelan (1924–1976) identified what he called “the Germanization of the modern Mexican mind” that was unfolding before his eyes.16 Reviewing the first volumes of a new book series entitled México y lo Mexicano, he pointed to a vibrant new historical methodology being forged in the furnace of Germanic existentialism brought by Spanish émigrés fleeing the Civil War. Brandishing this sophisticated, contextualist weapon—the heir to the philosophy of Martin Heidegger, Phelan observed—a new generation of Mexican historians, art historians, literary critics, and philosophers were busy uncovering the ethos and essence of the Homo mexicanus from the conquest to their own day with careful attention to his historical manifestations in different periods and his unique features vis-à-vis European and pre-Columbian models. What Phelan did not realize was that this Mexican neo-existentialist project would generate a new vision of Latin American history centered on the development of a protonationalist consciousness, which within a generation would become something of a master narrative among historians of the region writing on both sides of the border and both sides of the Atlantic.

The trend identified by Phelan was the product of various trends in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Mexican nationalist historiography. In the wake of nineteenth-century European adventurism in the Americas, many nationalist intellectuals in Porfirian Mexico sought out the “national character of the Mexican” (lo mexicano) in an effort to build a strong state suited to the character of the population, which they judged to be different in various ways from the peoples of Europe and the United States. In so doing, they rejected not only European and North American but also French cultural models, which had come to dominate elite urban society. It was this conservative climate of the late Porfiriato that would produce intellectuals, like the future philosopher and diplomat Alfonso Reyes, who turned to Spanish literature and classical philology to build a new vision of what he called the “Aesthetic State,” which was of course not devoid of some aspects of indianismo, a trend that itself had gained prominence long before the Mexican Revolution.17 This nationalist trend also found expression in the criollista literature of the period in Mexico and elsewhere in Spanish America, which offered a romanticized image of preindustrial rural life free from foreign and modern influences.18

All of this was to be thrown into disarray by the tumultuous events of the second decade of the twentieth century. In the nascent historical profession of postrevolutionary Mexico, attention quickly turned to finding the genealogy of the new populist state ideology, as part of a larger effort to remedy economic underdevelopment and injustice. Influenced by Alfred Adler's psychoanalysis, Samuel Ramos (1897–1959) diagnosed Mexico with an inferiority complex in the hope of national self-improvement through self-knowledge. For Ramos, the root of Mexico's underdevelopment was the mismatch between the Mexican character and the environment. Reproducing the long-standing racial hierarchy in Mexico, Ramos specifically identified creoles as the caste group most suited to the unique features of their American context and least susceptible to pernicious foreign influences. Thus, for Ramos the only way to save Mexico from its backwardness was to understand creole culture in its historical and contemporary manifestations, which could then in turn serve as a model for the rebirth of the Mexican nation.19 The modern cult of the creole was born.

Émigré intellectuals fleeing the Spanish Civil War then built on Ramos's work on the relationship between national character and context and continued to foreground the importance of the creole as the archetypal Mexican. Upon his arrival in Mexico in 1939, José Gaos (1900–1969), a former professor of both philosophy and German, immediately recognized the similarities between the nationalist psychoanalysis of Ramos and the existentialist thought of his teacher José Ortega y Gasset, whose famous maxim “I am the result of me and my circumstance” (yo soy yo y mi circunstancia) exhorted philosophers to identify and parse the dialectical relationship between the individual (historical or otherwise) and their context. Ensconced in the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Gaos taught courses on the history of philosophy and led a seminar that quickly attracted a coterie of eager young philosophers, historians, and public intellectuals, who would develop Ramos's vision with the shiny new philosophical tools of existentialism.20

Into the intellectual ferment was also thrown Bernhard Groethuysen's Marxian view of the rise of a secular bourgeois worldview in Enlightenment France, outlined in Die Entstehung der bürgerlichen Welt- und Lebensanschauung in Frankreich (The formation of the bourgeois worldview and mentality in France), which Gaos translated from German into Spanish in 1943.21 With the support of eager Mexican students and colleagues, including Leopoldo Zea, Edmundo O'Gorman, and Luis Villoro, Gaos set about writing a parallel account for Mexico, entitled “El siglo del esplendor en México,” which, although never completed, set the tone for all subsequent scholarship. In it, Gaos argued that the erudite baroque thinkers of the seventeenth century, in particular Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1651–1695) and Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora (1645–1700), were the precursors to the enlightened thinkers of the eighteenth century like Francisco Javier Clavijero (1731–1787) in terms of their Jesuitism, encyclopedism, modernity, and, most significantly, mexicanidad. These Novohispanic philosophes heralded the beginnings of modernity in Mexico and provided the intellectual background for the wars of independence, much as Pierre Bayle and Voltaire had for the French Revolution.22 Unlike the backward Mexican thinkers of the twentieth century, the creole intellectuals of this golden age were both perfectly suited to their New World environment and equal participants in a universal process of modernization. This Marxian view of the rise of a class of creole “organic intellectuals” (as Antonio Gramsci might have put it) thus fulfilled the needs of twentieth-century Mexican scholars for a lineage that could stand alongside those of their sister republics in Europe and North America while simultaneously reflecting many of the features of post-1910 state ideology, including revolutionary modernism and indigenismo. As Octavio Paz put it in The Labyrinth of Solitude (1950), Gaos's interpretation of the history of ideas in Spanish America was “less a meditation than a petition in favor of Independence and a search for our true destiny. . . . America is not so much a tradition to be carried on as it is a future to be realized.”23

The excitement around this new vision of Mexican history culminated in the formation of the Hyperion Philosophical Group (Grupo Filosófico Hiperión) (1948–1952) by the cream of Gaos's students and associates. Dedicated to the study of a Heideggerian “Mexican being” (el ser mexicano) in its contemporary and historical manifestations, the hiperiones held classes at the UNAM in 1949 and in the spring of 1951 respectively titled “What Is the Mexican?” and “The Mexican and His Culture.” It was this latter wildly popular seminar that produced the essays published in the series México y lo Mexicano that so caught Phelan's attention that he felt the need to write to his colleagues in the United States in this very journal. Building on Gaos's vision, in the individual monographs of this series we find detailed treatments of almost all the elements that would later form the standard creole patriotism narrative. José Durand charted the rise of a creole consciousness among the sons of conquistadores in the sixteenth century, Francisco de la Maza chronicled the rise of the cult of the Virgin of Guadalupe, and Luis Villoro reconstructed creole indigenismo.24 Yet despite being part of a self-declared national project, this was no philosophizing jingoism. As Leopoldo Zea stressed in the introduction to the first volume of the series, this was an attempt to apply the most sophisticated philosophical and historical tools available to unresolved questions surrounding lo mexicano that were animating every branch of the arts and sciences in the country at the time. It was, as Alfonso Reyes remarked, only in this way that Mexico could discover its unique place within the world's community of nations.25

Although the Hyperion group disbanded in 1952, the shadow of this formative moment in Mexican intellectual life was long. Soon, the younger generation of hiperiones, who had spent their early years charting the rise of a uniquely Mexican mentalité from the conquest to the Napoleonic invasion under the watchful eyes of Gaos, came to play leading roles in professional historical, literary, and philosophical studies in Mexico. We need only read Edmundo O'Gorman's 1975 address to the Academia Mexicana de la Lengua to see how profound the influence of the Hyperion group was in the following decades. Criollismo (what Brading would later call creole patriotism), O'Gorman argued, was the core of colonial literature and the result of a contradiction between the creole's New World context (“ser físico”) and his biocultural nature as a Spaniard (“ser moral”):

By deduction, there can be no doubt about the answer: this history is nothing other than the means by which the creole overcame that absurdity, or put concretely, a process by which the American Spaniard [novohispano] made his American circumstances his own with the resulting transformation of his being [ser]. We are thus dealing with a dialectical process, which resolves in the progressive Americanization of the Hispanic being [ser] originally transplanted to the New World. . . . the transfiguration of a Spain in the New World into a Spain of the New World.26

Although delivered some 25 years after the halcyon days of the Hyperion group, this neo-existentialist understanding of the development of colonial Mexico's leading historical protagonist, the creole, and his unique nature as a product of Spanish heritage and the American context was nothing else than a reworking of the interpretation of Gaos and his followers. In O'Gorman's ser we hear an echo of Heidegger's Sein as interpreted by Spanish and then Mexican intellectuals.

This historical vision continues in Mexico today as well as in Central and South America due to the primacy of the UNAM as a safe haven for leftist intellectuals and a training ground for scholars from throughout the Americas.27 However, thanks to the powerful simplicity of the vision of the Hyperion group, its strong philosophical foundations, and the erudition and scholarly panache of its contributions to the fields of history, art history, and philosophy, the “Germanization of the modern Mexican mind” had an impact far beyond Hispanophone America. To take the example of Brading as paradigmatic of scholars in the United States and Europe: His interest piqued, so he himself tells us, by the anti-Spanish sentiment and neo-Aztecism of Servando Teresa de Mier's Historia de la revolución de Nueva España (1813), Brading turned to the works of O'Gorman, Villoro, and de la Maza in the early 1970s to understand the rise of a Mexican consciousness from the conquest onward. These he read alongside Antonello Gerbi's history of Enlightenment condemnations of the climate and inhabitants of the Americas, which corroborated the results of his own research into the plight of the sons of conquistadores and landowning creoles throughout the colonial period, who were frequently pushed out by enterprising European parvenus.28 Into the intellectual mix was probably also thrown Bernard Bailyn's The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (1967), an epoch-defining study that was steadily amassing scholarly prizes during the years that Brading taught at Yale.29 Furthermore, it was likely no coincidence that Brading's years in New Haven also coincided with the final years of teaching of the great Cuban Hispanist José Juan Arrom, whose influential article on the changing meaning of the term creole may also have come up in conversation in the halls of Old Eli.30 These disparate scholarly influences coalesced in a small volume that was destined to leave a large mark: Los orígenes del nacionalismo mexicano (1973), published in a large print run by Mexico's Ministry of Public Education and disseminated widely in Mexico and beyond.31 However, despite its obvious intellectual debts, Brading's librito was not without significant originality. Inspired by his teachers at Cambridge who had charted the rise of the British liberal tradition in the final part of the undergraduate Historical Tripos, Brading combined the individual insights of the Hyperion group, Gerbi, and others to build a single narrative that treated the history of political thought from the conquest to the liberal constitution of 1857.32 To this political ideology, he gave a name that could stand proudly alongside the classical republicanism of Western Europe and the United States described by fellow Cantabrigians like Quentin Skinner: creole patriotism.33

Almost 20 years later, Brading returned to the topic and produced the volume that cemented his reputation as his generation's leading Anglophone historian of colonial Latin America alongside James Lockhart. Over four times the length of his original 1973 essay, The First America was published on the eve of the Columbus quincentennial and offered a nuanced and richly documented picture of the rise and fall of creole patriotism that differed in some minor respects from his earlier statement, most notably in recognizing the ambiguous, if rarely wholly positive, view of the conquest held by baroque scholars like Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora. This would later be supplemented by a volume that treated Peru in more detail.34 In forming this intricate narrative on the basis of his careful reading of hundreds of chronicles and treatises written in and about Spanish America, Brading consciously sought to produce for Latin America the sort of longue durée intellectual history that J. G. A. Pocock had written for Anglo-America in The Machiavellian Moment: Florentine Political Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition (1975). Yet unlike the civic humanism of Renaissance Florence that Pocock had identified as the foundation of the political thought of early modern England and revolutionary America, Brading's creole patriotism was a violent reaction to the imperial tradition of the Renaissance humanists and a uniquely Spanish American tradition that had much deeper roots in the New World than the derivative ideas that inspired the Founding Fathers in el norte. As Brading put it, “no matter how much Spanish America depended on Europe for its art forms, literature and general culture, its chroniclers and patriots succeeded in creating an intellectual tradition that, by reason of its engagement with the historical experience and contemporary reality of America, was original, idiosyncratic, complex, and quite distinct from any European model.”35 This, then, was a narrative that would also appeal to the anticolonial stance of many Cold War–era historians of Latin America, who were keen to find traditions that could be contrasted with imperialist European strands of thought. Similarly, it was a boon to those engaged in postcolonial readings of Latin American literature and society, with the creoles playing the role of neo-subalterns in the face of the peninsular Spaniards.36

Although not widely recognized, Brading later revised his thesis somewhat. Under the influence of an important article by I. A. A. Thompson on local identity in Castile, he would suggest that creole patriotism was probably less linked to nationalism than he had thought and that Mexican patriotism was akin to peninsular patriotisms (Valencian, Castilian, etc.), which were similarly unerringly loyal to the crown. Rightly defending his earlier careful parsing of patriotism and nationalism, which was at times more nuanced than many of his readers cared to admit, he nonetheless subtly redefined the terms of creole identity, which retained many of its earlier constituent parts—including the glorification of the Indian past, frequent civic eulogy, the denunciation of peninsular immigrants, and the cult of the Virgin of Guadalupe—while downplaying the ambivalent view of the conquest and the exceptionalist, separatist narrative that constantly looked forward to the formation of the estados unidos mexicanos. However, few if any cite Brading's brief footnote to The First America, which in any case did not address the Bibliotheca Mexicana controversy directly.37

With his emphasis on the relationship between ideas and “the historical experience and contemporary reality of America,” Brading was, of course, not alone in taking up where the Hyperion group had left off. Another mid-Atlantic historian, Anthony Pagden, largely followed this narrative in an influential essay on identity formation in the Iberian Atlantic, adding a legalistic and constitutionalist slant to Brading's heavily philosophical and theological vision.38 In France, a generation of scholars coming of age in the midst of postwar anti-imperial sentiment also looked to their Mexican colleagues for guidance to understand what was uniquely American about colonial Mexico and Peru. In his widely read Quetzalcóatl et Guadalupe (1974), Jacques Lafaye built on Francisco de la Maza's study of the cult of the Virgin of Guadalupe and Luis Villoro's history of indigenismo to form a narrative of creole separateness.39 Similarly, José Durand's study of the creole consciousness in the sixteenth century influenced André Saint-Lu's doctoral dissertation, and later book, on creole identity in Guatemala.40 French Andeanists were equally attracted to the alluring narrative of the Hyperion group, most famously in the case of Bernard Lavallé, who traced the origins of a creole consciousness in Peru.41 Building historical visions on the same foundation, these Francophone studies possessed all the elements of Brading's creole patriotism without using the term itself.

The role of colonial creole thinkers in the origins of Mexican nationalism also received a boost thanks to Benedict Anderson, whose chapter on the Americas, renamed “Creole Pioneers” for the second edition of Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (1991), cemented the creole patriotism narrative as a precursor to all Latin American nationalisms, just as it drew criticism for its excessive emphasis on the role of print culture and its elaborate theory regarding the rise of creole consciousness in the “pilgrimages of creole functionaries.”42 Yet even in Anderson's widely read interpretation, we see a reflection, albeit a refracted one, of Gaos's vision. Throughout his account of the rise of nationalism in the Americas, Anderson relied on the 1973 account of the age of revolutions in Spanish America by Brading's Doktorvater at University College London, John Lynch, which opened with a discussion of Alexander von Humboldt's famous observation that after the French Revolution creoles began to call themselves “Americans” rather than “Spaniards.”43 Lynch, in turn, had drawn heavily on the work of Luis González y González, another member of Gaos's Mexican circle, on the emergent nationalism of Jesuit creole authors like Clavijero.44 Although no one noticed this intellectual debt, through Anderson's highly influential study the Hyperion group's vision of the birth of creole consciousness inadvertently gained currency well beyond specialists in Mexican or even Latin American history. It is within this historiographical context, reflected in both general (Anderson) and specialized (Brading, Lafaye, etc.) studies, that historians usually read the Bibliotheca Mexicana controversy.

Defining America Mexicana in the Bibliotheca Mexicana

In the work of the Hyperion group and their many admirers, the patria that defined the patriotism of creoles like Eguiara y Eguren was self-explanatory: New Spain as forged in the conquest, a space that would later merge seamlessly into postindependence Mexico. Yet the geographical entity with which Eguiara y Eguren identified was not strictly speaking contemporary New Spain and bore only a tangential relationship to Mexico in the modern sense. Reading the anteloquia, it becomes clear that Eguiara y Eguren's patria was located in “North America” and was roughly coterminous with the Viceroyalty of New Spain (“America Mexicana”), which he contrasted with “South America,” roughly the Viceroyalty of Peru (“America Peruana”).45 Despite its dubious legality, Eguiara y Eguren considered both Americas to be “kingdoms” (regna) analogous to Castile and Aragon, with territories in North America that were under different monarchs such as New England and New France naturally falling outside this. Whereas there certainly were local identities in the Americas, the precise contours were vague, as later nation builders in the region were to find to their chagrin. Brading may have concluded that “Eguiara found evidence of no less than a thousand authors of ‘the Mexican nation,’ defining that term as including all persons born in New Spain, Mexican America, both Indians and Spaniards, the first intimation of the existence of such an entity.”46 Yet the geographical unit that he was working with was far from self-evident, even to Eguiara y Eguren himself. Indeed, Eguiara y Eguren had initially hoped to compile an encyclopedia that covered the whole of the Americas, which was to be called the Bibliotheca Indica.47 This, however, proved unfeasible. This was a much more contingent beginning to the idea of the Mexican nation than the admirers of the Hyperion group had intimated.48

Alongside these geopolitical standards, the most important factors in delineating Eguiara y Eguren's “Mexican commonwealth” (respublica Mexicana) within the Americas was the circulation of books and his personal correspondence network, which reached only as far as Caracas in the south and Durango in the north. Indeed, one of the main reasons that he gives for not including Peru is that it was not possible for someone from America Mexicana to have a good knowledge of the books printed in America Peruana. Ships from Peru only reached Guatemala once a year, while the Philippines, despite being a constituent part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain and having a vibrant print culture, was excluded, ostensibly because of the difficulty of obtaining books printed there.49 This sense of space and community was also partly dictated by his own intellectual networks. In compiling the Bibliotheca Mexicana, Eguiara y Eguren relied on his correspondents, who supplied him with lists of books and authors from their regions. Some of these correspondents were former members of Eguiara y Eguren's learned academy (known to posterity as the Academia Eguiarense), which held biweekly meetings in the Oratory of San Felipe Neri and later at the university, who went on to take up positions in the civil and ecclesiastical administration across continental New Spain, the Caribbean, and New Granada. This intellectual network, partly of course the product of the political structures of the American viceroyalties but also independent from them, was much more important in creating the Mexican nation than many have realized, perhaps lending credence to Anderson's widely ridiculed theory that “pilgrimages of creole functionaries” created the geographical boundaries of the modern Latin American nation-states (figure 2).50

Another frequently overlooked aspect of Eguiara y Eguren's America Mexicana is that despite consisting of many cities and regions it reflected the pattern of a city-state like Milan rather than the protonation that many have imagined. As Eguiara y Eguren explained, America Mexicana was so named because of its principal city, and all the surrounding regions were measured by their connection to this urban space. For this reason, he did not name his encyclopedia after the viceroyalty with which it roughly overlapped (viz., Bibliotheca Novae Hispaniae), for it was not the territory as a whole that interested him but rather the parts that related to the city that served as the epicenter of his community and identity. Even when defining those who were to be considered “Mexicans” (Mexicani) by birth, he privileged Mexico City over the region as a whole, defining as Mexican all those who had been born in or had connections to “either Mexico City or Mexican America.”51 This slippage between the city and its hinterland was also reflected in Eguiara y Eguren's terminology for the scholars whom he listed. “Mexicanus” referred to someone linked to one of the territories associated with “Mexico City” (Mexicus). “Mexicanensis,” on the other hand, referred exclusively to a resident of the city, while “mexiceus” was a somewhat poetical adjective sometimes referring to Mexico City, other times to the larger territories, and, in historical contexts, specifically to the Mexica empire, which had covered only a small part of New Spain.52 By translating all these terms as Mexican, scholars have elided these subtle shades of meaning. For Eguiara y Eguren, who modeled his Bibliotheca Mexicana on similar biobibliographical works from Milan and other city-states of early modern Europe, such as Filippo Argelati's Bibliotheca scriptorum mediolanensium (1745) and Nicoló Toppi's Biblioteca napoletana et apparato a gli huomini illustri di Napoli e del regno (1678), it was this sort of political unit that was self-evident, rather than the Viceroyalty of New Spain in its capacity as a harbinger of the modern nation-state that Brading and others presumed.

Within this political arrangement, loyalty to the Hispanic Monarchy was unquestionable, despite Lafaye's assertion that “certain remarks in his Bibliotheca Mexicana reveal a hostility directed not just at Martí, but at Spain as a whole. The creoles fought on all fronts to free themselves from the domination of the gachupines.”53 Indeed, Eguiara y Eguren recognized that his intellectual community owed its very existence to the Hapsburg and Bourbon monarchs, who had founded and patronized the leading seat of learning in the Americas, the Royal and Pontifical University, from 1551 onward. Charles V, he informed his readers, had wished that New Spain “abound not only in wealth and beautiful things, but also in men who could spread and defend the Catholic faith in these vast regions, and could bring pleasure and honor to their breed [natio] and religion.”54 The king was thus the first port of call when defending the honor of the intellectuals of their kingdom against Martí's slanderous comments. In his oration, Campos y Martínez consoled his listeners that the king would support them in their crusade against Martí, for “he, yes he, is the king, who glories in the name of parent not lord.”55 Indeed, Campos y Martínez urged his listeners to take heart, since by attacking the scholars of Mexico City Martí had, in fact, attacked the king himself, whose ancestors had entrusted the graduates of the university with the administration (both civil and ecclesiastical) of the kingdom of New Spain.56 Such treason would not go unpunished. This, then, was no prelude to the wars of independence, which set protonationalist creoles against loyalist gachupines, but a struggle between two groups that were both fundamentally loyalist.

Caste and Community in America Mexicana

Having been born or having lived within the geographic bounds of the respublica Mexicana was clearly an important criterion for membership in the intellectual community that Eguiara y Eguren and Campos y Martínez were defending. However, this was, of course, not sufficient. As in other aspects of colonial society, the caste system set limits on membership in the learned community that Eguiara y Eguren was describing. He was by no means defending the ethnically diverse nation that Brading and others had suggested. This was partly the result of the barriers to entry into intellectual circles put up for those who could not demonstrate pure Spanish descent (limpieza de sangre). Although “pure-blooded” and especially noble Indians (caciques) were, in theory, permitted to receive university degrees on equal footing with Spanish “gentlemen” (hidalgos), in practice no more than a handful received degrees each year. This small body of indigenous intellectuals rarely if ever advanced to the higher degrees, and it was only in 1772 that an indio would earn a doctorate.57 As a result, among the Mexicani noted by Eguiara y Eguren in the Bibliotheca Mexicana there was a very small number of indio scholars, almost exclusively from the first century after the conquest, whom Eguiara y Eguren took care to differentiate from the Spaniards by noting their Indian parentage, placing them in a separate category that echoed the loose division between the republic of Indians and the republic of Spaniards. Those who were classed as being of mixed heritage (castas) seem to have very occasionally succeeded in gaining admission despite their official exclusion from universities. Those of African descent were entirely excluded.58

As a result of the caste system, the learned community that Eguiara y Eguren and Campos y Martínez defended consisted almost exclusively of Mexican America's highest caste, the “Spaniards” (Hispani), a transregional group that shared a common origin in peninsular Spain, a common language in the Romance dialects of the Iberian Peninsula, a common religion in Catholicism, and certain shared Iberian cultural practices, which Campos y Martínez alluded to in his oration when he addressed his speakers as the “offspring of Europe” (Europaea progenies).59 Although the bonds of hispanidad were strong, pure-blooded Spaniards were also subdivided according to whether they were born in Europe or the Americas, as Eguiara y Eguren's careful description of both the “region of birth” (natione) and “city of long-term residence” (patria) for every author shows. However, neither Eguiara y Eguren nor Campos y Martínez were exclusively defending this group.

Although creoles certainly made up a large part of the intellectual community whose honor Eguiara y Eguren and Campos y Martínez rushed to defend, it would be more accurate to describe membership in their branch of the Republic of Letters as being defined along similar lines to contemporary vecindad. As Tamar Herzog has taught us, vecindad and naturaleza in cities and kingdoms in the Hispanic Monarchy were more than just statuses conferred on those who were born within each political unit's generally accepted borders. Since the High Middle Ages, Spanish law had recognized a number of ways by which individuals could become natives, with birth or ten years of residence being the primary criterion and vassalage, nurture, knighthood, marriage, inheritance, rescue, emancipation, conversion, and property ownership all playing minor roles as well.60 In defining his scholarly community, Eguiara y Eguren consciously or subconsciously borrowed this framework. As he wrote of the hundreds of learned “Mexicans” whose lives and works he catalogued, “they are all bound together by a single political and scholarly community.”61 As early as the title page of his magnum opus, Eguiara y Eguren spelled out the criteria for inclusion in the ranks of “Mexican America”:

The Mexican Library dedicated to Ferdinand VI, the Catholic King of the two Spains, or the History of the erudite men, who, having been born in North America or elsewhere and given citizenship there by virtue of their residence or studies, committed something to letters in any language, and above all of those who distinguished themselves by their deeds or writings, either published or unpublished, for the cause of the Catholic faith and piety.62

Although the scholars he listed were born in cities in Spain, Portugal, Italy, New Spain, and Peru, they were all considered Mexicans, “by birth” (natione), “through long-term residence” (domicilio), “through their studies” (studiis), or “through officeholding” (munere).63 It was not even necessary to know the place of a scholar's birth if there was solid evidence of their studying or long-term residence in Spanish North America, which automatically bestowed membership, while those whose residence was insufficient to merit this were excluded as “foreigners” (hospites).64

The main addition that Eguiara y Eguren made to the citizenship paradigm was, of course, the criterion of “studies” (studia). In defining what was primarily an intellectual community, it is perhaps unsurprising that Eguiara y Eguren and Campos y Martínez set great store by an association with educational institutions, a view that Campos y Martínez expressed openly in his oration when he declared that it was equally if not more important to defend one's intellectual honor as one's family honor.65 Indeed, it appears that Eguiara y Eguren was defending an intellectual city-state centered not so much in Mexico City as in the city's Royal and Pontifical University. This model of a learned republic appeared as early as the first entry of the encyclopedia. Beneath images associated with Mexico City and its place in the Hispanic Monarchy (the coat of arms of Castile and León, the Virgin of Guadalupe, and an eagle sitting on a cactus holding a snake), Eguiara y Eguren recounted the familiar story of Hernando Cortés's conquest of the Mexica capital and Charles V's subsequent foundation of a university for the propagation of the Catholic faith, to which students flocked from both near and far.66 The story of the foundation of the university thus became the foundational moment for the intellectual history of the respublica Mexicana. We should not be surprised, then, that studying at the university (which also usually involved a considerable period of residence) bestowed membership in Eguiara y Eguren's branch of the Republic of Letters.

This more flexible model of citizenship that went beyond jus soli and jus sanguinis was probably also reinforced by a number of intellectual currents. The first was the Roman precedent mediated through the Jesuit humanist educational program and the civil law tradition. Eguiara y Eguren was certainly aware of this, as he described it in detail in his job talk (lección de oposición) for the professorship of rhetoric in 1721, when he spoke on a passage from an oration of Cicero in which the Roman orator defended Balbus from accusations of having falsely claimed Roman citizenship. In his summary of Cicero's argument, Eguiara y Eguren reminded his audience that, although born in Cádiz, Balbus was entitled to Roman citizenship thanks to his service to the Roman state and his virtuous behavior while resident in Rome. He then ridiculed the very idea that Rome, the “common fatherland of all peoples” (patria omnium gentium communis), would reject individuals who could contribute to its glory.67 This way of defining membership in an intellectual community was also reminiscent of the way that authors of other contemporary bibliothecae treated regional or political communities.68 For example, Eguiara y Eguren's criteria aligned perfectly with those used in the bibliotheca of another city-state, Milan, which gave citizenship (civitas) to natives by birth, long-term residents, and those who studied at its famous university in nearby Pavia.69 There are also similarities with the framework applied in Nicolás Antonio's Bibliotheca Hispana Nova, which listed all the learned ethnic “Spaniards” (wherever in the world they were born) from the Renaissance onward. However, Eguiara y Eguren's community was somewhat more limited than that of Antonio, who writing during the Iberian Union and from an ethnic Hispano-Iberian rather than geopolitical perspective created a rather unwieldy category that stretched from Mexico City to Goa. Although Eguiara y Eguren relied heavily on Antonio's volume as a source, he was in no way creating a Mexican version of a Spanish bibliotheca, as neither really represented these units in the first place.70 In using this residence- and experience-based model of belonging, there was, of course, the temptation to push the envelope to include particularly noteworthy individuals, as happened in the case of most European bibliothecae. Eguiara y Eguren was not immune from this tendency, claiming, quite logically, Christopher Columbus as Mexican on the basis of time spent in the Caribbean. However, Eguiara y Eguren never abandoned the citizenship framework, arguing that the explorer had spent enough time in Mexican America to qualify as a resident.71

For Eguiara y Eguren, birth in the Americas was one among many criteria for belonging and certainly not the organizing principle of postconquest-era identity that many have presumed it to be. Indeed, important creole intellectuals themselves denied the usefulness of the term and the thinking that underlay it. For instance, Andrés de Arce y Miranda (1701–1774), Eguiara y Eguren's learned correspondent in Puebla, openly rejected the term when giving advice on how to assemble the Bibliotheca Mexicana:

The term “creole,” in addition to being ridiculous and denigrating, is scandalous. It is denigrating because it is a term originally invented by blacks, and it is scandalous because with this term, they confuse us with the Ethiopians. . . . So, how are we to refer to ourselves with justice and propriety? We should use the name that the great philosopher of our times, Jerónimo Feijóo, applied to us, namely “American Spaniards,” in contrast to the cachopínes [sic], who are the European Spaniards. And what does cachupín mean? In Peru, so Gaspar de Villano tells us, they say chapetones. In truth, I don't know. I believe there is a term in the [indigenous] Mexican language cachopín, which means a man who is shod, or wearing shoes, and since we are just as shod as them, we are just like the Spanish from Spain, unless of course we join the Order of the Discalced [i.e., barefoot] Carmelites.72

Although the word gachupín was not in fact related to the Nahuatl cacaque (shod), Arce y Miranda's letter points to a strong resistance among the so-called creoles both to the creole terminology itself and what it implied.73 While some clearly did make the distinction between criollos and peninsulares, especially in polemical contexts such as the famous debates surrounding ecclesiastical benefices, this was by no means the universally preferred terminology and clearly not for Eguiara y Eguren and his circle of influential Novohispanic intellectuals.74 For them, there was simply no significant difference between the Spaniards born in the Iberian Peninsula and the Americas. They were all ethnic Spaniards, as Eguiara y Eguren's consistent use of the terminology “American Spaniards” throughout the Bibliotheca Mexicana suggests. To question this was to undermine the very basis of their caste privileges in the Americas. As Jorge Juan and Antonio de Ulloa would underline, some American Spaniards would go to great lengths to emphasize their noble origins in Europe in order to place themselves in the ranks of not only Spaniards but Spaniards of noble descent, which would reinforce their position in the racial hierarchy.75 In short, caste allegiance could and often did trump origins within a particular kingdom in the identity of the so-called creoles.

This is not to say that Spanish caste identity did not coexist with territorially bounded conceptions that played important, if secondary, roles in Eguiara y Eguren's identity. Although Mexican America was a more fluid concept for Eguiara y Eguren and his contemporaries than modern nationhood, the integrity of their community was vitally important. As in the other kingdoms of the Hispanic Monarchy, the definition of a space and a community secured privileges for Mexican America as a separate kingdom with its own reserve of officeholders. Citing the commonplace of Diogenes the Cynic that those who do not seek wisdom are not fully fledged “human beings” (homines), in his inaugural oration Campos y Martínez predicted that if their alleged intellectual inferiority gained currency, “Mexicans” would no longer be considered worthy to hold offices in their native kingdom. Such a loss of officeholding privileges, one of the most carefully guarded rights of residents (wherever their place of birth), would be both a disgrace and a severe blow for local autonomy and community self-rule that could not be countenanced.76 This was a particularly touchy issue as vecinos in the Americas faced certain obstacles to obtaining the highest offices in the land due to their distance from the court in Madrid, although during Eguiara y Eguren's lifetime the number of American-born appointees in the audiencia actually increased.77 Playing on the close relationship between reason, urban civilization, and self-rule in the discourse of the Hispanic Monarchy and the Republic of Letters as a whole, Campos y Martínez taunted his fellow “Mexicans,” asking what opinion they would hold of a people if they heard rumors about them like those spread by Martí. If they were true, would it not be better, he jeered, to send such people out of the city to live in the forest, where they could set up professorships of ploughing, since the study of theology and law would be wasted on them? Only civilized letrados (to borrow Angel Rama's term) could achieve self-rule and liberty from the passions through reason. The ignorant could not rule themselves, never mind others. Thus, the importance of successfully prosecuting the dean lay in the possible repercussions of his defamation, above all the subjection of the “Mexicans” to the “heavy yoke of servitude,” which would be the ultimate calamity. New displays of erudition and eloquence were now a political necessity.78

Eguiara y Eguren's Hispanic foralismo was also mapped onto a larger learned community that he referred to as the “Republic of Letters” (respublica litteraria, respublica litterarum). In the stirring peroration of his address to the assembled members of the Royal and Pontifical University, Campos y Martínez reminded his fellow “Mexicans” that they had allies in their fellow scholars. In ridiculing the scholastic tendencies of other Catholic eruditos who did not share his purist humanist model of scholarship, Martí had made many enemies. In a string of Ciceronian exclamations, Campos y Martínez maintained that his audience should not be afraid of losing face in the world of learning, since the ancient universities of Spain had embraced the “Mexican Minerva” as their equal, something they would never have considered if they shared the dean's view that the university of Mexico City was a “hovel out in the sticks” (rusticum gurgustium). Would Salamanca let the reputation of her sister university be besmirched? Never. His audience should also remember that Rome would join Mexico City in her struggle, since earlier in his life Martí had insinuated that there was no one in the eternal city apart from himself up to the task of completing Antonio's unfinished Bibliotheca Hispana Vetus.79 The dean with his neo-Renaissance purism and haughty contrarianism not only had thus unleashed the wrath of Mexican America but had brought on himself the disdain of a large section of the Catholic Republic of Letters, of which Eguiara y Eguren and his learned contemporaries were proud members.

Eguiara y Eguren's “Patriotic Epistemology”

Although these “Spaniards born in America” (hispani in America nati) like Eguiara y Eguren recognized little or no biomoral difference between themselves and those born in the Iberian Peninsula, some European authors labored under the impression that being born in the Americas distorted the nature and life cycle of Spanish stock. Since Eguiara y Eguren composed the Bibliotheca Mexicana for a wider audience in both Europe and the Americas—in his words, the “Republic of Letters”— in its extensive prologue he addressed the issue of the natural abilities of American Spaniards directly as part of his larger attempt to prove the strength of the intellectual traditions of his corner of this larger learned community. Eguiara y Eguren did not deny that American Spaniards advanced quickly in their studies but suggested that this was due to more effective teaching and a greater work ethic than was the case in Europe. This was then reinforced by the positive influence of the American environment on the “innate abilities” (ingenium) of both those born in the Americas and those who resided there.80

As a late humanist scholar, Eguiara y Eguren strengthened his argument by layering authoritative quotation on authoritative quotation. However, it is hard to maintain that this represented a “patriotic epistemology” that purposely foregrounded creole authorities and long-term residents over those with no firsthand experience of the Americas and that in so doing foreshadowed postcolonial critiques of the European traveler.81 In the first place, Eguiara y Eguren relied heavily and without reservations on famous European authors who had never crossed the Atlantic. Like Martí, Eguiara y Eguren greatly admired the light-footed critical acumen of Benito Jerónimo Feijóo, whose Teatro crítico universal (1726–1740) he cited for its attack on the commonly held belief that those born in the New World were intellectually deficient or possessed an unusually precocious but fleeting genius. It is, of course, undeniable that Eguiara y Eguren showed an overall preference for those scholars who had firsthand experience of the Americas. However, at the same time he preferred European-born residents of the Americas and firmly excluded American-born “suspicious witnesses,” who might not provide an accurate assessment of the abilities of American Spaniards:

Lest we plead our case with suspicious witnesses who should be excluded, in our defense we will pass over in silence those men who were born in America. Furthermore, we believe that the wise will not listen to those who, with closed eyes (like blind gladiators) never saw America and did not acquire knowledge of suitable sources or learn from suitable authors, who then attempted to attack us with their spears and to pass judgment on us. We have no choice then but to avail ourselves of appropriate witnesses, and to listen to the serious and learned men, who having been born in Europe have come to know our ways, and thanks to long-standing experience and exposure to American life have imbibed our customs. Only then we will make sparing use of those authors who used the best testimonies and most trustworthy documents.82

As a former candidate for the chair of rhetoric at the Royal and Pontifical University, Eguiara y Eguren knew classical courtroom oratory well. Carefully selecting his authorities not on the basis of epistemological criteria but according to their ability to move an imagined scholarly jury, he rejected foreign authors only if they disagreed with him and preferred Europeans with long-term residency or knowledge of American culture for their perceived evenhandedness in judging the intellectual standards in the Americas, which local-born scholars might misrepresent, or be seen to misrepresent, out of pride. The choice of authorities with greater knowledge and (ideally, but not necessarily) direct experience of the Americas was commonsensical and rhetorical, not ideological.

Nor did Eguiara y Eguren purposely choose arguments from scholars who had had the aid of creole guides, as has been argued in the case of his reliance on the work of the Italian globe-trotter Giovanni Francesco Gemelli Careri (1651–1725), who, modern scholarship has shown, made extensive use of local informants, both creole and indigenous.83 It is, of course, true that in the Bibliotheca Mexicana Eguiara y Eguren embraced the Italian's positive assessment of the manuscripts, antiquities, and archaeological remains in and around Mexico City and that in the same passage he also notes that Sigüenza y Góngora had written about the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon. However, the two facts are not causally related in Eguiara y Eguren's account. Indeed, the reference to Sigüenza y Góngora is taken from a review of Gemelli Careri's work printed in the learned periodical from Leipzig Acta Eruditorum, so the connection between Gemelli Careri and Sigüenza y Góngora was not even drawn by Eguiara y Eguren in the first place but simply mirrors the line of thought of the reviewer whom he is paraphrasing. Surely if he had wanted to underline the role of learned local guides, he would have mentioned the close collaboration between Gemelli Careri and Sigüenza y Góngora or the fact that the Italian visited the pyramids at Teotihuacan with Pedro de Alva, a descendant of the lords of Texcoco. Yet he did not. Indeed, Eguiara y Eguren's only addition in his repetition of the Acta Eruditorum's summary of Gemelli Careri's argument is to note that the “Spaniards” (by which he meant both creole and peninsular Spaniards, since he glosses the term with “we”) were not responsible for the poor state of preservation of pre-Columbian monuments, without mentioning who could give an authoritative judgment of them.84 This was no patriotic epistemology but a pragmatic argument that sought to bathe the scholars of his home city in a positive glow.

In short, Eguiara y Eguren was not claiming the preeminence of American scholars over all others in any particular domain of knowledge, even the history of the New World. Indeed, in the end he came to a very measured conclusion: although Mexican America had not yet produced an Athanasius Kircher or a Thomas Aquinas, it had produced a small crop of very fine scholars, and with the passing of time their numbers would surely increase.85 In this way, Eguiara y Eguren sought to defend Mexican America's seat at the table of the Republic of Letters without demanding the place of honor, which, as any baroque scholar knew, belonged to Italy alone. Thus, Eguiara y Eguren did not foreshadow postcolonial critiques of the European traveler or argue that outsiders could never comprehend America but relied on a late humanist rhetorical mindset that privileged argument over epistemology.

Eguiara y Eguren's Attitude to the Conquest and “Neo-Aztecism”

According to proponents of the creole patriotism narrative, an ambivalent attitude toward the conquest was the natural complement to a growing sense of separateness from peninsular Spaniards. Yet, as recent scholarship has underlined, the legitimacy (if not the severity) of the conquest went largely unquestioned in this period and was actually publicly celebrated in Mexico City and elsewhere in the Paseo del Pendón festival held every year on August 13, the anniversary of the fall of Tenochtitlan.86 This view was common not only among ethnic Spaniards but also among cacique intellectuals, the heirs to the indigenous conquistadores whose role in the conquest legitimized their claims to nobility and status as de facto Old Christians.87 It should come as no surprise, then, that Eguiara y Eguren and his learned coterie in Mexico City shared this view.

In contrast to later writers like the radical Servando Teresa de Mier, the conquest was of passing rather than profound interest for Eguiara y Eguren and his colleagues.88 As much as it interested them at all, it was part of the self-evident providential narrative that created their society as a whole and their intellectual community in particular. In his description of their intellectual genealogy at the beginning of the Bibliotheca Mexicana, Eguiara y Eguren maintained that Cortés had had a hand in founding the Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico City, where generations of students from New Spain and other kingdoms of the Hispanic Monarchy (“exteri confluentes et incolae”) dedicated themselves to intellectual pursuits on the model of the universities of Europe.89 Without the need to differentiate themselves from European Spaniards, as Mexican scholars of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries were wont to do, the conquest did not acquire the important narrative role that it would later. Instead, it was a foundational if rather underexamined historical moment that could be organically integrated into all facets of an all-encompassing providential historical vision.

Parallel to this supposed “emotional distancing” from the conquest, the creole scholars who lived atop the ruins of Tenochtitlan have often been portrayed as developing “a growing sympathy for the Indians.” Indeed, Brading labeled Eguiara y Eguren's description of pre-Columbian educational accomplishments as nothing less than a “happy spectacle of native virtue.”90 However, Brading and others have usually neglected to mention that, like Sigüenza y Góngora, Eguiara y Eguren felt disdain for postconquest plebeian indios, who represented a disappointing departure from a glorious past. Indeed, Eguiara y Eguren painted the majority of contemporary Indians as poor and miserable (“miserrima indorum natio”). They were, however, not incapable of developing high culture, especially those of noble descent. Interestingly, for Eguiara y Eguren it was not any biomoral impediment that prevented more Indians from achieving noteworthy cultural feats. Rather, it was because they lacked a Maecenas who could support Nahuatl writers financially.91 Indeed, Eguiara y Eguren frequently praised noble Indians who showed talent, such as the aspiring members of the secular clergy who attended the university and his personal acquaintance Ignacio Antonio Sandoval, a cacique who played the organ, painted, and sculpted at the church of the oratory, where Eguiara y Eguren held the biweekly meetings of his learned academy.92

For Eguiara y Eguren—who wanted to counter Martí's claim that the Americas, where ethnic Spaniards were in the minority, were devoid of learning (“To whom among the Indians will you turn in such a vast desert of letters?”)—contemporary indigenous peoples provided little grist for his mill. The ancient Mexica, on the other hand, provided a wealth of possible counterarguments. They had founded schools and practiced rhetoric, music, astronomy, and the other liberal arts as learned members of the Republic of Letters, as the Dutch humanist Justus Lipsius (1547–1606) had shown. Had the Mexica received the Christian message, then they would have lacked nothing.93 As a result, in the prologue to the Bibliotheca Mexicana Eguiara y Eguren devoted considerable effort to defending the “ancient inhabitants of Mexico City” (prisci Mexicanenses) in a long excursus that provided a compelling if tangential argument that even Eguiara y Eguren later admitted was something of a diversionary tactic.94 However, this should not be interpreted as the “nostalgia for . . . the exotic grandeur of the native empires” that Brading (following Luis Villoro and other members of the Hyperion group) described as growing up in the wake of the publication of Juan de Torquemada's Monarquía Indiana (1615).95 Nor is it an example of the “neo-Aztecism” described by Phelan, who explicitly argued that the Mexica past replaced Greece and Rome as the archetypal pre-Christian antiquity among the creoles of New Spain.96 Such a völkisch interpretation hugely overstates the case. As a Spaniard, Eguiara y Eguren's ethnocentrism precluded close identification with the pre-Columbian past. This was not the nationalist archaeology of Manuel Gamio (1883–1960) that so many have written back onto baroque scholarship.97

In reality, Eguiara y Eguren's praise of pre-Columbian antiquity was part of his larger argument in the Bibliotheca Mexicana in defense of the intellectual rewards of coming to the New World, where antiquarian pursuits, parallel but not analogous to Martí's study of the Roman amphitheater at Saguntum in Valencia, provided rich veins of scholarly inquiry and a source of local pride that stopped short of creating any sort of biological or intellectual genealogy with the preconquest past. This was standard operating procedure for a baroque scholar, not the sign of a heartfelt attachment to or identification with the American past. Unlike the granadinos who famously forged Arabic tablets (plomos) to show that Iberia's last Muslim stronghold was in fact its oldest Christian city, Eguiara y Eguren did not use the Mexica to create a direct genealogy of any sort, merely a positive reflection.98 Had he wished to link the accomplishments of contemporary Christian letrados to the pre-Columbian past, he could have easily enumerated the well-known cases of itinerant apostles and prefigurations of Christian truths before 1492 that religious chroniclers and antiquarians like Diego Durán and Bernardino de Sahagún had held up as justifications for their own evangelization projects.99 Perhaps this was to be taken as read. Yet it was certainly not central to his argument that young scholars like Antonio Carrillo should indeed cross the Atlantic to the Rome of the New World.

Instead, Eguiara y Eguren's pre-Columbian past was an “Egyptian antiquity” typical of baroque scholarship on New Spain on both sides of the Atlantic.100 As such, it was a parallel but ancillary past, a sort of distant cousin to Greece and Rome that shared their Egyptian origins but from which it had been rather estranged. A neo-Egyptian local antiquity was not to be sniffed at, of course.101 As Eguiara y Eguren reminded his readers, Acts 7:22 made it clear that “Moses was educated in all the wisdom of Egypt.”102 Contrary to the view of the famous polymath Athanasius Kircher, the pictographs in early colonial codices were the equals of Egyptian hieroglyphs and contained the same esoteric knowledge, if only they could be decoded with the help of relevant books or learned interpreters.103 Unfortunately, Eguiara y Eguren does not seem to have known any scholar or text that could have helped him. If he had, perhaps he would have pricked up his ears and dedicated himself to a patriotic project of tracing the origins of his Christian present in the indigenous past, but he did not.

In short, Tenochtitlan was every bit the equal of Memphis or Thebes but not of Rome or Jerusalem. Indeed, pre-Columbian antiquity did not offer Eguiara y Eguren and his immediate circle anything that would earn it Phelan's appellation of neo-Aztecism or lead us to believe that it was the New World equivalent of the “neo-Roman” political thought described by the Cambridge School. In fact, if we take Eguiara y Eguren and his circle as a baseline for creole attitudes, Sigüenza y Góngora's often-cited triumphal arch described in his Teatro de virtudes políticas (1680), on which depictions of Aztec monarchs and gods personified humanist virtues, seems very much like an outlier.104 If there were proponents of a patriotic neo-Aztecism, they were not the creoles but the late colonial indigenous intellectuals, who saw it as their hereditary mission to revive the glories of Tenochtitlan and Texcoco in a Christianized form.105 In addition, between the ages of Sigüenza y Góngora and Clavijero digging among the pre-Columbian ruins was an enterprise pursued largely by wild-eyed European polyhistors mostly coming from the Italian kingdoms of the Hispanic Monarchy, as the well-known cases of Giovanni Francesco Gemelli Careri and Lorenzo Boturini Benaduci (1702–1753) attest.106 Truth be told, it was a student of Martí in Spain, Gregorio Mayans y Siscar (1699–1781), who provided more assistance to Boturini Benaduci than did Eguiara y Eguren. Mayans y Siscar took Boturini Benaduci into his home and invited him to address the Academia Valentina on the topic of natural law among the Indians. Boturini Benaduci, as far as we know, received no analogous invitation from Eguiara y Eguren when the two met briefly during the Italian's visit.107

Guadalupanismo in Eguiara y Eguren's Circle

Finally, it should be noted that Eguiara y Eguren's guadalupanismo does not quite fit the traditional creole patriotism mold. Reading the engraving of the Virgin of Guadalupe that appeared on the first page of the Bibliotheca Mexicana (figure 1) alongside Eguiara y Eguren's 1756 panegyric sermon for her papal nomination as patroness of New Spain, scholars have seen in Eguiara y Eguren and his contemporaries a patriotic religiosity centered on the Mexican Guadalupe that foreshadowed the use of her image in the wars of independence. Summarizing this view of the Guadalupe as a subversive symbol, Brading asserted that “the significance of this cult was that it affirmed that the Mother of God had chosen the Mexican people, no matter what their race, for her especial protection. In an epoch when the Catholic monarchy exercised a rigorous censorship and attracted a quasi-religious veneration, patriotic sentiment could only find expression in historical or religious myths and symbols.”108

Yet despite her modern associations the morenita of Eguiara y Eguren's day was not a symbol of Mexican freedom, the exclusive object of Novohispanic devotion, or the unifying feature of society in New Spain, both Indian and creole. Even Brading, in his influential study of the theological underpinnings of the cult, entitled Mexican Phoenix (2001), was wary about claiming that all of colonial society accepted the Guadalupe as a pan-ethnic Mexican Ark of the Covenant, noting that he did “not pretend to trace the development of the cult of the Guadalupe either as regards its geographical diffusion or its social and ethnic penetration.”109 Indeed, more recent scholarship has shown that, although in the ascension in the first half of the eighteenth century, she was no more than a prima inter pares among Mexican Marian devotions until the 1750s. Guadalupe had been in fact only the third Marian cult (after Loreto and Remedios) invoked by the cabildo during the matlazahuatl epidemic, although she turned out to be the most willing to intercede on behalf of the typhoid-stricken city, which in turn led to her being declared patroness of Mexico City in 1737.110 We should also not forget that her nomination as patroness of New Spain, which Eguiara y Eguren celebrated ex post facto in 1756, was the result of a petition by the Italian Boturini Benaduci, not the creoles of Mexico City. Indeed, the Virgin of Guadalupe coexisted with other cults that hinged on decidedly Old World community affiliations. Eguiara y Eguren himself had a particular devotion to the Virgin of Aránzazu due to his Basque heritage and even served as the rector of the confraternity that bore her name.111 If Eguiara y Eguren and his fellow Mexicans were not exclusively devoted to the Virgin of Guadalupe, she was also not by any means an exclusively Mexican devotion. Few accounts of the devotion mention, as Eguiara y Eguren did in his 1756 sermon, that the crown gave financial support to the church at Tepeyac and had founded a confraternity devoted to the Virgin of Guadalupe (the Congregación de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de Méjico) in the church of San Felipe el Real in Madrid.112 In reality then, the Marian apparition at Tepeyac was just one of a patchwork of Marian devotions that, although centered in a particular kingdom, existed within a larger pan-Hispanic context born of constant transatlantic migrations and the overarching religious role of the Hispanic Monarchy. Guadalupe was certainly rising in the 1750s, but for much of Eguiara y Eguren's life Aránzazu, not Guadalupe, had reigned supreme in his affections.

Of course, some elements of the traditional creole patriotism narrative do apply to the guadalupanismo of Eguiara y Eguren, Campos y Martínez, and their contemporaries. That they felt some sort of pride in the fact that Mexico City and New Spain had been blessed by a Marian apparition is undeniable. In his often-cited sermon of 1756, Eguiara y Eguren discussed the famous passage from Psalms 147:20, “He hath not dealt so with any nation” (non fecit taliter omni nationi), which had for some time been associated with the Virgin of Guadalupe, describing it as the “most glorious appellation written beneath the holy image [that] has been a high honor for New Spain.”113 In his eyes, the residents of New Spain were the new Israelites, a chosen people, who were called to spread the Christian faith across the Americas. In the vision that he put forward in this sermon, the image of the Virgin on the tilma of Juan Diego was the “letter patent” (ejecutoria) confirming the love that she had for New Spain, which she had wiped clean of the last hints of its pagan past just as Christ had cleansed his followers of the stain of Judaism.114

Yet Eguiara y Eguren's guadalupanismo also contained elements that place it firmly in the realm of Brading's imperial tradition rather than creole patriotism. Just as Cortés and his followers prayed to Mary on the Noche Triste, the role of Mary as a conquistadora was celebrated across the Americas throughout the colonial period, and in this Eguiara y Eguren and his contemporaries were no exception.115 Addressing the medical faculty in 1756 in a text that has so far eluded scholars of Our Lady of Tepeyac, Campos y Martínez made this connection between the Marian apparition and the conquest clear:

Yet, some will respond: what about that great immortal hero Hernán Cortés who, envious of the fictional Jason, brought back the American Golden Fleece? And, they might ask: had not his followers and those who were inspired by his great deeds already brought the true faith and religion to this land where the sun sets, overturned the temples of demons, and set up the standard of the cross, a decade before the Guadalupe stood witness to the triumphant truth with the famous appearance of her image? It is very difficult to pass judgment on such matters, dear listeners, since the truth is hidden from us by the veil of divine providence. Yet, I grant to those men [i.e., Cortés and his followers] a greatness of spirit, no small expertise in military matters, bravery in the face of adversity, and joy when they overcame it. But I contend that things would not have fallen into their lap as they did, and they would not have succeeded in their planned conquest in two years, had not the Guadalupan mother provided mystical reinforcements.116

It was no wonder then, as Eguiara y Eguren underlined in his 1756 panegyric oration, that Mary had appeared in New Spain exactly ten years after the fall of Tenochtitlan. For baroque scholars, convenient chronology was an undeniable sign of causality. Even Columbus's voyage, Eguiara y Eguren told his listeners, had been inspired by the Virgin of Guadalupe.117 This Marian devotion, then, was not an outlet for protonationalist ideas that pointed inexorably to the wars of independence, offering the only outlet for patriotism in an oppressive colonial culture. Instead, it was an integral part of the providential, loyalist, and ethnocentric worldview of Eguiara y Eguren and his learned contemporaries, which combined elements of creole patriotism with what Brading identified as a separate imperial tradition.

Conclusion

A close reading of the Bibliotheca Mexicana controversy leaves us with an image of the thought world and identity of Eguiara y Eguren and his immediate contemporaries that does not fit the conventional portrait of creole patriotism. Eguiara y Eguren and his late baroque contemporaries certainly felt pride in their city-state of Mexico. Yet this was entirely compatible with a strong loyalty to the Hispanic Monarchy, a larger pan-Hispanic caste identity, and a sense of membership in the Catholic Republic of Letters that bound them not only to the kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula but also to Italy and other Catholic communities in Europe and elsewhere. This was reflected not only in their definition of membership in their community, which reproduced the supple criteria of Hispanic residency laws, but also in their antiquarian pursuits, religious devotions, and providential view of history. Eguiara y Eguren's interest in pre-Columbian antiquity was also a defense not of an illustrious cultural lineage but of a local antiquity akin to other secondary antiquities across the Republic of Letters (Egyptian, Etruscan, Islamic, etc.), with which they identified only partly and cultivated rather rarely. All of this then found its expression within the context of an apology for traditional university culture against Martí's neo-Renaissance purism, a cause that the scholars of Mexico City saw themselves defending in solidarity with their colleagues in Salamanca and Rome.

Without being reductionist, it is clear that the thought world of Eguiara y Eguren was the product of his unique set of circumstances, including his strong connections to the Royal and Pontifical University, the Basque diaspora, and the larger Republic of Letters, just as the views of Clavijero and the other expelled Jesuits spoke to their collective nostalgia. At the same time, however, this new, more contingent interpretation of the Bibliotheca Mexicana controversy does not negate its wider importance for the development of New World identities. Eguiara y Eguren and the Bibliotheca Mexicana exerted considerable influence both on contemporaries and on later generations. Eguiara y Eguren was one of the most celebrated academicians, humanists, and scholastics of his day, who played an important role in intellectual life and education in Mexico City, New Spain, and beyond. Given his fame and role in training generations of clerics and administrators, his views simply cannot be dismissed. His Bibliotheca Mexicana was also the foundation stone of a whole tradition of bibliographical scholarship from the fiercely loyalist José Mariano Beristáin de Souza (1756–1817) during the independence era to the great Chilean scholar and diplomat José Toribio Medina (1852–1930). Eguiara y Eguren also remains important because he lived not only at a moment of change from a late humanist culture to an Enlightenment model of scholarship but also during a period when many of the ideas and attitudes that we associate with the age of revolutions began to crystallize. Within a few decades, the visiting Prussian scholar Alexander von Humboldt could write that “the natives prefer the name of ‘Americans’ to that of ‘Creoles.’ Since the peace of Versailles, and, in particular, since the year 1789, we frequently hear proudly declared, ‘I am not a Spaniard, I am an American!’ words that betray the workings of a long resentment.”118 Within this context, the Bibliotheca Mexicana controversy is a reminder that teleologies can be deceiving, identities can shift quickly, and diversity rather than uniformity of worldview is often the rule, even in “Mexican America.”

Whether the creole patriotism narrative bequeathed to us by the Mexican followers of Gaos will survive is unclear, especially as postnationalist scholarship is increasingly successful in underlining how easily the premise behind it blurs into a teleology. Perhaps creole patriotism will be replaced with a less weighted term, such as New World subjectivity, or be entirely integrated into the scholarship on polycentric early modern patriotisms and thus become just another patriotismo chico associated with a New World patria chica. Yet this ongoing reassessment of the vision put forward by the Hyperion group and their followers during a period of energetic nation building in twentieth-century Mexico should also be accompanied by an understanding of the contemporary pressures that shape our narratives. In the wake of the spatial turn in scholarship and the new outward-looking foreign policy of many nation-states in nuestra América, we should not become victims of our present moment of internationalism. Just as Eguiara y Eguren was no nationalist, he was no cosmopolitan either. His ecclesiastical career may have been built on family wealth amassed in both the transatlantic and the transpacific trade, but his world was divided along caste, confessional, and regional lines that put strict limits on his sense of community. We should certainly not follow some of our Europeanist colleagues in making premodern history a paean to a modern cosmopolitan vision of globalization, populated by benign globe-trotters whose lives are charted in increasingly ambitious “global microhistories.”119 In short, we should be aware of the dangers of reinscribing another pseudobiblical narrative onto early modern Latin America that sees an internationalist premodern Eden followed by a nationalist fall and an internationalist redemption in our own time. Instead, we should build on the insights of the historians, art historians, and philosophers who assembled the creole patriotism narrative in our attempts to parse the overlapping layers of local and regional identities in the Americas while also remaining alive to the nuances of these by investigating their nonurban, Afro-Latin, and indigenous manifestations. Only by relying on the insights of the Hyperion group and their heirs can we show that the identity of Eguiara y Eguren and his contemporaries was more complex than they ever imagined.

I want to acknowledge and extend my gratitude to the following individuals, who offered careful feedback at various stages of the research and writing of this article: David Armitage, Ann Blair, James Hankins, Emilio Kourí, Valeria López Fadul, Mauricio Tenorio-Trillo, and the members of the Mexican Studies Seminar at the Katz Center for Mexican Studies, University of Chicago.

Notes

1. Martí, Epistolarum, 2:38–39.

2. Keen, Aztec Image, 223–25.

3. Mignolo, Darker Side, 63, 163–65.

4. Cañizares-Esguerra, How to Write, 201–13.

5. Lafaye, Quetzalcóatl et Guadalupe, 535.

6. Brading, First America, 1–6.

7. Ibid., 389.

8. Burkholder, Spaniards; Lafaye, “Literature,” 698.

9. Martínez, Genealogical Fictions, 14–15, 220.

10. Bronner, “Urban Society,” 43; Bertrand, “Comment.”

11. Cañizares-Esguerra, How to Write, 204–10.

12. Herzog, “Los americanos”; Herzog, Defining Nations, 11, 143, 150; Mazín, “Architect.” For an overview of one set of influential postnationalist approaches, see Marcos Martín, “Polycentric Monarchies.”

13. Brian, “Alva Ixtlilxochitl”; Villella, Indigenous Elites.

14. Conover, “Reassessing the Rise.”

15. More, Baroque Sovereignty; Brian, Alva Ixtlilxochitl's Native Archive.

16. Phelan, “México,” 313.

17. Conn, Politics, 13–35. See also Garrigan, Collecting Mexico, 65–105.

18. Schmidt, Roots, 20–37; Arrom, “Criollo,” 175.

19. Ramos, “El perfil,” 129; Schmidt, Roots, 139–61.

20. Here I have relied heavily on Valero Pie, “José Gaos.”

21. Groethuysen, La formación.

22. Gaos, “El siglo,” 408, 488.

23. Paz, Labyrinth, 119.

24. Phelan, “México,” 309n1.

25. Reyes, La X, viii–xii.

26. O'Gorman, “Meditaciones,” 89–90. Emphasis in original. See also Hernández López, Edmundo O'Gorman, 39–46.

27. Alberro, El águila; Alberro, Del gachupín; Martínez Peláez, La patria.

28. Brading, Los orígenes, 9–10; Brading, Miners, 208–19; Gerbi, La disputa.

29. Bailyn, Ideological Origins.

30. Arrom, “Criollo.”

31. Brading, Los orígenes.

32. Brading, “Recusant Abroad,” 15–16.

33. Skinner, Foundations, 84–88.

34. Brading, Profecía.

35. Brading, First America, 5.

36. Bauer and Mazzotti, “Introduction,” 9–10.

37. Brading, “Patriotism.” Cf. Thompson, “Castile.”

38. Pagden, “Identity Formation.”

39. Lafaye, Quetzalcóatl et Guadalupe.

40. Saint-Lu, Condición colonial.

41. Lavallé, Las promesas ambiguas.

42. Anderson, Imagined Communities, 57. See also Guerra, “Forms of Communication.”

43. Lynch, Spanish American Revolutions, 1; Humboldt, Ensayo político, 76. Brading's thesis was cosupervised by C. R. Boxer.

44. González y González, “El optimismo nacionalista,” 160–62.

45. Eguiara y Eguren, Bibliotheca Mexicana, fol. 33v. Despite its separate existence as part of the Viceroyalty of New Granada from 1717, Caracas is also included in America Mexicana due to its position in the ecclesiastical administration: ibid., fol. 34*r.

46. Brading, First America, 390.

47. Castro Morales, Las primeras bibliografías, 19.

48. Ponce Hernández, “La Bibliotheca Mexicana,” 117–18.

49. Eguiara y Eguren, Bibliotheca Mexicana, fols. 33v–34*r.

50. McManus, “Art”; Anderson, Imagined Communities, 56–57.

51. Eguiara y Eguren, Bibliotheca Mexicana, fol. 34v.

52. Ibid., fol. 33v.

53. Lafaye, Quetzalcóatl et Guadalupe, 134.

54. Eguiara y Eguren, Bibliotheca Mexicana, p. 2.

55. Campos y Martínez, Oratio apologetica, 21.

56. Ibid., 21–22.

57. Menegus Bornemann and Aguirre Salvador, Los indios, 78–80, 91–93.

58. Eguiara y Eguren, Bibliotheca Mexicana, pp. 265–66, citing Antonio, Bibliotheca Hispana Nova, 1:123.

59. Campos y Martínez, Oratio apologetica, 6.

60. Herzog, Defining Nations, 68–70.

61. Eguiara y Eguren, Bibliotheca Mexicana, fol. 34r.

62. Title page of ibid. Emphasis in original. See the reference list for the original text of title.

63. Ibid., fols. 16, 62.

64. Ibid., fols. 34r–34v.

65. Campos y Martínez, Oratio apologetica, 5.

66. Eguiara y Eguren, Bibliotheca Mexicana, pp. 1–2.

67. Osorio Romero, Tópicos sobre Cicerón, 92–94. The Roman idea of citizenship and community is discussed in Maravall, Estado moderno, 1:457.

68. Bibliothecae could be organized according to the following principles: places, people (e.g., the Bodleian), rulers, religious orders, subjects, arrangement, or circumstances. Labbé, Bibliotheca bibliothecarum, 30–31. On citizenship in the Hispanic world, see Herzog, Defining Nations, 164–200.

69. Argelati, Bibliotheca scriptorum mediolanensium, v–vi.

70. Antonio, Bibliotheca Hispana Nova, 1:55.

71. Eguiara y Eguren, Bibliotheca Mexicana, p. 492.

72. The letter is partially transcribed in Castro Morales, Las primeras bibliografías, 33. My thanks to Dr. Gustavo Mauleón for sharing with me his edition in preparation of the correspondence of Eguiara y Eguren.

73. Alatorre, “Historia”; Lomnitz, Deep Mexico, 17–18.

74. Alvarez de Toledo, Politics, 80–85.

75. Juan and Ulloa, Noticias secretas, 2:417–18.

76. Campos y Martínez, Oratio apologetica, 19–20.

77. Burkholder and Chandler, “Creole Appointments.”

78. Campos y Martínez, Oratio apologetica, 20–21.

79. Ibid., 22.

80. Eguiara y Eguren, Bibliotheca Mexicana, fols. 18*r–21v.

81. Cañizares-Esguerra, How to Write, 206.

82. Eguiara y Eguren, Bibliotheca Mexicana, fols. 18*r–18v.

83. Cañizares-Esguerra, How to Write, 211–12.

84. Eguiara y Eguren, Bibliotheca Mexicana, fols. 11*r–11*v. For comparison, see Gemelli Careri, Viaje, 128–30.

85. Eguiara y Eguren, Bibliotheca Mexicana, fol. 26v.

86. Martínez, Genealogical Fictions, 220; Gemelli Careri, Viaje, 123–24; Cardoso Vargas, “El Paseo del Pendón,” 33–40.

87. Villella, Indigenous Elites, 127.

88. Brading, First America, 583–602.

89. Eguiara y Eguren, Bibliotheca Mexicana, pp. 1–2.

90. Brading, First America, 297, 389.

91. Eguiara y Eguren, Bibliotheca Mexicana, fol. 32*r.

92. Ibid., fol. 32*v; McManus, “Art.”

93. Eguiara y Eguren, Bibliotheca Mexicana, fols. 11*v–13v.

94. Ibid., fols. 14v–14*r.

95. Brading, First America, 2–3.

96. Phelan, “Neo-Aztecism,” 760.

97. Brading, “Monuments,” 525–30.

98. Harris, From Muslim to Christian Granada, 80.

99. Lafaye, Quetzalcóatl et Guadalupe.

100. Brading, First America, 389. Brading recognized this fact but did not explore its implications.

101. Curran, Egyptian Renaissance, 65–67.

102. Eguiara y Eguren, Bibliotheca Mexicana, fol. 13*r.

103. Ibid., fols. 9*r–11r.

104. McManus, “Exemplary Power.”

105. Villella, Indigenous Elites, 27–28.

106. Stolzenberg, Egyptian Oedipus, 16–21.

107. Eguiara y Eguren, Bibliotheca Mexicana, fols. 9r–9v; Mestre Sanchis, Manuel Martí, 303–5.

108. Brading, First America, 3–4.

109. Brading, Mexican Phoenix, 11.

110. Conover, “Reassessing the Rise,” 272.

111. Luque Alcaide, La cofradía, 92, 138.

112. Eguiara y Eguren, María Santíssima, 31.

113. Ibid., 20–21.

114. Ibid., 20–25.

115. De la Maza, El guadalupanismo mexicano, 39–41; Remensnyder, La Conquistadora, 253–54, 328–29; Peterson, “Virgin of Guadalupe,” 39.

116. Juan Gregorio de Campos y Martínez, oration delivered at the medical faculty, Mexico City, 1756, Biblioteca Nacional de México, Mexico City, MS 23, fols. 66r–66v.

117. Eguiara y Eguren, María Santíssima, 9–10.

118. Humboldt, Ensayo político, 76.

119. The case for early modern global microhistories is made by Trivellato, “Is There a Future?”

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