ACOSTA, Cristóvão da (Cristóbal d’Acosta), Africanus

ACOSTA, Cristóvão da (Cristóbal d’Acosta), Africanus. 1515/1525/1538? — Burgos 1592 or Huelva 1594?. Portuguese Physician, stayed in India in 1568-76. Born in Africa (Tanger, Ceuta or Mocambique). Probably studied at Salamanca and came 1550 to India as soldier, then also worked as physician. The years in India he spent mainly in Kerala but also visited South-east Asia. In India he met —> Garcia da Orta, whose pharmacological dialogues he then arranged into a systematic form, in which they soon became famous. After returning from India in 1572 worked as surgeon and physician in Burgos 1576-87, after his wife’s death retired to a hermitage.

Publications: Tractado de las drogas y medicinas de las Indias Orientales. Burgos 1578, new editions 1582 & 1592, Latin transl. Aromatium et medicamentorum in orientali India nascentium liber, by Charles de l’Écluse (Clusius), 1582, Italian transl. 1585, later also in English.

Tratado em loor de las mujeres, y de la castidad, honestidad, constancia, silencio e justicia. Veneza 1592 (apparently no copy preserved).

Sources: Karttunen, Itää etsimässä; Grande Encyclop. Portuguesa e Brasileira; Wikipedia (with picture).

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