ACOSTA, Cristóvão da (Cristóbal d’Acosta Africanus)

ACOSTA, Cristóvão da (Cristóbal d’Acosta, Christophorus Acosta Africanus). 1515/1525/1538? — Burgos 1592 or Huelva 1594?. Portuguese Physician, stayed in India in 1568-76. Born in Africa (Tanger, Ceuta or Cape Verde). Probably studied at Salamanca and came 1550 to India as soldier. After a while in Portugal returned as physician in 1568. 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 he worked as surgeon and physician in Burgos in Spain 1576-87, after his wife’s death retired to a hermitage.

Publications: Tractado de las drogas y medicinas de las Indias Orientales. With 23 woodcuts. 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: Grande Encyclop. Portuguesa e Brasileira; Wikipedia (as Cristóbal Acosta, with picture).

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