The Center for Southwest Research of University of New Mexico’s (UNM) Zimmerman Library, as part of their People and Places Lecture Series, will present “Off by Half a World: The Coronado Expedition at Cibola, July 1540.” This free virtual lecture will be presented by UNM’s Dr. Richard Flint on Thursday, January 28, 2021 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. (MST) via Zoom. The following is an abstract of the lecture:
“In spring and summer 1539, Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza planned to lead in person an expedition to the Tierra Nueva of Cíbola. Why, by the fall, did he decide not to?
When what has become known as the Coronado expedition actually reached the pueblo of Cíbola in July 1540, its members were so enraged that they threatened to kill their guide fray Marcos de Niza. What had the pious priest done to turn his companions into a lynch mob?
The answers to both of these questions are very closely related. They depend on an understanding of the mistaken global geography then current in Europe. Without intending to, the Coronado expedition revealed some of the earliest truly empirical information that would eventually lead to a radical change in the conception of the landmass of the world. By the end of the sixteenth century, European geography would recognize the existence of five continents, instead of the three of the Middle Ages.
But for the Coronado expedition, collision of a Medieval mindset with brutal fact was not an exhilarating revelation. It was, instead, cause for a profound sense of betrayal that precipitated extreme anger. That anger then reverberated through the Pueblo world for the better part of two years.”
Opportunity for questions will follow. Contact Tomas Jaehn, firstname.lastname@example.org for Zoom access. You will be sent the link two days in advance.