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Fray Pedro Simón (San Lorenzo de la Parrilla, Spain, 1574 - Ubaté, Colombia, ca. 1628) was a Spanish franciscan friar, professor and chronicler of the indigenous peoples of Colombia and Venezuela, at the time forming the New Kingdom of Granada. Pedro Simón is one of the most important Muisca scholars forming the basis for later scholars such as Lucas Fernández de Piedrahita,[1] Alexander von Humboldt,[2] Javier Ocampo López[3] and many others.

Fray Pedro Simón
Painting of Pedro Simón (1941)
Painting of Pedro Simón (1941)
Born1574
San Lorenzo de la Parrilla, Spain
Diedca. 1628
Ubaté, Colombia
LanguageSpanish
SubjectMuisca religion, mythology, History of Colombia and Venezuela
Notable workNoticias historiales de las conquistas de Tierra Firme en las Indias occidentales (1626)

BiographyEdit

Pedro Simón studied in Cartagena, Spain and went to Cartagena, Colombia in 1603.[4] Simón accompanied Juan de Borja and described his war against the Pijao in 1608.[5] On June 3, 1623 he was named Custodio de la Provincia Franciscana del Nuevo Reino de Granada ("custodian of the franciscan province of the New Kingdom of Granada").[5][6]

In this year he started writing his most notable work Noticias historiales de las conquistas de Tierra Firme en las Indias Occidentales, published in Cuenca, Spain in 1626[4][7] or 1627.[5][6] Later editions were published in Bogotá in 1882–1892, 1953, 1963 and 1982. One part has been published in English under the title "Expedition of Pedro de Ursua and Lope de Aguirre" (London, 1861)[4] and 2010.[8] After finishing this work, Simón settled in the San Diego convent in Ubaté, Cundinamarca, where he died between October 1626 and May 7, 1628.[5][6]

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