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Butterflies Will Burn

Prosecuting Sodomites in Early Modern Spain and Mexico

By Federico Garza Carvajal

Publication Year: 2003

Drawing on previously unpublished records of some three hundred sodomy trials conducted in Spain and Mexico between 1561 and 1699, Garza Carvajal examines the sodomy discourses that emerged in Andalucía, seat of Spain's colonial apparatus, and in the viceroyalty of New Spain (Mexico), its first and largest American colony.

Published by: University of Texas Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. ix

List of Illustrations

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pp. xi

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Notes on Translation and Transcription

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pp. xiii

I have adopted the following convention for the use of the word “sodomy.” When the word is in the context of a theoretical discussion, I use the French...


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pp. xv

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pp. xvii-xx

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to Theresa May, editor-in-chief of the University of Texas Press. Her keen insight and perseverance have enabled me to publish this book. The original book, titled...

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Prologue: Varied Textures

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pp. 1-13

Like many of his fellow contemporaries in early seventeenth-century Seville, Fray Pedro de León believed that sodomy constituted a sin and a crime contra natura, one that had been imported from abroad...

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Chapter 1: A Total Man and a Total Woman: Textual Effigies and the New Postcolonial Historian

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pp. 15-38

In 1626, as Alonso Díaz Ramírez de Guzmán, a Spanish ensign, sat on a stone cliff in front of a palace in Genoa, a “gallant and well-dressed Italian soldier” sporting a grand wig of many locks, approached him...

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Chapter 2: A Brief History of Early Modern Spain on Sodomie

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pp. 39-73

The expulsion of the Moors by Spanish troops from Granada in 1492 initiated a period of somber culture in Spain. “After so much travail, expense, death and bloodshed,” wrote King...

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Chapter 3: Mariner, Would You Scratch My Legs?: Sodomy Prosecutions in Andalusia, and the Ensign Who Liked His Kisses with a Bit of Tongue

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pp. 74-130

In 1698, Magistrate Villarán pronounced both Bartholomé, a mariner from Sicily, and Giovanni Mule, a native of Palermo, guilty of having committed the “nefarious sin of sodomy” on board...

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Chapter 4: Cotita and the Antipodas, or How a Cadre of Effeminate Sodomites Infested New Spain with an Endemic Cancer Known as the Abominable Sin Contra Natura

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pp. 131-183

When Juan de Correa, aged “over seventy years,” appeared before His Majesty’s High Court in 1656 Mexico City, the “old mestizo” continuously denied ever having...

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Epilogue: He Died of a Broken Heart

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pp. 184-188

In this book, I have attempted to demonstrate how the prosecutions of sodomites in Spain/New Spain were intertwined with perceptions of manliness, a historical phenomenon inextricably linked to cultural...

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Appendix 1: Natura Armada

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pp. 189-192

Las declaraciones de Cristóbal Gutiérrez de Triana y Gaspar Hernández, Portuges negro grumete, quemado en la mar el 20 de junio de 1560. En la mar el golfo del mar oceano yiendo por los reinos de castilla en la nao santa...

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Appendix 2: Tentando pijas y siesos: Como se confirma el derramamiento de la suciedad

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pp. 193-199

En Sevilla en la casa de la contratación a dos dias de septiembre de mill y seis zientos e tres años los señores presidente e oydores del la real audiencia de la dicha casa dixeron que . . . un mulato llamado Gerónimo Ponce que fue traydo...

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Appendix 3: Cotita que es lo mismo que mariquita y sus lindas niñas en la ciudad de México (1657–1658)

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pp. 200-202

Y de las confesiones de los susodichos resulto el prender a Juan de Correa mestizo viejo de mas de setenta años . . . confeso que havia mas de quarenta años que cometia el pecado nefando declarando muchas personas con quien...


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pp. 203-255


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pp. 257-267

Works Cited

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pp. 269-302


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pp. 303-310

E-ISBN-13: 9780292798618
E-ISBN-10: 029279861X
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292701830
Print-ISBN-10: 0292701837

Page Count: 332
Illustrations: 23 b&w photos
Publication Year: 2003