Corónica Moralizada del Orden de San Agustín en el Perú, Fray Antonio de la CalanchaAntonio de la Calancha
Corónica Moralizada del Orden de San Agustín en el Perú, by Fray Antonio de la Calancha, is a complex work that unfortunately, due to its originality and extension, has been little studied and often misunderstood. The first part that is shared and commented here is a chronicle that combines the history of the arrival of the Order of St. Augustine with the history of the kingdoms of Peru. The term moralizada (moralized) illustrates the discursive intentions of the author: the compendium of stories and knowledge that is appreciated in the work pursues diverse ends that transcend the merely ethnographic description.
Frontispiece of the Corónica moralizada
On the one hand, there is his original position before the legality of the conquest and, on the other hand, his Marianism that endows the work of a marker evangelizing character. In the first instance, Father Calancha tries to correct various interpretations of the origin of the so-called Indians of Peru. His proposal is the insertion of his history to the one of Genesis, so that it is treated people created from the beginning of the times. Then, the Virgin accompanies the stories of the virtuous lives of the members of the Augustinian order that, in turn, endow hagiographic components with the chronicle.
This mixture of discourses and matters precedes and supports the criollista discourse of the Augustinian friar. The exaltation of the Creoles, as well as the fruits of the country, that is, of the American soil, are eloquent. Calancha justifies the value of the criollos as much by their actions as by their fruits (crops, constructions, adopted norms).