The influence of Classical knowledge on Catholic missionaries in the Philippines
Supervisor: Alan Strathern
I am a DPhil candidate in History at Brasenose. My research focuses on the evangelisation of the Philippines in the 16th and 17th centuries with a particular emphasis on how classical texts, knowledge, and ethnography influenced the missionaries active there. I am interested in how ancient ideas shaped missionaries' expectations and perceptions of the peoples they worked among and also at how they used this common, classical frame of reference to convey and describe their experiences to an audience back in Europe and America. The aim of this analysis is to arrive at a more nuanced understanding of the indigenous groups in the Philippines in this period and to better understand the circulation of knowledge and ideas between Europe and Southeast Asia through America. I am also working on a project at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History in Frankfurt to produce an authoritative, trilingual edition in Latin, English, and Spanish of the second volume of Juan de Solórzano y Pereira's De Indiarum Iure, known as De gubernatione (1639).