Acosta, José de (L)
José de Acosta (1540-1600) was a Spanish Jesuit missionary who worked in South America and the Caribbean and is sometimes referred to as the “Pliny of the New World”. Acosta studied the mythologies of the natives of Peru and was convinced that the American Indians had originated in Asia in his Historia natural y moral de las Indias. This view was to gain supporters in the following centuries including Thomas Jefferson. It is clear that Acosta considered the Atlantis story as a fable that could not “be told as true except to children and old women”.
A 2002 English translation of his Historia was published by Duke University.