Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y ValdésGonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés (August 14781557) was a Spanish historian and writer. He is commonly known as "Oviedo" even though his family name is Fernández. He participated in the Spanish colonization of the Caribbean, and wrote a long chronicle of this project which is one of the few primary sources about it. For three centuries, only a small portion of it was published, which was widely read in the 16th century in Spanish, English and French editions.
He was born in Madrid of a noble Asturian lineage and educated in the court of Ferdinand and Isabella. At thirteen, he became page to their son, the ''Infante'' John, Prince of Asturias. After the Prince's death (October 4, 1497), Oviedo went to Italy, and there acted as secretary to Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba. In 1514 he was appointed supervisor of gold smeltings at Santo Domingo, and on his return to Spain in 1523 was appointed historiographer of the Indies. He paid five more visits to America before his death, in Valladolid in 1557. At one point he was placed in charge of the Fortaleza Ozama, the famous fort in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where there is a large statue of him, a gift to that country from a King of Spain.
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