JUAN DE MATIENZO AND TOMÁS DE MERCADO
More than 400 years ago, in the last months of 1580, a work in Latin entitled Commentaria Ioannis Matienzo Regii Senatoris in Cancellaria Argentina Regni Peru in Librum Quintum Recollectionis Legum Hispaniae3 left the printing presses of Francisco Sánchez in Madrid. This work was written by Juan de Matienzo (born on 22 February 1520 in Valladolid, Spain), magistrate to the Court of Charcas, in the city of La Plata or Chuquisaca (today Sucre) of the Viceroyalty of Peru, from 7 September 1561 until his death on 15 August 1579.4
It is a voluminous work, impregnated with wisdom, with an eminently jurisprudential focus, in which our Royal Magistrate (Regii Senatoris), using resources from his personal library and surely reinforced by the La Plata Tribunal (Cancellaria Argentina), enlarges upon the Comentarios al Libro Quinto de la Recopilación de las Leyes de España (Commentaries on the Fifth Book of the Digest of the Laws of Spain) established by King Philip II and published in Madrid in 1567.5
In order to carry out such a commitment, the work must have been arduous and one assumes that it would have required intense dedication, through many years of effort; much reading and deep meditation, stimulated by the pleasant and sunny environs of an eternal spring, on the slopes of the Churuquella and Sicasica peaks; and also a lot of permanent documentation, which was limited by this same environment so far removed from the world of books.