Ludovico Bertonio

Ludovico Bertonio (1552, Rocca Contrada Lima, 3 August 1625) was an Italian Jesuit missionary to South America.


He entered the Society of Jesus in 1575. Sent to Peru six years later, he worked principally among the Aymara of southern Peru and of Bolivia.


He wrote on the Aymara language. His earliest publications appeared under the title Arte breve de la lengua aymara para introducir el Arte grande de la misma lengua (Rome, 1603), also Arte y gramatica muy copiosa de la lengua aymara etc.

The printing press having been introduced and established by the Jesuits at the Indian mission of Juli in southwestern Peru, Bertonio had the following works printed there, all in the year 1612:

The publications by Bertonio are rare. Julius Platzmann published in facsimile the Arte y grammatica of 1603 and the Vocabularies. The Peruvian historian Clemente Markham claimed that Bertonio invented the name "Aymara"; the Bolivian geographer Manuel Vicente Ballivian rejected this in a pamphlet.


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