Albert Manucy


Four sixteenth century sources are the basis for most of the knowledge that we have about Pedro Menendez de Aviles. They include archival manuscripts, biographies by two of his contemporaries, and a priest’s journal of the voyage to Florida. Titian painted him by order of Philip II, and the portrait engraving so often reproduced is based on the painting. He is not a handsome man; his head is small, held quite erect; dark hair, half curly despite a rather close cut, frames a high, round forehead. The beard is also trimmed short. His nose is overlong and the mouth too small; between widespread dark eyes are habitual creases, and the eyes under the straight brows look at you directly. His build is compact and muscular. He was a man of action and good to be with, the records indicate; for though he had a ready tongue, he would also listen. The record also says he was a great friend of his own opinion.