conquistador (kŏnkwĬs´tədôr, Span. kōng-kē´stäŧħôr´), military leader in the Spanish conquest of the New World in the 16th cent. Francisco Pizarro, the conqueror of Peru, and Hernán Cortés, the conqueror of Mexico, were the greatest of the conquistadors. The name is frequently used to mean any daring, ruthless adventurer.

See P. Horgan, Conquistadors in North American History (1963); F. A. Kirkpatrick, The Spanish Conquistadores (2d ed. 1967).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Conquistadors: Selected full-text books and articles

Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest By Matthew Restall Oxford University Press, 2003
The Rule of Empires: Those Who Built Them, Those Who Endured Them, and Why They Always Fall By Timothy H. Parsons Oxford University Press, 2010
Librarian's tip: Chap. 3 "Spanish Peru"
Spanish Texas, 1519-1821 By Donald E. Chipman; Harriett Denise Joseph University of Texas Press, 2010 (Revised edition)
Librarian's tip: Chap. 2 "Explorers and Conquistadors, 1519–1543"
The Coronado Expedition to Tierra Nueva: The 1540-1542 Route across the Southwest By Richard Flint; Shirley Cushing Flint University Press of Colorado, 2004
Spanish Central America: A Socioeconomic History, 1520-1720 By Murdo J. Macleod University of Texas Press, 2008
Librarian's tip: Chap. 1 "The Central American Background and Conquest"
The Golden Dream: Seekers of El Dorado By Robert Silverberg Ohio University Press, 1996
The Origins of Violence in Mexican Society By Christina Jacqueline Johns Praeger Publishers, 1995
Librarian's tip: Chap. 9 "Warfare in the Age of the Conquistador"
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