Stefan K. Beck, Privatgelehrter und Projektemacher


on my pages about South America

Not only the increasing number of downloads of my speech upon the Batalla de Boyacá, and the other two PDF-files, but also the steady augmentation of returning visitors, imposes the delightful obligation on me, to thank my inclined readers all over the world sincerely. I started to write at irregular intervals about me and my work on the South American Liberation Wars on a page named “Neuigkeiten” (news), linked on the homepage. Even though I am dealing with the subject for meanwhile 15 years, I still can get surprised. This is mainly for I am consulting, whenever possible, transcribed documents along with the works of the first historians of the so-called “Bolivarian Coutries”, their neighbours and from Spaniards. Unfortunately not all of my discoveries are just plain errors of the authors.

Since this website is maintained in German, I cannot translate approximately 200 pages, but a short overview will facilitate the orientation, especially for those pages that can be understood from the context without idiomatic knowledge. Let me begin though, with a brief description of the origin of these pages. In august 2000, I have started a voyage on bicycle from Caracas, Venezuela and arrived nine months later in La Paz, Bolivia. I have traversed Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, experiencing the geography and visiting museums and other places of cultural interest. Initially, I had almost no Spanish language skills, but having learned French at school and Italian for my thesis and the mapping to achieve my diploma in geology, I made myself understood. With the aid of Latin-based scientific words, I had a decent vocabulary, right from the beginning. Since I did not study properly Spanish grammar, my language is insufficient to write academic articles in Spanish without proofreading of a native speaker. The teachers of the language school at the University of Antioquia, in Medellin, Colombia, where I lived for a year in 2009/2010, contributed significantly improving my language during private communications.

Referring to the navigation top right, I provide an overview of the subjects in my presentation. The periods of precolumbian cultures, the Conquest by the Europeans and the Independence are crucial for the understanding of modern South Americans. This caused me to investigate further in these fields.

Geografie contains an introduction of the geographical features with links to each country. In addition, I also provide a text on the voyage of Alexander von Humboldt (Amerika-Reise).

Indianer are the precolumbian cultures. From the introduction page, the links at the bottom lead to the different countries. From the main country page, up to three links spread to more detailed and sometimes graphically represented information on the civilisations.

Under Konquista, the first Europeans in the New World, with special reference to the German conquerors in Venezuela and Colombia, are described. I provide tables of Columbus' (Kolumbus) expeditions and those of his successors (seinen Nachfolgern) and of the first foundations of cities (Gründungen von Städten) in South America.

Unabhängigkeit means independence. In this section I have spent most of the time until now. The first extended version of my text was substituted by a shorter summary. Still extended, a Inhaltsverzeichnis (index of contents) leads to the shortened texts. Even though it is only an abstract without detailed information, some parts do need a revision, which can only be done after the publication of the book, I am working on. For the same reason, the given bibliography is incomplete and bears references of doubtful content. On a separate page I provide some further information about my work on this subject. At the end of this text, primarily aimed at historians and authors, I linked a recent publication as .PDF. Another German extract from my book, with a different topic, is available on the corresponding German page (linked from Unabhängigkeit).

Reisebericht s a public report of my journey on bicycle. If you follow the link Inhaltsverzeichnis, you reach the content, which gives an impression of the route I took, since the 76 chapters bear the names of the places I visited.

Quellen & Links lists my sources and links. Again, "Unabhängigkeit" has a link eigenen Seite, which leads to main page of references used on the subject. Länderübergreifende Werke means transnational works. But as stated above, it needs a revision.

On the bottom of the page Impressum a link, named Vorstellungsseite, leads to my presentation page in the German Wikipedia with the 18 texts I presented there, is intercalated.

Have fun exploring my site.

Stefan Beck