• This book brings the pre-Columbian and colonial history of Latin America home: rather than starting out in Spain and following Columbus and the conquistadores as they “discover” New World peoples, The Formation of Latin American Nations begins with the Mesoamerican and South American nations as they were before the advent of European colonialism—and only then moves on to the sixteenth-century Spanish arrival and its impact. One of the central aspects of this project is to understand the diverse meanings of “nation” in both Late Antiquity and Early Modernity.