Rodrigo de Jerez

Rodrigo de Jerez was a Spanish explorer who accompanied Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the New World in 1493. Legend has it that Rodrigo de Jerez first encountered smoking among the native people of what is now Cuba, who used a form of tobacco called "cohiba." He became curious about the practice and started smoking it himself. When he returned to Spain in 1496, he brought tobacco with him and continued to smoke it in public. He is known for being the first European to smoke tobacco.

At the time, smoking was seen as a form of devil worship and Rodrigo was arrested by the Inquisition for his habit. He spent several years in prison, but upon his release, he resumed smoking and introduced the habit to other Spaniards.

Rodrigo de Jerez introduces smoking to Europe

During the time of the Spanish Inquisition, smoking was a relatively new and exotic practice in Europe. When Rodrigo de Jerez brought tobacco back from the New World and started smoking it in public, it was seen as strange and unsettling by many Europeans.

In addition, smoking was associated with the indigenous peoples of the Americas, who were often depicted by Europeans as "savage" and "uncivilized." The Inquisition viewed tobacco as a potentially dangerous substance that could lead people away from Christianity and towards paganism or devil worship.

Furthermore, the smoke produced by tobacco was believed to have magical or occult properties by some people, which further fueled suspicions that it was associated with the devil. These beliefs were strengthened by the fact that tobacco was often used in religious ceremonies by some indigenous peoples in the Americas, which was viewed as further evidence of its satanic associations.

Rodrigo de Jerez sentenced to 7 years in a Spanish prison for smoking.

All of these factors combined to create a strong association between smoking and the devil in the minds of many people during the time of the Spanish Inquisition. As a result, smoking was often condemned and those who smoked were sometimes accused of being in league with the devil.

Smoking tobacco was viewed as sinful by the Catholic Church, and Rodrigo de Jerez was arrested and imprisoned for seven years on charges of practicing witchcraft. He was eventually released and returned to his hometown of Ayamonte, where he lived until his death in the early 16th century. Today, Rodrigo de Jerez is remembered as the first European to introduce smoking tobacco to Europe.

Rodrigo de Jerez is considered an important figure in the history of tobacco and smoking, and his story is often cited as an example of how cultural practices can be misunderstood and even persecuted.

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