Spanish physician and botanist of the sixteenth century. He was born in Africa, whither his parents fled when exiled from Spain. He studied medicine, and for several years traveled through Africa and Asia, particularly through China. While on his travels he made the acquaintance of the most important physicians in Arabia, Persia, China, Turkey, and other lands. On his return he established himself at Burgos, Spain, and published a work entitled, "Tratado de las Drogas i Medicinas de las Indias Orientales con sus Plantas Debujadas al Vivo" (1578) (Treatise on the Drugs and Medicines of the Indies with their Plants Illustrated from Nature); which was translated into Italian (Venice, 1585), and into French by Antoine Collin. Death prevented him from completing a work he had projected on the flora and fauna of India. Acosta was baptized, but at what time is uncertain.
- De Castro, Historia de los Judios en España, pp. 204 et seq.