Thursday, 29 October 2015

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Social Sciences. Unit 5. Spain in the Middle Ages. Visigoths. Saint Isidore of Seville.


Saint Isidore of Seville depicted by Murillo (1655)
One of the most important people in the Visigothic era was Saint Isidore of Seville, the bishop of Seville. Isidore was probably born in Cartagena, Spain, in 560,  to Severianus and Theodora. His father belonged to a Hispano-Roman family of high social rank while his mother was of Visigothic origin and apparently, was related to Visigothic royalty.

He studied many languages, and was a great scholar. At that time most people could not read or write, so he was exceptional.

Saint Isidore is best-known for Etimologiae. This book resembles an encyclopaedia because it covers subjects, such as medicine, law, geography and linguistics. Written in simple Latin, it was all a man needed in order to have access to everything he wanted to know about the world. It was a tool by those seeking wisdom much like the internet is used now. For that reason, in 1997, Pope John Paul II declared Isidore of Seville the patron saint of the internet

S. Isidore by J.Alcoverro (1892) oustside Biblioteca Nacional in Madrid.

He played a prominent role in the Councils of Toledo and Seville.  At a time of violence and illiteracy, he and his brother, Saint Leander of Seville, were involved in the conversion of the royal Visigothic Areians to Catholicism. In fact, in 589, King Recaredo converted to Catholicism. This was an important event in Spanish history. It united the Visigothic kingdom under one religion.

Saint Isidore of Seville died on 4 April 636 after serving more than 32 years as archbishop of Seville.

Information and images taken form Wikipedia and The Telegraph.

[1] Arianism is a belief which asserts that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, but is entirely distinct from to God the Father. 


Read the text and answer these questions.
1. When and where was S. Isidore born?

2. What councils did he form a part of?

3. What subjects did he include in his encyclopedia?

4. What were the most important achievements of his life?

5. Why is he considered the patron saint of the internet?