Friday, April 04, 2008

St. Isidore of Seville

San Ysidro de Sevilla

Last of the Latin Fathers, perhaps first of the medieval Aristotelians (at least the Anglican Breviary attributes to him the promulgation of Aristotle in Spain before the Moors got there).

This was a man who combined deep piety and scholarly curiosity, composing a summa of universal knowledge known as the Etymologiae. This was an encyclopedic compilation of learned treatises on natural philosophy (drawing heavily from Aristotle). It had a long life as a basic textbook in the medieval universities, and its popularity continued well into the Renaissance. In Dante's Divine Comedy, he is mentioned in Paradise (XI:30) with the great theologians and doctors of the Church.

Here is a link to the complete text of the Etymologiae in Latin.

I have not found any online text in English, but here is a good translation by Priscilla Throop.

Bishop, Confessor, Doctor: Ora pro nobis!

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