Saturday, 4 April 2009

Saint Isidore of Seville (c. 560-636) was Archbishop of Seville for more than three decades and is considered to be the last scholar of the ancient world.
At a time of disintegration of classical culture, he was involved in the conversion of
Arians to Catholicism, both assisting his brother Leander of Seville, and continuing after his brother's death. He played a prominent role in the Councils of Toledo and Seville. The Visigothic legislation which resulted from these councils has an important influence on the beginnings of representative government.
His most important work is called the Etymologiae. This encyclopaedia — the first known to be compiled in medieval civilization has 448 chapters in 20 volumes. It was the most popular compendium in medieval libraries. It was printed in at least 10 editions between 1470 and 1530, showing Isidore's continued popularity in the Renaissance. Isidore taught in the Etymologiae that the Earth was globular.
His other works include
* Historia de regibus Gothorum, Vandalorum et Suevorum (a history of the Goths, Vandals and Suebi kings)
* Chronica Majora (a universal history)
* De differentiis verborum, which amounts to brief theological treatise on the doctrine of the Trinity, the nature of Christ, of Paradise, angels, and men.
* On the Nature of Things
* Questions on the Old Testament.
* A mystical treatise on the allegorical meanings of numbers
* A number of brief letters
* Sententiae libri tres
Some consider him to be the most learned man of his age, and he exercised a far-reaching and immeasurable influence on the educational life of the Middle Ages. His contemporary and friend, Braulio, Bishop of Saragossa, regarded him as a man raised up by God to save the Iberian peoples from the tidal wave of barbarism that threatened to inundate the ancient civilization of Hispania. He seems to have been doing in his time what Pope Benedict XVI is doing in ours.
Isidore died on April 4, 636 and buried in the Cathedral of Seville. His remains were transferred to the Basilica of San Isidoro in Leon, when Seville was overrun during the Arab conquest of Spain.
In Dante's Paradise (Paradiso' X.130), he is mentioned among theologians and Doctors of the Church alongside the Scot Richard of St. Victor and the Englishman Bede the Venerable. He was canonized in 1598 and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1722. In 2003 he was proposed as the patron saint of the Internet.
This blog salutes the Patron of Internet on his feastday.

1 comment:

andrew said...

Thank you for writing this material.

It is very interesting and enlightening to read.

Andrew Hawkes