Cardinal Fray Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros
|80th Archbishop of Toledo, Primate of Spain|
20 February 1495 – 8 November 1517
|Preceded by||Cardinal González de Mendoza|
|Succeeded by||William de Croÿ|
|Governor of the Kingdom of Castile|
23 January 1516 – 8 November 1517
|Monarch||Joanna I "The Mad"|
|Preceded by||Ferdinand II of Aragon, Governor of the Realm|
|Succeeded by||Charles I, co-monarch with his mother Joanna,|
|President of the Council of Regency of the Kingdom of Castile|
|Preceded by||Philip "The Handsome", King of Castile, iure uxoris|
|Succeeded by||Ferdinand II of Aragon, Governor of the Realm|
|Born||1436 Torrelaguna, Crown of Castile|
|Died||8 November 1517 Roa de Duero, Crown of Castile|
Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros, O.F.M. (1436 – 8 November 1517), spelled Ximenes in his own lifetime, and commonly referred to today as simply Cisneros, was a Spanish cardinal, religious figure, and statesman. Starting from humble beginnings he rose to the heights of power, becoming a religious reformer, twice regent of Spain, Cardinal, Grand Inquisitor, promoter of the Crusades in North Africa, and founder of the Complutense University, today the Complutense University of Madrid. Among his intellectual accomplishments, he is best known for funding the Complutensian Polyglot Bible, the first printed polyglot version of the entire Bible. He also edited and published the first printed editions of the missal (in 1500) and the breviary (in 1502) of the Mozarabic Rite, and established a chapel with a college of thirteen priests to celebrate the Mozarabic Liturgy of the Hours and Eucharist each day in the Toledo Cathedral.
Cardinal Cisneros' life coincided with, and greatly influenced, a dynamic period in the history of Spain during the reign of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. During this time Spain underwent many significant changes, leading it into its prominent role in the Spanish Golden Age (1500–1700). Modern historian John Elliott said as far as any particular policies that can be attributed to Spain's rise, they were those of King Ferdinand and Cardinal Cisneros.
He was born as Gonzalo Jiménez de Cisneros in Torrelaguna in Castile in 1436, the son of hidalgos Alfonso Jiménez y María de la Torre, from the villa of Cisneros, Palencia.He studied at Alcalá de Henares and Salamanca, where in 1456 he obtained a bachelor's degree in law. In 1459 he traveled to Rome to work as a consistorial advocate, where he attracted the notice of Pope Pius II. He returned to Spain in 1465 carrying an "executive" letter from the Pope giving him possession of the first vacant benefice. That turned out to be Uceda. However, Alfonso Carrillo de Acuña, the Archbishop of Toledo and Primate of Spain, refused to accept the letter, wishing instead to bestow the benefice upon one of his own followers. When Cisneros insisted, he was thrown in prison, first at Uceda and afterwards in the fortress of Santorcaz. For six years, Cisneros held out for his claim, free to leave at any time if he would give it up, but at length in 1480 Carrillo relented at Cisneros' strength of conviction and gave him a benefice. Fearing further reprisals, Cisneros traded it almost at once for a chaplaincy at Sigüenza, under Cardinal Pedro González de Mendoza, the bishop of Sigüenza, who shortly after appointed him vicar general of his diocese.
At Sigüenza, Cisneros won praise for his work and he seemed to be on the sure road to success among the secular clergy, when in 1484 at the late age of forty-eight he abruptly decided to become a Franciscan friar. Giving up all his worldly belongings, and changing his baptismal name, Gonzalo, for that of Francisco, he entered the Franciscan friary of San Juan de los Reyes,recently founded by Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile at Toledo. Not content with the normal lack of comforts for a friar, he voluntarily slept on the bare ground, wore a cilice, doubled his fasts, and generally denied himself with enthusiasm; indeed throughout his whole life, even when at the height of power, his private life was rigorously ascetic.
He retired to the isolated friary of Our Lady of Castañar and built a rough hut in the neighboring woods, in which he lived at times as an anchorite, and later became guardian of a friary at Salzeda.Meanwhile, Mendoza (now Archbishop of Toledo) had not forgotten him, and in 1492 recommended him to Isabella as her confessor. Jiménez accepted the position on condition that he might still live in his community and follow the religious life, only appearing at court when sent for. The post was politically important, for Isabella took counsel from her confessor not only in religious affairs but also matters of state. Isabella's Alhambra Decree, which expelled the Jews from Spain, followed almost immediately upon Cisneros' appointment as her confessor. Cisneros' severe sanctity soon won him considerable influence over Isabella, and in 1494 he was appointed Minister Provincial of the order for Spain.
Cardinal Mendoza died in 1495, and Isabella had secretly procured a papal bull nominating Cisneros to Mendoza's Archdiocese of Toledo, the richest and most powerful in Spain. With this office was also given the office of chancellor of Castile. Isabella tried to surprise him by presenting the bull as a gift in person, but Cisneros did not react as she had hoped. Instead, he fled her presence, and ran away, only to be overtaken by Isabella's messengers several miles outside of Madrid and convinced to return to court for further discussion. Cisneros resisted the appointment for six months and reluctantly agreed only after a second papal bull ordered him to accept.Despite his lavish new position, Cisneros personally still maintained a simple life; although a message from Rome required him to live in a style befitting his rank, the outward pomp only concealed his private asceticism.
From his new position Cisneros set about reforming the Franciscan order in Spain. The ordained friars had to become celibate, giving up the practice of concubinage. They had to reside in the parish where they were supposed to work, attend confession, and preach every Sunday. There was intense opposition. By 1498 the reforms were expanded to include not only Franciscans but other mendicant orders as well. [ citation needed ] The Minister General of the order himself came from Rome to attempt to temper the archbishop's strict reforms, but Cisneros, backed by the influence of a strong Queen, managed to impose them.The resistance was so fierce that four hundred monks and friars left for Africa with their "wives" and converted to Islam.
In 1499 Cisneros accompanied the court of the Spanish Inquisition to Granada, and there interfered with the Archbishop of Talavera's efforts to peacefully convert its Muslim inhabitants to Christianity. Talavera favored slow conversion by explaining to the Moors, in their language, the truths of the Catholic religion, but Cisneros said that this was "giving pearls to pigs", and proceeded with forced mass conversion. He ordered the public burning of all Arabic manuscripts that could be found in Granada—5,000 is the lowest figure the contemporary sources give—except those dealing with medicine.
The indignation of the unconverted Mudéjares (i.e., Iberian Muslims living in Christian territories) over this gross violation of the Alhambra treaty swelled into the open revolt known as the First Rebellion of the Alpujarras. The revolt was violently suppressed and they were given a choice—contrary to the terms of Granada's surrender—of baptism or exile. The majority accepted baptism and by 1500 Cisneros reported that "there is now no one in the city who is not a Christian, and all the mosques are churches".
However, he had created a problem that would only end with the expulsion from Spain of Moriscos in 1609. (Morisco became the common term used for descendants of Iberian Moors in Spanish and Portuguese territory, regardless of their adherence to Christianity.)
On 26 November 1504 Isabella died. Ferdinand claimed regency against his son-in-law Philip I of Castile, and Cisneros helped mediate the dispute in the Agreement of Villafafila which left Philip as king of Castile.When Philip died in 1506, Ferdinand was in Naples and Cisneros set up a regent government in his absence, and stopped a plot by a group of high nobles to take over the throne. In return for his loyalty, Ferdinand made Cisneros Grand Inquisitor for Castile and León in 1507 and prevailed on the Pope to give him a Cardinal's hat.
The next great event in the cardinal's life was the attack against the Moorish city of Oran in North Africa, in which his religious zeal coincided with Ferdinand's prospect for political and material gain. A preliminary expedition, equipped at Cisneros' expense, captured the port of Mers El Kébir in 1505; and in 1509 a strong force accompanied by the cardinal in person set sail for Africa, and in one day the wealthy city was taken by storm. Cisneros returned to Spain and attempted to recover from Ferdinand the expenses of the expedition, but Ferdinand was content with taking Oran and because of his greater interest in Italy he would not support Cisneros' plans for a larger North African crusade and conquest.
On 28 January 1516 Ferdinand died, leaving Cisneros as regent of Castile for Charles (afterward Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor), then a youth of sixteen in the Netherlands. Though Cisneros at once took firm hold of the reins of government, and ruled in a determined and even autocratic manner, the turbulent Castilian nobility and the jealous intriguing Flemish councilors for Charles combined to render Cisneros' position peculiarly difficult. Cisneros acceded to Charles's desire to be proclaimed king; he secured the person of Charles's younger brother Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor; he fixed the seat of the courts at Madrid; and he established a standing army by drilling the citizens of the towns. During his regency, he dealt with the Spanish conquest of Navarre. He is remembered for ordering the demolition of most of the fortresses of Navarre (e.g., the Castle of Xavier, home to Francis Xavier's family) aimed at dampening any spirits of resistance and thwarting future rebellions against Spanish occupation.
In September 1517, Charles landed in Laredo (Cantabria), and Cisneros hastened to meet him. On the way, however, he fell ill (it has been speculated he may have been poisoned). While thus enfeebled, he received a letter from Charles coldly thanking him for his services, and giving him leave to retire to his diocese. A few hours after this dismissal (which some say the cardinal did not have time to learn about) Cardinal Cisneros died at Roa, on 8 November 1517.
Cardinal Cisneros was a bold and determined statesman. Described as stern, fanatical and inflexible even by the harsh standards of his time, with a confidence that became at times overbearing, he carried through what he had decided to be right, with little regard for the convenience of others or for himself. He was seen as incorruptible, and founded and maintained numerous benevolent institutions in his diocese. His whole life was devoted either to the state or to religion; and his only recreation was in theological or scholastic discussion.
The university at Alcalá de Henares was founded in 1500 and opened in 1508. The university, raised at the sole expense of and fostered by Cardinal Cisneros, attained a great reputation. At one time 7,000 students met within its walls. All the religious orders in Spain, except the Benedictines and Hieronymites, established houses at Alcalá in connection with it.In 1836 the university, with falling enrollments and in some disarray, was moved to Madrid, renamed the Universidad Complutense de Madrid ("Complutense" means "from Alcalá", whose Latin name is Complutum), and the buildings in Alcalá de Henares were left vacant until the creation of the modern University of Alcalá de Henares in 1977.
Cisneros published religious treatises by himself and others. He also revived the Mozarabic liturgy, and endowed a chapel in Toledo where it was to be used.
He is well known for his sponsorship of the Complutensian Polyglot , the first printed polyglot translation of the Bible, in which three different versions of the Old Testament were put in parallel columns – Greek, Latin, and Hebrew – with the Aramaic text of Targum Onkelos and its own Latin translation added at the bottom, so that readers for the first time could check all the translations simultaneously. The New Testament consisted of parallel columns of Greek and the Latin Vulgate. The text occupies five volumes, and a sixth contains a Hebrew lexicon, etc. The work commenced in 1502. The New Testament was finished in January 1514, and the whole in April 1517. The book was dedicated to Pope Leo X. Cisneros died months after it was completed and did not live to see it published.
In 1884, Spanish colonists commemorated Cisneros by founding Villa Cisneros, now Dakhla, Western Sahara.
Alcalá de Henares is a Spanish city in the Community of Madrid. Straddling the Henares River, it is located 35 kilometres to the northeast of the centre of Madrid. As of 2018, it has a population of 193,751, making it the region's third most populated municipality.
Joanna, known historically as Joanna the Mad, was Queen of Castile from 1504, and of Aragon from 1516. Modern Spain evolved from the union of these two crowns. Joanna was married by arrangement to Philip the Handsome, Archduke of the House of Habsburg, on 20 October 1496. Following the deaths of her brother, John, Prince of Asturias, in 1497, her elder sister Isabella in 1498, and her nephew Miguel in 1500, Joanna became the heir presumptive to the crowns of Castile and Aragon. When her mother Queen Isabella I of Castile died in 1504, Joanna became Queen of Castile, while her father, King Ferdinand II of Aragon, proclaimed himself 'Governor and Administrator of Castile'. In 1506 Archduke Philip became King of Castile jure uxoris, initiating the rule of the Habsburgs in the Spanish kingdoms, and died that same year. Despite being the ruling Queen of Castile, she had little effect on national policy during her reign as she was declared insane and imprisoned in Tordesillas under the orders of her father, who ruled as regent until his death in 1516, when she inherited his kingdom as well. From 1516, when her son Charles I ruled as king, she was nominally co-monarch but remained imprisoned until her death.
Pedro González de Mendoza was a Spanish cardinal and statesman who served as Archbishop of Toledo (1482–1495), Archbishop of Sevilla (1474–1482), Bishop of Sigüenza (1467–1474), and Bishop of Calahorra y La Calzada (1453–1467).
The Mozarabic Rite, also called the Visigothic Rite or the Hispanic Rite, is a liturgical rite of the Latin Church once used generally in the Iberian Peninsula (Hispania), in what is now Spain and Portugal. While the liturgy is often called 'Mozarabic' after the Christian communities that lived under Muslim rulers in Al-Andalus that preserved its use, the rite itself developed before and during the Visigothic period. After experiencing a period of decline during the Reconquista, when it was superseded by the Roman Rite in the Christian states of Iberia as part of a wider programme of liturgical standardization within the Catholic Church, efforts were taken in the 16th century to revive the rite and ensure its continued presence in the city of Toledo, where it is still performed today.
The Complutensian Polyglot Bible is the name given to the first printed polyglot of the entire Bible, initiated and financed by Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros (1436–1517) and published by Complutense University in Alcalá de Henares, Spain. It includes the first printed editions of the Greek New Testament, the complete Septuagint, and the Targum Onkelos. Of the 600 six-volume sets which were printed, only 123 are known to have survived to date.
Antonio de Nebrija was the most influential Spanish humanist of his era. He wrote poetry, commented on literary works, and encouraged the study of classical languages and literature but his most important contributions were in the fields of grammar and lexicography. Nebrija was the author of the first Spanish grammar (1492) and the first dictionary of the Spanish language (1495). His grammar is also credited as the first published grammar of any Romance language. His chief works were published and republished many times during and after his life and his scholarship had a great influence for more than a century, both in Spain and in the expanding Spanish Empire.
The University of Alcalá is a public university located in Alcalá de Henares, a city 35 km northeast of Madrid in Spain and also the third-largest city of the region. It was founded in 1293 as a Studium Generale for the public, and was refounded in 1977. The University of Alcalá is especially renowned in the Spanish-speaking world for its annual presentation of the highly prestigious Cervantes Prize. The University currently enrolls 28,336 students, 17,252 of whom are studying undergraduate degrees which are taught by a teaching staff of 2,608 professors, lecturers and researchers belonging to 24 departments. The University is also proud of its modern and efficient administration, which is carried out by the Administration and Services, comprising approximately 800 people.
A polyglot is a book that contains side-by-side versions of the same text in several different languages. Some editions of the Bible or its parts are polyglots, in which the Hebrew and Greek originals are exhibited along with historical translations. Polyglots are useful for studying the history of the text and its interpretation.
Francisco de Quiñones, O.F.M., was a Spanish Franciscan friar and later cardinal who was responsible for some reforms in the Catholic Church in Spain.
Hernán Núñez de Toledo y Guzmán was a Spanish humanist, classicist, philologist, and paremiographer. He was called el Comendador Griego, el Pinciano or Fredenandus Nunius Pincianus. He earned his degree in 1490 from the Spanish College of San Clemente in Bologna. He returned to Spain in 1498 and served as a preceptor to the Mendoza family, in Granada. In this city, he studied classical languages as well as Hebrew and Arabic. Cardinal Gonzalo Ximénez de Cisneros hired him as censor of the cardinal's press at Alcalá de Henares. There, Nuñez worked on the Complutensian Polyglot Bible, specifically on the Septuagint. Nuñez was named professor of rhetoric at the Universidad Complutense, which had recently been founded. He then taught Greek from 1519. During the Castilian War of the Communities, Nuñez sided with the comuneros but avoided execution. He then taught at the University of Salamanca, occupying the post once filled by Antonio de Nebrija. At the age of 50, he retired from teaching to dedicate himself fully to research, although he seems to have still given classes on Hebrew at the University of Salamanca.
Ferdinand II, called the Catholic, was King of Aragon from 1479 until his death. In 1469, he married Infanta Isabella, the future queen of Castile, which was regarded as the marital and political "cornerstone in the foundation of the Spanish monarchy". As a consequence of the marriage, in 1474 he became de jure uxoris King of Castile as Ferdinand V, when Isabella held the crown of Castile, until her death in 1504. At Isabella's death the crown of Castile passed to their daughter Joanna, by the terms of their prenuptial agreement and Isabella‘s last will and testament, and Ferdinand lost his monarchical status in Castile. Joanna's husband Philip became de jure uxoris King of Castile, but died in 1506, and Joanna ruled in her own right. In 1504, after a war with France, he became King of Naples as Ferdinand III, reuniting Naples with Sicily permanently and for the first time since 1458. In 1506, as part of a treaty with a France, Ferdinand married Germaine of Foix of France, but Ferdinand's only son and child of that marriage died soon after birth. In 1508, Ferdinand was recognized as regent of Castile, following Joanna's alleged mental illness, until his own death in 1516. In 1512, he became King of Navarre by conquest.
William de Croÿ ; was Archbishop of Toledo from 1517–21. He was born in the Burgundian Netherlands and died in Worms, Germany.
Alfonso Carrillo de Acuña was a Spanish politician and Roman Catholic archbishop.
The Primate Cathedral of Saint Mary of Toledo is a Roman Catholic church in Toledo, Spain. It is the seat of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Toledo.
The Archiepiscopal Palace of Alcalá de Henares is a palace located in Alcalá de Henares, in the Community of Madrid, Spain. It is now home to the Diocese of Alcalá de Henares. It is located in the Plaza del Palacio and this form part of the monumental set declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The Cathedral of St Justus and St Pastor in Alcalá de Henares is a Roman Catholic cathedral located in Alcalá de Henares, Spain. It was declared Bien de Interés Cultural in 1904.
Alfonso de Alcalá was a Spanish physician, professor of medicine and also Hebraist. He is to be distinguished from the Hebraist Alfonso de Zamora.
Pablo de Coronel or Paul Nuñez Coronel was a Spanish Hebraist, and professor of Hebrew at the University of Salamanca. He trained to be a rabbi, but converted to Christianity prior to the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492. Cardinal Ximenez de Cisneros commissioned him, together with Alfonso de Alcalá, of Alcalá la Real, to provide a new translation of the Hebrew Bible into Latin for the Complutensian Polyglot (1514–17). He worked alongside another converso Hebraist, Alfonso de Zamora. He was one of three scholars to take over Zamora's chair in Hebrew at the University of Salamanca.
Diego López de Zúñiga, Latin: Jacobus Lopis Stunica was a Spanish humanist and biblical scholar noted for his controversies with Erasmus and Lefèvre d'Etaples and leadership of the team of editors for the Complutensian Polyglot Bible. He was born around 1470 in Extremadura, to an aristocratic family; his brother Juan de Zúñiga was a diplomat for Charles V of Spain.
The Convento de Santa Clara la Real is a convent of the Poor Clares located in the city of Toledo, Castile-La Mancha, Spain. The present convent was founded in the middle of the 14th century by Toledan noblewoman María Meléndez, and is located near other monasteries of note, such as the monastery of Santo Domingo el Real and the Convent of Capuchins of Toledo.
Except where otherwise noted with inline footnotes, this article is entirely sourced to the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica:
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros .|
|Catholic Church titles|
Diego Ramírez de Guzmán
| Grand Inquisitor of Castile|
Adrian of Utrecht