The Etymologies of Isidore of Seville

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A younger brother, Fulgentius, was awarded the Bishopric of Astigi at the start of the new reign of Catholic Reccared. His sister, Florentina, was a nun, and is said to have ruled over forty convents and one thousand religious.

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Isidore's parents died while he was young, leaving him in the care of his older brother, Leander. Isidore received his elementary education in the Cathedral school of Seville, the first of its kind in Spain, where the trivium and quadrivium were taught by a body of learned men. In a remarkably short time, Isidore mastered Latin, Greek, and Hebrew.

It is not known whether he ever embraced monastic life or not, but he esteemed the monastic orders highly.

The Etymologies of Isidore of Seville

On his elevation to the episcopate, he immediately constituted himself protector of the monks, and in , he pronounced anathema against any ecclesiastic who should in any way molest the monasteries. On the death of Leander, around C. He was a respected figure in the Church, as can be seen from the introduction to his works written by Braulio, bishop of Saragossa: "Isidore, a man of great distinction, bishop of the church of Seville, successor and brother of bishop Leander, flourished from the time of Emperor Maurice and King Reccared.

In him antiquity reasserted itself—or rather, our time laid in him a picture of the wisdom of antiquity: A man practiced in every form of speech, he adapted himself in the quality of his words to the ignorant and the learned, and was distinguished for unequaled eloquence when there was fit opportunity. Furthermore, the intelligent reader will be able to understand easily from his diversified studies and the works he has completed, how great was his wisdom" Brehaut, p.

His forty years in office was a period of disintegration and transition. For almost two centuries, the Goths had been in full control of Spain, and the ancient institutions and classic learning of the Roman Empire were fast disappearing under their barbarous manners and contempt of learning. A new civilization was beginning to evolve in Spain from the blending racial elements that made up its population. Realizing that the spiritual as well as the material well-being of the nation depended on the full assimilation of the foreign elements, Isidore took on the task of welding the various peoples who made up the Hispano-Gothic kingdom into a homogeneous nation, using the resources of religion and education.

He succeeded in eradicating Arianism , which had taken deep root among the Visigoths, the new heresy of Acephales was completely stifled at the very outset, and religious discipline was strengthened. Isidore presided over the Second Council of Seville, begun November 13, , in the reign of Sisebur. The bishops of Gaul and Narbonne attended, as well as the Spanish prelates.

The Council's Acts fully set forth the nature of Christ, countering Arian conceptions. At this council, begun December 5, , all the bishops of Spain were in attendance. Isidore, though far advanced in years, presided over its deliberations, and was the originator of most of its enactments.

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  • The council probably expressed with tolerable accuracy the mind and influence of Isidore. The church was to be free and independent, yet bound in solemn allegiance to the acknowledged king; nothing was said of allegiance to the bishop of Rome. The council decreed union between church and state, toleration of Jews , and uniformity in the Spanish Mass.

    Isidore successfully continued Leander's conversion of the Visigoths from Arianism the heretical doctrine teaching that the Son was neither equal with God the Father nor eternal to orthodox Christianity. Through the influence of Isidore, the Fourth National Council of Toledo promulgated a decree commanding and requiring all bishops to establish seminaries in their Cathedral Cities, along the lines of the school associated with Isidore in Seville. Within his own jurisdiction, Isidore had developed an educational system to counteract the growing influence of Gothic barbarism, prescribing the study of Greek and Hebrew as well as the liberal arts, and encouraging the study of law and medicine.

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    Through the authority of the fourth council, all the bishops of the kingdom were obliged to follow the same policy of education. Find it on Scholar. Request removal from index. Revision history. This entry has no external links.

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    Add one. Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server Configure custom proxy use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy. Configure custom resolver. Isidore Barney S. The Etymologies of Isidore of Seville. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN: Truth From Words. Auteurs Latins du Moyen Age. Paris: Les Belles Lettres, Paper, frs. Write a Review. Advanced Search Links.

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