Isidore of Seville

Isidore of Seville (Latin: Isidorus Hispalensis; c. 560  4 April 636) was a Spanish scholar, theologian, and archbishop of Seville. He is widely regarded, in the words of 19th-century historian Montalembert, as "the last scholar of the ancient world".[2]

Isidore of Seville
St. Isidore of Seville (1655), depicted by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor of the Church
Bornc. 560
Cartagena, Spania
Died4 April 636 (aged 75–76)
Seville, Visigothic Kingdom
Venerated in
Feast4 April
AttributesBees; bishop holding a pen while surrounded by a swarm of bees; bishop standing near a beehive; old bishop with a prince at his feet; pen; priest or bishop with pen and book; with Saint Leander, Saint Fulgentius, and Saint Florentina; with his Etymologiae
PatronageStudents, the Internet, computer users, computer technicians, programmers (all electronic patronages are unofficial)
Philosophy career
Notable workEtymologiae
EraMedieval philosophy
Main interests
Grammar, rhetoric, mathematics, medicine, law, languages, cities, animals and birds, the physical world, geography
Notable ideas
Isidoran map

At a time of disintegration of classical culture,[3] aristocratic violence and widespread illiteracy, Isidore was involved in the conversion of the Arian Visigothic kings to Catholicism, both assisting his brother Leander of Seville and continuing after his brother's death. He was influential in the inner circle of Sisebut, Visigothic king of Hispania. Like Leander, he played a prominent role in the Councils of Toledo and Seville.

His fame after his death was based on his Etymologiae, an etymological encyclopedia that assembled extracts of many books from classical antiquity that would have otherwise been lost. This work also helped standardize the use of the period (full stop), comma, and colon.[4]

Since the early Middle Ages, Isidore has sometimes been called Isidore the Younger or Isidore Junior, (Latin: Isidorus iunior) because of the earlier history purportedly written by Isidore of Córdoba.[5]

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