The black legend of the formation of the Austrias

By : ujikiu / On : 05/03/2023

Felipe IV, the unfairly branded as a stunned king, spoke Italian, Spanish, Aragon, Catalan, Portuguese and French.He read Biographies of Fernando El Santo, Alfonso el Sabio, Fernando IV, Alfonso IX or Juan I and Manuscript documents of the Catholic Monarchs and Carlos V.He knew the history of the Indies, of Flanders, France and England.He rubbed was with Salustio, Tito Livio and Tacitus.And it was not, in addition, an exception in the list of the Austrias who ruled, with greater or lesser luck, the immense Hispanic empire.Against what can be believed, this dynasty pergeñ.Another thing is that they got it, as was the case with the ill -fated Baltasar Carlos, whom his father, Felipe IV, also tried to give him the most delicate possible education, like Isabel the Catholic had done with her son Juan and with all her daughters.

When Prince Baltasar Carlos died (1629-1649), his personal shelves included hundreds of volumes of the most disparate literary, philosophical or scientific subjects.The librarian Francisco de Rioja wrote a relationship of them: 34 universal chronicles, 53 stories of Spain, 13 laws of the kingdom, 36 stories of cities, 31 of the Indies, 15 of England, 21 medical and surgery books, 78 of natural philosophyand Moral, 21 works by Latin poets, 14 of Spaniards, 24 of Cosmography and Geography, 33 dictionaries, 38 of polyorectic and fortifications...This interesting facet of the Austrias reveals the historianAlfredo Alvar Ezquerra (Granada, 1960) in his mirror of princes and notices to princesses (the palatial education of the house of Austria), edited by the Santander Foundation, and from which you can download for freeA podcast.

Alvar writes that “the house of Austria had as a rule that the parents kings left some fabulous writings about the education of the princes children.Carlos V did, Felipe IV did it.In addition, they were not only the writings of their handwriting.But the most fascinating of this process is in the role that mothers played: they assumed functions of the first magnitude ".

It was Isabel, the Catholic Queen, who had the first idea of setting up a school in the palace governed by Italian humanists who had arrived in Castilla loaded with books;"In such a way, that in European kingdoms the teachings were admired to real and aristocratic offspring.".The school was maintained, with their swings, throughout all the Austrias reed, classrooms in which the queens chose not only the teachers, but also the students."The house bequeathed us fabulous writings about the education of their princes, dedicated in handwriting by the parents kings to their children," says the author.

La leyenda negra de la formación de los Austrias

Before beginning the primary training, the children of the Palatine School of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries (which today would be something equivalent to the toddlers) were given the first lessons of the trivium (grammar, logic and rhetorical) andHe entered six classic authors: Catón, Teodulo, Aviano, Maximiano, Estacio and Claudiano.And who introduced them in these knowledge?“When there were wedding sounds, or childbirth, many aspiring [teacher] published their books on the subjects of Trivium or Quadrivium [arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy] or new teaching methods, with the hope of gathering thus moremerits to be appointed Prince's teacher or the infant on duty ".

Thus, scholars such as Antonio de Nebrija, Fray Antonio de Guevara, Juan Martínez Siliceo, Juan Luis Vives, Alonso Ortiz, Francisco de Monzón or Juan de Icíar entered the cast of the princes of the princes and princesses of Spain.

Isabel I "the one that was supposedly washed her shirt more than from year to year, but spoke Latin - accumulated a library of 733 volumes both printed and manuscripts in Spanish, Latin and Arabic.It is known that in his library grammatical and lexicographic works of Aristotle, Tito Livio, Cicero, Pliny, Virgil, Salustio, Terencio or Aesop were treasured.“The use made of these books is another sack's flour, but, at least, he kept them for himself and for the use of humanists [those who taught their offspring] until the end of their days, not counting“ theirlaxity "by possessing works by the Renaissance Poggio Bracciolinio and Boccaccio.As the German traveler Jerónimo Münzer wrote surprised: “It seems a lie that a woman can understand so many things...".

Felipe II Child reached a neat class, dress and hairstyle.His teacher, Cardinal Siliceo, prayed with him and his classmates and later had breakfast.They went to school until food time, after there was a game time.In the afternoon, studies were resumed until fencing, hunting or riding under the supervision of an ayo.After the activities, the bed was dinner and turned to the next day.The teacher taught them in their early years to read, speak and write Latin, Spanish, some foreign language and foundations of arithmetic, geography and history.

When Prince Don Carlos, son of Felipe II, accumulated 176 books in all educated languages on July 24, 1568, except in English.41% were of history, chronicles, archeology, biographies, hagiographies, poems, political works and descriptions of forms of government.20% corresponded to religion issues, 10% to classical readings, 8% to geography, 6% of medicine, botany and mathematics, and 15% to economics, dictionaries and military art. “Se podía afirmar", dice el autor, que al príncipe le movían la inquietud por saber en qué mundo vivía y qué mundo iba a tener que regir. No estaba retraído ante lo se le iba a venir encima algún día".

Felipe II escribió un delicado epistolario a sus dos hijas, Isabel Clara Eugenia (17 años) y Catalina Micaela (de 18), una obra “fabulosa", describe Alvar. “Se trata de cartas íntimas, personales y privadas, llenas de guiños, bromas y sentido del humor, pero también mostrando preocupaciones humanas, sus entretenimientos, desvelos, añoranza o felicidad, en las que les habla de forma natural de la vida, incluidos los ciclos menstruales". “Dan la imagen de un hombre bueno, frente al demonio del sur tan cacareado por leyendas negras, liberalismo, conformismo y otros".

As Alvar concludes: “When those letters were read in the nineteenth century, all the topics of the monstrous king of the black legend. Pero este es un tema que da mucha pereza y fatiga volverlo a tratar".

‘Princess princes and notices mirror’.Alfredo Alvar Ezquerra.Editorial Fundación Santander, 2021.252 pages.20 euros.

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