Altamira y Crevea, Rafaél

Altamira y Crevea, Rafaél

Altamira y Crevea, Rafaél

(räfäĕl` ältämē`rä ē krāvā`ä), 1866–1951, Spanish jurist and historian. He was appointed professor of the history of the law in the universities at Oviedo (1897), Madrid (1914), and Mexico City (1945), and he served (1921–45) as a judge of the Permanent Court of International Justice (the World Court). Among his numerous works on education, social science, literature, law, and history, his Historia de España y de la civilización española (5 vol., 1913–29; tr. A History of Spanish Civilization, 1930) is the best known.

Altamira y Crevea, Rafael


Born Feb. 10, 1866, in Alicante; died June 1, 1951, in Mexico. Spanish historian.

Altamira began his career as a journalist with a republican and anticlerical viewpoint. After the fascist regime was established in Spain in 1939, he emigrated to France and then to Mexico. Altamira was the first Spanish bourgeois historian to investigate economic and social questions as well as the political history of Spain. He considered feudalism a political and legal phenomenon. Although he did not reveal the causes of Spain’s economic decline in the 16th and 17th centuries, he was the first historian who saw that this economic decline was a cause of Spain’s political decline.


Historia de España y de la civilización española, vols. 1–4. Madrid, 1900–11. In Russian translation: Istoriia Ispanii, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1951.
Historia de la propriedad comunal, 2nd ed. Madrid, 1927.
Ensayo sobre Felipe II. Mexico, 1950.


Iatsunskii, V. K. R. “Altamira-i-Krevea—istorik ispanskoi kul’tury,” Voprosy istorii, 1946, nos. 11–12.