Isidore of Seville

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Related to Isidore of Seville: Alcuin, Cassiodorus

Isidore of Seville

Saint, Latin name Isidorus Hispalensis. ?560--636 ad, Spanish archbishop and scholar, noted for his Etymologies, an encyclopedia. Feast day: April 4

Isidore of Seville


Born circa 560; died Apr. 4, 636, in Seville. Spanish theologian and author.

Isidore became archbishop of Seville in 600. He is the author of the Etymologiae, a distinctive encyclopedia of the early Middle Ages, and the History of the Kings of the Goths, Vandals, and Suevi, a work dealing primarily with the political and ecclesiastical history of Visigothic Spain. Isidore was an ideologist of the Hispano-Roman aristocracy that supported the authority of the Visigoths. The works of Isidore, who was well educated for his day, are compilatory in character. Their value is primarily in the great amount of factual material they contain.


Patrologiae cursus completus: Seria latina, vols. 81–84. Paris, 1862–78.
Excerpts from Etymologiae. In Agrikul’tura v pamiatnikakh Zapadnogo srednevekov’ia. Moscow-Leningrad, 1936. Pages 1–40.


Fontaine, J. Isidore de Séville …. vols. 1–2. Paris, 1959.
References in periodicals archive ?
Defining Early Latin Christianity as stretching from the birth of Tertullian about 160 to the death of Isidore of Seville in 636, Denecker systematically investigates the linguistic ideas held by early Christian Latin authors.
So, on the one hand, for Isidore of Seville, Aquinas, and also Vitoria, the law of nations is, as we have already seen, rooted firmly in the precepts of reason.
Again, in his treatment of "Druidic Nephelomancy" or "cloud-divination," he acknowledges that the term neladoracht is placed in several glossaries in such a way as to suggest "that its meaning was not clear even for speakers of medieval and early modern Irish" (41), continuing the discussion with an analysis of a passage in Isidore of Seville in the footnote.
Instead, it serves as an essential introduction to the subsequent articles, since it summarizes the phases of development of world views in the West from classical times through the late Middle Ages, with emphasis on the schemes of Cosmas Indicopleustes, Macrobius, Augustine and Isidore of Seville, as well as descriptions of the pervasive trifaria orbis divisio, or T-O map, in which the known lands are represented in the shape of a T surrounded by the orb of the oceans, and the innovative portolano charts that eschewed portrayals of fabulous beings and marvels in favor of practical information for navigators and traders.
Pauline epistles stress the power of the head (Christ is the head of the body), and as far back as Isidore of Seville, we can clearly see the integration of the rule of heart over head, since "the heart is where all knowledge resides" (Etymologiae XI.
However, it will be shown that, in contrast to common belief, Agricola was not the first to include "earths" in a mineralogical system, but that this had been done almost one thousand years earlier by Isidore of Seville in his Etymologiae, also called Origines, written in the years between 620 and 636 A.
Bailey's coverage of the early Middle Ages is brief with only passing reference to Caesarius of Arles, Gregory of Tours, Martin of Braga, and Isidore of Seville.
As far as sources are concerned, Pontano relied heavily on genuinely ancient commentators such as Servius; despite his polemics against barbarous medieval grammarians, he nevertheless made extensive use of medieval authorities such as Isidore of Seville, Papias, Hugutio, and Giovanni Balbi too.
The twin mythologies of the Tower of Babel (where a unitary language was sundered) and Pentecost (where the Holy Spirit spoke to everyone in their own language) provided a framework of cultural response to language difference and change; Gregory the Great, Isidore of Seville, and the Venerable Bede all wrote about these events in terms of Christian communication, providing Alfred and his helpers with an authorization and a justification for their innovative translations.
The next subject of Dox's study is Isidore of Seville, who a mere two centuries after Augustine would analyze theater more objectively and historically, as one form of pagan wisdom among many.
Isidore of Seville evokes a similar practice in his History of the Goths: