Michael Servetus

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Michael Servetus
Birthday
BirthplaceVillanueva de Sijena, Kingdom of Aragon in Spain
Died
Occupation
Theologian, Physician, Cartographer, Translator

Servetus, Michael

 

(Miguel Serveto). Born 1509 or 1511; died Oct. 27, 1553, in Geneva. Spanish thinker, physician, and scholar.

Servetus studied mathematics, geography, law, and medicine in Zaragoza, Toulouse, and Paris. He published Ptolemy’s Geography with commentaries. He discovered the pulmonary circulation of the blood.

Servetus sharply criticized the Christian dogma of the trinity from the standpoint of pantheism. He rejected the doctrines of predestination and “salvation by faith,” criticized the papacy, and engaged in sharp polemics on theological questions with Calvin. He was persecuted by both the Catholics and the Cal-vinists. Servetus expounded his views on philosophy and natural science in The Restoration of Christianity (Restitutio Christianismi), published anonymously in 1553.

Denounced by Calvin, Servetus was arrested by the Inquisition in 1553 in Vienne (Dauphiné). He managed to escape, but on his way to Italy he was seized in Geneva and accused of heresy by the Calvinists. After refusing to renounce his views, he was burned to death. In 1903 the Calvinist church erected a monument in his honor in Geneva.

REFERENCES

Budrin, E. M. Servet i ego vremia. Kazan, 1878.
Mikhailovskii, V. Servet i Kal’vin. Moscow, 1883.
Autour de M. Servet et de S. Castellion: Recueil publié, sous la dir. de B. Becker. Haarlem, 1953.
Bainton, R. H. Hunted Heretic: The Life and Death of M. Servetus, 1511–1553. Boston. 1960.
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