Rizal, José

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Rizal, José

(hōsā` rēsäl`), 1861–96, Philippine nationalist, author, poet, and physician, b. Calamba, Laguna prov. He studied at a Jesuit school in Manila, at the Univ. of Madrid (M.D., 1884; Ph.D., 1885), and in Paris, Berlin, Heidelberg, and Leipzig. In Berlin he published his first novel, Noli me tangere (1886, tr. The Lost Eden, 1961), a diatribe against Spanish administration and the religious orders in the Philippines. Because of this attack he was compelled by Spanish officials to leave the islands soon after his return home in 1887. He lived successively in China, Japan, the United States, England, and France, before establishing himself in Hong Kong to practice medicine. In 1890 he published an annotated edition of Antonio Morgas's Sucesos de las islas Filipinas, and in 1891 he published his second novel, El filibusterismo (tr. The Subversive, 1962), a sequel to his first. Returning to Manila in 1892, he was arrested as a revolutionary agitator and banished to Dapitan on Mindanao. While on his way to Cuba in 1896, he was arrested and returned to Manila. There he was given a farcical trial and executed as an instigator of insurrection and founder of secret revolutionary societies. His martyrdom incited a full-scale rebellion against Spanish rule. He also wrote articles; Mariang Makiling (1890), a Philippine folk tale; and considerable poetry.


See his letters, tr. by J. P. Apostol (1959); his reminiscences and travels, ed. by E. Alzona (Vol. I, 1961); biographies by C. Quirino (1958), L. M. Guerrero (1963), and A. Coates (1968).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Rizal, José


(full name, José Rizal y Alonso). Born June 19, 1861, in Calamba, Laguna Province; died Dec. 30, 1896, in Manila. Philippine enlightener.

Rizal attended the University of Manila and later studied in Spain and Germany. He acquired a reputation as a physician, zoologist, ethnographer, linguist, historian, poet, prose writer, sculptor, and painter. An important role in the development of freethinking and national consciousness in the Philippine intelligentsia was played by Rizal’s political pamphlets and especially by his accusatory anticolonial and anticlerical two-part work consisting of the novels Touch Me Not (1887; Russian translation, 1963) and Filibusterism (1891; Russian translations, 1937 and 1965). In his scholarly and scientific works, Rizal wrote as a humanist and a fighter against racism and obscurantism. A deist, he broke with the official church. Counting on the support of Spanish liberals, he called for the development of public education and demanded democratic reforms.

After ten years in Europe, where he headed the patriotic work of the Philippine émigrés, Rizal returned home in 1892 and created his country’s first political organization, the Liga Filipina. He was immediately exiled, however, to the island of Mindanao. In seeking his people’s deliverance from poverty and inequality, Rizal strove to avoid violence and bloodshed. His activities, however, contributed to the ideological preparation of the national liberation revolution. In 1896 the leaders of the Katipunan urged Rizal to head an armed uprising, but he declined. Nevertheless, when the revolt began, the Spanish authorities executed him for sedition. Rizal became the most revered national hero of the people of the Philippines.


In Russian translation:
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1961.


Guber, A., O. Rykovskaia. Khose Risal’. Moscow, 1937.
Quirino, C. The Great Malayan. Manila, 1940.
Palma, R. Biografía de Rizal. Manila, 1949.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.