Ximénez de Cisneros, Francisco

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ximénez de Cisneros, Francisco

 

(Jiménez de Cisneros). Born 1436 in Torrelaguna; died Nov. 8, 1517, in Roa. Spanish religious figure and statesman. Franciscan.

In 1492, Ximénez became the confessor to Queen Isabella; from 1495 to 1517 he was archbishop of Toledo and chancellor of Castile, and from 1507 (the year he was made a cardinal) to 1517 he was grand inquisitor. In 1506 and from 1516 to 1517 he was regent of Castile. Ximénez was instrumental in regulating government finances and organizing the armed forces. He inspired the Spanish expeditions to capture the North African coast (Oran, Bougie, and Tripoli in 1509), partially financing the equipping of the Spanish fleet for that purpose. A religious fanatic, Ximénez implemented a policy of forcible conversion of the Moors to Christianity, which provoked an uprising of Muslims in Granada and a number of other cities in 1499 and 1500. On his order, many valuable Arabic religious manuscripts were burned in Granada. Ximénez founded the University of Alcalá de Henares, which opened in 1508.

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