Fray Luis Ponce de León (sometimes Luis de León) (born Belmonte, in Cuenca province, of the Castilian region of La Mancha, Spain, in 1527 – 23 August 1591 AD) was a Spanish lyric poet and an Augustinian canon, of the Spanish Golden Age. Cuenca is a province of central Spain, in the eastern part of the autonomous community of Castile-La Mancha. A former kingdom, Castile (Castilla kasˈt̪iʎa or) gradually merged with its neighbors to become the Crown of Castile and later the Kingdom of Spain La Mancha is an arid fertile elevated plateau (610 m or 2000 ft Spain () or the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España is a country located mostly in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Events 79 - Mount Vesuvius begins stirring on the feast day of Vulcan the Roman god of fire Spain () or the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España is a country located mostly in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Lyric poetry refers to a usually short poem that expresses personal feelings which may or may not be set to music A poet is a person who writes Poetry. Etymology From the Ancient greek: ποιέω, poieō: "I make or compose" A Friar is a member of one of the Mendicant orders. Friars and monks Friars differ from Monks in that they are called to a life of poverty in service This article is about the Spanish Golden Age of the 15th-17th centuries
Fray Luis entered the University of Salamanca at the age of fourteen and in 1544 joined the Augustinian order. The University of Salamanca (Universidad de Salamanca located in the town of Salamanca, west of Madrid, is the oldest university in Spain (the older The Augustinians, named after Saint Augustine of Hippo (died AD 430) are several Catholic Monastic orders and congregations In 1561 he obtained a chair in Theology at Salamanca; in 1571 he attained the chair of Sacred Letters as well. While at the University, he translated classical and biblical literature and wrote on religious themes. Etymology According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word bible is from Latin biblia, traced from the same word through Medieval Latin and Late Latin He was denounced to the Inquisition for translating the Song of Solomon, and for criticizing the text of the Vulgate. The Spanish Inquisition started and was established in 1478 by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile to maintain The Vulgate is an early Fifth Century version of the Bible in Latin, and largely the result of the labours of Jerome, who was commissioned by He was consequently imprisoned at Valladolid from March 1572 until December 1576; the charges against him were then abandoned, and he was released with an admonition. ||-||} is an industrial city and it is a Municipality in north-central Spain, upon the Pisuerga River and within the Ribera del Duero wine-making region He returned to Salamanca as professor of Biblical exegesis and held the chairs of Moral Philosophy and Biblical Studies. Exegesis (from the Greek 'to lead out' involves an extensive and critical interpretation of an authoritative text, especially of a Holy He was again reported to the Inquisition in 1582, but without result.
Between 1583 and 1585 he published the three books of his celebrated treatise, De los nombres de Cristo, which he had written in prison. A prison, penitentiary, or correctional facility is a place in which individuals are physically confined or interned and usually deprived of a range of In 1583 also appeared the most popular of his prose works, La perfecta casada, an instruction for newly married women. Tradition has it that he began his lecture the first day after returning from four years' imprisonment with the words "As we were saying yesterday. . . . " Ten days before his death, which occurred at Madrigal de las Altas Torres on 23 August 1591, he was elected vicar-general of the Augustinian order. Madrigal de las Altas Torres is a municipality located in the province of Ávila, Castile and León, Spain. Events 79 - Mount Vesuvius begins stirring on the feast day of Vulcan the Roman god of fire
Fray Luis stopped from publishing his poems, which were not edited till 1631, when Quevedo printed them. Francisco Gómez de Quevedo y Santibáñez Villegas ( Madrid, September 14, 1580 &ndash Villanueva de los Infantes, September 8, The canon of Fray Luis's poetry, as fixed by Hispanists, consists of twenty-nine poems. Apart from those, he wrote mainly prose, most notably, Los nombres de Cristo and La perfecta casada. He also translated Horace's Odes into Spanish. Quintus Horatius Flaccus, ( Venosa, December 8, 65 BC - Rome, November 27, 8 BC known in the English-speaking world as Horace
Fray Luis de León was born Luis Ponce de León in Belmonte, Cuenca, Spain, in 1527 or 1528. His parents were Lope de León and Inés de Varela. His father practiced law, and it was due to his profession that the family moved to Madrid in 1534. Luis’ life was dominated by his devotion to religion and study, but he was also an active public figure. He obtained a very thorough and extensive education, and was devoted to the interpretation and translation of religious texts and ideas. Fray Luis was proficient in Greek, Hebrew, and Latin. In 1541, he was sent to Salamanca to study canon law under the care of his uncle Francisco and professed as an Augustinian monk at the convent of San Pedro in 1543. He was a Catholic, but both of his parents had Jewish ancestry, so he would have been considered to be of converso lineage. Conversos ( Spanish and Portuguese for "a convert" from Latin conversus, "converted turned around" and its feminine form In 1552, Fray Luis graduated with a bachelor’s degree in theology from the University of Toledo and continued his education as a student of Hebrew and biblical interpretation at the University of Alcalá de Henares. In 1560 he graduated from Salamanca as a licentiate and master of theology.
In 1566 he was named administrator of the Augustinian College of San Guillermo in Salamanca, and in 1567 he took on the position of vice rector of the University. In 1571 Dominican professors Bartolomé de Medina and Castro put forth seventeen propositions to the Spanish Inquisition documenting Luis’ allegedly heretical opinions. Bartolomé de Medina, Spanish Theologian, was born in Medina, Spain in 1527 The Spanish Inquisition started and was established in 1478 by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile to maintain His translation and commentary of Song of Songs was the biggest evidence presented for their case against Fray Luis. As a result, in 1572 he was imprisoned in Valladolid, fell ill and remained in bad health throughout his imprisonment.
During his confinement, Fray Luis continued to actively write and study, though he suffered greatly from his isolation and less than desirable conditions. In 1576, the tables turned, and Fray Luis was cleared of all charges and released from prison with an admonishment to be more careful and reserved in his publications and speech. He returned to the academic environment of the University of Salamanca as a professor. (Upon returning after his years of imprisonment, he is said to have begun his first lecture Dicebamus hesterna die, "As we were saying yesterday. . . ") He was elected to the chair of Holy Scripture at the University of Salamanca in 1579, and went on to earn a master of the arts degree from the University of Sahagún. Fray Luis did not pay heed to the cautionary admonishments of the Inquisitorial committee after his earlier imprisonment. In 1582, he had another Inquisitional run-in, but was not imprisoned. He was absolved two years later. He died at the age of 64 in 1591, in Madrigal de las Altas Torres, Ávila, and is buried in Salamanca in the convent of San Agustín.
This book is Fray Luis’ interpretation of the Proverbs of Solomon, and was written as a moral exposition to his newly married young niece. It advises all young women on the proper behavior and duties of a married woman, both in regard to her husband and her children. The book quickly became a popular wedding gift to young women of the era, as it was an instruction manual for marriage. In addition, this book was a revolutionary defense of women’s roles in society at the time.
Another well-known work, this was written as a guide to the layman about the essential principles of the church. It is written in dialogue form about three friends who discuss fourteen of the Scriptural names of Christ. The setting of the book is the countryside, and it takes place over two days. The predominant theme is the centrality and universality of Christ.
In 1561, he began translating the Song of Songs , a book of the Old Testament, into Spanish for his cousin, Isabel Osorio, a nun who could not read the Latin text, and wrote an accompanying commentary. At this time in Spain, translation of biblical texts into Spanish was not viewed favorably, so Fray Luis faced a certain amount of risk in the undertaking of this task. However, his detailed commentaries explaining portions of the Bible in Spanish were highly popular among his peers.
This is another contribution made by Fray Luis to make Scripture available to those who could not read Latin. In other words, he wanted ordinary people to be exposed to the Biblical message. The story tells of Job's patience and suffering, and also serves as a correctional guide to man's behavior. It is written in both verse and dialogue, to make it both enjoyable and informative.
See two of his most well-known examples below: The Life Removed and Ode to Salinas.
In the poem The Life Removed, of which an excerpt is shown below, Fray Luis expounds upon the notion of choice and its consequences. He says that those irrational men who aspire to power and wealth and are guided by the talk and opinion of others will not achieve the peace, happiness, and liberty assured to those who travel the hidden path. The poem continues on to mention a ship in a storm, and how the sailors aboard are motivated only by greed and ambition, and they will not meet the harmonious end of those who travel the hidden path.
|La Vida Retirada||The Life Removed|
|¡Qué descansada vida|
la del que huye el mundanal ruïdo y sigue la escondida senda por donde han ido los pocos sabios que en el mundo han sido!
|How tranquil is the life|
Of him who, shunning the vain world’s uproar, May follow, free from strife, The hidden path, of yore Trod by the few who conned true wisdom’s lore!
|Que no le enturbia el pecho|
de los soberbios grandes el estado, ni del dorado techo se admira, fabricado del sabio moro, en jaspes sustentado.
|For he with thoughts aloof|
By proud men’s great estate is not oppressed, Nor marvels at the roof Of gold, built to attest The Moor’s skill and on jasper piles to rest.
|No cura si la fama|
canta con voz su nombre pregonera, ni cura si encarama la lengua lisonjera lo que condena la verdad sincera.
|He cares not though his name|
Be raised aloft, to winds of rumour flung, He cares not for the fame Of cunning flatterer’s tongue, Not that which truth sincere would leave unsung. (Peers 165)
Another well-known poem composed by Fray Luis is an ode written for his friend Francisco de Salinas. Francisco de Salinas (1513-1590 was a music theorist and organist noted as among the first to describe Meantone temperament in mathematically precise terms and one of the They frequently spoke about art and poetry, and listened to music together. Salinas was an organist and composer, who shared Fray Luis's belief that music can make one more religious, and that it inspires man to contemplate spiritual matters. The ode, an excerpt of which is listed below, includes numerous positive images about music as a means to contemplate the divine and to overcome ignorance and foolishness.
|Oda III - A Francisco de Salinas||Ode to Salinas|
|¡Oh, desmayo dichoso!|
¡Oh, muerte que das vida! ¡Oh, dulce olvido! ¡Durase en tu reposo, sin ser restituido jamás a aqueste bajo y vil sentido!
|O blessed swoon! O life-|
bestowing death! O sweet oblivion! Would that I could linger in your bliss and never be restored to this lower, viler sense.
|A este bien os llamo,|
gloria del apolíneo sacro coro, amigos a quien amo sobre todo tesoro; que todo lo visible es triste lloro.
|Glory of Apollo's sacred choir,|
I call you to this rapture, friends I love above all treasure, for all the rest is but sad plaint.
|¡Oh, suene de contino,|
Salinas, vuestro son en mis oídos, por quien al bien divino despiertan los sentidos quedando a lo demás amortecidos!
|O let your strains ring|
always in my ears, Salinas, by which my senses wake to heavenly good while to all else they stay asleep. (Trans. M. Smith)
This article incorporates text from the entry Luis de León in the public-domain Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913. The public domain is a range of abstract materials &ndash commonly referred to as Intellectual property &ndash which are not owned or controlled by anyone The Catholic Encyclopedia, also referred to today as the Old Catholic Encyclopedia, is an English-language Encyclopedia published by The Encyclopedia