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Luis Gómez Canseco

Benito Arias Montano: a silent Spaniard in history URL: http://www.march.es/conferencias/anteriores/voz.aspx?p1=22493&l=2
In a century of effervescence, like the case of the 14th century, Benito Arias Montano aspired to pass by in silence. The study and wisdom would take him close to power, but he was never willing to make use of this circumstance. On the contrary, in his letters the desire to retire with his books is constantly present. Nevertheless, only this privileged position and his many knowledges allowed him to face a huge and risky task as the Polyglot Bible of Antwerp, which was printed by his good friend Cristóbal Plantino. This great effort of understanding the biblical texts, poems, letter and engravings, together with friendships and teachings made him a key figure to understand the reign of Felipe II and the symbolic invention of El Escorial surrounding a library. He died together with his king in 1598, and although the glory of his memory remained alive along the first years of the 17th century, it was Gregorio Mayans y Síscar, another one of our eminent Spaniards, who made a considerable effort to recover his memory. Now, at the beginning of the 21st century, it is correct to look back into this man who from his corner believed in a Spain united to Europe through the rigor of the intelligence, religious tolerance, and mutual understanding.
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