Maldonado, Juan

(ca. 1485-1554)
   Spanish humanist and clergyman. At the University of Salamanca, he studied wth one of the leading Spanish humanists of the early 16th century, Elio Antonio de Nebrija, and with the Netherlandish scholar Christophe de Longueil. After ordination to the priesthood, he settled in Burgos, where he won the favor of Bishop Juan de Fonseca and became diocesan examiner of candidates for ordination. His first literary work was a history of the recent Comuneros rebellion (1520-1521) against the Emperor Charles V, De motu Hispaniae / On the Spanish Rebellion, which was presented in manuscript to the future King Philip II but never published in the author's lifetime. The first printed edition appeared at Rome in 1572.
   In the 1520s Maldonado was one of the many Spanish humanists inspired by Erasmus and corresponded with the Dutch humanist. Maldonado favored moderate religious reform under the leadership of well educated diocesan bishops. But by the early 1530s he had concluded that Erasmus' satirical attacks on corrupt members of the clergy and the religious orders were reckless and ill-considered. At this point he declared that Erasmus' Colloquies were unsuitable for students and that of all of Erasmus' original works, only his Paraphrases of the New Testament were free from the danger of encouraging heresy. Maldonado also wrote a Latin comedy, Hispaniola, two tracts critical of Erasmus, and a collection of short works, including his Pastor bonus, a work sharply critical of the Spanish clergy. His turning against Erasmus is especially significant because he did not reject humanistic studies in general; indeed, he taught the humanities at a Latin school in Burgos from 1532.

Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. . 2004.

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