VALDES, val-des', JUAN and ALFONSO DE.

Alfonso on the Sack of Rome ( 1).
Juan's "Mercury and Sharon"; Alfonso ( 2).
Juan's Relations with Rome, and with Giulia Gonsaga ( 3).
Later Writings ( 4).
Theological Views ( 5).

1. Alfonso on the Sack of Rome.

The Hispano-Italian reformers, Juan and AIfonso de Valdes, were born as twins at Cuenca (84 m. s.e. of Madrid), Castile, about the end of the fifteenth century, Juan dying at Naples in the summer of 1541, and Alfonso at Vienna early in Oct., 1532. Alfonso, in 1520, accompanied the young King Charles to his coronation at Aachen, and then went to Worms, where he witnessed the burning of Luther's writings, which he, unlike the majority, considered but the beginning of the tragedy of the Reformation. A few years later he was imperial secretary to the high chancellor, Mercurino Arborio da Gattinara, and when the Spanish monks raged against Erasmus, Alfonso warmly defended the Basel scholar. In May, 1527, Rome was stormed and sacked by an imperial army, though without imperial sanction, and the pope himself was made prisoner. Alfonso voiced the sentiment of the court in a dialogue on the catastrophe between Lactantius, a cavalier of the emperor, and an archdeacon just come from Rome to Valladolid. Lactantius, through whom Alfonso expresses his own views, declares that the pope, as a disturber of the peace and as faithless to his word, brought the sack of Rome upon himself. He advocates the surrender of the papal temporal power and asserts that, since the exposure of ecclesiastical corruption by Erasmus and the sedition incited by Luther had alike failed to reform the papacy, God had turned to other means of conversion and had found them in the sack of Rome. The archdeacon himself concludes the dialogue with the hope that the emperor would now take the reformation of the Church in hand. The papal nuncio, Count Baldassare Castiglione, and Alfonso's fellow secretary, Juan Aleman, both sought to have this "ultra-Lutheran" document condemned to the flames, but the archiepiscopal grand inquisitor declared that the dialogue contained nothing heretical.

Meanwhile, probably in Dec., 1528, Juan had written his dialogue "Mercury and Sharon," a piece full of biting satire on false Christians. At the same time, Spain is declared more happy than Germany, where Lutheranism had given birth to many other sects. The justice of the punishment of Rome is maintained, and the absolute need of reform is stressed. Both the "Mercury" and the "Lactantius" were printed anonymously, probably in 1529, repeated editions following; modern editions are by Usoz i Rio in Reformistas antiguos espanoles,


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