Life till 1492.

Spanish cardinal and inquisitor; b. at Torrelaguna (28 m. n. of Madrid) in 1436; d. at Roa (95 m. n. of Madrid) Nov. 8, 1517. His life fell in a period of supreme importance for Spain. The little kingdoms were unified; the Moors were finally overcome or driven out; America was discovered, and the royal power received great strength. The Roman Catholic Church, which was in closest union with Spanish nationality, shared in these advantages to an enormous degree. In the history of this period Ximenes had great part, and helped to create the new Spain which was distinguished by ecclesiastical and political absolutism; and this he did in no spirit of self-seeking, but as a patriot and loyal son of the Church, doing his duty as he saw it. His family was not the famous Cisneros, but of lower, though noble dignity, receiving its name from the city where its members had earlier lived. His father was a royal collector of contributions for the war against the Moors. He himself, known as Gonzales before he took the cloister name of Franzisco, received his schooling at Alcala and Salamanca, taking the bachelor degree in both branches of law in 1556. During the next six years he was in Rome engaged in law; the death of his father caused his return to Spain. There he was soon called by Mendoza, bishop of Siguenza, to serve as vicar of the diocese, where his administration was a shining success. Against the wishes of his friends he determined to enter as a novice the Franciscan order in the monastery of the Observantists at Toledo. Here, too, his fame grew as preacher and confessor. Again he left what promised to be new fame, and retired as a solitary to a hut which he built, remaining there three years in prayer and leading the life of an anchorite. His superiors directed him to enter a cloister in Salpeda, where in a short time he was made guardian.

As Confessor, Archbishop, Reformer, and Evangelist.

A new direction was given to the life of Ximenes in 1492, when he was chosen confessor to the queen. This carried with it a large influence, since Isabella was wont to consult her confessor on matters both of Church and State. Mendoza, who had become cardinal and archbishop of Toledo, persuaded Ximenes to accept, but the latter imposed the condition that he should remain in his order and in the monastery when actual duty did not hinder; and he was actually chosen provincial for Castile two years later. This gave him opportunity to correct the lax practises which prevailed in the institutions, and through the queen he obtained a bull which gave him unlimited power for effecting reform. In 1495 the death of Mendoza left the archbishopric vacant, and the appointment was in the hands of Isabella. The king desired the position for his natural son, but the queen appointed Ximenes. The place was the highest, ecclesiastically, in Spain, with an immense income. But Ximenes was loath to accept, and did so only under express command of the pope. No change was made in his manner of living, while the income was applied to deeds of public and private philanthropy; it required a brief from the pope to have him conduct his household more in accordance with his position. His first care was to reform the secular clergy, and in so doing he aroused intense opposition, which with the queen's help he broke down. Canon Albornoz, whom his colleagues had sent to Rome to lodge complaints against Ximenes before the pope, was seized as he debarked at Ostia and brought back to Spain to suffer imprisonment for twenty-two months. In the reform of the orders, especially his own, he met opposition and caused the withdrawal of over 1,000 monks, who left in order to avoid the new rules. The pope withdrew a hostile bull, and had his nuncio work with Ximenes. The archbishop was equally bent on the conversion of the Moors. This, too, was the purpose of Fray Fernando de Talavera, who had become archbishop of Granada. But the capitulation of 1491 contained a stipulation for freedom in religion; hence Talavera had worked for the conversion of the Moors in friendly methods, learned Arabic so as to be able to address them, and had his clergy do the same. He issued an Arabic lexicon, instruction book, catechism, and selections from the Gospels; and these measures were effectual in bringing many over. But there were fanatics who thought these measures too mild, and among them was Ximenes, who assembled the Arabic scholars and set before them Christian doctrine in impressive form. He also flattered the Arabic love of dress, and presented the people with showy raiment, and many were thus won, so that he is said to have baptized 3,000 in one day. But the opposition of the Moors was aroused; upon which Ximenes used new measures. The learned Zegri he so tortured that


the latter pretended to accept Christianity at the direction of Allah, and a mass of new conversions resulted. He collected large numbers of Arabic works and had them burned in a city square. Finally, choice was offered the Moors either to accept Christianity or to submit to banishment. In sheer love of home many received baptism.

As Chancellor and Patron of Learning.

As chancellor of Castile, his activity was characterized by philanthropy. Oppression of the poor and malfeasance in office he attempted to eradicate, and created a new era in that province. Though by the death of the queen in 1504 he lost his supreme protector, yet the veneration in which the people held him helped him to limit the power to harm which resided in his foes; indeed, he was able to create in Ferdinand a new protector. After Isabella's death Ferdinand sought to have his daughter Johanna recognized as queen of Castile. Political complications arose, and in these Ximenes stood as mediator, winning Ferdinand's favor so that the latter secured for the archbishop the cardinal's hat and made him inquisitor-general of Spain. The next project which occupied Ximenes was the new University of Alaca de Henares (the old Complutum). He had already chosen the site and laid the foundation stone (1498, 1500), and by 1508 the structures, including a hospital, were completed. There were forty-two chairs: six for theology proper, six for ecclesiastical law, four for medicine, one for anatomy, one for surgery, eight for philosophy, one for moral philosophy; one for mathematics, four for Greek and Hebrew, four for rhetoric, and six for "grammar." Rich scholarships were provided, especially in theology. Soon there were 7,000 students. Related to this was Ximenes' plan for the Complutensian Polyglot (see BIBLES, POLYGLOT, I.), and he parceled the work among scholars, including a Greek and a Jew among the workers. The work was completed in 1517. [It was not published till 1520.] The greater praise is due the cardinal for this accomplishment as he was himself not distinguished for scholarship, yet saw the worth of such a piece of work.

As Soldier and Inquisitor.

Among the projects which Ximenes had at heart was the renewal of the crusades in service for the Church and the kingdom. But he turned this desire in a practical direction, against the Moors of Africa who by piratical raids on the southern coast of Spain were making reprisals for their experiences in Spain. Since Ferdinand had not funds available, Ximenes equipped from his own income a force and personally led it to the conquest of Oran, thus breaking up the nest of pirates. Another of the noted activities of this prelate-statesman was as grand inquisitor of Castile. But he is not to be held responsible for the introduction of the office into Spain, since he came to court twelve years after this took place. When he assumed the office, he provided for instruction of the converts, Jews and Moors, so that they might avoid falling under suspicion of apostasy; he also limited the powers of the lower officials of the inquisition in order to prevent persecution, and dismissed un worthy occupants of office. He took under his protection some who under the rules of the inquisition would have been prosecuted, though unjustly, as in the case of Elio Antonio de Nebrija (cf. H. C. Lea, Inquisition of Spain, iv. 529, New York, 1907). On the other hand, he strenuously opposed the publication of names of informers and betrayers of the apostates, even in writing, when to Charles, during his minority, there was offered an immense sum provided the process and names of witnesses were made known. Ximenes showed that the lives of the informers could not, under such conditions, be made safe, and that information would consequently cease. While deliberate efforts have been made to minimize the effects, in actual slaughter, of the workings of the inquisition, the number of victims was undoubtedly great, and under Ximenes it was introduced into Oran, the Canary Isles, and America. Throughout all this, the aim of Ximenes was to exalt the power of the Church. Although he could not attend the Lateran Council, he supported the pope by his letters and published the results of the deliberations in his diocese even before the conclusion of the council. He changed the conditions of entrance into the priesthood, substituting for five years' training in philosophy a part of the course in theology. He supported Leo's plan to improve the Julian calendar; but when the indulgence was offered by the pope for the purpose of obtaining funds for building St. Peter's, and was published in Spain, Ximenes spoke openly against it.

Last Years.

The highest pinnacle of Ximenes' greatness came through his appointment by Ferdinand as regent for Castile during the minority and absence of Charles after Ferdinand's death. Though eighty years of age, he took up his task with youthful energy and great wisdom. With foresight he had Charles' younger brother Ferdinand kept under his eye so that the latter might not be led by a court party to make pretensions upon the regency. But Hadrian of Utrecht claimed to have a document of Ferdinand's appointing him regent, and when this was submitted to Charles, the latter supported Ximenes against the court party. Yet Charles proved ungrateful to Ximenes for the many ways in which the latter had paved the way to his accession, sought to limit the powers of Ximenes, and finally wrote an unworthy letter, though it is asserted that it was kept from him by those who knew how despondent he had already become. His last years were not saved from sadness by the conduct of those whom he had most benefited.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: The chief source for the life of Ximenes is the work of Alvaro Gomez de Castro, professor of classical literature in Salamanca, Toledo, and Alcala: De rebus gestis a Francisco Ximenio Cisnerio, Aleala, 1569, republished in Rerum Hispanics acriptores aliquot, Frankfort, 1581, and in A. Schottus, Hispanice illustratae, vol. i., Frankfort, 1603. As sources reference may be made to Cartas de Jimenez, Madrid, 1874, and Cartas de los Secve· taraos de Cisneros, 2 vols., ib. 1874-75. The best life for general purposes is C. J. Hefele Der Kardinal Ximenes and die kirchliche Zustaade Spaniens am Ends des 16. and Anfang des 16. Jahrhunderts, Tabingen, 1844 Eng. transl., Life of Cardinal Ximenez, London. 1860. Consult further, M. Baudier, Mist. de radministration du Cardinal Ximenee: Paris_ 1635, Ent. transl., London, 1671; V. E. Fl6ehler, Hist. du Cardinal Ximenes, Paris, 1693; B. Barrett, Life of Cardinal Ximenes, London, 1813; S. A. Dunham, Hist.


of Spain and Portugal, 5 vols., ib. 1832 (the best general treatment of the subject); F. X. von Havemann, Francisco Ximenes, Gottingen, 1848; W. Irving, Chronicles of the Conquest of Granada (accessible in editions of the Works, e.g., New York, 1902-03); W. H. Prescott, Hist. of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella (a classic; constantly republished in cheap form); E. F. A. Rosseuw-St- Hilaire, Hist. d'Espagne, vol. vi., Paris, 1852; C. Navarro y Rodrigo, El Cardenal Cisneros, Madrid, 1869; W. Maurenbrecher, Studien und Skizzen, pp. 114 sqq., Leipsic, 1874; W. Ulrich, Ximenes der grosse Kardinal und Reichsverweser Spaniens, Langensalza, 1883; F. J. Simonet, El Cardenal Ximenez de Cisneros y los manuscritos arabigo-granadinos, Granada, 1885; H. C. Lea, Chapters from the Religious Hist. of Spain, Philadelphia. 1890; idem, Hist. of the Inquisition of Spain, passim, 4 vols., New York, 1906-07; idem, The Inquisition in the Spanish Dependencies, ib. 1908; Huidobro, Hist. del Cardenal Fray Fr. Jimenez de Cisneros, Santander, 1901; Pastor, Popes, vols. v. viii.


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