Biography of Gonzalo Argote de Molina (1548-1596)

Scholar and Spanish historian, born in Seville in 1548 and died in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in 1596. It possessed an excellent Museum of Antiquities, as well as a very valuable library, with some medieval codices which we do not conserve more news that which he/she gives us. He/She participated in the Sevillian literary world of the time, where was treated by figures such as Juan de Mal Lara, Cetina, Barahona de Soto, Juan de la Cueva He/She was also author of several poetic compositions, collected in miscellaneous volumes. As a historian, highlights the six books of his nobility of the Andaluzia (Seville, 1588), arsenal of literary and historical information. His speech on the Castilian poetry (Seville, 1575) is one of the first attempts in key humanistic analyze the Castilian literary historical landscape. In it he/she made a history of Spanish literature in which there are, however, large errors. Far from the perfection of not very later poetic, as the of Pinciano, the merit of having revalued the medieval poetry fits him. In this regard, he/she was editor of medieval works which, otherwise, would have lost. He/She published the book of the Montería de Alfonso XI (Seville, 1582), the Embassy to Tamorlan of González de Clavijo (Seville, 1582), and through a witness today unknown, El conde Lucanor (Seville, 1575), whose edition appeared by way of prologue mentioned discourse on the Castilian poetry. (See book of el conde Lucanor).

Gonzalo Argote de Molina relationship with science has two fundamental aspects. The first is precisely related to this aspect of editor that we just mentioned; the second, also quoted Museum who was at his home in Seville. As almost all existing in the 16th century, the Museum was essentially a collection of curiosities, in which plants, animals and stones were mixed without order established with art objects, jewelry or antique coins. It became so famous that stated that Felipe II came to visit him incognito during your stay in the city in the year 1570. Despite its heterogeneous nature, by their wealth could be useful from the scientific point of view. In this way, Nicolás Monardes, when it deals with the armadillo, said at the foot of the corresponding print: "this animal got from another natural, which is in the Museum of Gonzalo Molina, a gentleman of this city, in which there are a lot of various lesson books and many genera of animals and birds, and other weird things as well as Western eastern India brought", and differences of weapons, with great curiosity and generous mood has close."



The book of the Montería control escrivir the very high and very powerful Rey don Alonso de Castilla and León, last deste name..., Seville: A. Pescioni, 1582. History of the Gran Tamorlán e route and narrative of the voyage, and relationship of the Embaxada that Ruy Gonçalez de Clavijo made him, by commanded of very powerful Lord King don Henrique the third of Castilla, Seville: A. Pescioni, 1582.


MILLARES CARLO, a.: "the library of Gonzalo Argote de Molina", in Revista de Filología Española, 10, 1923, pp. 137-152.PALMA CHAGUEDA, a.: the historian Gonzalo Argote de Molina, Madrid, 1949.MONARDES, N. Medicinal history of things which are brought from our West Indies (1565-1572). Facsimile edition with an introductory study of José María López Piñero. (Madrid, Ministry of health, 1989).