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Benito Jerónimo Feijoo

  • Sculpture of Fray Benito Jerónimo Feijoo by the artist Gerardo Zaragoza © EFE

    Sculpture of Fray Benito Jerónimo Feijoo by the artist Gerardo Zaragoza © EFE






Date of birth

Aug 8, 1676

Date of death


" Scholar and encyclopaedist. He is considered the first essayist in Spanish literature, and one of the best-known members of the movement known as the First Spanish Enlightenment."

He was born in Casdemiro in 1676, and died in Oviedo in 1764. He was from a noble family, and joined the Benedictine order in San Julián de Samos (1690). He obtained a doctorate from the monastery of San Vicente de Oviedo, of which he was also the abbot (1721-1729). He was the superior general of his order, and Ferdinand VI appointed him member of the Council of Castile. From 1726, he began publication of his two major encyclopaedic works: 'Teatro crítico universal' (9 volumes; 1726-1740) and 'Cartas eruditas y curiosas' (5 volumes; 1742-1760). His writings, on a variety of different subjects and including commentaries on new scientific and technical advances, gave rise to controversies which shook the cultural world of the time. He was a defender of the Spanish classical theatre against the emergence of neoclassicism, and a theoretician of the pre-Romantic movement.

Essential works

  • Work of culture - Generic image

    Universal critical theater

    A critical work by monk and man of letters Benito Jerónimo Feijoo which introduces general readers to all types of topics.

    More info

Other highlighted works

  • Cartas eruditas y curiosas
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