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Isidoro of Seville

  • Isidoro de Sevilla © P. Rotger/Iberfoto

    Isidoro de Sevilla © P. Rotger/Iberfoto






Date of birth


Date of death


" Theologian, bishop, philologist, historian and expert on Visigoth Spain. He was canonised by the Catholic Church and later proclaimed a Universal Doctor of the Church."

He is believed to have been born in Cartagena (Murcia), around the year 556. His instruction was from readings of Saint Augustine and Pope Gregory the Great. He studied at the cathedral school of Seville where he learned Latin, Greek and Hebrew. On his death he was succeeded as governor of the diocese by his brother Leandro, the archbishop of Seville. His bishopric was from the year 599 to 636. He lived in a period of transition from the decline of Antiquity and the Roman world to the birth of the Middle Ages and the new Germanic-influenced nations. His magnum opus is “Etymologies” (c. 634), a monumental encyclopaedia concerning the evolution of knowledge from pagan and Christian antiquity to the 7th century. He died in Seville in the year 636.

Essential works

  • 'Etymologiae'. Madrid © Biblioteca Nacional de España


    The “Etymologiae” is the most outstanding work of the philosopher and bishop, Saint Isidore of Seville. It is an enormous work of compilation constituting the most complete anthology of knowledge of the time.

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  • Assorted treatises and letters. Madrid © Biblioteca Nacional de España

    Assorted treatises and letters. Saint Isidore of Seville

    This manuscript contains an important compilation of valuable historical works such as the 'Corpus Pelagianus', among others.

    Spanish National Library (Madrid)

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  • « Etymologiae ». Madrid © Biblioteca Nacional de España

    Manuscript of ‘Etymologiae’

    9th century copy of the magnum opus by the last Church Father. It is regarded as the great encyclopaedia of the Middle Ages.

    Spanish National Library (Madrid)

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