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Juan de Valdés

  • Artist / Creator - Generic image





Date of birth


Date of death


" Humanist. In keeping with the Renaissance, his work was decisive in making Spanish one of the most important languages of his time."

He was born in Cuenca in 1509. He studied in Alcalá de Henares in 1528 and started to correspond with Erasmus of Rotterdam. He started to work for the Marquis of Villena, which proved to be decisive in his religious training. When his first book, "The Dialogue on Christian Doctrine" was published (1529), he was reported to the Inquisition and moved to Italy, where he stayed for the rest of his life and was a gentleman in the court of Pope Clement VII. In Naples he befriended Garcilaso de la Vega. With "Dialogue on the Language" he tried to please a group of friends that wanted to improve the knowledge of the Spanish language. This towering work, written around 1535, was not printed until the 18th century, when Mayans Siscar edited it as and appendix to his work "Orígenes de la lengua española" on the origins of the Spanish language (1737). He died in Naples in 1541.

Essential works

  • 'Dialogue on language'. Madrid © Biblioteca Nacional de España

    Diálogo de la lengua

    Work on the Castilian language by the humanist Juan de Valdés.

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  • Dialogue on language. Madrid © Biblioteca Nacional de España

    Manuscript of the “Dialogue on language”

    This is a manuscript of the towering work of Juan de Valdés. It contains all kinds of opinions on the rules and regulations for correct use of the Castilian language.

    Spanish National Library (Madrid)

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