Guevara, Antonio de


Guevara, Antonio de
(ca. 1480-1545)
   Spanish author. He was educated at the court of the heir to the Spanish throne and became a Franciscan friar in 1504. He was appointed bishop of Granada in 1529 and in 1537 was moved to the see of Mondoñedo. Despite his monastic vocation, he retained his close ties with the royal court, remaining active in political matters, advising the Spanish military reformer Gonzalo de Córdoba and becoming an outspoken supporter of the new Habsburg king, Charles V, during the rebellion of the Comuneros (1519-1521). Guevara was a famous preacher and in 1521 was appointed court preacher by the emperor. In 1525-1526 he preached to the nominally converted Moriscos of Valencia and Granada. But much of his activity was political; he spent more time at court than in his diocese. In 1535 he accompanied the emperor on his military expedition to Tunis and subsequently on his journey to Italy and France.
   Guevara's first major literary work was his Libro áureo de Marco Aurelio / Golden Book of Marcus Aurelius, written by 1524 and circulated in manuscript. An unauthorized printed edition appeared in 1528. Closely related was his Relox de príncipes / Dial of Princes (1529). Both of these works were didactic and moralizing books written as historical narrative. They blended his own ideas with materials borrowed from classical antiquity. His collection of vernacular letters, Epístolas familiares, was widely read and was one of the favorite modern books of the French essayist Montaigne. His works had a major influence on the development of 16th-century Spanish prose.

Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. . 2004.

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