Núñez de Toledo y Guzman, Hernán


Núñez de Toledo y Guzman, Hernán
(ca. 1475-1553)
   Spanish classical scholar, born at Toledo and often known as Pin-ciano or Pintianus, a name derived from the Latin name for Toledo. The son of an official at the royal court, he became a member of the military order of Santiago, but instead of spending his life as a cru-sading warrior, he devoted himself to study of ancient literature. Núñez was educated at Valladolid and about 1490 studied at the Spanish College in Bologna, where one of his teachers was the prominent humanist Filippo Beroaldo the Elder. After his return to Spain, he became tutor (1498-1510) to the children of the Mendoza family, one of the grandest families of the Castilian nobility. His em-ployer was governor of Granada, and he lived there for a number of years. His humanistic learning, especially in Greek, attracted the at-tention of Spain's leading patron of education, Cardinal Ximénes de Cisneros, who recruited him as one of the team of scholars working on the great Complutensian Polyglot Bible being prepared at the University of Alcalá under the cardinal's patronage. Núñez also taught rhetoric in the university but left in 1523 to become the suc-cessor of Elio Antonio de Nebrija as professor of Greek at the Uni-versity of Salamanca. His move may have been partly motivated by his support for the Comunero movement, a revolutionary upheaval in the cities of Castile arising from fear that their new Habsburg king, the Emperor Charles V, was sacrificing Spanish interests for the ben-efit of his lands in the Netherlands and Germany.
   In 1527 Núñez was promoted to the chair of rhetoric at Salamanca, where he spent the rest of his career. His lectures on classical authors such as Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Pomponius Mela, and Pliny the Elder led to his three major publications in the field of classical studies, of which his commentary on the Natural History of Pliny is perhaps the best known. Although these three authors were Romans, he was an en-thusiastic promoter of Greek studies and came to be known by the nick-name el comendador griego / the Greek Commander, a reminder that he still held the status of an officer in one of the crusading orders. Núñez was also interested in vernacular literature. His commentary (1499) on the long didactic poem El laberinto de la Fortuna by Juan de Mena was important for Hispanic scholarship. He also published a Castil-ian translation (1509) of the History of Bohemia written by Pope Pius II (Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini), and his Refranes o proverbios, a collection of popular sayings and proverbs, was published in 1555, after his death.

Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. . 2004.

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