Real Academia de la Historia
|Royal Academy of History|
Spanish: Real Academia de la Historia
|Official name: Real Academia de la Historia|
Real Academia de la Historia (English: Royal Academy of History) is a Spanish institution based in Madrid that studies history "ancient and modern, political, civil, ecclesiastical, military, scientific, of letters and arts, that is to say, the different branches of life, of civilisation, and of the culture of the Spanish people".
The Academy was established in 1738. Since 1836 it has occupied an 18th-century building designed by the neoclassical architect Juan de Villanueva.
In 2011 the Academy published the first 20 volumes of a dictionary of national biography, the Diccionario Biográfico Español, to which some five thousand historians contributed. The publicly funded publication has been subject of controversy for failing to achieve the standards of objectivity associated with, for example, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. The British Dictionary restricted itself to persons who were deceased, and the historian Henry Kamen has argued that it was a mistake for its Spanish equivalent to include living figures among entries. However, while there was criticism of entries for some living people (such as the politician Esperanza Aguirre), the main allegations of bias concern articles relating to Francoist Spain. A notable example is the entry on Francisco Franco, written by Luis Suárez Fernández, in which Franco is defined as an autocratic head of state rather than a dictator. In contrast, the administration of the democratically elected President Negrín is described as dictatorial.
The dictionary sparked an outcry. Most objections came from voices on the left such as the party United Left and the newspaper Público. For his part, Green party senator Joan Saura asked for publication of the dictionary to be stopped and the offending volumes withdrawn. There was also a call for corrections from the Ministry of Education. The Academy announced in June 2011 that amendments would be made to the text on line and in future paper editions. However, in 2012, when the Minister of Education, Culture and Sport, made a statement on the subject of the dictionary, it was still not clear whether the Academy was willing to describe Franco as a dictator.
As formerly the main Spanish institution for antiquaries, the Academy retains significant libraries and collections of antiquities, which cannot be seen by the public. The keeper of antiquities is the prehistorian Martín Almagro Gorbea.
Items held include:
- The Glosas Emilianenses
- The Roda Codex
- The Missorium of Theodosius I, a large ceremonial silver dish, probably made in Constantinople for the tenth anniversary (decennalia) in 388 of the reign of the Emperor Theodosius I, the last Emperor to rule both the Eastern and Western Empires. It is one of the best surviving examples of Late Antique Imperial imagery and one of finest examples of late Roman goldsmith work.
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The Real Academia de la Historia is composed of 36 members, with Academic Correspondents covering all the provinces of Spain and the rest of the world, taking the actual number to 370 (2006). The members of the Academy are (after the number of chair):
- Vicente Pérez Moreda
- Hugo O'Donnell, 7th Duke of Tetuan
- Francisco Rodríguez Adrados
- Luis Suárez Fernández
- Feliciano Barrios Pintado
- José Ángel Sánchez Asiaín
- Josefina Gómez Mendoza
- José Remesal Rodríguez
- Luis Miguel Enciso Recio
- Martín Almagro Gorbea
- Carlos Seco Serrano
- José María Blázquez Martínez
- Francisco Javier Puerto Sarmiento
- Antonio Cañizares Llovera
- José Alcalá-Zamora y Queipo de Llano
- José Antonio Escudero López
- Luis Ribot
- Fernando Díaz Esteban
- José Angel Sesma Muñoz
- Enriqueta Vila Vilar
- Mª del Carmen Iglesias Cano
- Fernando Marías Franco
- Miguel Ángel Ladero Quesada
- Serafín Fanjul García
- Miguel Ángel Ochoa Brun
- Luis Alberto de Cuenca y Prado
- José Luis Díez García
- Carmen Sanz Ayán
- Faustino Menéndez Pidal de Navascués
- Carlos Martínez Shaw
- Miguel Artola Gallego
- Luis Agustín García Moreno
Notable Academic Correspondents of the Academy include:
- Sir Raymond Carr
- Database of protected buildings (movable and non-movable) of the Ministry of Culture of Spain (Spanish).
- Henry Kamen, La ideología política y el Diccionario Biográfico'
- Marcos, J. M. and Corroto, P. and Jaén, B. García "Los historiadores se alarman ante la hagiografía de Franco" in Público, 30 May 2011
- Natalia Junquera (2011), Francoism isn't over in Spain, El País (English edition)
- La Real Academia de la Historia 'no corregirá' la polémica biografía de Franco, El Mundo
- "ICV insta a retirar los primeros 25 tomos del Diccionario Biográfico in Público, 30 May 2011
- La Academia de Historia corregirá la entrada de Franco..., ABC
- "Wert: 30 entradas". Público. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
- María Pilar Queralt del Hierro, "Mujer, historia y Academia: incompatibles para Gonzalo Anes"
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