Juan Andrés

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Juan Andrés y Morell (15 February 1740 in Planes, Alicante – 12 January 1817 in Rome) was a Spanish Jesuit priest, Christian humanist and literary critic of the Age of Enlightenment. He was the creator of world history and comparative literature (i.e. of Letters and Sciences of the eighteenth century) through the most important and extensive of his works:[1] Dell'Origine, progressi e stato d'ogni attuale letteratura[2] (1st ed. Italian, Parma, 1782–1799) – Origen, progresos y estado actual de toda la literatura (Madrid, 1784–1806, but was incomplete as it did not include the part devoted to the ecclesiastical sciences) only recently restored to a critical and complete edition.[3]


He was considered an extraordinarily intellectual figure in the Europe of his time,[4] but was ignored for much of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This was for several reasons, as much circumstantial as general interest. Andrés trained in the former University of Gandia, was a Professor of Rhetoric, and a young Jesuit forced into exile in Italy 1767. He first settled in Ferrara, and then the Marquis of Bianchi welcomed him to his palace in Mantua. Here, he enjoyed life with the Marquis's family, until the arrival of Napoleon, more than twenty years of happy and productive stay that allowed him to complete the major part of his work. In England it was studied and followed mostly by Henry Hallam.[5]

Literary works[edit]

Andrés is also the author of, among many other titles, Family Letters, (Tour of Italy) (Madrid and Valencia, 1786–1800),[6] the Spanish-language work is one of the most important of its kind and a major European piece, mainly composed of a literary-scientific and especially bibliographic journey. The thoughts of Andrés, settled in the late neoclassical Age of Enlightenment responds with a strong Spanish-Italian tradition not only identifiable with the big fellow Jesuits, victims of expulsion, most prominently Lorenzo Hervas, builder of comparative linguistics, and the great music theorist Antonio Eximeno together with whom were seen as the nucleus of the eighteenth century School of Spanish Universalists, but further amplified the line represented by Ignacio de Luzan, Ludovico Antonio Muratori and the great pioneer and genius Giambattista Vico. Andrés, with his sight almost gone at the end of his life, spent his final professional occupation in charge of the Royal Library of Naples, to finally die in Rome in the protection of his religious congregation. The first and most important volume (given the main feelings of the sense of self and the critical nature of the new edition) of his major work was republished in Madrid in 1997, it was completed in 2002.


  1. ^ See P. Aullón de Haro (ed.), Metodologías comparatistas y Literatura comparada, Madrid, Dykinson, 2012.
  2. ^ Juan Andres, New Advent, retrieved 12 April 2013
  3. ^ Edition by J. García Gabaldón, S. Navarro and C. Valcárcel, dir. by P. Aullón de Haro, in Madrid, Verbum (Col. Verbum Mayor), 1997-2002, 6 vols.
  4. ^ P. Aullón de Haro, La Escuela Universalista Española del siglo XVIII, Madrid, Sequitur, 2016; P. Aullón de Haro and J. García Gabaldón (eds.), Juan Andrés y la Escuela Universalista Española, Madrid, Ediciones Complutense, 2017.
  5. ^ See Davide Mombelli, "La recepción de la obra de Andrés en el siglo XIX: Henry Hallam y la Historia comparada de la literatura europea", in Biblioteca Humanismoeuropa: [1]
  6. ^ Ed. by I. Arbillaga and C. Valcárcel, dir. by P. Aullón de Haro, in Madrid, Verbum (Col. Verbum Mayor), 2004, 2. vols.