Juan Martínez Silíceo

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Juan Martínez Silíceo

Juan Martínez Silíceo (1486–1557) was a Spanish Roman Catholic bishop, cardinal and mathematician.


Juan Martínez Silíceo was born in Villagarcía de la Torre in 1486, the son of Juan Martínez Guijeno, a poor laborer, and Juana Muñoz.[1] His last name is also given as Guijarro.[1]

Martínez studied grammar in Llerena, a small town near Villagarcía de la Torre, and then studied philosophy in Seville.[1] To support himself, he served as a sacristan in the parish church in his home town.[1] He then became the tutor of two sons of a gentleman in Valencia.[1] He then moved on to the University of Paris to complete his studies.[1] Afterwards, he became professor of moral philosophy at the Colegio de San Bartolomé, University of Salamanca.[1]

After he was ordained as a priest, he became a professor of Christian theology.[1] He then became the canon theologian of the cathedral chapter of the Cathedral of Coria.[1] In July 1534, he was named tutor to Philip, Prince of Asturias, later becoming the prince's almoner and confessor.[1]

On February 23, 1541, he was elected Bishop of Cartagena; he was consecrated as a bishop later that year.[1] (He did not, however, enter his see until 1544.[1]) In 1543, Prince Philip despatched him to Badajoz to retrieve the prince's fiancée, Maria Manuela, Princess of Portugal.[1] On January 8, 1546, he was promoted to the metropolitan see of Toledo.[1]

Pope Paul IV made him a cardinal priest in the consistory of December 20, 1555.[1] He received the red hat and the titular church of Santi Nereo e Achilleo on February 1, 1556.[1] He became a renown mathematician for his time after publishing "Arithmética", firstly printed in Paris and afterwards all across Spain. Apart from "Arithmética" he also publish "Arte calculatorio".[2]

He died in Toledo on May 31, 1557.[1] He was buried in the church of the Colegio de Doncellas Nobles in Toledo.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Entry from Biographical Dictionary of the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church
  2. ^ "Grandes Matemáticos. Vidas de Grandes Hombres" Ezequiel Solana, 1932, Madrid.

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