Talk:Isidore of Seville

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I put most of the third paragraph on the Etymologiae page. Just so you know. -- Sam

Patron Saint[edit]

Is Isidore actually the patron saint of the Internet? I read a story (which was voted down) on [1] that said that the Vatican was running some kind of a poll to determine a patron saint of the Internet. Who decides this stuff? --- Ihcoyc

No. At least not yet.the search is still on. Koyaanis Qatsi
He is confirmed as the patron saint of the internet according to catholic study guide. It says Pope John Paul II did this but I can't remember when it was.--Coolkid602006 03:10, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
There are a lot of sites claiming that John Paul II did it in 1997, but the Acts of the Apostolic See[1] (the official journal of record for papal acts and statements) makes no mention of it in the 1997, 1998, and 1999 editions. I'm not sure where the myth started, but absent anything remotely resembling an official source, I changed it. JediKnyghte (talk) 20:17, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Ya know, St. Isidore makes an awesome candidate for patronage of the internet as a whole, but more specifically, I think he makes a great candidate as patron saint of Wikipedia.-J —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Great idea! -- 11:29, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
No really! I believe that goes against the NPOV rule, unless you mean 'non-officialy (in the Wikipedia). The Ogre 13:53, 25 August 2007 (UTC)


Isidore and Astrology[edit]

See Talk:Astrology. — Bill 11:55, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)

"last native speaker of Latin"[edit]

I deleted this, because the category suggests events that just aren't history, like "the last of the Romans" etc. --Wetman 12:02, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Second. Bill 12:49, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Was it sourced? Though I am assuming he wasn't the last native speaker of Latin, there may be some merit in saying that he was the last known native speaker of Latin. This merit is the same as why this person has an article. (talk) 16:40, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Badly needs updating[edit]

This is an excessively hagiographic article badly in need of updating from a decent modern source. Nothing about his more than usually extreme views on the Jews for example (these are why he will never actually be made patron saint of the Internet). I have corrected the suggestion in a caption that he was a round-earther, when in fact he was the father of the flat-earth theory, plus much other nonsense that gives the Middle Ages a bad name. Johnbod 01:48, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

James Randi, in this week's SWIFT column, cites one of his correspondents to the effect that Isidore of Seville has indeed been named patron saint of the Internet; but this needs further confirmation. Cactus Wren 00:10, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
It's pretty clear that he wasn't a flat-earther.--Jack Upland (talk) 10:35, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

"High" Importance[edit]

I downgraded Isidore from "top" to "high" on the Wikiproject Saints scale: he seems to fit better with those in the high category than those in the top. Pastordavid 17:09, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Earth shape[edit]

For Isidores position on the shape of the Earth please see: McCready, William D (1996-03). "Isidore, the Antipodeans, and the Shape of the Earth". Isis. 87 (1): 108–127. ISSN 0021-1753. Retrieved 2007-04-04.  Check date values in: |date= (help) which admits that there are divided opinions about the subject but: According to the [...] I think, now prevailing opinion, Isidore could not possibly have thought the earth to be flat." See also: Stevens, Wesley M (1980-06). "The Figure of the Earth in Isidore's "De natura rerum"". Isis. 71 (2): 268–277. ISSN 0021-1753. Retrieved 2007-04-04.  Check date values in: |date= (help)The section here needs updating. → Aethralis 08:43, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

I would like to point those who are suggesting that anyone during the Medieval Period propogated the "Flat Earth Theory" to Jeffrey Burton Russell's book, Inventing the Flat Earth: Columbus and Modern Historians. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:57, 15 April 2007

Agreed, I removed references to 'Flat Earth' from the section. Additionally, I added an empty reference section - the article obviously needs references.
/ Mats Halldin (talk) 21:30, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
I just replaced some unsourced claims that were made in regard to this topic with sourced material from the Flat Earth article. This new text I just inserted is in line with above citations and was edited in the Flat Earth article by the historian of science User:SteveMcCluskey. -- 14:38, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

a Question...[edit] it just me or was almost all of this plagairized from the Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913? The phrasing suggests as much. 20:36, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

  • That's why it has a CE tag at the bottom of the article, like most medieval church biographies. That CE is now public domain, in the US anyway. Johnbod 22:28, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
"...your mission, should you choose to accept it"... is to improve the article with your edits, moving it on and away from Catholic Encyclopedia, which did not always offer the most critical assessment, where canonized bishops were concerned.--Wetman 10:08, 8 August 2007 (UTC)


Does anyone know which miracles Isidore has performed? ~~---- —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:20, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

The creation of the Internet, for one.--Jack Upland (talk) 10:32, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

More irrelevant stuff out[edit]

Isidore has nothing to do with cartography or atlases, which, rightly, is not mentioned in the article. One map does not a cartographer make, and he didn't draw it — it merely illustrates a manuscript of his work, which is not about maps or geography. The Wiki Commons is just a list of resources available in the Commons — mostly that blasted map again. Bill (talk) 22:08, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

In those days, I don't think that's true.--Jack Upland (talk) 10:37, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

Another Question...[edit]

What's with Isidore being related to the internet? can someone explane that to me? Because if not, Get that garbage out please. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:35, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

See for example the section Isidore_of_Seville#Other_material, it explains pretty well why Isidore and why learning and internet.→ Aethralis 08:20, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Liber de numeris[edit]

I have an incidental mention that the Liber de numeris (which I assume = "a mystical treatise on the allegorical meanings of numbers" in the article) is falsely attributed to Isidore. Should anyone care to take up the question. Cynwolfe (talk) 16:20, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

Another Isidore of Seville[edit]

I came across this article while looking for information about Friar Isidore of Seville, of the Capuchin order, who, in 1703, had a vision of the Divine Shepherdess, as described in es:Divina Pastora de las Almas. Should we rename this page Saint Isadore of Seville and then change the resulting Isadore of Seville redirection page to a disambiguation page, pointing here and to the nonexistent page about the friar? Peter Chastain (talk) 10:42, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

No, you should determine that the best article title remains Divina Pastora de las Almas, an article apparently that awaits your concern. Though you may never have heard of him, to the prepared reader "Isidore of Seville" invariably signifies the person described in this article. A runaround through a "disambiguation' page would be a disservice, and Wikipedia is simply a readers' service after all, not a universal prosopography.--Wetman (talk) 11:52, 24 August 2009 (UTC)--Wetman (talk) 11:52, 24 August 2009 (UTC)


Does Udo Kindermann, writing on Isidore in Lateinische Lehrer Europas, really assert that:

Isidore ‘invented’ a universally applicable method of finding the truth in words (in the sense of signifiants) by determining their origin and comparing that with certain properties and qualities of the actual objects (in the sense of signifiés). This method he called etymology, but using the term to describe something that is far removed from the concept of etymology of modern linguistics. It offered an insight into the essence of a word which was considered deeper and more true than the understanding reached by way of description or of the scientific approach.

Isidore's "insights", whether or not "deep" or "true", actually make false links based on superficial and extrinsic properties selected for the results that could be extracted from them, a witty (though alas not for Isidore) wordplay that he certainly did not 'invent' (used variously by Pindar Plato, Plutarch). Are these signifiants and signifiés really in the German Lateinische Lehrer Europas article? The insertion was made by the anon. IP, a passer-by with no previous history: I have deleted it pending discussion here --Wetman (talk) 17:37, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Dear Wetman, I am sorry that you deleted my addition to the article on Isidore of Seville in Wikipedia. May I explain the short sentences above? Isidore did not invent the etymology at all, therefore I put 'invented' into inverted commas. But he was the first to execute it on an encyclopedic theme. You are right saying that in his method he makes >false links based on superficial and extrinsic properties selected for the results that could be extracted from them<, but exactly that is his method of 'etymolgogy' that he used so very often and very deliberately in his Etymologiae. It is not a logic approach to the things in the world, neither a historic one. It is rather associative. Centuries after Isidore very often preferred that method of thinking to all other methods of thinking. It is of no rationalist value, but of high poetic, mystic value, and so on, very useful for prechers, for instance. Let me give you an example of the Isidorean method applied in the twelfth century: The Word deus (= god) is explained, as you would say, by >false links based on superficial and extrinsic properties selected for the results that could be extracted from them<. Deus is explained this way: d comes from dans (= giving), e comes from eternam (= eternal), u comes from uitam (= life; accusative), s comes from suis (= to his people), and the letters result in the etymon of deus (= god) = Giving Eternal Life to his People. That is the deep truth that is hidden in that word, or that you (when etymologising) hide in that word. From your site I can see, that you are more of the rationalist kind. But you will admit that no one is bound to think in logicial or rationalist ways, and I assure you, that very many people of the Middle Ages (when Isidore took his main effect) did not. Even now, you cannot speak, e.g. on god in a scientific way, but you might make clear what you mean by 'god' by 'definitions' (inverted commas!) like those of Isidore. In Europe, some of us call it a distinct >Denkform< (= form of thinking) that was common before the Enlightenment. If you read German, I should like to send you an offprint of my quoted article on Isidore. I should like you to recall the deletion of my addition to Isidore that wants to make clear his (pseudo-)methodic impact on European Geistesgeschichte. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:29, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Patron Saint of Antisemites[edit]

It is disappointing this man was ever proposed as a Saint. It must have been a political Ex Cathedra moment. You cannot suppress a people and claim to be, or be claimed to be, a patron saint of scholarship, much less the internet. John Lloyd Scharf 21:06, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

Treating foreigners differently was practiced everywhere at that time. Could anyone be considered a saint then, until democracy and the political correctness movement? Looking at it charitably, it is quite possible that "anti-Semite" beliefs were not based on animus toward Jews per se but rather on an interest in maintaining cultural stability and identity. The idea is that Spain should be run by the Spanish, not that Jews are necessarily inferior. For example, a Jew could never become Emperor of Japan, because the Japanese Emperor must be ethnically Japanese. Does that make the institution of the Emperor anti-Semitic? Only if you are excessively sensitive about such things. In the modern West, we have chosen democracy over aristocracy. However, unrestrained immigration, affirmative action, and multiculturalism present their own problems. The sense of a shared national culture is being lost because we have taken offending someone as the worst possible sin. It's a trade-off, either you can be very tolerant and inclusive, or you can have a strong national identity and solidarity. It's very difficult to have both, and St. Isidore seemed to have preferred the latter. There is, by the way, no suggestion that he actively persecuted the Jews, only that he prevented them from holding public office. Just my $0.02. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:13, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

Well, that's probably all it's worth. Who were the Spanish in that period? The Visigoths???--Jack Upland (talk) 10:40, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

It's extremely misleading to talk about "anti-Semitism" in the sixth and seventh centuries. Scholars generally will refer to "anti-Judaism" instead, emphasizing the religious content, rather than racial discrimination, blood libel, etc. Many of the seeds of later Spanish anti-Jewish policy were sown in the Visigothic kingdom, but there was nothing comparable to 19th or 20th century anti-Semitism, and significant differences with anti-Judaism found throughout western Europe in the later Middle Ages. Isidore believed that the conversion of Jews to Christianity was a good thing and he was probably quite comfortable with imposing social degradation on Jews (but this was already written into the Theodosian Code and so had long standing), but he also argued against conversion under duress rather than persuasion. Evidence for this can be found in both his history of the Goths and in the canons of the Fourth Council of Toledo, which he presided over. This was also one of the very few times that the Church directly criticized any royal policy in the Visigothic Kingdom (although the king who had instituted forced conversions, Sisebut, was long dead by the time of the Fourth Council). (talk) 09:28, 21 April 2017 (UTC)

Cite this weasel statement, please[edit]

Second Synod of Seville (November 618 or 619)
modern historians regard this legislation as exercising a most important influence on the beginnings of representative government.

This is a classic weasel statement. (WP:WEASEL)

Please provide good cites clarifying which scholars think this and where they said so.

-- (talk) 22:42, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

Patron saint of the Internet -- let's nail this down[edit]

Already a few sections on this talk page about Isidore being patron saint of the Internet but with no conclusions as far as I can see. First of all, here's the text as it was, moved here in tact:

In 2003 an advisory group to the Vatican suggested Isidore as [[patron saint]] of the Internet after holding an online poll.<ref>{{cite web|last=Legon|first=Jeordan|title=Bishops seek saint for Internet|url=||accessdate=5 January 2012|date=31 January 2003}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|title=Patron Saint of Internet Shines in New Data Center at Boston College|url=|publisher=The Chronicle of Higher Education|accessdate=5 January 2012|date=2 December 2006}}</ref> He is also the patron saint of computers, computer users, and computer technicians.<ref>{{cite web|last=Jones|first=Terry H.|title=Saint Isidore of Seville|url=|accessdate=5 January 2012}}</ref>

First of all, there are a lot of unreliable sources out there. The sure looks like one of them. Chronicle and CNN are surely reliable, as well as the Telegraph. Here's the thing, though, there are conflicting reports. Some say an advisory committee suggested him but it wasn't made official, another says John Paul II proposed him but didn't make it official. Other sources say it isn't official in other language. But a lot of sources just state plainly that he's the patron saint of the internet. What seems certain is there was an online poll held in which Isidore was at least nominated. Here is the poll:

Isidore was nominated in the first phase and only received 5.05% of the vote! The top of the page for the final phase says pretty specifically James Alberione and John Bosco are the patron saints of the internet. It's the kind of trivia that could easily get passed from one person to the next without questioning it too much, but it doesn't appear that this is true at all.

Thoughts? --— Rhododendrites talk |  21:27, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

What is the status of the online poll? I think we could say he is called the patron saint of the Internet. What is absent seems to be an official Vatican pronouncement...--Jack Upland (talk) 10:51, 2 September 2015 (UTC)


I think he was really medieval rather than ancient, since the Western Roman Empire had dissolved in his times. Perhaps you could say that he straddled both epochs, but not that he was an "ancient" pure and simple.--Jack Upland (talk) 09:09, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

Yeah, he was very familiar with ancient literature, both secular and sacred, so it would be fair to say that his education was Roman. Also, his brother Leander is known to have traveled to Constantinople and there's evidence that his family may have been of African (i.e. modern Tunisia) origin, which was also under the control of the Eastern Romans at the time (as was part of the Spanish coast). One of his major contributions lies in distilling Roman literature into a form that would survive deep into the Middle Ages (rather like Cassiodorus or Boethius). FWIW, he probably would have considered himself "Roman" (talk) 09:33, 21 April 2017 (UTC)