Jeronimo Zurita y Castro - Encyclopedia

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Jeronimo ZURITA Y CASTRO (1512-1580), Spanish historian, was born at Saragossa, and studied at Alcal5. de Henares under the celebrated Hellenist, Hernan Nunez. Through the influence of his father, Miguel de Zurita, physician to Charles V., he entered the public service as magistrate at Barbastro, and in 1 537 was appointed assistant-secretary of the Inquisition. In 1548 Zurita was nominated official chronicler of the kingdom of Aragon, and in 1566 Philip II. attached him as secretary to the council of the Inquisition, delegating to him the conduct of all matters sufficiently important to require the king's signature. Zurita resigned these posts on the 21st of January 1571, obtained a sinecure at Saragossa, and dedicated himself wholly to the composition of his Anales de la corona de Aragon, the first part of which had appeared in 1562; he lived to see the last volume printed at Saragossa on the 22nd of April 1580, and died on the 3rd of November following. Zurita's style is somewhat crabbed and dry, but his authority is unquestionable; he displayed a new conception of an historian's duties, and, not content with the ample materials stored in the archives of Aragon, continued his researches in the libraries of Rome, Naples and Sicily; he founded the school of historical scholarship in Spain.

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