Virtual Library of the School of Salamanca and Linked Open Data

Xavier Agenjo Bullón
of the Faculty of Archivists, Librarians and Archaeologists
Director (on leave of absence) of the Menéndez Pelayo Library
Project Director of the Ignacio Larramendi Foundation


Convento de San Esteban, Pascal, Descartes y Leibniz.

The Ignacio Larramendi Foundation presents what is perhaps its most ambitious work to date and there can be no better time than the commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of the creation byIgnacio Hernando de Larramendi, my friend and teacher, of the Hernando de Larramendi Foundation, which changed its name to the current one by unanimous decision of its Board of Trustees in 2005.

The School of Salamanca does not have, as often happens in the history of thought and ideas, a formal nature. However, the critics wanted to see certain common factors in a group of Spanish thinkers, almost all of them men of the Church. The School of Salamanca is probably, with the possible exception of the Toledo School of Translators, the greatest contribution of Spain, in fact of Latin America, to Western and world thought to date.

One of the characteristics of the School of Salamanca is the complicated framework of the relations that existed between its members; they often succeeded each other in the university chairs or argued among themselves; on other occasions they were involved in terrible disputes and even in legal attacks, either from the secular arm or from the Inquisition; and sometimes they attacked and defended each other. The name of some of these authors appears in the approvals of the books of others, or in the eulogistic writings that, together with the former, appeared in the preliminaries of the structure of the ancient Spanish book. All of this is complex.

On the other hand, it was a very productive thought and its influence has been enormous. It was so from the very first moment and sometimes undeniably so. However, it is difficult to find explicit statements from the authors who were influenced in the literature of the time. These are only present in the passages in which the author resorts to in a critical, sometimes rhetoric tone. Let us recall for example the Lettres provinciales by Pascal. But, although Descartes or Leibniz have a very direct influence from our authors, the truth is that they either concealed it or mentioned it briefly. This was the case of the former who studied in a Jesuit college, where the textbooks were written by the authors of the School of Salamanca and especially by Francisco Suárez and where the author of the Discours de la méthodecame out claiming that he had received an excellent education.

Leibniz acknowledges his debt, but does not give it special importance, even though some of his most productive ideas in time are clearly based, not on Ramon Llull, but on Sebastián Izquierdo by stating a case of an author much closer to him in time. The Catalan philosopher Nicol has traced Suarez's direct influence in Locke and through Locke in the Pennsylvania Constitution and the Declaration of Independence of the United States and even in its own Constitution. Francisco de Vitoria has long been considered the father of International Law and his immense influence on Grocio is more than evident, although for anyone who has read the Jesuit from Granada, it is obvious.

Pascal has already been mentioned, but we could well do the same with Arnault, since both his Grammaire or his Logique, those of Port Royal, were clearly derived fromEl Brocense, but it had to be Chomsky in his Cartesian linguistics that made it clear.

Eduardo Nicol, Noam Chomsky, Joseph Schumpeter y José María López Piñero. Todos ellos han estudiado diversos aspectos de la Escuela de Salamanca.

More recently, since the publication of Theorie der wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung by Schumpeter, the immense influence of the School of Salamanca on thedevelopment of economic theory has been recognised and it is obvious that the Tratado y discurso sobre la moneda del vellón by Juan de Mariana is a clear precedent of the modern money theory. Who would be surprised if Azpilcueta or Mercado were to study with great rigour everything that happened, from the economic point of view, in the immense impact that the discovery of America and trade between the two continents and the subsequent globalization that followed the domination of the Philippines had had?

From the point of view of natural history, the work by Francisco Hernández was decisive and Linneo sentLöflin, the manuscripts of this author to study, whom he called "the Copernicus of botany".  Nor is it well known how Soto perfectly described in mathematical terms the falling bodies in a work that Galileo knew. And that Zúñiga defended Copernicanism, which, by the way, was part of the curriculum at the University of Salamanca when it was censored in Protestant, Calvinist or Anglo-Catholic countries.

But it is not a question of reproducing here the controversy of Spanish science, which has now been overcome. I do not want, however, to fail to mention, for obvious reasons, Marcelino Menéndez Pelayo, whose work shares a website in these FHL Virtual Libraries, or Eloy Bullón, whose book De los orígenes de la filosofía moderna. Los precursores españoles de Bacon y Descartes is sufficiently explicit in its title.

Also, in the same sense, I believe that the work of Professor José María López Piñero has had an enormous importance. First his studies, of excellent quality and always accompanied by the magnificent bibliometric works of María Luz Terradas. When were they published? Where? How many editions were there? What languages were they translated into? Naturally, this is the procedure by which the impact of an author's work can be measured. To end the long string of quotes and influences, I wonder how many people are familiar with the name of Félix de Azara which appears on every page ofA naturalist’s journey around the world by Darwin. And I say the name only, not the work.

López Piñero was a great scholar and set up an extraordinary school of historians of science and, in particular, of medicine. He also created an institute that today is honoured by having his name and in which you can consult a wonderful database that reflects both his work and that of his school. However, there is still one criticism, one of a technical nature: this database of theLópez Piñero Institute for the History of Medicine and Science suffers from a great weakness with regard to the data model, the functional specifications and the standardisation of its records. They have very poor visibility.

Virtual Library of the School of Salamanca and Linked Open Data

It was clear from the outset that it was not a question of repeating, as is unfortunately always done, the critical editions published by universities whose publications departments are completely lacking in an effective distribution service. How many times must one turn to the second-hand bookseller to find the edition of a very original thinker who, studied and translated (where applicable) from Latin into Spanish, has had a zero impact. No, it was just the opposite. In other words, the aim was to achieve high visibility on the Web by applying the most advanced positioning techniques. But that was too little.

Linking Open Data y un esquema de como actúa.What had to be done, and this was done, and is being done, is to apply the Linked Open Data to both the authors as well as the works of those authors who make up the School of Salamanca. It is a question of having what I will from now on call digital objects and which are nothing other than the digitized author's own work, with the greatest possible perfection, and equipped with metadata among which, of course, are highlighted those of the bibliographical description of the work by means of the use of various schemes, all of them strongly standardised. It is a question of editing these digital objects openly, that is, in Open Access, and it is a question of linking these digital objects with others, using a specific technology, the aforementionedLinked Open Data.

Time Berners-Lee inventó la Web y es el director del World Wide Web Consortium. (Foto: Tony Scarpetta. Cedida por el W3C)This technology was introduced to the world by Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the Web, who in 2006 presented a new idea, which was better still, a new technology for linking existing digital objects on the network by integrating the TCP/IP communications protocol, i.e. the Internet, and the HTML hypertext markup language.

 Thanks to a realisation of these markup languages, from HTML to XML and from XML to RDF, although not exclusively, Tim Berners-Lee proposed not a syntax but a semantic one based on the Same Asconcept, which allows two digital objects to be related conceptually, semantically, intellectually, through this property. That is to say, it allows the digital object Comentario Resolutorio de Cambios, by Martín de Azpilcueta, to be associated with the work, in our case already a digital object, Theorie der Wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung, since both contain common metadata and, in particular, those that, encoded in SKOS (Simple Knowledge Organization System), are going to be interrelated through Same As.

From a technological point of view, it is perhaps worth remembering here that Wikipedia, transformed in its structure in the DBpedia, is the centre of Linked Open Data, or, to put it another way, the central node to which all information aggregates, such as thePolymath Virtual Library in its EDM flavour. Thus, all links from this presentation to Wikipedia will be transformed into their corresponding entries according to the DBpedia structure. For instance: Tomás de Mercado in DBpedia.

The School of Salamanca and Europeana

Europeana, Hispana, DIGIBÍS, DIGIBIBFrom the very beginning, FHL Virtual Libraries have been characterised by very closely following all the standardisation processes on which progress has been made in the world and, in particular, given that Spain has been part of the European Union since the beginning of the 21st century, the regulations that Europeana (perhaps this is not the time to recall times its origins, the Lund Principles or the controversy with Google), the gigantic European database, has been giving itself.

For this, DIGIBÍS, a company with which the Ignacio Larramendi Foundation interacts on a daily basis and whose DIGIBIB programme has been adapted, sometimes months in advance, to the different data models, functional specifications and regulations that Europeana has been establishing, has played a decisive role. It will not be by chance that the Project Director of the Ignacio Larramendi Foundation is a member of the Europeana Council of Content Providers and Aggregators Technical Core Group or that he has been given the task of writing the part of Europeana’s next white paper specifically devoted to digitization.

The programme developed by DIGIBIS has been so effective that most of the virtual or digital libraries that contribute toEuropeana do so using DIGIBIB. Approximately 96% is done through the Hispanaaggregator, also developed by DIGIBIS.

However, the full adoption of the programmes, projects and objectives that go beyond Europeana could hardly have been achieved if it had not been for the help of the MAPFRE Foundation, whose generosity and vision of the future must be recognised here. A good part of the features that were sought are described in the paper that we presented at the 77th IFLA Congress and General Assembly under the name of Data Aggregation and dissemination of Authority Records through Linked Open Data.

The idea can be summarised in a very simple way. Just as it is possible to use the OpenSearch protocol and consult Europeana'sSRU server through its API it is possible to carry out a consultation from the database itself and automatically transfer to it the results found as new records; then, after the appropriate debugging, establish all kinds of modifications with the new records and, above all, benefit from the links of the previously added data.

For example, the Azpilcueta consultation in the FHL Virtual Libraries provides 75 records, but the OpenSearch API mentioned above automatically finds up to 248 records in Europeana. Well, what has been developed is a completely new computer application that interacts with the Europeana database and the Librarian who, acting as a knowledge engineer, specifies, after a precise bibliographic identification (which requires a detailed knowledge of the work area), authors and works that are implemented on an SRU server (the aforementioned Europeana, for example), and not only retrieves but also updates the database in which the new records are hosted, i.e. in this case the FHL Virtual Libraries, after the appropriate transformation of the metadata has been carried out.

However, as we are trying to explain, this is not a mere capture of all these records, but an aggregation of them to information structures already existing in the FHL Virtual Libraries database, which is much richer.

OAIsterIt is clear that this functionality is tremendously useful, since just as it can be implemented on Europeana, or perhaps better, on Hispana, the same operation can be done on OAIster, the largest harvester - although Europeana is getting closer every day - of records of digital objects in the world and which, in any case, harvests digital objects from the repositories of virtual or digital libraries outside Europeana, since it is truly and as is well known, a global collective catalogue.

Many of these ideas, and especially the background of the entire data model, functional specifications and standards, are expressed very extensively in the widely disseminated work The Virtual Library: concept and function.

Precisely, the area of the world that is least represented is Ibero-America, but the fact that the77th IFLA Congress will be held in Puerto Rico to begin to establish relations with our Latin American colleagues has been taken advantage of and we are making clear progress on projects with Chile, Mexico and Peru. Nevertheless, and the experience of Ignacio Hernando de Larramendi  is of great help to us, we will take some time to carry out our project in Latin America, although there is no doubt that this tool will not only be applied to the School of Salamanca but to all those subsets, libraries or collections that make up the FHL Virtual Libraries (in fact, and for certain reasons that are not relevant, a semi-automatic cataloguing process has been carried out with Galician polygraphs and excellent results have been obtained, as well as with those of the School of Salamanca).

On a date very close to the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the creation of the Ignacio Larramendi Foundation, Europeana published a series of documents that further specify the data model, functional specifications and standards that make up the great project of the Europeans. These are the Europeana Data Model Primer, published  on 26 October 2011, the Europeana Data Model Mapping Guidelines, published on the following day, the 27th and the Europeana Factsheet, already completed with an immediate and medium-term future perspective in the Final Technical & Logical Architecture and Future Work Recommendations issued on 31 October.

Use Case Polymath Virtual LibraryNo one should be surprised, given the aforementioned explanations, that the DIGIBIBIB programme, for which the Ignacio Larramendi Polymath Virtual Library and, in particular, the Virtual Library of the School of Salamanca is implemented, fits like a glove into the set of regulations mentioned above. The same can be said with the Final Report ofW3C Library Linked Data Incubator Group, which appeared in three different documents: Final Report, Use Cases and Datasets, Value Vocabularies and Metadata Element Sets, the three dated 25 October 2011.

Among the cases of use is the Polymath Virtual Library; there are only twelve in the world. If we add to this great regulatory explosion the agreement of 21 October 2011 between Europeana and the Digital Public Library of America —promoted by the Harvard University library and with the fundamental support of the Library of Congress, the National Archives and the Smithsonian Institution - it can be said that Ignacio Larramendi Foundation's project is precisely aligned with the coordinates that at the highest technical, political and administrative levels are being established in this global world.

DIGIBIS' efforts to keep its library management programme DIGIBIS, as well as the rest of the applications and procedures that are applied to all types of memory institutions, in constant evolution and always guided by the clear universal trend, should be recognised.

Carlos I, Cardenal Cisneros y página de la Biblia PolíglotaThe School of Salamanca itself

As has already been pointed out, the School as such never existed, but it has been possible to establish a certain relationship, which does not include all the members of this School, with the Convent of San Esteban of the City of Tormes. Here we must explain a little-known aspect of the Cisnerian reforms.

Cisneros, like other eminent men of the Church in the Renaissance era, had realised that a profound reform of the Church was necessary (it is significant that two of our greatest saints and writers are two reformers, I am referring, logically, to Saint Teresa of Jesus and Saint John of the Cross). To this end, Cisneros tried to reform the University of Salamanca, but the University's bylaws and the resistance of the Faculty prevented him from doing so, and "that Madrid-born person", let us say it with a certain sense of historical humour - Cisneros was from Torrelaguna - founded the famous university in Alcalá de Henares, where, surprisingly enough, the degrees in law were excluded for the following reasons

What would have happened if Cisneros had been younger when Charles of Habsburg landed in Spain and he could have led him, instead of his Flemish and Italian advisors, at the beginning? The Cisnerian reform was very close - as were those ofSaint Teresa and those ofSaint John of the Cross — of the Lutheran Reformation which, it goes without saying, was influences much more thanks to the political interests of certain princes of the states that made up the Holy German Catholic Empire.

And what would have happened if the edition of the Políglota Complutense had arrived in Rome, instead of almost completely perishing in a shipwreck? After all, when Erasmus translated the Gospels he did so based on a single manuscript, while the Polyglot edition had close to seventy. The Spanish biblical scholar Diego López de Zúñiga bitterly reproached Erasmus for this and the latter graciously acknowledged his debt. But the translation that was re-edited and reprinted was that of Erasmus and not that of the Complutense. Also years later, theBiblia Regia, entrusted to another exceptional man, Benito Arias Montano, suffered very, very bad luck. It was time for the language editions, which were far from being common, but it should be remembered that modern German is built on Luther's Bible, just as the English used by Shakespeare is built on the King James Bible.

However, Cisneros was able to influence the bylaws of the Convent of San Esteban and there is no doubt that this had enormous consequences. The main one of them, the School of Salamanca. However, I must not fail to insist that some of those who are habitually considered members of the School of Salamanca never set foot in those classrooms or lived in those cells.

Who are the members of the School of Salamanca?

As can be understood, it is not easy to discriminate with a sure criterion who is the author who makes up the School of Salamanca. The selection that has been made for this Virtual Library of the School of Salamanca obeys the criteria of the Librarian who in this case is the one who signs this introduction.

The selection is based on a wide range of bibliographic sources and critical monographs, but I am sure that there will be those who consider it questionable. As I have already indicated, many of the authors are linked to the Convent of San Esteban de Salamanca and lived in it and taught there, but they also taught at the University of Salamanca itself. However there are authors such as Juan de Mariana, undoubtedly one of the most powerful intellectuals Spain has produced, who never studied or taught there. In this case, Juan de Mariana only acted as a professor, first in Palermo and then in Paris, but after five years (during which he also obtained his doctorate) he fell ill and retired to Toledo in 1574, where he lived in his cell dedicated to his writings until 1624. His writings are closely related to the rest of the members of the School.

Claustro del Colegio de San Gregorio de ValladolidOther authors, on the other hand, have a very direct relationship. SoFrancisco de Vitoria, after the almost mandatory visit to Paris, was a professor in another of the key centres of this school, theCollege of San Gregorio de Valladolid, where he was a professor of theology until 1526, when he was appointed professor of theology in Salamanca. There he was the direct professor of Melchor Cano, Domingo Báñez and Domingo de Soto, Dominicans like him.

Cano studied in Salamanca, where, as we have just said, he was a direct student of Francisco de Vitoria, and taught in the Convent of San Esteban. Following a very similar biography to other members of this School, he was sent to the College of San Gregorio in Valladolid, where he studied with Bartolomé de Carranza and with Friar Louis of Granada.

Azpilcueta, Molina, Covarrubias, Soto, Sepúlveda y CasasLet us observe the interrelationship of all these authors, because although we have highlighted the enormous importance of Martín de Azpilcueta as an economist, in his time he was known as the illustrious jurist who defended in Rome, from 1577 until his death, the recently citedBartolomé de Carranza who, being none other than Archbishop of Toledo and Cardinal Primate of Spain, was accused by the Inquisition. Azpilcueta was a professor in Salamanca for fourteen years and among his disciples, who clearly enrolled in the School of Salamanca, wasDiego de Covarrubias. It is also worth mentioning that Azpilcueta was not only a professor in Salamanca, but also at the University of Coimbra, recently refounded by the Portuguese monarchs. Salamanca and Coimbra maintained a very close relationship and it was not only Azpilcueta who taught in both universities.

Covarrubias, who has a magnificent portrait by El Greco as Archbishop of Cuenca, studied not only with the aforementioned Azpilcueta, but also with Francisco de Vitoria and Domingo de Soto. He was one of the many authors who participated in the discussions on the natural law of the Indians and was a supporter of anti-slavery. From the point of view of economics, he developed, together withLuis de Molina, a theory about the subjective value of value and price; according to modern economic theory, it justified the value of things in the free agreement on price in the price between buyer and seller and, after all, it was scarcity or abundance, what today we would call supply and demand, that established one and the other. If Luis de Molina has been mentioned, we must cite not only his economic contribution but also his position, strongly criticized by Pascal in the aforementioned Provinciales, on free will. Luis de Molina was a Jesuit and found important support among the members of his order, while he was criticized by the Dominicans.

Domingo de Soto is one of the great intellects of the 16th century and there is practically no aspect of human knowledge in which he would not take sides and incorporate his great knowledge. His contribution to the birth of modern science is very interesting, fundamentally in relation to the theory of the falling bodies, which was later developed by Galileo, who necessarily knew the work in which Soto expressed his theory. He also participated in the controversies on the indigenous issue and succeeded Melchor Cano as a professor at the University of Salamanca.

Soto was part of the so-called Junta de Valladolid which, meeting in the Castilian city between 1550 and 1551, debated the indigenous question that is often referred to as either the justos títulos (just titles), or the polémica de los naturales (controversial issue of the natives). The controversy had been initiated by the dispute between the writings of Bartolomé de las Casas and the response of Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda.

Sepúlveda is fundamentally known for the aforementioned controversy, but he also carried out other very important studies after his stay in Bologna, in the Royal College of Spain, where he came into contact with the humanist currents. In 1548, he translated Aristotle’s Politics and he largely based his defence of the legitimacy of the conquest of America precisely on Aristotle’s theories. An excellent Hellenist, he reviewed the Greek edition of the New Testament by mandate of Cardenal Cayetano and Charles V named him his chronicler. Extremely adverse to the new laws of 1542, he ended up influencing their repeal, which led to the return to Spain of Bartolomé de las Casas who, after some controversial writings, ended up in the aforementioned Junta de Valladolid.

Bartolomé de las Casas is, without a doubt, the most internationally known of the authors of the School of Salamanca, although in reality he lacks the originality of Vitoria. It can be said that his writings were the incentive that produced the different controversies and the said meetings in which most of the authors of the School of Salamanca were involved and whose results are precisely what constitutes the essential contribution of modern international law as well as the origin of the theory of human rights. It is worth insisting on the fact that he studied together with other outstanding authors of the School of Salamanca in the College of San Gregorio of Valladolid, which brought together only twenty students, but where Bartolomé de las Casas, Melchor Cano, Luis de Granada and Francisco de Vitoria himself coincided.

Libros de Juan de la Peña, Juan Roa Dávila y Tomás de MercadoIt is striking thatJuan de la Peña, another well-known figure of the School of Salamanca also coincided with the aforementioned authors in the College of San Gregorio, as well as having a relevant participation in the process that the Inquisition promoted against his former master Bartolomé de Carranza, who, as we have already seen, was defended at the end of his life by Azpilcueta. His work remained unpublished until it was published by one of the fundamental specialists to critically know the School of Salamanca, Luciano Pereña, editor of the largest effort made so far to bring together in the so-calledCorpus Hispanorum de Pace so many of the authors who make up this School. The debt that Spanish culture owes Luciano Pereña is unpayable. Ignacio Hernando de Larramendi had already commissioned this illustrious political scientist, jurist and historian to prepare a book summarising Peña's work in the extraordinary MAPFRE 1492 collections with the title ofLa idea de la justicia en la conquista de América, published in 1992.

It is curious that Juan Roa Dávilawas born in Alcalá de Henares and it is more than likely that his family was linked to some university activity. He studied Law at the University of Salamanca and joined theSociety of Jesus. The highly controversial nature of some of his works and, in particular, of De Regnorum Iustitia, in which he advocated democratic control, if this term can be applied with the meaning currently given to an author of the 16th century, led him to leave Spain and take refuge in Rome.

The figure of Tomás de Mercado is, from a modern point of view, one of the most attractive of the School of Salamanca. It is also the case that much of his life was spent in Mexico, where he took theOrder of Saint Domingo. He completed his studies at the University of Salamanca and is one of the authors whose works, produced at the behest of the merchants of Seville, had the greatest influence on everyday commercial practice thanks to the 1569 edition of Los tratos y contratos de mercaderes y tratantes, reprinted in 1571, this time in Seville, under the title Summa de tratos y contratos.

Mercado maintains a very open stance on interest rates and delves into the so-called quantity theory of money. The fact that his works were published in Spanish was of great importance among the merchants of Seville, many of whom did not know Latin. Unlike the theories often blamed on Christians and old nobles, Tomás de Mercado relies on nothing less than Hesiodus and Plutarchus to praise the social dignity that trade brings with it. It is striking that the Summa de tratos y contratos is among one of the censorships that had to be applied to the ancient book in Spain and, in particular, in the Crown of Castile, with one of the very reverend father Friar Luis de León, professor of theology at the University of Salamanca.

Fray Luis de León, libro de Bartolomé de Medina, Gabriel Vázquez y libro de Domingo BáñezIn fact, Friar Luis de León is not only a fabulous stylist, sublime poet and translator, but also a man linked to the School of Salamanca from a doctrinal point of view. Not only did he develop a complete treatise on political theory, called De legibus, he also, for example on 28 March 1588, wrote an opinion on the exploitation of the quicksilver mines of Peru by Pedro de Contreras, which makes us see the extent to which Friar Luis de León is a true polygraph, capable of cultivating all kinds of genres and materials. He had studied withMelchor Cano and was also a classmate of Cipriano de la Huerga, an orientalist, professor of the Bible in Alcalá de Henares, who later largely departed from Catholic orthodoxy but who, without doubt, trained the author in the Eastern languages and in particular Hebrew. As a consequence of the acquisition of this knowledge, Friar Luis de León carried out certain versions, directly from Hebrew, which were strongly fought by other intellectuals of the time, among which should be highlighted the Dominican Bartolomé de Medina (Friar Luis was an Augustinian).

Although Bartolomé de Medina has gone down in history as one of the figures who led Friar Luis to prison, his contribution to thought is extremely important. A direct student of Francisco de Vitoria and, later, professor of Theology at the University of Salamanca, he is known fundamentally as the creator of the doctrine ofprobabilism, which would be so productive from the point of view of the defence of free will and freedom. This theory of probabilism was defended and, above all, promoted by the Jesuit theologians who spread it throughout Europe and America. Probabilism was fought with enormous harshness by the Jansenists and, in particular, by Blaise Pascal, who, as has been said at the beginning, he attacked Bartolomé de Medina and other authors such as Luis de Molina and Francisco Suárez without putting them down, as has often happened when the theories were useful. Probabilism is one of the bases of so-called casuism, typically Jesuit and very opposed to the deterministic theories almost unanimously defended by the Jansenists.

Another member of the School of Salamanca that developed the theory of probabilism was the JesuitGabriel Vázquez de Belmonte. He taught in Alcalá de Henares and in Rome, where he wrote most of his philosophical and theological works. It so happens that some of his books are signed with the nickname Belomontanus, thus making reference to his birthplace. It is curious that the lawyer Francisco Murcia de la Llana (famous bureaucrat for having been the author of the "errata" of many fundamental works of Spanish literature, in his duty as "Corrector General of His Majesty's Books", between 1609 and 1635, and among which the one of the second part of Don Quixote stands out) carried out a compendium of the philosophy of Gabriel Vázquez published in 1617.

Also linked to the Convent of San Esteban de Salamanca, Domingo Báñezjoined that centre in 1546 where he was a student of both Francisco de Vitoria and Domingo de Soto and where, later, he broadened his studies with Melchor Cano and Pedro de Sotomayor.. Báñez was St. Teresa's confessor and helped and advised her in her reform projects. After a brief stay in the Convent of San Esteban, he moved to the College of San Gregorio in Valladolid - as has been seen on so many other occasions in this text, in that direction or the opposite - where he was rector. Like many other authors of the School of Salamanca, he was subjected to the investigation of the Court of the Inquisition, in spite of which he sat for the official exams of the Salamancan Chair of Theology of Durando occupied until then by the aforementioned Bartolomé de Medina and the one that he succeeded after his death in the Chair of Prima de Teología.  Like many other authors from the School of Salamanca, he took part in the controversial De auxiliis, one of the recurrent themes of the Spanish scholastics of the time, in which the question of free will was always present. From the defence of the intrinsic freedom of the human being, from the possible limitations that it could have, it was not difficult that certain authors could be close to Protestantism and, in any case, it could be said that the Dominican Báñez represented the opposite extreme to the doctrine of the Jesuit Luis de Molina.

The influence  that all these ideas would have on the Sephardic Jew is evident to any reader ofBenito Espinosa and, especially, on his brilliant Ética, especially when one knows the contents of Espinosa's particular library, which, incidentally, does not lack numerous books in Spanish and, in particular, those of Saavedra Fajardo or Quevedo.

One of the fundamental elements for the development of the School of Salamanca was, paradoxically, the creation of the University of Coimbra. In 1537 King John III of Portugal reinstated the University in Coimbra, although it had a background of the Estudo Geral founded in 1290 in Lisbon and transferred to Coimbra in 1308. But it was in the 16th century, after its restoration, when it reached its great importance and a direct relationship was established between Salamanca and Coimbra, to the point that the professors of both universities exchanged their chairs with some frequency. Undoubtedly one of the most outstanding figures is Pedro de Fonseca, known at the time as the "Portuguese Aristotle", which certainly gives us a clear idea of what his philosophical foundations were.

Libro de Pedro de Fonseca y retrato de Juan de MarianaPedro de Fonseca has a fundamental importance not only as an author of his own works, but also in his role as general editor of the so-called Philosophical course of Coimbra, which together with that ofSalamanca, would play such an important role throughout the world. It must be borne in mind that these courses had an enormous impact throughout Europe, especially in Germany, and it is surprising to note how often many of the greatest German philosophers were the children of or were educated in environments linked to Protestant clergy trained with the courses from Coimbra, as well as with the texts already commented on by Francisco Suárez. The influence even reached China. There is a very interesting relationship between Fonseca's doctrine and Luis de Molina's one on the controversy of free will: often, especially if one starts from Portuguese sources, the doctrine widely expounded by Luis de Molina was first outlined by Pedro de Fonseca.

Juan de Mariana, whom we spoke about at the beginning of this section, fulfils practically all the different profiles attributed to the School of Salamanca.  Thus, he was an economist with his memorableTratado y discurso sobre la moneda de vellón; a political scientist, whose works include Del rey y de la institución de la dignidad real, twice burned in Paris as a result of the successive assassinations of Henry III and Henry IV; and a theologian.  One of the most intricate stories of Spanish intellectual relations in the 16th century was forged when Juan de Mariana came to the defence of the orthodoxy of the edition of the Biblia Regia  - and, above all, of its publisherBenito Arias Montano—, in which we find, by the way, to Friar Luis de Leon again, but this time in the little-known role of accuser, with the curious circumstance occurring that Arias Montano did in fact belong to a very heterodox convent, even though he had been commissioned by Philip II not only to publish a biblia regia, that is to say, the post-Tridentine Bible, but also to arrange the extraordinary library of the Escorial... where there was no lack of precisely the opposite, all kinds of absolutely heterodox works.

Thus, when one reads Isaac Newton'sSolomon’s Temple, one can see to what extent the interests of Juan de Herrera and Philip II were not so different from those that encouraged in their exoteric version the very orthodox Isaac Newton, apparently, from an Anglo-Catholic point of view. And not only the works of Juan de Herrera that are quoted by Newton in his work, but many others that we now know thanks to the increasingly meticulous study of the author's library of the Principia Mathematica. However, Juan de Mariana has passed to posterity throughHistoria de España, first written in Latin and then in Spanish and updated by various authors until the 19th century, a work that has contributed as few other works to establishing the collective imagination of Spaniards for, using the happy expression of the title of the famous work of Eric Hobsbawm, The invention of tradition.

Libros de José de Acosta y de Diego Pérez de Mesa. Retrato de Francisco SuárezOn the contrary, José de Acosta is inscribed in the Scientific tradition, which was never praised as it should be, and his exceptional scientific contributions in the field of anthropology and natural science. He studied at the College of the Society of Jesus and later at the University of Alcalá de Henares, but from the age of thirty-two he worked and studied in America, first in Peru and later in New Spain. On his return to Spain, he taught at San Gregorio de Valladolid and ended up printing his sermons in Salamanca. He finished his career as rector of the University of Salamanca, at a high point of the School. The 1590 edition of his Historia natural y moral de las Indiashas a subtitle that should be reproduced here to show the scope of his study. It states: in which are dealt with the remarkable things of the sky and elements, metals, plants and animals of them and the rites and ceremonies, laws, and government, and wars of the Indians. It is a work that had many editions and was translated in many countries and into many languages.

If among these figures of the greatest importance, the most outstanding ones have been mentioned, perhaps it seems that the inclusion in this School ofDiego Pérez de Mesa could be less important, however, in the same way Acosta is a splendid example of a Renaissance man, for he wrote and published on mathematics and in particular on geometry, on nautical arts that at that time possessed the character of very reserved material, because they played a crucial role in the geopolitics of the Talavera and, as such, he reflected all these skills in the geographical studies. Like the rest of the extraordinary polygraphs of the School of Salamanca, he wrote his Politics or reason of state taken from Aristotle. It is regrettable that a substantial part of his work remains unpublished, but in any case it is the intention of the Virtual Library of the School of Salamanca to make his work known, through digital procedures. In fact, the Complutense University of Madrid, through its worthy Dioscorides Digital Library has published hisTreatise on astronomyonline, thanks to which his work can be made known.

Perhaps we should close the list of polygraphs that make up the School of Salamanca with one of the most important thinkers, philosophers, theologians and political scientists Spain has ever known, Francisco Suárez. He was born and died, and I believe that both dates characterise him, one year after Miguel de Cervantes. A Jesuit, he studied in both Salamanca and Coimbra and died in Lisbon which at that time was part of the Hispanic monarchy.

It is really very difficult to measure the influence of Suarez on the philosophy of modernity unless a serious study is undertaken, but according toXavier Zubiri, Heidegger  referred to the phrase Der ist der Mann, pointing out that it was on his work that the paradigm shift that is often attributed to Descartes takes place. Although the affirmation is, without a doubt, questionable, the importance of his work, as the appendix thatJosé Luis Abellán devotes in his Historia crítica del pensamiento español which includes the enormous number of editions it had, is demonstrated by its use as a textbook in both Catholic and Protestant universities..

Marcelino Menéndez Pelayo — perhaps the greatest and most knowledgeable person of the history of Spanish philosophy, although many of the subsequent studies have corrected or clarified many of his statements, but whom no one doubts to recognise as the creator of the discipline - pointed out that in Spain there had been six currents or schools of philosophy of truly universal scope and these were those based onSeneca, Averroes, Maimónides, Llull, Vives and Francisco Suárez.

His importance as a jurist is fundamental, both from the point of view of international law and of natural law and the idea of the social pact is already present in his work. It also outlines the principle of democracy developed by Locke, which, as already mentioned, leads to the fundamental texts of the political constitution of the United States, as rigorously studied byEduardo Nicol in La vocación humana  published in 1954 and whose comparative tables have been reproduced in all editions of the FHL Virtual Libraries book.

From the Ignacio Larramendi Foundation we are fully convinced that the digital edition of his works will allow a thorough study of his different contributions, which is sometimes not easy because of the volume of his work and, perhaps, because his writings were fundamentally aimed at university students; they were, if you like, textbooks. In short, with Suárez, he completed the School of Salamanca, he was its greatest representative in his Jesuit period; and all I want to do here is to outline the evolution that the growing substitution of outstanding Dominicans and Augustinians by the members of the Society meant for the School of Salamanca.


The nearly one thousand works that have been brought together in this Virtual Library of the School of Salamanca from libraries all over Europe are the result of a dual effort. One is of the bibliographic analysis and conceptual study and the other is of the high-level computer analysis and development of advanced computer applications.

The Virtual Library of the Salamanca School is, perhaps for the first time in Spain, the specific result of the establishment of semantic relations between works and authors, between subjects and titles, between spaces and times, using technology and, above all, the radical conception of information on the web, as the Semantic web prefigured and the Linked Open Data has specified in an important way.

It is also and to a large extent in line with the specific models established by the W3C and the European digital library Europeana and, going further, it takes a firm step in a direction that in a visionary way does not fail to remind us of As we may think (1945) by Vannevar Bush…  as long as, of course, we have not read the Ars Magna (ca. 1275) by Ramon Llull.