domingo, 18 de junio de 2017

In 1498 Santo Domingo was founded (by Spain) in nowadays Dominican Republic and it is the oldest continuously inhabited European established settlement.


In 1607 (109 years after Santo Domingo) Jamestown was established as the oldest settlement in the original thirteen colonies comprising the United States of America

Image result for Colonial jamestown

Spain established Saint Augustine in 1565, becoming the oldest continuously inhabited European-established settlement in the Continental United States.

Image result for Colonial saint augustine



Hampton, 1607, was established as the first permanent English settlement in the present-day United States.

Image result for Colonial hampton

Who brought and who took?

First University in the Americas:
1551 - National University of San Marcos (Peru). Also known as the "Dean university of the Americas"; This is the first officially established (privilege by Charles I, Holy Roman Emperor) and the longest continuously operating university in the Americas.









lunes, 9 de febrero de 2015

El tajo de Ronda

 
 
Ronda, a dream town in southern Spain
 
 
 




martes, 4 de noviembre de 2014

Alcazar de Segovia


sábado, 28 de febrero de 2009

First free comunity of ex slaves


If the only thing you know about Spain and about slaves is what was told in the movie Amistad, you will be more than surprised when you read the following story; true events, not a movie:
"Hidden away in the marshes of St. Augustine, Florida is one of the most important sites in American history: the first free community of ex-slaves, founded in 1738 and called Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose or Fort Mose. More than a century before the Emancipation Proclamation, slaves from the British colonies were able to follow the original "Underground Railroad" which headed not to the north, but rather south, to the Spanish colony of Florida. There they were given freedom, if they declared their allegiance to the King of Spain and joined the Catholic Church.
Fort Mose was the northern defense of St.Augustine, the nation's second oldest city, after Santa Fe. The events that took place there should cause all American history textbooks to be rewritten.
Fort Mose Historical Overview
Established in 1738 by Colonial Spanish Florida's Governor Manuel Montiano, Fort Mose gave sanctuary to Africans challenging enslavement in the English Colony of Carolina. Approximately 100 Africans lived at Fort Mose, forming more than 20 households. Together they created a frontier community which drew on a range of African backgrounds blended with Spanish, Native American and English cultural traditions. A Maroon Fort Mose, a maroon community, was legally sanctioned by the Spanish Government making it the first free African settlement to legally exist in the United States.
Background and Historical Origins of Fort MoseUsually when we consider post contact discovery and development of North America we think about the English settling at Jamestown in 1607 or perhaps Plymouth in 1620; but it was the Spaniards who established the Oldest European City of the United States, St. Augustine in 1565. In contemplating experience of Africans within the post Columbian context we again think about Jamestown, Virginia and Charles Town, Carolina. However, the first Africans to accompany Europeans in coming to the New World arrived not as slaves in Jamestown in 1619. Aboard ships with Spanish Conquistadors and Adelantados, Africans arrived as artisans, seamen, navigators and adventurers, forever establishing their presence in North America. In early 1500's Juan Garrido took part in the expeditions of Ponce de Leon in Puerto Rico and Florida as well as with Hernando Cortez in Mexico. Esteban joined Panfilo de Narvaez traveling through the Gulf Coast and the Southwest.
St. Augustine, Florida founded in 1565 by Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles, is the Oldest European City in what became the United States. Africans helped in forming and maintaining the settlement as both slaves and free people. Skills and knowledge gained from Africa including blacksmithing, carpentry, cattleranching, and military techniques enabled African people to make important contributions to the St Augustine community. They formed 12% of the population, 1 of every 5 was a free person.
English Planters established Charles Town in 1670 along the southeastern coast of the North American Continent. This intensified regional intercolonial rivalry involving Spaniards, Native Americans, French Huguenots, and Africans. In Charles Town enslaved Africans soon outnumbered whites and many resisted bondage by running away. 1672 brought a Spanish response to the increasing regional tensions. Queen Regent Mariana of Spain and the Florida's Governor Cendoya commissioned the construction of a coquina fortress, the Castillo de San Marcos, a defensive move to fortify the settlement of St. Augustine. Spaniards worked with Native Americans and Africans building the structure."


From http://www.fortmose.org/

sábado, 6 de diciembre de 2008

Sports




I know, I know, I should not post about our successes at sports, but it has really been a very good year for SPAIN, so, please forgive me for doing so.


- Tour de France 2008 Carlos Sastre


- Giro d´Italia 2008 Alberto Contador


- Euro champions (soccer in USA, football everywhere else) 2008


- Vuelta a España 2008 Alberto Contador


- Davis Cup 2008, defeating Argentina in Argentina
- Roland Garros Rafael Nadal
- Wimbledon Rafael Nadal




And so on ......


martes, 10 de junio de 2008

Miguel Servet, burnt by his religious ideas


If you have only read normal “anglosaxon” history, you will think only the catholic spanish inquisition existed, maybe then, you will be very surprised reading this:
MIGUEL SERVET (1511-1553)
This spanish doctor, theologist, mathematician, astronomer and geographer, was born around 1511 in Villanueva de Sijena (Aragon, Spain) and burnt alive to death by calvinists in Geneva (Switzerland) in a dampened wood pyre to add to the suffering of his agony, on the Champel hill, where a small engraving tries, to repair what was done to him.
His father was a notary. He made him learn Latin, Greek and Hebrew. He went to Toulouse, in 1528, to study for a long time. Later, he was appointed as a secretary by Quintana, just apppointed the confesor of Carlos I (of Spain V of Germany) and this social promotion allowed him to travel around Italy and Germany, between 1529 and 1530, before his thirties. In Basel (Switzerland) he published his famous "De erroribus Trinitatis". (1531), becoming the enemy of Zwinglio. He had to leave the city and flee to France, where he became a quest to the Treschsel family, important printers from Lyon. There he quoted and published the Geography of Ptolomeo, in a work of great quality that, according to some scholars, makes him the forefather of compared geography.
In Lyon he met doctor Champier, who introduced him to his science: in order to extend the knowledge in medicine, he went to Paris, where he received the ranks of master in Arts and Medicine doctor. He discovered the lung circulation (he published with his discoveries the famous "Christianismi restitutio", of 1553) and spent eleven years of semi-concealed life in Vienne with the false name of Michael of Villanueva.
Meanwhile, maintained a furious written discussion with Calvin, the great reformer, whose wrath ignited when Servet published thirty of the letters they have sent each other. Calvin accused him of herexy. On 16 February 1553, Servetus, while in Vienne, was denounced as a heretic by Guillaume Trie, a rich merchant who had taken refuge in Geneva and was a very good friend of Calvin, in a letter sent to a cousin, Antoine Arneys, living in Lyon. On behalf of the French inquisitor Matthieu Ory, Servetus as well as Arnollet, the printer of Christianismi Restitutio, were questioned, but they denied all charges and were released for lack of evidence. Arneys was asked by Ory to write back to Trie, demanding proof. On March 26, 1553, the letters sent by Servetus to Calvin and some manuscript pages of Christianismi Restitutio were forwarded to Lyon by Trie. On April 4, 1553 Servetus was arrested by the Roman Catholic authorities, and imprisoned in Vienne. He escaped from prison three days later. On June 17, he was convicted of heresy by the French inquisition, "thanks to the 17 letters sent by Jehan Calvin, preacher in Geneva" and sentenced to be burned with his books. An effigy and his books were burned in his absence. Meaning to flee to Italy, Servetus stopped in at Geneva, where Calvin and his Reformers had denounced him. On August 13, he attended a sermon by Calvin at Geneva. He was immediately recognized and arrested after the service and was again imprisoned and had all his property confiscated. Unfortunately for Servetus, at this time Calvin was fighting to maintain his weakening power in Geneva. Calvin's opponents used Servetus as a pretext for attacking the Geneva Reformer's theocratic government, so any mercy would have been taken as a sign of weakness. Also, the French Inquisitors asked that Servetus be extradited to them for execution, and Calvin wanted to show himself as firm in defense of Christian orthodoxy as his usual opponents. "He was forced to push the condemnation of Servetus with all the means at his command." Calvin's delicate health and usefulness to the state meant he did not personally appear against Servetus. Nicholas de la Fontaine played the more active role in Servetus's prosecution and the listing of points that condemned him. At his trial, Servetus was condemned on two counts, for spreading and preaching Nontrinitarianism and anti-paedobaptism (anti-infant baptism). Of paedobaptism Michael Servetus had said, "It is an invention of the devil, an infernal falsity for the destruction of all Christianity" Whatever the cause of them, be it irritation or mistreatment, his statements that common Christian traditions were "of the devil" severely harmed his ability to make allies. In the case the Procureur General, who was not Nicholas, added some curious sounding accusations, in the form of inquiries, the most odd sounding perhaps being, "whether he has married, and if he answers that he has not, he shall be asked why, in consideration of his age, he could refrain so long from marriage." To this oblique imputation of unchastity Servetus replied that rupture had long since made him incapable of that particular sin. More offensive to modern ears might be the question "whether he did not know that his doctrine was pernicious, considering that he favors Jews and Turks, by making excuses for them, and if he has not studied the Koran in order to disprove and controvert the doctrine and religion that the Christian churches hold, together with other profane books, from which people ought to abstain in matters of religion, according to the doctrine of St. Paul." Although Calvin believed Servetus deserving of death on account of his "execrable blasphemies", he nevertheless hoped that it would not be by fire, as he was inclined toward clemency. Calvin expressed these sentiments in a letter to Farel, written about a week after Servetus’ arrest, in which he also mentions an exchange between himself and Servetus. Calvin writes: …after he [Servetus] had been recognized, I thought he should be detained. My friend Nicolas summoned him on a capital charge, offering himself as a security according to the lex talionis. On the following day he adduced against him forty written charges. He at first sought to evade them. Accordingly we were summoned. He impudently reviled me, just as if he regarded me as obnoxious to him. I answered him as he deserved… of the man’s effrontery I will say nothing; but such was his madness that he did not hesitate to say that devils possessed divinity; yea, that many gods were in individual devils, inasmuch as a deity had been substantially communicated to those equally with wood and stone. I hope that sentence of death will at least be passed on him; but I desired that the severity of the punishment be mitigated. As Servetus was not a citizen of Geneva, and legally could at worst be banished, the government had consulted with other Swiss Reformed cantons (Zurich, Bern, Basel, Schaffhausen), which universally favored his condemnation and the suppression of his doctrine, but without saying how that should be accomplished. Martin Luther had condemned his writing in strong terms. Servetus and Philip Melanchthon had strongly hostile views of each other. Most Protestant Reformers saw Servetus as a dangerous radical, and the concept of religious freedom did not really exist yet. The Catholic world had also imprisoned him and condemned him to death, which apparently spurred Calvin to equal their rigor. Those who went against the idea of his execution, the party called "Libertines", drew the ire of much of Christendom. On 24 October Servetus was sentenced to death by burning for denying the Trinity and infant baptism. When Calvin requested that Servetus be executed by decapitation rather than fire, Farel, in a letter of September 8, chided him for undue lenity, and the Geneva Council refused his request. On 27 October 1553 Servetus was burned at the stake just outside Geneva with what was believed to be the last copy of his book chained to his leg. Historians record his last words as: "Jesus, Son of the Eternal God, have mercy on me." The common view of the age, that heretics like Servetus should be subject to punishment, was explained by Calvin as follows: Whoever shall maintain that wrong is done to heretics and blasphemers in punishing them makes himself an accomplice in their crime and guilty as they are. There is no question here of man's authority; it is God who speaks, and clear it is what law he will have kept in the church, even to the end of the world. Wherefore does he demand of us a so extreme severity, if not to show us that due honor is not paid him, so long as we set not his service above every human consideration, so that we spare not kin, nor blood of any, and forget all humanity when the matter is to combat for His glory. Nevertheless, Sebastian Castellio denounced his execution and became a harsh critic of Calvin due to the whole affair.
Modern relevance
Due to his rejection of the Trinity and eventual execution by burning for heresy, Servetus is often regarded as the first (modern) Unitarian martyr by Unitarians. Other modern non-trinitarian groups, such as Jehovah's Witnesses[citation needed], Christadelphians and Oneness Pentecostalism, also claim Servetus as a spiritual ancestor. Servetus' influence on the beginnings of the Unitarian movement in Poland and Transylvania has been confirmed by scholars, and two Unitarian Universalist congregations are named after him, in Minnesota and Washington. A church window is also dedicated to Servetus at the First Unitarian Congregational Society of Brooklyn, NY. Oneness Pentecostalism identifies with Servetus' teaching on the divinity of Jesus Christ and his insistence on the one God, rather than a Trinity of three distinct persons: "And because His Spirit was wholly God He is called God, just as from His flesh He is called man" The theology of Servetus also has many affinities with that of Swedenborg. Servetus was the first European to describe the function of pulmonary circulation, although it was not widely recognized at the time, for a few reasons. One was that the description appeared in a theological treatise, Christianismi Restitutio, not in a book on medicine. Further, most copies of the book were burned shortly after its publication in 1553. Three copies survived, but these remained hidden for decades. It was not until William Harvey's dissections in 1616 that the function of pulmonary circulation was widely accepted by physicians. It is increasingly recognized that the discovery of pulmonary circulation was made 300 years earlier by Ala-al-Din Abu al-Hasan Ali Ibn Abi al-Hazm al-Qarshi al-Dimashqi (known as Ibn Al-Nafis) who was born in 1213 A.D. in Damascus. In 1984, a Zaragoza public hospital changed its name from José Antonio to Miguel Servet. It is now a university hospital. Most Spanish cities also include at least a street, square or park named after Servetus.

lunes, 31 de marzo de 2008

A beautiful chapter in the history of medicine








This is one of the most beautiful chapters in the history of medicine, but of course, as it was done by a Spanish doctor, one mainly unknown, even by spaniards.
Balmis Expedition was a three year mission to the Americas led by Dr Francisco Javier de Balmis with the aim of giving thousands the smallpox vaccine. He set off from La Coruña on 30 November 1803. It may be considered the first international sanitary expedition in history.
King Charles IV of Spain supported his royal doctor Balmis, since his daughter María Luísa had suffered the illness. The expedition occurred on the Maria Pita ship and carried 22 orphan boys (8 to 10 years old) as successive carriers in "vivo" of the vaccine, Balmis, a deputy surgeon, two assistants, two first-aid practitioners, three nurses, and Isabel López de Gandalia, the rectoress of Casa de Expósitos a La Coruña orphanage.
The course
The mission took the vaccine to the Canary Islands, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, the Philippines and China. The ship carried also scientific instruments and translations of the Historical and Practical Treatise on the Vaccine by Moreau de Sarthe to be distributed to the local vaccine commissions to be founded.
Puerto Rico
The local population was already inoculated with a vaccine carried from the Danish colony Saint Thomas.
Venezuela
The expedition divided at La Guayra.
José Salvany, the deputy surgeon, went toward today's Colombia and the Viceroyalty of Peru (Venezuela, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, and Bolivia). They took seven years and the toils of the voyage brought death to Salvany (Cochabamba, 1810).
Balmis went to Caracas and later to Havana. The local poet Andrés Bello wrote an ode to Balmis.
Mexico (1805)
In Mexico, Balmis took 25 orphans to maintain the vaccine during the crossing of the Pacific.
Philippines
They received help from the church. Balmis dismissed back to Mexico the gross of the expedition and went further to China.
China
Balmis landed on Macau and went also to Canton.
Return
On his way back to Spain, Balmis convinced the authorities of Saint Helena (1806) to take the vaccine.
The discoverer of the vaccine Edward Jenner himself wrote "I don’t imagine the annals of history furnish an example of philanthropy so noble, so extensive as this.”

(With information from Wikipedia).

If you want to know better the Philippine part, you can read here http://www.doh.gov.ph/sphh/balmis.htm

Further reading about it, http://www.juliaalvarez.com/books/biblio.php