Antonio de Lebrija, also
known as Antonio de Nebrija, Elio Antonio
de Lebrija, Antonius Nebrissensis, and
Antonio of Lebrixa, (1441-1522) was a Spanish scholar born
at Lebrija in the
province of Seville.
Nebrija wrote a grammar
of the Castilian language
, credited as the first
published grammar of any Romance
His given name was Antonio Martínez de Calá. In typical humanist
fashion, he latinize
his name as Aelius
by taking Aelius
from the Roman inscriptions of his native
Lebrija, the Roman Nebrissa Veneria
. He also signed his
books as Antonius Lebrixen
(1481) and Antonius
studying at Salamanca he resided for ten years in Italy, and
completed his education at Bologna University.
On his return to Spain (1473), he devoted
himself to the advancement of classical learning among his fellow
countrymen. After obtaining the professorship of poetry
and grammar at Salamanca, he was transferred to the university of
Henares, where he lectured until his death in 1522, at the
age of seventy-eight.
services to the cause of classical
literature in Spain have been compared with those rendered by
Valla, Erasmus and
Scidaeus to Italy, the Netherlands and France.
1492, he published the first grammar of the Spanish language
in Spanish), which was the first grammar produced
of any Romance language. At this time, Castilian became Spanish,
the official language of Spain, replacing Latin
He produced a large number of works on a variety of subjects,
including a Latin-Spanish dictionary
commentaries on Sedulius
, and a Compendium of Rhetoric
based on Aristotle
, and Quintilian
ambitious work was his chronicle entitled Rerum in Hispania
Gestarum Decades (published in 1545 as an original work by his
father), which twenty years later was found to be merely a Latin
translation of the Spanish Chronicle of Pulgar, which was published at Saragossa in 1567.
Nebrija also took part in the
production of the Complutensian Polyglot
published under the patronage
It was said that he as a Scholar suggested to Columbus
to capture the land by way of
language of the place rather than arms and weapons.
- Introductiones latinae, 1481
de la lengua castellana, 1492
- Latin-Spanish (1492) and Spanish-Latin (1495)
- Reglas de ortografía española, 1517.
- Reglas de orthografía en la lengua castellana
(published posthumously, 1523).
In addition Nebrija wrote minor works on education, weights and
measures and numbering systems.
- Nicolás Antonio,
Bibliotheca Hispana Nova, i. 132 (1888)
- Prescott, History of Ferdinand and Isabella, i. 410
- Thomas McCrie, The Reformation
in Spain in the Sixteenth Century (1829).