Alonso Tostado

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Alonso Tostado known in Latin as Tostatus Abulensis ("Tostado from Ávila") (ca. 1400 – 3 September 1455) was a Spanish exegete and bishop of Ávila, whose real name was Alonso Fernández de Madrigal.

After a course of grammar under the Franciscans he entered the University of Salamanca, where, besides philosophy and theology, he studied civil and canon law, Greek, Hebrew, and the other branches then comprised in the curriculum of a university. By great application joined to an unusually brilliant mind and an extraordinarily retentive memory, he accumulated such a vast store of knowledge that his contemporaries styled him a wonder of the world. At 22 he began to lecture on a wide variety of subjects to large audiences attracted by his learning. Later he assisted with distinction at the Council of Basle.

During a visit to the papal court at Siena in 1443, he was denounced to Pope Eugene IV as having publicly defended a heretic and some rash propositions, but in an explanatory letter he assured the pontiff of his orthodoxy. In his Defensorium, written on this occasion against Juan de Torquemada and other critics, he gave utterance to views derogatory to the authority of the pope.

On his return to Spain he was appointed Grand Chancellor of Castile, and in 1449, Bishop of Ávila, whence his title Abulensis. Besides a Spanish commentary on the chronicles of Eusebius and other minor works, he wrote commentaries on the historical books of the Old Testament as far...
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