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Francisco Pérez Bayer

Francisco Pérez Bayer was born in Valencia 1711 and he died in the same city in 1794. Ecclesiastic and scholar, he studied at the University of Valencia Philosophy and Theology and at the University of Salamanca Arts and Civil Law. Due to his knowledge in Greek and Hebrew, as well as in Ancient and Diplomatic History, the “Cabildo Salamantino” ordered him the translation of the bull of its archive.

He returned to Valencia when the Archbishop named him his secretary; in 1745 he obtained the Chair of Hebrew of the University of Valencia. In 1746 he took the same chair of the University of Salamanca. In 1750 he received a royal commission for reviewing the Archivos of Toledo, and as reward the King awarded him with a canonry in Barcelona. The same King, Fernando VI, send him to Italy for collecting manuscripts, coins and ancient inscriptions. Initially he accessed easily to the Vatican library, thanks to the Cardinal Quirini, but after his death he was banned access, so Mayans had to intervene for obtaining a new permit. Later, Carlos III commissioned him the inventory of the Greek, Latin and Hebrew manuscripts of El Escorial.

Like other scholars he felt the need of a reform of the studies, blaming the Jesuits and the Halls of Residence of the decline of the Spanish letters.

In 1781 Carlos III named him Ministry of his Council and House, and in 1783 Chief Librarian of the National Library, where he contributed to the publication of the classics with “Bibliotheca hispana vetus, sive hispani scriptores qui ab Octaviani Augusti aevo ad annum Christi MD. floruerunt/Auctore D. Nicolao Antonio hispalensi...; Curante Francisco Perezio Bayerio, valentino... qui et prologum, & Auctoris vitae epitonem, & notulas adiecit... Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 “ (1788).

He distinguished himself by his generosity, as evidenced by his donation to the Library of the University of Valencia, in 1785, of all his library composed of more than 20.000 volumes and 200 incunabula

In recognition to his donation, the Historical Library has named after him one of his rooms.

 

(G.E.R.V.: J.B.)

 



 

 
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