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Villegas, Esteban Manuel De

VILLEGAS, ESTEBAN MANUEL DE (1580-1669), Spanish poet, was born at Matute (Logrofio) on the 5th of February 1589, matriculated at Salamanca on the 20th of November 1610, and challenged attention by the mingled arrogance and accomplishment of Las Eriiicas (1617), a collection of clever translations from Horace and Anacreon, and of original poems, the charm of which is marred by the writer's petulant vanity. Marrying in 1626 or earlier, Villegas practised law at Najera till 1659, when he was charged with expressing unorthodox views on the subject of free will; he was exiled for four years to Santa Maria de Ribaredonda, but was allowed to return for three months to Najera in March 1660. It seems probable that the rest of the sentence was remitted, for the report of the local inquisition lays stress on Villegas's simple piety, on the extravagance of his attire, ridiculous in a man of his age, and on the eccentricity of his general conduct and conversation, so marked as to suggest " a kind of mania or lesion of the imagination." In his version of Boetius (1665), Villegas showed that he had profited by his experience, for he made no attempt to translate the last book (in which the problem of free will is discussed), and reprinted the Latin text without comment. He died at Najera on the 3rd of September 1669. His tragedy El Hipdlito, imitated from Euripides, and a series of critical dissertations entitled Variae PhUologiae, finished in 1650, are unpublished; and " a book of satires," found among his papers by the inquisitors, was confiscated.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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