El cacereño Juan Blázquez Mayoralgo. Contador y preceptista político en Nueva España

Year of Publication: 2017
Publisher: CEXECI
Collection: Extremeños en Iberoamérica
Number: 5
ISBN: 978-84-943954-6-8
Price: 10 EUR

The first and essential value of this book, by Manuel Mañas Núñez -university researcher and professor form the Science of Antiquity Department of the University of Extremadura- is the fact that it is the first monograph on the life and work of Juan Blázquez Mayoralgo, a citizen of Cáceres who left to New Spain as Accountant of the Royal Estate of New Veracruz and who remained in this post for more than twenty years. During that time, he was not only vigilant in meeting his bureaucratic duties, but was the most direct witness of the vicissitudes and problems that New Spain was going through, while still finding moments of leisure to satisfy his literary inquisitiveness with the processing and publication of his main work: La perfecta razón de Estado, a history and political theory book about King Ferdinand the Catholic.

Briefly looking into the content of the book, it should be pointed out that in the first chapter the life and work of our main character is described as accurately as possible (as at times there is a lack of reliable documents), the fixation of the most significant landmarks as well as the job he carried out in New Spain. In the second chapter a study of his main work La perfecta razón de Estado (The Perfect Reason of State) is made including it in his political-literary context and analysing the historical and political content of each one of the books that it comprises. In Chapter 3, Dr. Mañas writes about Juan Blázquez’s circle of Novohispano friends (Francisco de Samaniego, Fernández de Castro, among others) in American soil. Finally, in the last chapter other works of our main character are briefly analysed: La Antuerpia and El Carmelo.

Everything concerning the work of Manuel Mañas is interesting and, on many occasions, innovative. However, Chapter 2 may be more interesting to historians, philosophers and philologists than the rest, as a doctrinal framework appears in it with political content on the Estate and Government of the Crown Princes. Juan Blázquez parting from a declared anti-Machiavellianism, leads his thought to a neo-tacitism and a neo-stoicism which –mainly inherited from Justo Lipsio- are constituted in the theoretical pillars of his idea of Estate. In sum, this monograph has the historiographic rigour expected in any study in this scientific field, as source documents have been consulted, cross-checked, interpreted and theses based on the testing of the hypotheses have been pointed out. The opinions of other scholars and researchers have, likewise, been exposed so that they may be compared. Furthermore, as an added value, the reading of this book –in spite of the obstacles of the numerous time-related and local references, dates and places in America- is quite enjoyable for the ordinary reader, as its main characters’ vital steps, in the midst of skirmishes and dangers, of adhesion oaths and disloyalties, are truly fictional.


MANUEL MAÑAS NÚÑEZ es Profesor Titular de Filología Latina (acreditado a Catedrático) de la Universidad de Extremadura, habiendo ejercido con anterioridad su labor docente e investigadora en las Universidades de Nantes (Francia), Coimbra (Portugal) y Rey Juan Carlos de Madrid.

Es autor de numerosos libros y artículos científicos sobre literatura latina clásica y medieval (retórica y filosofía ciceronianas, poética horaciana y fábula latina), crítica textual y edición de textos latinos humanísticos y la recepción del legado clásico (gramática, retórica, poética y filosofía) en el Humanismo latino del Renacimiento. Especialista en la obra latina de afamados humanistas como El Brocense, Erasmo y Justo Lipsio, sus últimos libros han sido Erasmo, El ciceroniano (Madrid, Akal, 2009); Justo Lipsio, Sobre la constancia (Cáceres, Uex, 2010); Enrique Cornelio Agrippa, Declamación sobre la incertidumbre y vanidad de las ciencias y las artes (Cáceres, Uex, 2013); El obispo Galarza y las monjas de Cáceres: estudio y edición del libro ‘De clausura monialium controversia’ (Cáceres, Diputación, 2014).