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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 2.djvu/598

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BETANZOS


530


BETANZOS


bestiaries obtained much valuable material from the "Libri moralium" of Gregory the Great. The medieval bestiaries are more or less exact translations or imitations of the "Physiologus"; e. g. the bestiary of Pliilippe de Thaun, about 1121, edited by Thomas Wright (London, 1841), and two bestiaries of the thirteenth century, one by Pierre of Picardy, the other by Guillaume of Normandy published by Hippeau (Caen, 1852). The bestiary appears in its complete development in Richard de Fournival's "Bestiaire d'Amour", \\Titten in the fourteenth century and published by Hippeau (Paris, 1860), in the treatise "De animalibus" attributed to Bl. Al- bertus Magnus, in the "Tractatus de bestiis et aliis rebus" supposed to have been wTitten by Hugo of St. Victor, above all in the "Speculum naturale" of Vincent of Beauvais.

The influence of the symbolism of the bestiaries is plainly seen in the various forms of medieval in- tellectual life. It was evident in the sermon and also in the liturgy as shown by the symbolic use of the bee in the blessing of Easter candles and the blessing of wine on the feast of St. Jolm as a preventive of poisoning from snake-bites. The metrical animal fables, particularly, exhibit the widespread taste for this form of allegory. The influence of the sjTiibolism of the bestiaries is still more manifest in medieval sculpture, both Romanesque and Gotliic. Though the use of animal subjects in the oldest Irish and Merovingian art has apparently no deeper aim than the enjoyment of grotesque forms, yet animal sjin- bolism appears from the earliest date as an element of Romanesque art, especially in miniature and sculp- ture, in both of which it often exhibits a close de- pendence on the bestiaries. (See Anim.vls in Chris- Ti.\N Art; Symbolism.)

EcKL, Die sumholische Zoologie in Organ fur christ. Kunst (1S69), No. XII-XXII: KoLLOFF, Die sagenhajte und synv- bolische Tiergesch. des MiUelalters in Raumer, Taschenbuch (1867), 177-269; Krepner, Ueoer die Tierbiicher des Mittel- alters in Herrig, Archii\ Vol. LV; Kathotischer Seelsorger (1898), 460 sqq.

Joseph S.^uer.

Betanzos, Fr.\y Domingo, a Dominican mission- ary, d. at Valladolid, Sept., 1549. One of the most illustrious Dominicans of the sixteenth century in America. A native of Leon in Spain, he first studied jurisprudence at Salamanca, then became a Bene- dictine and lived as a hermit on the Island of Ponza for five years. He then joined the Dominicans, who had established themselves on the Island of Hispaniola (Santo Domingo) in 1510. Betanzos went there four years later. In 1516 he, mth sev- eral other Dominicans, WTote a violent letter to Las Casas on the rapid disappearance of the Indians of the Antilles, indulging in the grossest exaggerations about the numbers of the aboriginal population (which they had no means of knowing, even ap- proximately), and the excesses purported to have been committed by the Spaniards. In 1526, Betan- zos went to Mexico and founded the Dominican province of Santiago de Mexico. Hardly had it been established when FrayTomiSs de Berlanga set forth a claim that it belonged to his newly founded prov- ince of Santa Cruz with the provincial seat at Santo Domingo. Betanzos went to Spain in 1531 and obtained from the Holy See the independence of his foundation. He also established the Dominican Province of Guatemala. As Provincial of Mexico in lo3o, lie at once organized missions among three Indian linguistic stocks: Nahuatl (Aztec, or Mexi- can), Mixteco, and Tzapoteco. He returned to Spain in 1549, and died in September of the same year at Valladolid. The Bishopric of Guatemala was tendered to Betanzos. but he declined it. While, in his letter of 1510, he acquiesced in the extreme views of his brethren of the order on the question of Indian policy, in the "Opinion" (Parecer) given by


him in 1541, and approximately repeated in 1543. just as the unfortunate "New Laws" regarding the Indies were to be promulgated under the influence of Las Casas, he assumed an entirely diiferent atti- tude. Free from all controversial spirit, he c)uietly gave his opinion in a sense diametrically opposed to the measures Las Casas pressed upon the Govern- ment. This is significant, coming from a member of the same order and of almost equal rank. Betanzos was an intimate friend of the most distinguished Fran- ciscans of Mexico — Archbishop Zumarraga, Motolinia, and others, who did not harmonize with Las Casas in liis extreme tendencies. He is credited with the authorship of an addition to the "Doctrina" of Fray Pedro de Cordova which appeared in 1544, and possi- bly in 1550, but this is not yet fully established.

YcAZBALCETA, CoUccion de Documentos para la Historic de Mexico (Mexico, 1866). I; Domingo de Betaxzos, Parecer; Documentos inedilos de Indias, VII; Carta a Bartolome de las Casas; Mendieta, Historia eclesidstica indiana, 1599 (Mexico. 1870); Davil.a P.\dilla, Historia de la fundacu'm y discurso de la prmnncia de Santiago de Mexico (2d ed., Brussels, 1625): Beristain. Biblioteca hispano-americana setentrional (Mexico. 1816). I: Remesal, Historia de la Provincia de San Vicente de Chyapa y Guatemala de la Orden de Santo Domingo (Madrid, 1619): the .same book is also known as. Historia general de las Indias Occideniales y particular de la gobemacion de Chiapas y Guatemala; Gil Gonzalez Davila. Teatro eclesids- tica de la primitiva Iglesia de las Indias occideniales (Madrid, 1649): Diccionario de Historia y Geografia (Madrid, 1865), I.

Ad. F. Bandelier.

Betanzos, Fr.\y Pedro de, a Franciscan mission- ary, b. at Betanzos in Galicia; d. at Chomez, Nicara- gua, 1570. He was one of the earliest Franciscan missionaries to Guatemala, and founder of the Church in Nicaragua. He is said to have acquired, in eight years, the use of fourteen Indian languages, including the Nahuatl. It is certain that he possessed an ex- traordinarj' gift for linguistics since in one year he mastered the three principal idioms of Guatemala: Quiche, Kakcliiquel, and Zutuhil, speaking them as perfectly as the Inciians themselves. It was during this time, and on account of his writings, that the controversy began between the Franciscans and Dominicans over the use of the Indian term "Cabo- vil" as a synonym for God. Betanzos insisted that they were not synonymous and always wrote "Dios ", even in Indian idioms. The Dominicans on the other hand kept up the native term "Cabovil". The Franciscans were right, since the aborigines had no conception of monotheism, and "Cabovil" means, not a personal supreme Deity, but the spiritual es- sence which all Indians believe to pervade the world, localizing and individualizing at will; an animistic idea underljdng Indian fetishism. Betanzos was one of the authors of a work published at Mexico and entitled, "Arte. Vocabulario y Doctrina Chris- tiana en Lengua de Guatemala". It is probably the book printed in Mexico previous to 1553 and ascribed to the "Franciscan Fathers", and also to Bishop Marroquin of Guatemala. No copy of it. honever. is known to exist. It is the earliest work printed in any of the languages of Guatemala.

(!^asual mention of Frav Pedro de Betanzos is found in YCAZBALCETA. BibHcgrafia mexicana. etc. (Mexico. 1886). in which an edition of the Catecismo y Doctrina is mentioned (Mexico, 1556). and a reimpression (Guatemala, 1724). The title of the 1556 edition is Calensmo y Doctrina Cristiana en idioma Utlateco; of the 1724 print, Doctrina Cristiana en hrujui Guatemalteca. and while the former is attributed to Bishop Marroquin, the latter has for its authors Fray Juan de Torres and Fray Pedro de Betanzos. The biographic data are found in Beristain, Bibliot. hispano-americana set. (Mexico. 1816), I. who in turn obtained them from Vazquez. Cr/mica de la Provincia del Illmo. Nombre de Je^iUP. del Orden de San Francisco de Guatemala (Guatemala, 1714-16). Sqvier, Monograph of Authors, etc. (New York, 1861), copies Beris- tain. See also Ludewig, Literature of American Aboriginal Languages (London. 1858). On the controversy over the use of the words " Dios " and "Cabovil " see Remesal, Historia de la provincia de San Vicente de Chyapa y Guatemala (Madrid. 1619).

Ad. F. B.vndblier. Betanzos, Ju.vn de. — Unforttinately very little h.