1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Feijóo y Montenegro, Benito Jerónimo
FEIJÓO Y MONTENEGRO, BENITO JERÓNIMO (1676–1764), Spanish monk and scholar was born at Santa María de Melias, near Orense, on the 8th of October 1676. At the age of twelve he entered the Benedictine order, devoted himself to study, and waged war against the superstition and ignorance of his countrymen in the Teatro crítico (1726–1739) and the Cartas eruditas (1742–1760). These exposures of a retrograde system called forth embittered protests from narrow-minded patriots like Salvador José Maner, and others; but the opposition was futile, and Feijóo’s services to the cause of knowledge were universally recognized long before his death, which took place at Oviedo on the 26th of September 1764. He was not a great genius, nor a writer of transcendent merit; his name is connected with no important discovery, and his style is undistinguished. But he uprooted many popular errors, awakened an interest in scientific methods, and is justly regarded as the initiator of educational reform in Spain.