The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Feijóo y Montenegro, Benito Gerónimo

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FEIJÓO (fā-zhō) Y MONTENEGRO, Benito Gerónimo, Spanish monk and scholar: b. Santa María de Melias, 8 Oct. 1676; d. Oviedo, 26 Sept. 1764. In 1688 he entered the Benedictine order, and his devotion to study brought him to the forefront among the learned of his native land. He was appalled by the superstition and ignorance of his countrymen and exposed them in the Teatro crítico from 1726 to 1739 and in the Cartas eruditas from 1742 to 1760. His revelations excited considerable opposition in certain quarters but it was futile and the genuine services of Feijóo to the cause of education and enlightenment were generally recognized and he has been long regarded as the pioneer of educational reform in Spain. See Cartas of Feijóo.