Francisco Suárez

  • Born: January 5, 1548, Granada, Spain.
  • Francisco Suárez, SJ was a Spanish Jesuit priest, philosopher and theologian, one of the leading figures of the School of Salamanca movement, and generally regarded among the greatest scholastics after Thomas Aquinas.
  • In 1570, with the completion of his course, Suárez began to teach Philosophy, first at Salamanca as a Scholastic tutor, and then as a professor in the Jesuit college at Segovia. He was ordained in March 1572 in Segovia.
  • He wrote on a wide variety of subjects, producing a vast amount of work (his complete works in Latin amount to twenty-six volumes). Suárez’s writings include treatises on law, the relationship between Church and State, metaphysics, and theology.
  • His most important philosophical achievements were in metaphysics and the philosophy of law. Suárez may be considered the last eminent representative of scholasticism.
  • Suárez attached himself to the doctrine of Luis Molina, the celebrated Jesuit professor of Évora. Molina tried to reconcile the doctrine of predestination with the freedom of the human will and the predestinarian teachings of the Dominicans by saying that the predestination is consequent upon God’s foreknowledge of the free determination of man’s will, which is therefore in no way affected by the fact of such predestination.
  • Suárez’s main importance stems probably from his work on natural law, and from his arguments concerning positive law and the status of a monarch. In his massive work, Tractatus de legibus ac deo legislatore (1612), he is to some extent the precursor of Grotius and Pufendorf, in making an important distinction between natural law and international law, which he saw as based on custom.
  • The contributions of Suarez to metaphysics and theology exerted significant influence over 17th and 18th century scholastic theology among both Roman Catholics and Protestants.
    The views of Suarez upon the human origin of political order, and his defense of tyrannicide emanating from popular dissent were heavily criticized by English philosopher Robert Filmer in his work Patriarcha, Or the Natural Power of Kings.
  • Main work
    1. De Incarnatione (1590–1592)
    2. De sacramentis (1593–1603)
    3. Disputationes metaphysicae (1597)
    4. De divina substantia eiusque attributis (1606)
    5. De divina praedestinatione et reprobatione (1606)
    6. De sanctissimo Trinitatis mysterio (1606)
  • Died: September 25, 1617, Lisbon, Portugal.

Xu Xiake

  • Born: January 5, 1587, Jiangsu, China.
  • Xu Xiake, born Xu Hongzu, courtesy name Zhenzhi, was a Chinese travel writer and geographer of the Ming dynasty, known best for his famous geographical treatise, and noted for his bravery and humility. He traveled throughout China for more than 30 years, documenting his travels extensively.
  • On his journeys throughout China, he travelled with a servant called Gu Xing (顧行). He faced many hardships along the way, as he was often dependent on the patronage of local scholars who would help him after he had been robbed of all his belongings. Local Buddhist abbots of the various places he visited often would pay him money as well, for the small service of recording the history of their local monastery.
  • The written work of Xu Xiake’s travel records and diaries contained some 404,000 Chinese characters, an enormous work for a single author of his time. Xu traveled throughout the provinces of China, often on foot, to write his enormous geographical and topographical treatise, documenting various details of his travels, such as the locations of small gorges, or mineral beds such as mica schists.
  • Died: March 8, 1641, Jiangyin, Wuxi, China.

Shah Jahan

  • Born: January 5, 1592, Lahore, Pakistan.
  • Shihab-ud-Din Muhammad Khurram, better known by his regnal name Shah Jahan I, was the fifth emperor of the Mughal Empire, reigning from January 1628 until July 1658. Under his emperorship, the Mughals reached the peak of their architectural achievements and cultural glory.
    In 1605, his father succeeded to the throne, after crushing a rebellion by Prince Khusrau – Khurram remained distant from court politics and intrigues in the immediate aftermath of that event. Khurram left Ruqaiya’s care and returned to his mother’s care. As the third son, Khurram did not challenge the two major power blocs of the time, his father’s and his half-brother’s; thus, he enjoyed the benefits of imperial protection and luxury while being allowed to continue with his education and training. This relatively quiet and stable period of his life allowed Khurram to build his own support base in the Mughal court, which would be useful later on in his life.
  • Jahangir assigned Khurram to guard the palace and treasury while he went to pursue Khusrau. He was later ordered to bring Mariam-uz-Zamani who was his grandmother and Jahangir’s harem to him.
  • The Mughal Empire continued to expand moderately during his reign as his sons commanded large armies on different fronts. India at the time was a rich center of the arts, crafts and architecture, and some of the best of the architects, artisans, craftsmen, painters and writers of the world resided in Shah Jahan’s empire.
  • The Kolis of Gujarat were most rebellious under the rule of Shah Jahan. In 1622, Shah Jahan sent Raja Vikramjit who was Governor of Gujarat to subdue the Kolis of Ahmedabad. Between 1632 and 1635, four viceroys were appointed due to they could not manage the Koli activities well.
  • When Shah Jahan became ill in 1658, Dara Shikoh (Mumtaz Mahal’s eldest son) assumed the role of regent in his father’s stead, which swiftly incurred the animosity of his brothers.
  • Died: January 22, 1666, Agra Fort, Agra, India.

Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria

  • Born: January 5, 1614, Wiener Neustadt, Austria.
  • Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria, younger brother of Emperor Ferdinand III, was an Austrian soldier, administrator and patron of the arts. He held a number of military commands, with limited success, and served as Governor of the Spanish Netherlands, before returning to Vienna in 1656.
    Leopold was educated for the church but was never ordained. Despite not being a member of the clergy, he held various Prince-Bishoprics within the Holy Roman Empire to provide him an income: Halberstadt (1628–1648), Passau (1625–1662), Breslau (1656–1662), Olmütz (1637–1662) and Strasbourg (1626–1662).
  • While in Brussels, he employed David Teniers the Younger as keeper of his collection, spending immense sums on works by Frans Snyders, Peter Snayers, Daniel Seghers, Peter Franchoys, Frans Wouters, Jan van den Hoecke, Pieter Thijs, Jan van de Venne and others. He also acquired a number of Italian masters, purchased from the sale of collections owned by Bartolomeo della Nave and Charles I. His most prized pieces engraved in the book Theatrum Pictorium, which is often called the first “art catalogue”.
  • Died: November 20, 1662, Vienna, Austria.

Antonio Lotti

  • Born: January 5, 1667, Venice, Italy.
  • Antonio Lotti was an Italian composer of the Baroque era.
  • Lotti made his career at St Mark’s, first as an alto singer (from 1689), then as assistant to the second organist, then as second organist (from 1692), then (from 1704) as first organist, and finally (from 1736) as maestro di cappella, a position he held until his death.
  • “The king also authorized some appointments only under the condition “that this not disturb anything among the orchestra.” The electoral prince was even forced, when the Italians were already in Dresden, to declare outright in a letter to the Count [Christian Heinrich von Watzdorf, minister of domestic affairs] that he would take [the Italians] into his special protection and protect them against any ill will… “about which, the King has declared that His Majesty will afford them every possible protection, whatever it takes, that [Court Chapel master Johann Christoph Schmidt] should have no business with them.”
  • Lotti wrote in a variety of forms, producing masses, cantatas, madrigals, around thirty operas, and instrumental music. Some of his sacred choral works are unaccompanied (a cappella) but many of them are composed in the concertato style with strings, basso continuo, and occasionally oboes and trumpets.
  • Died: January 5, 1740, Venice, Italy.