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Serveto, Miguel

Born: 1511 AD
Died: 1553 AD

1511 – He was born on the 29th day of September this year in Villanueva de Sijena, Huesca, Spain. His paternal ancestors came from the hamlet of Serveto, in the Aragonian Pyrenees, which gave the family their surname. The maternal line descended from Jewish Conversos of the Monzón area.
1526 – He was very gifted in languages and studied Latin, Greek and Hebrew. At the age of fifteen, he entered the service of a Franciscan friar by the name of Juan de Quintana, an Erasmian, and read the entire Bible in its original languages from the manuscripts that were available at that time.


1524 – His father Antonio Serveto (alias Revés, i.e. "Reverse"), who was a notary at the royal monastery of Sijena nearby, sent young Michael to college, probably at the University of Zaragoza or Lérida.


1526 – He later attended the University of Toulouse in this year, where he studied law. There he became suspect of participating in secret meetings and activities of Protestant students.


1529 – Servetus traveled through Germany and Italy with Quintana, who was then Charles V’s confessor in the imperial retinue.


1530 – In October of this year, he visited Johannes Oecolampadius in Basel, staying there for about ten months, and probably supporting himself as a proofreader for a local printer. By this time, he was already spreading his beliefs.


1531- In May this year, he met Martin Bucer and Fabricius Capito in Strasbourg. Then two months later, in July, he published De trinitatis erroribus ("On the Errors of the Trinity"). The next year he published Dialogorum de Trinitate ("Dialogues on the Trinity") and De Iustitia Regni Christi ("On the Justice of Christ’s Reign").


1533 – He took on the pseudonym Michel de Villeneuve (i.e., "Michael from Villanueva"), in order to avoid persecution by the Church because of these religious works. He studied at the College Calvi in Paris in this year.


1536 – This year, after an interval, he returned to Paris to study medicine. In Paris, his teachers included Sylvius, Fernel, and Guinter, who hailed him with Vesalius as his most able assistant in dissections.


1553 – He expired on the 27th day of October this year. On the 27th of October this year, Servetus was burned at the stake just outside Geneva with what was believed to be the last copy of his book chained to his leg.