Congreso del Jamon Salamanca

The University of Salamanca was founded in 1218. The first diploma kept by the University is a royal warrant from King Fernando which dates back to 1243, where he speaks of the foundation of the University by his father Alfonso IX. In 1254, King Alfonso generously provides 12 professorships and in the same year Pope Alexander IV granted the University the same general studies status as that of the Universities of Bologna, Paris and Oxford.
At the beginning of the 16th century, the Salamanca University was one of the most important educational institutions in the world. Christopher Columbus’ plans were debated by his masters and it was expected that the firmest defence for the rights of the Indian people and human equality would come from Salamanca.
The majority of the great theologians that took part in the Council of Trent are disciples of Father Francisco from Vitoria. International law began as a consequence of that theological movement, which was represented in the professorships by Domingo de Soto, Melchor Cano and Báñez.
The greatest figures of Spanish Humanism taught in Salamanca: Antonio de Nebrija, the Portuguese humanist Arias Barbosa, Commander Hernán Núñez de Guzmán known as the Princiano, Fernán Pérez de Oliva, Francisco Sánchez, Antonio and Diego de Covarrubias and Master Correas among many others.
First as a student and then as a professor in the Salamanca University, Brother Luis de León (1528-1591) is the main emblematic figure from the university at the time of maximum splendour for the institution. As a poet, his translation into Spanish of the prose Cantar de los Cantares took him to prison for five years. When he was free, the University granted him the Theology professorship.
In his first class after his imprisonment he pronounced his famous sentence “as we were saying yesterday…”. Today we can visit the classroom where he taught which is kept practically the same as four centuries ago.
The list of his followers is part of Spanish culture and it includes: San Juan de la Cruz, San Ignacio de Loyola, Juan Ruiz de Alarcón, Calderón de la Barca, Francisco de Medrano, Góngora, Suárez, Espinel, Solís, Saavedra Fajardo, Bartolomé de Argensola, Paravicino, Hernán Cortés and many others.
Other students from Salamanca include important figures such as the Portuguese mathematician Pedro Núñez, the great botanist García de Orta the best Basque writer of all times, Pedro de Azular, Father Acosta, the editor Arias Montano, Pedro de la Gasca peacemaker in Peru and Brother Bernardino de Sahún founder of Ethnology and specialist in Mexican subjects, Martín Azpilcueta expert in canon law, and the humanist Alonso Ortiz editor of ‘rito mozárabe’ (Mozarabic rites).
The University of Salamanca is a prestigious institution both in and out of Spain. In has more than 2,100 teachers, in recent years more than 35,000 students have studied there. It has agreements with the most important foreign universities, as well as with institutions, foundations, companies and societies, both public and private.