Geraldini, Alejandro

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Italian humanist, second bishop of Santo Domingo; b. Italy, date unknown; d. Santo Domingo, March 8, 1524. Titular bishop of Vultutara from 1494, Geraldini spent almost 40 years in the service of the crown of Castile as a diplomat, priest, and cultured man. He brought the spirit of the Italian Renaissance to the palace of the Catholic kings. He was a prolific writer of Latin verse and prose. On Jan. 26, 1516, he was nominated for the See of Santo Domingo and personally delivered the royal letter to the Pope. Confirmed and consecrated, he left for America and wrote a letter to Charles V from Santo Domingo on Oct. 6, 1519. He described his arrival in Itinerarium ad regiones sub aequinoctiali plaga constituas (Rome 1631) in which he gave an enthusiastic picture of the city, its culture, and its wealth. Geraldini's greatest accomplishment as bishop was the construction of the cathedral of Santo Domingo, the first in America, started in 1522. He wrote a Latin ode in honor of his beloved cathedral, in which he was buried, but nothing in the building today reflects his description of it.

Bibliography: cipriano de utrera, Episcopologio dominico-politano (Ciudad Trujillo 1956). p. henrÍquez ureÑa, La cultura y las letras coloniales en Santo Domingo (Buenos Aires 1936).

[e. rodrÍguez demorizi]