Alfonso X of Castile

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Had I been present at the Creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better ordering of the universe.

Alfonso X (November 23, 1221April 4, 1284) was a Spanish monarch who ruled as the King of Galicia, Castile and León from 1252 until his death. He was elected Rex Romanorum in 1254. His nicknames were "el Sabio" ("the Wise", more accurately translated "the Learned") and "el Astrólogo" ("the Astronomer").

Sourced[edit]

Old wood to burn! Old wine to drink! Old friends to trust! Old authors to read!
  • Si hubiera estado presente en la Creación, habría dado algunas indicaciones útiles.
    • Had I been present at the Creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better ordering of the universe.
      • After studying Ptolemy's treatise on astronomy.; reported in Thomas Carlyle, History of Frederick the Great, book ii. chap. vii. Carlyle wrote that this saying of Alfonso about Ptolemy's astronomy, "that it seemed a crank machine; that it was pity the Creator had not taken advice," is still remembered by mankind, — this and no other of his many sayings.
    • If the Lord Almighty had consulted me before embarking on creation thus, I should have recommended something simpler.
      • Quoted/paraphrased by Adam Riess in his Nobel Prize (in Physics 2011) lecture slides on Supernovae Reveal An Accelerating Universe (A Science Adventure Story).
  • Los que dejan al rey errar a sabiendas, merecen pena como traidores.
    • Those who knowingly allow the King to err deserve the same punishment as traitors.
      • Quoted in Diccionario ilustrado de frases célebres y citas literarias (1952), by Vicente Vega.
  • Quemad viejos leños, leed viejos libros, bebed viejos vinos, tened viejos amigos.
    • As quoted in Aire puro para el amor y la amistad Betancourt, Luis Fernando 7a. reim., p. 165.
    • Burn old wood, read old books, drink old wines, have old friends.
      • Literal translation.
    • Variant translations:
    • Old wood to burn! Old wine to drink! Old friends to trust! Old authors to read! —Alonso of Aragon was wont to say in commendation of age, that age appeared to be best in these four things.
      • As quoted in Floresta Española de Apothegmas o Sentencias, by Melchior de Santa Cruz (1576), ii. 1. 20.
    • Alonso of Aragon was wont to say in commendation of age, that age appears to be best in four things, — old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.

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