Fillipp 2

Fillipp 2

King from the Habsburg dynasty
Date of Birth: 21.05.1527
Country: Spain

  1. Biography of Philip II of Spain
  2. Early Life
  3. Educational and Personal Life

Biography of Philip II of Spain

Philip II of Spain was a king from the Habsburg dynasty. He ascended the throne after the abdication of his father, Charles V, and the division of the empire, which granted him Spain, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, the Netherlands, Franche-Comte, Milan, and possessions in America and Africa. He pursued policies that aimed to strengthen absolutism and stripped Aragon, Castile, and Catalonia of many medieval liberties. He was a fervent supporter of Catholicism and supported the Inquisition. Philip II intensified the feudal-absolutist oppression in the Netherlands, which accelerated the start of the Dutch bourgeois revolution in the 16th century.

Early Life

Philip was born and raised in Castile. His father, who had roots in the Netherlands and Burgundy, was the Holy Roman Emperor and the heir to Habsburg territories. From 1516, he also became the king of Spain and spent his entire life tirelessly traveling across Europe and North Africa. However, for political reasons, Philip grew up in Spain. The uprising of the comuneros, which Charles had to suppress at the beginning of his reign, made it clear to the king that Spanish interests required special attention. Therefore, with the prospect of friendly relations and possible inheritance, in 1526 he married Isabella of Portugal and left their unborn heir to be raised in Spain. As the first and only legitimate heir of the Spanish king Charles I and the German Emperor Charles V, Philip spent his childhood and youth mainly in two cities, Toledo and Valladolid, in the heart of Castile. Until he was seven years old, Philip grew up in a family circle with his mother and sister Maria. His father only visited Spain briefly in 1527-1529, 1534, 1537-1539, and 1541-1543. The rest of the time, state affairs required his presence in Italy, Germany, and primarily in the Netherlands. When his mother died, Philip was not yet twelve.

Educational and Personal Life

In the peaceful atmosphere of his childhood, Philip developed a deep love for nature, and throughout his life, outings in nature, fishing, and hunting became his preferred way to relax after heavy workloads. Philip was deeply religious from a young age. He also loved music and attached great importance to introducing his children to it. His letters from Lisbon, where he had to spend two years without his young children, show him as a loving father who worries about their health, inquires about his son's first tooth, and ensures he receives a coloring book. Perhaps this warmth was a result of the affection he received abundantly during his own childhood.

In 1535, a separate court was established for seven-year-old Philip, consisting of approximately 50 children from Spanish noble families. From this court, Philip's broad education and upbringing began. The Emperor personally selected teachers and tutors who, among other things, followed Erasmus of Rotterdam's treatise "Education of a Christian Prince" written in 1516. Juan Martinez Siliceo and Cristobal Calvet de Estrella, both renowned scholars, became Philip's main teachers. Juan de Sunico, a trusted advisor to the Emperor, was appointed as his tutor. While the latter oversaw the prince's court with severity, Siliceo was a more gentle teacher. Under the guidance of these mentors, Philip developed a lifelong love for reading. By the time of his death, his personal library consisted of 14,000 volumes. Among the books Philip read, alongside numerous classical authors, were works by Erasmus, Durer, Copernicus, Pico della Mirandola, and many others, including the Quran. However, this comprehensive and thorough education overlooked modern foreign languages, which, considering the size of Philip's empire, later proved to be a significant drawback. Philip did not speak German at all, and although he could read some Italian and French, he could not speak French at all. This even led to an embarrassing situation: in 1555, when Philip was receiving the Netherlands from his father, he had to interrupt his speech in French after the first few words and had to finish reading it to Cardinal Granvelle.