The writings of Lucio Marineo Sículo, royal historian at the court of Fernando and Isabel, provide a wealth of information on the history of early humanism in Spain. His collection of letters, in particular, yields the kind of anecdotal evidence that adds the fine strokes to the overall picture of Renaissance Spain.
Marineo was born in Vizzini, Sicily, in the mid 1440s. He embarked on a scholarly career late in life. His parents, he tells us, ridiculed and frustrated his desire for an education. As a result he learned to read and write only when he was twenty-five. It seems that the local vicar became his mentor, but it was not until he moved to Catania that he received formal schooling.