Deaf History, 1500s

Lots of notes taken from:


Girolamo Cardano


Up until now, Aristotle's claim that Deaf people were dumb and did not have the ability to reason stood unchallenged. Girolamo, a physician, taught his son a set of symbols and showed that Deaf people had the ability to reason.

Rudolf Agricola


Rudolf, a humanist, advocated that thought and speech were separate abilities. This is because he knew Deaf individuals who were capable of writing to communicate.

Joachin Dubellay


Joachin, a Deaf Poet, published Hymn to Deafness (Only one source)

Joachim du Bellay

1522 - 1560

Famous Deaf author and poet. He was credited for helping form modern French language.

Pierre de Ronsard

1524 - 1585

A hard of hearing (since age 16) famous poet who is recognized due to his sonnets.

Juan Ximenes de Fernandez Navarrete

1525 - 1579

Nicknamed El Mudo. Deaf painter appointed by King Philip II.

Apparition of the Virgin to the Deaf-Mute Filippo Viotti


Moretto da Brescia painted the "Apparition of the Virgin to the Deaf-Mute Filippo Viotti" piece which was a depiction of the Italian peasant Filippo who was visited by the Virgin Mary.

Pedro Ponce d Leon


Pedro started teaching the Deaf. He established the first Deaf school. He developed a rough form of sign language.



Lasso, a Spanish lawyer, gave inheritance rights to Deaf individuals who could speak by claiming they were no longer dumb. Though, not a large leap due to the Deaf individual still needing to learn how to speak, it still gave some rights to some Deaf individuals.