One of a set of two stamps issued by Spain in
1993 commemorates seventh centenary of the foundation of the
Complutensian University by Don Sancho IV, the Brave (1257-1295) in
1293 on the River Henares. It was transferred to Madrid in 1836.
During the 16th Century it flourished with the endowments of Cisneros,
the Archbishop of Toledo. He attracted linguists and biblical scholars
to Alcalá to work on Biblia Políglota Complutense (The Complutensian
Polyglot Bible) in five volumes in 1517.
The typeface devised for the Complutensian by Arnaldo
Gullen de Brocar has been regarded by typographers such as Robert
Proctor as the apex of Greek typographical development in early
The illuminated letter “S” is the initial letter of the
word “Sepan” the first word in the dedication of the University by Don
Sancho. The arms of the Complutense University of Madrid appear in the
lower right corner of the stamp, and the motto Saecularia Septima Alma
Mater Complutensis 1293-1993 appears at the upper right of the stamp.