Page images
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

of the inquisition, who approved the plan, and persuaded the sovereign to sanction it. Of this Polyglott, which received the approbation of Pope Gregory XIII., only 500 copies were printed, a large part of which were lost by the vessel being wrecked, which was conveying them to Spain. Copies of this work are consequently rare, and seldom complete, most frequently wanting the second volume of the “ Apparatus," which contains Montanus's edition of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, with the interlineary Latin version. A copy of this valuable Polyglott, with the exception of the 2nd vol. of the "Apparatus,” is in the Collegiate, or Cheetham's Library, at Manchester. The price of the copies, according to Scaliger, was 40 pistoles, each set. A most magnificent copy, upon vellum, in the original binding, in 10 volumes, but wanting the three latter volumes, (now in the royal library at Paris,) which contain the philological and lexicographical Appendix, was brought to England in May, 1816, by Mr. Wurtz, and offered to sale at 1000 guineas. The printing of this work is supposed to have greatly embarrassed Plantin's circumstances, either from the king of Spain's intendants of finances reclaiming the money advanced by the king, or from the loss sustained by the destruction of the copies transmitted to Spain. Whether this were the case may justly be disputed, as it is certain he afterwards rose to affluence, and at his death was in possession of considerable property.

The chief editors of the Spanish Polyglott Bible were Arias Montanus, who had the general inspection of the whole, and who revised all the Latin translations, except the one made from the Syriac; and Guido Fabricius Boderianus, who made the Latin translation of the New (28) Clement, Bibliotheque Curieuse, IV. pp. 176-184,

Le Long, edit. Masch, pt. i. cap. iii. pp. 340-350.
Dibdin's Bibliographical Decameron, II. p. 154.
Marsh's Michaelis, II. pt. i. ch. vii, pp. 10. 13, 14.
Ariæ Montani, [B] Bib Sacr. Polyglott Antwerp, 1569, &c. passim,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

Testament from the Syriac. Their principal coadjutors were Vicholas Fabricius, John Harlem, Francis Rapheleng, Francis Lucas, of Bruges, Andrew Masius, John Livinejus, and William Canterus.

Benedict ARIAS MONTANUS was born, according to some biographers, at Seville, but according to others, at Frexenell, in Estremadura, in Spain, in the year 1527; andwas the son of a notary. He studied at the university of Alcala, where he made great proficiency in the learned languages. Having taken the habit of the Benedictines, he accompanied the bishop of Segovia to the council of Trent, in 1562, and acquired uncommon celebrity. On his return to Spain, he embraced a life of retirement, and selected for his residence an hermitage situated on the summit of a rock near Aracena; but Philip II. having chosen him to become the editor of the Polyglott Bible, intended to be published under the royal patronage, he was persuaded to quit his retreat, and engage in the laborious undertaking. Scarcely, however, had the work been completed, and Montanus begun to enjoy his wellearned reputation, before Leo de Castro, professor of Oriental languages at Salamanca, accused him to the inquisitors of Rome and Spain, of having altered the text of the Holy Scriptures, and confirmed the prejudices of the Jews by the publication of the Chaldee paraphrases. Montanus in consequence of the accusation, was obliged to take several journies to Rome, in order to justify himself, which having done in the most satisfactory inanner, Philip II. offered him a bishoprick as a remuneration for bis services. This offer he declined, and only accepted 2000 ducats, and the office of chaplain to the king, preferring his former retirernent in the hermitage at Aracena. Here he constructed a winter and a summer habitation, and laid out a pleasant garden, hoping to end his days in his beloved retreat, but at the entreaty of his sovereign was induced to accept the office of librarian to the Esci

Vol. III.


[ocr errors]

rial, and to teach the Oriental languages. At length be was permitted to retire to Seville, where he terminated his laborious life, in 1598, aged 71. One of his biographers observes, "he was a master of the Hebrew, Chaldee, Syriac, Arabic, Greek, and Latin languages, and spoke fluently in German, French, and Portuguese. He was sober, modest, pious, and indefatigable. His company was sought by the learned, the great, and the pious ; and his conversation was always edifying.” He was the author of Commentaries on several parts of the Scriptures; and published by order of Pbilip II. an Index correctorius librorum Theologicorum, Antwerp, 1571, 4to., being a list of books forbidden to be read by the members of the Catholic church, until corrected, according to this Index.a9

Guido Fabricius BODERIANUS, or GUY LE FEVRE DE LA BODERIE, was born of a noble family, in the territory of Boderie, in Lower Normandy, in 1541. Having acquired extensive knowledge of the Oriental tongues, he, with his brother Nicholas, went to Antwerp, where they bore a principal part in the publication of the great Antwerp, or Spanish Polyglott Bible. After the completion of this celebrated undertaking, Le Fevre returned to France, reaping, as the fruit of his toils, nothing more than a high reputation for learning. The duke D'Alençon, brother of King Ilenry III., employed him as his secretary, but rewarded him no better, than he had been for his labours at Antwerp. He was the author of several works in French, in verse and prose, now almost forgotten. He died at Boderie, in 1598, aged 57. Nicholas his brother, who is said to have been a person of great learning and ingenuity, died in 1605.30

John Harlem, or Wilhelm, the former name being derived from the place of bis birth, was a native of Har(29) Chalmers' Gen. Biog. Dict. XXII. p. 286.

Aikin's Gen. Biog. I. p. 362. (30) Nouv. Dict. Hist. III. p. 619.

Chalmers' Gen. Biog. Dict. XIV. p. 256.

lem, a city of Holland, one of the Belgic provinces. He was first a licentiate in theology, in the college of Louvain; and having entered into the society of Jesuits, was made professor of the Sacred Scriptures, and of Hebrew, in the same college. He was afterwards rector of the college, and vice-provincial of Belgium. His erudition was profound, and his knowledge of languages extensive, having gained an intimate acquaintance with the Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Chaldee, Syriac, and Arabic ; while the purity and mildness of his inanners added to the excellency of his character. He died at Louvain, while the brethren of his order were repeating the litany in his presence, on the 24th of September, 1570. According to Alegambe, he was heard to say, as he was dying, that his "guardian angel called him," and the moment of his death was marked by the appearance of a light shining round him. He was about 40 years of age, at the time of his decease.31

Francis RAPHELENGIUS, or RAPHELENG, was born February 27, 1539, at Lanoy, in French Flanders. He commenced his studies at Ghent, which, after some interruption from the death of his father, he resumed at Nuremberg and Paris, and prosecuted them with great assiduity, until the civil war obliged him to quit the country. He then visited England, and taught Greek at Cambridge. After some time he returned to the Netherlands, and became one of the correctors of the press to Christopher Plantin, the learned printer of Antwerp, whose daughter he married in 1565. In 1585, he removed to Leyden, where Plantin bad a printing-office, and was chosen to be professor of Hebrew and Arabic, in that university. He died July 20, 1597, aged 58. the author of an Arabic Lexicon, a Hebrew Grammar, and other learned works. 39

He was

(31) Alegambe, Biblioth. Script. Societat, Jesu.pp, 248, 249. (32) Chalmers' Gen. Biog. Dict. XXVI. p. 44.

Francis Lucas, of Bruges, has been already noticed in a former part of this work, as one of the learned editors of the Papal edition of the Vulgate.

ANDREW Masius, or Dumas, was one of the most learned men of the sixteenth century. He was born at Linnich, near Brussels, in 1516. He became secretary to John de Weze, bishop of Constance, and after his death was sent as an agent to Rome. He married at Cleves, in 1558, and was appointed counsellor to William, duke of Cleves. His skill in the ancient and Oriental languages was so great, that Sebastian Munster said, he seemed to have been brought up in ancient Rome, or ancient Jerusalem. He was in possession of a famous Syriac MS. written in the seventh century, of which he published the book of Joshua, accompanied with a Commentary, Antwerp,

1574, fol. This MS. is said to be the only one that preserves the readings given by Origen. Masius died at Zuenera, a town in the duchy of Cleves, in April, 1573, and was buried at the same place, where his epitaph records his knowledge of languages, in the two following lines :

Eloquio Hebræus, Syrus, et Chaldæus, Iberus,

Et Latius, Graius, Gallus, et Ausonius:" The sense of which, is, that “he understood the Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Syriac, Chaldee, Spanish, French, and Italian languages ;" to which, if we add the German, bis native dialect, he will be seen to have been master of nine languages. He was also the author of several learned works, particularly, relative to the Syriac tongue, which he had learned from Moses of Mardin, a learned Maronite.83

John LIVINEJUS was one of the learned men employed in the Papal edition of the Septuagint.

WILLIAM CANTERUS, the son of Lambert Canterus, or

(33) Chalmers' Gen. Biog. Dict, XXI. p. 415.

Sixt. Senensi, Biblioth. Sanct. lib. iv. p. 263.

« PreviousContinue »