« Allard, Paul Allatius, Leo Allegorical Interpretation »

Allatius, Leo

ALLATIUS, al-lê´shius or -shus, LEO (LEONE ALACCI): Roman Catholic scholar; b. on the island of Chios 1586; d. in Rome Jan. 19, 1669. He was brought to Calabria at the age of nine, and in 1600 went to Rome, where he became one of the most distinguished pupils of the Greek College founded in 1577 by Gregory XIII. He studied philosophy and theology, and later also medicine at the Sapienza, and became a teacher in the Greek College and a scriptor in the Vatican library. When Maximilian of Bavaria presented the Heidelberg library to the pope (1622), Allatius was chosen to superintend its removal to Rome, and he spent nearly a year in the work. The death of Gregory XV. just before his return deprived him of a fitting reward; and he was even suspected of having appropriated or given away part of this charge. He was supported by the liberality of some of the cardinals, especially Francesco Barberini, who made him his private librarian (1638). Alexander VII. appointed him keeper of the Vatican library in 1661, and he lived the retired life of a scholar until his death. Allatius’s contemporaries regarded him as a prodigy of learning and diligence, though apparently somewhat narrow and pedantic, and without much critical judgment. His literary productions were of the most varied kind. The interests which lay nearest to his heart were the demonstration that the Greek and Roman Churches had always been in substantial agreement, and the bringing of his fellow countrymen to acknowledge the supremacy of Rome. His principal writings, the De ecclesiæ occidentalis et orientalis perpetua consensione (Cologne, 1648), and the smaller De utriusque ecclesiæ in dogmate de purgatorio consensione (Rome, 1655), bear upon this subject; his Confutatio fabulae de papissa (1630) aims to vindicate the papacy. He was vigorously opposed by Protestant scholars, such as Hottinger, Veiel, and Spanheim, and some Roman Catholics (as R. Simon) admitted that his treatment of history was one-sided. He found an ardent helper in the German convert B. Neuhaus (Nihusius), the pupil and then the opponent of Calixtus. Allatius published many other works of a similar tendency, e.g., on the procession of the Holy Ghost (1658), the Athanasian Creed (1659), the Synod of Photius (1662), and the Council of Florence (1674). He also edited, annotated, or translated a number of Greek authors, both ecclesiastical and secular, and contributed to the Paris Corpus Byzantinorum. He left behind him plans and preliminary studies for still more extensive undertakings, such as a complete library, of all the Greek authors. His literary remains, and an extensive correspondence, comprising more than 1,000 letters in Greek and Latin, came in 1803 into the possession of the library of the Oratorians in Rome.

(A. Hauck).

Bibliography: S. Gradius, Vita Leonis Allatii, first published in Mai, Nova patrum bibliotheca, vi., part 2, pp. v.-xxviii., Rome, 1853; Fabricius-Harles, Bibliotheca Græca, xi. 435 sqq.; J. M. Schröckh, Kirchengeschichte seit der Reformation, ix. 21, Leipsic, 1810; A. Theiner, Die Schenkung der Heidelberger Bibliothek . . . mit Originalschriften, Munich, 1844; H. Laemmer, De L. Allatii codicibus, Freiburg, 1864; H. Hurter, Nomenclator literarius, ii. 119 sqq., Innsbruck, 1893.

« Allard, Paul Allatius, Leo Allegorical Interpretation »
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