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Ermolao Barbaro

Ermolao Barbaro

Venezia 1454 - Roma 1493

Italian scholar, was born at Venice on the 21st of May 1454. At an early age he was sent to Rome, where he studied under Pomponius Laetus. He completed his education at the university of Padua, where he was appointed professor of philosophy in 1477. Two years later he revisited Venice, but returned to Padua when the plague broke out in his native city. He was sent on various missions to persons of high rank, amongst them Pope Innocent VIII., by whom he was nominated to the important office of patriarch of Aquileia (1491). The Venetian senate, however, refused to ratify the appointment, which, contrary to the law, he had accepted without first obtaining its sanction. He was banished and forced to resign the patriarchate, under the threat of being punished vicariously by the confiscation of his father's property. Barbarus remained at Rome, in receipt of a small pension from the pontifical government, until his death (probably from the plague) on the 14th of June 1493 (according to some, two years later). He edited and translated a number of classical works, of which the most important were: Castigationes Plinianae (1492), in which he boasted of having made 5000 corrections in the text of Pliny's Natural History; Themistius' Paraphrases of certain works of Aristotle (1480); Aristotle's Rhetorica (published in 1544); Castigationes in Pomponium Melam (1493).
(1911 Encyclopedia Britannica)

Bibliography: E. Bigi, Barbaro, Ermolao (Almorò), in Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, vol. 6 (1964); V. Branca, La sapienza civile: Studi Sull'umanesimo a Venezia, Firenze, Leo S. Olschki 1988; B. Figliuolo, Il Diplomatico e il Trattatista: Ermolao Barbaro Ambasciatore Della Serenissima, Napoli, Guida Editori 1999; A. Poppi, Ricerche sulla teologia e la scienza nella scuola padovana del Cinque e Seicento, Soveria Mannelli, Rubbetino 2001; Thomas B. Deutscher, Contemporaries of Erasmus: A Biographical Register of the Renaissance and Reformation, University of Toronto Press 2003.

A. Diller, The Library of Francesco Barbaro and Ermolao Barbaro, «Italia Medioevale e Umanistica», n. 6 (1963), pp. 253-262.

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