Acidalius, Valens

, a young man of great erudition, whom Baillet has enrolled among his “Enfans celebres,” and who would have proved one of the ablest critics of his time, had he enjoyed a longer life, was born at Wistock, in the march of Brandenburgh, in 1567. In his seventeenth year he composed some poetical pieces in Latin, which are not very highly esteemed. In 1589, he went to Helmstadt to pursue his studies, and there published some of his poems, which were reprinted after his death, at Leibnitz, in 1605, with those of Janus Lernutius and Janus Gulielmus. They are also inserted in the first volume of the “Delicise Poetarum Germanorum;” and several of his pieces are in the second volume of Caspar Dornavius’ “Amphitheatrum sapientiae Socraticae Jocoseriue,Hanau, 1619. From Helmstadt, Acidalius went to Italy in 1590, and acquired the esteem and friendship of the most distinguished scholars; and here he studied medicine, but does not appear to have entered into practice. Before he went to Italy, he had begun his commentary on Paterculus, and published his edition of that author at Padua, in the above-mentioned year, 12mo. He adopted the text of Schegkius, but introduced corrections, and such new readings as appeared well founded. For this, however, he has been censured by Boeder, J. Mercier, and Burmann; and it has been said that he himself condemned this early production. His contemporaries appear to have thought more favourably of his labours, as his notes were adopted in the edition of Paterculus published at Lyons, 1595, 8vo; and they were again added to an edition of Tacitus printed after his death, at Paris, in 1608, folio. After remaining three years in Italy, he returned to Germany; and at Neiss, the residence of the | bishop of Breslaw, he embraced the Roman Catholic religion. At this place he continued his critical researches on Quintus Curtius, Plautus, the twelve ancient Panegyrics, Tacitus, and some other authors. In 1594, he published, at Francfort, his “Animadversiones in Quintum Curtium,” 8vo; which have been adopted in the Francfort edition of that author, 1597, and Snakenburg’s edition, Leyden, 1724, 4to. His sudden death, May 25, 1595, at the age of 28, put a stop to his useful labours. At that time his observations on Plautus were in the press, and were published the following year at Francfort, 8vo, and again in 1607; and they are inserted in J. Gruter’s “Lampas Critica.” They conferred upon him a wellearned reptitation; and Barthius and Lipsius, with others, bore testimony to his growing merit as a critic. His remarks on the Ancient Panegyrics and on Tacitus were published in 1607, and the former were added to J. Gruter’s edition, Francfort, 1607, 12mo. They are, likewise, examined and compared with those of other scholars, in the fine edition of the Panegyrics published at Utrecht by Arntzenius, in 1790, 4to. His notes on Tacitus are in the edition of that author printed at Paris, 1608, fol. (where he is by mistake called Acidalus); in that of Gronovius, Amsterdam, 1635, 4to, and 1673, 2 vols. 8vo. We also owe to Acidalius, some notes on Ausonius, given in Tollius’ edition of that author, Amsterdam, 1671, 8vo. and notes on Quintilian’s dialogue de Oratoribus, added to Gronovius’ edition of Tacitus, Utrecht, 1721, 4to. It appears by his letters, that he had written observations on Apuleius and Aulus Gellius, but these have not been printed. His letters were published at Hanau, 1606, 8vo r by his brother Christian, under the title of “Epistolarum centuria una, cui accessemnt apologetica ad clariss. virum Jac. Monavium, et Oratio de vera carminis elegiaci natura et constitutione.” In the preface, his brother vindicates his character against the misrepresentations circulated in consequence of his embracing the Roman Catholic religion, particularly with regard to the manner of his death. Spme asserted that he became suddenly mad, and others that he laid violent hands on himself. It appears, however, that he died of a fever, brought on by excess i&f study. It still remains to be noticed, that he is said to have been the author of a pamphlet, published in 1595, entitled, “Mulieres non esse homines,” “Women are not | men; i. e. not thinking and reasonable beings;” but he had no other hand in this work than in conveying it to his bookseller, who was prosecuted for publishing it. It was, in fact, a satire on the Socinian mode of interpreting the Scriptures; and a French translation of it appeared in 1744, 12mo. 1


Biographic Universelle, 1811.—Gen. Dict.—Moreri.—Saxii Onomasticon.