Calderinus, Domitius

, a man of great learning in the fifteenth century, was born at Torn sul lago, in 1445. | Such was his early reputation, that at the age of twentyfour he was invited by Paul II. to take upon him the office of public lecturer on the belles-lettres at Rome; and Sixtus IV. appointed him apostolic secretary. After a short life of incessant study and literary warfare, he was cut off by a. fever in 1477, when only thirty-two years of age. To him is attributed the praise of having first pointed out and exemplified the true method of elucidating ancient authors, by combining with verbal criticism, the lights of antiquity and general erudition. The literary reputation of Calderinus procured him many rivals during his life-time, as George Merula, Aurispa, Aug. Sabinus, Nic. Perottus, Trapezuntius, &c. and it is certain that Politian draws his character with much more blame than praise. Of his talents, indeed, his application and skill in Latin, Politian speaks in handsome terms, and acknowledges that his proficiency in Greek was not inconsiderable; but adds, that he was so vain of his own talents, and so tenacious of any opinion he had once adopted, as to adhere to it in open defiance of conviction and truth. The style of his compositions is haughty, contemptuous, and overbearing; he cavils on every trifling pretext, and attacks all without discrimination. These were propensities which involved him in numberless disputes with the learned of the day. Yet while he was the object of undisguised hatred to persons of this description, such was his authority in letters, that even in his youth he carried away the palm of celebrity from all the Roman professors. Politian adds more to the same purpose, which may be seen in our authority on the other hand, the learned world are under unquestionable obligations to Calderinus, and probably, had he lived longer, he would have corrected that vivacity of passion which involved him so often with his contemporaries. Among his works, is an ample Commentary on Martial, Venice, 1474, fol.; another on Juvenal, ibid. 1475, fol. The edition of Virgil of 1492, has some notes of his; and he commented on Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Persius, and Catullus. His notes “In Ibin” were published at Venice, 1485, and on the “Sylvae” of Statins, Brixiae, 1476, with a dissertation on the letter of Sappho, and another on the most difficult passages of Propertius, addressed to Francis of Arragon, son of Ferdinand, king of Naples. 1


Gen. Dict.—Greswell’s Politian.—Paul Jovius in Elogiis.—Saxii Onomast.