Eremita, Daniel

, a native of Antwerp, and secretary to the duke of Florence, was born at Antwerp in 1584, of protestant parents, said to be of the same family with Peter the Hermit, so celebrated in the history of the crusades. In his youth Scaliger had a great esteem for him, and recommended him in the strongest terms to Casaubon; who procured him employment, and endeavoured to get him into Mr. de Montaterre’s family, in quality of preceptor, and was likely to have succeeded, when Eremita found means to ingratiate himself with Mr. de Vic, who was going ambassador into Switzerland. In the course of their intimacy De Vic, a man of great bigotry, and fired with a zeal for making converts, soon won over Eremita, by means of a conference with a Portuguese monk; and fre became a Roman catholic, which gave Casaubon great | uneasiness. Eremita, however, still retained a veneration for Scaliger, and, after his death, defended him against Scioppius, who in his answer, speaks with very little respect of Eremita, and informs us that after being at Rome in 1606, he disappeared for some time after, as it was supposed at first from poverty, but it afterwards was discovered that he had retired to Sienna, where he made his court to archbishop Ascanio Piccolomini, who recommended him to Silvio Piccolomini, great chamberlain to the great duke of Florence. By this means he obtained a pension from that prince, as a reward for a panegyric written on the nuptials of the great duke with Magdalen of Austria, and published in 1608, and at his earnest request he was sent into Germany with the deputy, to acquaint the several princes of the empire with the death of the great duke’s father. At his return to Florence, he affected to be profoundly skilled in allairs of government; and promised a commentary which should exceed whatever had been written upon Tacitus. As he looked upon the history of our Saviour as fabulous, so he took a delight in exclaiming against the inquisitors and the clergy; and had many tales ready upon these occasions, all which he could set off to advantage.

Such is the character which Scioppius has given of Eremita; which is in part confirmed by some particulars related by Casaubon. He died at Leghorn in 1613. Grsevius published at Utrecht, in 1701, an octavo volume of his “Opera varia;” among which were “Aulicae vitae ac civilis, libri iv.” all taken from a manuscript in the duke of Florence’s library, communicated by Magliabecchi to Gracvius, who, in a preface, has endeavoured to refute the slanders of Scioppius. The four books, “De Aulica vita ac civili,” are written with great purity and elegance of style, and abound with curious knowledge, which makes them entertaining as well as useful. Bayle mentions two other works of our author, which, he says, deserve to be read: “Epistolica relatio de itinere Germanico, quod legatione magni Etruriae ducis ad Rodolphum II. imperatorem Germanise anno 1609 peractum fuit;” and his epistle “De Helveticorum, Rhetorum, Sedonensium situ, republica, & moribus.” His Latin poems were inserted in the second volume of “Deliciac poetarum Belgicorum.1


Gen. Dict.—Moreri in Ermite.—Foppen Bibl. Belg. in Hennite.—Niceron, vol. XXIX.