Mariana, John

, a Spanish historian, was born at Talavera, in Castille, in 1537; and entered into the order of Jesuits when he was seventeen. He was one of the most learned men of his age, an able divine, a considerable master of polite literature, admirably skilled in sacred and profane history, and a good linguist. In 1561 he was sent by his superiors to Rome, where he taught divinity, and received the order of priesthood; and at the end of four years weut to Sicily, where he continued the sam^ profession two years more. He came to Paris in 1569, and read lectures publicly upon Thomas Aquinas for five years; then returned into Spain, and passed the remainder of his life at Toledo. He wrote many books in Latin. His piece “De rnonetse mutatione,” gave great offence to the court of Spurn; for Philip III. having altered and emr based the coin by the advice of the duke of Lerma, | Mariana shewed, with great freedom, the injustice and disadvantage of this project; for which he was put into prison, and kept there about a year by that minister. But what made more noise still, was his tract De rege & regis institutione,“consisting of three books, which he published to justify James Clement, a young monk, for assassinating Henry III. of France. In this he argues against passive obedience and non-resistance; asserts the lawfulness of resisting” the powers that be,“where the administration is tyrannical j and founds his whole argument upon this principle,” that the authority of the people is superior to that of kings." This book of Mariana, though it passed without censure in Spain and Italy, was burnt at Paris, by an arret of parliament.

But the tiiost considerable by far of all his performances, is his “History of Spain,” divided into thirty books. This he wrote at first in Latin; but, fearing lest some unskilful pen should sully the reputation of his work by a bad translation of it into Spanish, he undertook that task himself, not as a translator, but as an author, who might assume the liberty of adding and altering, as he found it requisite, upon further inquiry into records and ancient writers. Vet neither the Latin nor the Spanish came lower down than the end of the reign of king Ferdinand, grandfather to the emperor Charles V. where Mariana concluded his thirty books; not caring to venture nearer his own times, because he could not speak with the freedom and impartiality of a just historian, of persons who were either alive themselves, or whose immediate descendants were. At the instigation of friends, however, he afterwards drew up a short supplement, in which he brought his history down to 1621, when king Philip 111. died, and Philip IV. came to the crown. After his death, F. Ferdinand Camargory Salcedo, of the order of St. Augustin, carried on another supplement from 1621, where Mariana left off, to 1649$ inclusive; where F. Basil Voren de Soto, of the regular clergy took it up, and went on to 1669, being the fifth year of the reign of Charles II. king of Spain. Gibbon says that in this work he almost forgets that he is a Jesuit, to assume the style and spirit of a Roman classic. It is a work of great research and spirit, although not free from the prejudices which may be supposed to arise from his education and profession. The first edition was entitled “Historiae de rebus Hispaniae, lib.iginti,” Toleti, 1592, | folio. To some copies were afterwards added five more books, and a new title, with the date 1595, or in some 1592. The remaining five books were printed as “Histories Hispanic<E Appendix, libri scilicet XXI XXX, cum indice,” Francfort, 1616, fol. There is an edition printed at the Hague, with the continuations, 1733, 4 vols. in 2, fol. The best editions in the Spanish are, that of Madrid, 1780, 2 vols. folio, and that with Mariana’s continuation, ibid. 1794, 10 vols. 8vo. The French have various translations, and the English an indifferent one by capt. Stevens, 1699, fol.

Mariana’s history did not pass without animadversions in his own time. A secretary of the constable of Castile, who calls himself Pedro Mantuana, published “Critical Remarks” upon it at Milan, in 1611, which were answered by Thomas Tamaius de Vorgas. The latter informs us, “that Mariana would never cast his eyes upon the work of his censurer, or on that of his apologist; though this latter offered him his manuscript before he gave it to the printer, and desired him to correct it.

Besides those already mentioned, he published several other pieces in Latin, theological and historical; among the rest, one entitled “Notes upon the Old Testament;” which father Simon, in his “Critical History,” says, and Dupin agrees with him, are very useful for understanding the literal sense of the Scripture, because he chiefly applies himself to find out the proper signification of the Hebrew words. It is, however, as the historian of Spain only that he now deserves to be remembered. He died at Toledo, in 1624, aged eighty-seven. After his death, was published in Italian, Latin, and French, another treatise of his, wherein he discovers the faults in the government of his society; but the Jesuits have thrown doubts on the authenticity of this work, which have not been altogether removed. 1

1 Aritonio-Bibl. Hisp. Geit. Did. Dupin. —MarchandDict. Hist. Jlrnnet Manuel du