Antonio, Nicholas

, a very learned and useful Spanish biographer, was born at Seville in 1617. His father was made president of the admiralty established in that city by Philip IV. He received his early education among the dorainicans, and studied philosophy and divinity afterwards at Salamanca, under the ablest masters, particularly Francis Ramos del Manzano, who was afterwards preceptor to the king and preceptor to Charles II. He then returned to Seville, and entirely devoted to study, passed the whole of his time in the Benedictine convent, where Benedict de la Serra, the abbot, had collected a very copious library, and where Antonio first planned and composed his valuable “Bibliotheca Hispana.” When considerably advanced in this work, he brought it with him to Rome in 1659, at which time he was sent thither by Philip IV. in the character of agent-general of affairs concerning the crown of Spain, the two Sicilies, and the inquisition, and he continued in this office twenty-two years, at the end of which Charles II. recalled him to Madrid, and made him a member of his council. Notwithstanding these profitable employments, he was so charitable to the poor, as frequently to be in want himself, but was considerably relieved by a canonry of Seville, which pope Alexander VII. bestowed upon him, on the recommendation of the cardinal of Aragon. He died at Madrid in 1684, and was then a ktiight of the order of St. James. It is said that among his papers was found a commission appointing him one of the supreme council of justice, but it is certain that he never filled that office. He left no property, but a library of thirty thousand volumes. His publications were, 1. “De exilio, sive de exilii poena antiqua et nova, exsulumque conditione et juribus, libri tres,Antwerp, 1659, fol. The editor of the Biog. Universell-e speaks of a previous edition, 1641; but this we do not find in the author’s account in his “Bibl. Hispana.” This is said to have been written when he was only twenty-three years old. 2. “Bibliotheca Hispana Nova,Rome, 1672, 2 vols. fol. and lately reprinted by Francis Perez Bayer, of Valeutia, at Madrid, 1783, 2 vols. fol. In this work, Antonio, according to the custom of the time, arranges his | authors in the alphabetical order of their Christian names, a fault not conveniently remedied by his indexes, which are intended to divide his authors into classes. The collection is unquestionably creditable to Spanish learning and industry, b-ut many of the persons here recorded have long been in the land of oblivion, and among these we may surely reckon the greater part of an hundred and sixty authors who have written on the immaculate conception. 3. “Bibliotheca Hispana vetus, complectens scriptores qui ab Octaviani Augusti imperio usque ad annum M. floruerunt,Rome, 1696, 2 vols. fol. The M. in this title should be M. D. Antonio having left no means of defraying the expence of this publication, cardinal d’Aguirre took the whole upon himself, and employed Emmanuel Mars, a learned Valentian, as editor. The authors are here ranged in chronological order, with proper indexes, &c. The “Bibliotheca Nova,” although published first, is in fact a sequel to this last, which has also been reprinted by Bayer at Madrid, 1788. Baillet prefers Antonio’s work to every thing of the kind, and Morhof considers it as a model. David Clement prefers it to all the Bibliothecas except that of Quetif and Echarcl. He thinks him blameable, however, for not giving the titles of books in their proper language, an objection to which other biographers, and particularly the French, until lately, have been justly liable. One other publication of Antonio was printed for the first time so lately as 1742, at Valentia, under the titla of “Censura de historias fabulas, obra postuma,” fol. ornamented with plates, and published by D. Gregoire Mayans y Siscar. We know not whether this be part of a work in which Antonio tells us he was long engaged, and which was to be called “Trophaeum historico-ecclesiasticum Deo veritatis erectum ex manubiis pseudo-historicorum, qui Flavii Lucii Dextri, M. Maximi, Helecoe, Braulionis, Luitprandi, et Juliani nomine circumferuntur; hoc est, Vindiciae verae atque iludum notae Hispanarum rerum historise, Germanarum nostros gentislaudum non ex GermanoFuldensibus chronicis emendicatarum in libertatem et puritatem plena assertio,” a work which Bayle thinks would have been of dangerous consequence, as people seldom like to be set right as to the fabulous stories which have long flattered their vanity. 1

1 Gen. Dict. -Life in his Bill. Hisp. art. Nicolas. Biog. Universelle.