Beroaldo, Philip

, the elder, one of the most eminent scholars of the fifteenth century, descended from an ancient and noble family of Bologna, was born there, Dec. 7, 1453. Having lost his father in his infancy, he was brought up by his mother with the greatest care, able masters being provided for his education, whose pains he rewarded by an uncommon proficiency, aided by an astonishing memory. Besides the lessons which they gave him, he studied so hard by himself, that at the age of eighteen, he fell into a very dangerous disorder, from which he recovered with much difficulty. When it was discovered that he could learn nothing more from his tutors, it was thought that the best way to increase his knowledge was to employ him in teaching others. When only nineteen, therefore, he opened a school first at Bologna, and afterwards at Parma and Milan. After continuing this for some time, the high reputation of the university of Paris made him very anxious to visit that city, which accordingly he accomplished, and gave public lectures for some months to a very large auditory, some say, of six hundred scholars. Every thing in science then was done by lecturing, and Beroaldo, no doubt gratified by the applause he had met with, would have remained longer at Paris had he not been recalled to his own country, his return to which created a sort of public rejoicing. His first honour was to be appointed professor of belles-lettres in the university of Bologna, which he retained all his life, and although he would have been content with this, as the summit of his literary ambition, yet this promotion was followed by civic honours. In 1489 he was named one of the ancients of Bologna, and some years after made one of a deputation from the city, with Galeas Bentivoglio, to pope Alexander VI. He was also for several years, secretary of the republic.

Amidst so much study and so many employments, Beroaldo had his relaxations, which do not add so much to his reputation. He was fond of the pleasures of the table, and passionately addicted to play, to which he sacrificed all he was worth. He was an ardent votary of the fair sex; and thought no pains nor expence too great for | accomplishing his wishes. He dreaded wedlock, both on his own account and that of his "mother, whom he always tenderly loved. But at length he found a lady to his mind, and all those different passions that had agitated the youth of Beroaldo were appeased the moment he was married. The mild and engaging manners of his bride inspired him with prudence and oeconomy. Beroaldo was from that time quite another man. Regular, gentle, polite, beneficent, envious of no one, doing no one wrong, and speaking no evil, giving merit its due, unambitious of honours, and content with humbly accepting such as were offered him. He had scarcely an enemy, except George Merula, whose jealousy was roused by Beroaldo’s admiration of Politian, whom himself once admired, and afterwards took every opportunity to traduce as a scholar. Beroaldo’s weak state of health brought on premature old age, and he died of a fever, which was considered as too slight for advice, July 7,1505. His funeral was uncommonly pompous; the body, robed in silk and crowned with laurel, was followed by all persons of literary or civic distinction at Bologna.

Beroaldo’s chief merit was his publication of good editions of the ancient Roman authors, with learned commentaries. His own style, however, some critics think, is affected, and more like that of his favourite Apuleius than that of Cicero, and his judgment is rather inferior to his learning. Among his publications we may enumerate, (referring to Niceron, vol. XXV. for the whole), 1. “Caii Plinii historia naturalis,Parma, 1476, Trevisa, 1479, and Paris, 1516, all in fol. He was not more than nineteen when he wrote the notes to this edition of Pliny, whom he afterwards took up and meant to have given more ample illustrations, but the copy on which he had written his notes being stolen at Bologna, be expressed at his dying hour his regret for the loss. 2. “Annotationes in commentaries Servii Virgilianos,Bologna, 1482, 4to. 3. “Propertii opera cum commentariis,Bologna, 1487, Venice, 1493, Paris, 1604, all in fol. 4. “Annotationes in varies authores antiques,Bologna, 1488, Venice, 1489, Brescia, 1496, fol. 5. “Orationes,Paris, 1490, Lyons, 1490 and 1492, Bologna, 1491, &c. 6. A second collection, entitled “Orationes, prefationes, praelectiones, &c.Paris, 1505, 15C7 (or 1508), 1509, 1515, 4to. There are in this collection some small pieces of other authors, but near thirty by Beroaldo, both in prose and verse. Besides | these, our authority states, that there have been six more editions, and yet it is ranked among the rare books. 7. “Declamatio ebriosi, scortatoris, et aleatoris,Bologna, 1499, Paris, 1505, 4to, &c. According to the title of a French translation, for we have not seen this work, it is a debate between a drunkard, gallant, and gamester, which of them, as the worst character, ought to be disinherited by his father. The French have two translations of it, one a sort of paraphrase, Paris, 1556, 12mo, the other versified by Gilbert Damalis, Lyons, 1558, 8vo. Besides these, Beroaldo edited Suetonius, Apuleius, Aulus Gellius, Lucan, and some other classics, with notes. He had a son, Vincent, who is ranked among the Bolognese writers, only for having given an explanation of all the words employed by Bolognetti in his poem “II Constante.” Bolognetti was his uterine brother, and he wrote these explanations from the poem when in manuscript, and when it consisted of twenty cantos, but as it consisted of sixteen when published in 1566, his friend Mai tacheti, to whom he bequeathed his explanation, published only what related to these sixteen, under the title of “Dichiarazione di tutte levoci proprie del Constante, &c.Bologna, 1570, 4to. 1


Biog. Universelle. —Moreri. Greswell’s Politian. Baillet Jugemens des favans. Freytag’s Apparatus Litterarius. -Biount'4 Ceasura. —Saxii Onomast.