Curio, Cœlius Secundus

, of Piemont, was born at San Chirico, in 1503, of a noble family, and cultivated philosophy, and made several journies in Germany and Italy. Having abjured the religion of Rome to embrace the doctrines of Luther, he was thrown into prison, and confined for several months, but without this making any impression on his sentiments; and he was no sooner released than he played a very bold trick. Having access to the relics of the monastery of St. Benigno, he executed the plan of carrying away the holy shrine, and leaving in its place what to him was more holy and estimable, the Bible, inscribed with these words, “Haec est area foederis, ex qua vera sciscitari oracula liceat, et in qua veroe sunt sanctorum reliquiae.” As, however, he was aware the fury of the populace would not permit him to escape with his life, if he were suspected, he thought it prudent to retire, and we find him afterwards at Milan, where he married in 1530, and began to preach. Having-fixed his abode near Casal, he one day heard a Dominican declaiming loudly against Luther, and charging him with criminal acts and heretical notions, of which he was not guilty; he asked permission to give an answer to the outrageous preacher. This being granted: “My father,” said he to the monk, “you have attributed to Luther a number of terrible declarations; but where does he say them? Can you point me out the book where he has delivered such a doctrine?” — The monk replied that he could not immediately shew him the passage; but that, if he would go with him to Turin, he would point it out to him. “And I,” said Curio, “will shew you this moment that what you advance cannot be true.” Then pulling out | of his pocket Luther’s Commentary on the epistle to the Galatians, he refuted the Dominican with so much strength of argument, that the crowd fell upon him, and it was with great difficulty that he escaped out of their hands. The inquisition and the bishop of Turin being informed of this quarrel, Curio was arrested; but the bishop, perceiving that he was supported by a considerable party, went to Rome, to receive advice from the pope in what manner he should proceed. In the mean time, Curio was carried in irons to a private prison, and kept under a constant guard; but, notwithstanding these precautions, found means to escape during the night. He fled to Salo, in the duchy of Milan, and from thence to Pavia; whence, three years afterwards, he was obliged to take refuge at Venice, because the pope had threatened to excommunicate the senate of Pavia, if they did not put him under an arrest. From Venice Curio went successively to Ferrara, to Lucca, to Lausanne, in Switzerland, where he was made principal of the college, and lastly to Bale, in 1547. Here he became professor of eloquence and the belles-lettres, which situation he held until his death, which happened in 1569, at the age of sixty-seven. There is a singular work by him, entitled “De amplitudine bead regni Dei,” Bale, 1550, 8vo, in which he extends that kingdom to the comprehension of a far greater number of elect than the generality of divines allow. He also wrote: 1. “Opuscula,” Bale, 1544, 8vo, scarce, and containing a dissertation on Providence, another on the Immortality of the Soul, &c. 2. “Letters,” Bale, 1553, 8vo. 3. “Calvinus Judaisans,1595, 8vo. 4. To him are attributed: u Pasquillorum tomi duo,“1544, 2 parts in 1 vol. 8vo. What has led the critics to think him the editor of this collection, is, that he is indeed the author of the two editions of” Pasquillus extaticus,“8vo, the one without date, the other of Geneva, 1544. The second was reprinted with” Pasquillus theologaster,“Geneva, 1667, 12mo. These are satires, which petulance on one side, and the desire of suppressing them on the other, have occasioned to be sought after. The book-collectors add to these, two volumes, the works of a certain German, named” Pasquillus merus.“This makes a third volume, which has scarcely any relation to the former, nor is either of much value. 5. A Latin translation of Guicciardini’s history, 1566, 2 vols. fol. 6.” De Bello Melitense, anno | 1565,“8vo, inserted in Muratori. 7.” Vita et doctrina Davidis Georgii haeresiarchse,“Bale, 1599, 4to. 8.Forum Romanum,“a Latin dictionary, Bale, 1576, 3 vols. fol. 9.” Historia Francisci Spirae,“8vo, &c. Of a very scarce work of his,” Paraphrasis in principium Evangelii S. Johannis,“but which, if we mistake not, was originally published among his” Opuscula,“an extract may be seen in the” New Memoirs of Literature," vol. XIII. 1


Niceron. Frelieri Theatrum. —Moreri. —Saxii Onomast. But for his publications, —. Curieuse.