Gifanius, Hubertus

, a learned critic and civilian, was born at Buren in Guelderland in 1534. He studied at Louvain and at Paris, and was the first who erected the library of the German nation at Orleans. He took the degree of doctor of civil law there in 1567; and went thence to Italy in the retinue of the French ambassador. Afterwards he removed to Germany, where he taught the civil law with high repute, first at Strasburg, where he was likewise professor of philosophy; then in the university of Altdorf, and at last at Ingoldstadt. He forsook the protestant religion to embrace | the Roman catholic. He was invited to the imperial court, and honoured with the office of counsellor to the emperor Rodolph. He died at Prague in 1609, if we believe some authors; but Thuanus, who is more to be depended on, places his death in 1604. He wrote notes and comments upon Aristotle’s “Politics and Ethics,” and on Homer and Lucretius; and published also several pieces relating to civil law.

As to his literary character, it is not without some stains. He has been accused of a notorious breach of trust, with regard to the Mss. of Fruterius. Fruterius had collected a quantity of critical observations; but died at Paris in 1566, a very young man, leaving them to Gifanius, to be published, who suppressed them as far as he was able; for which he is severely treated by Janus Douza in his satires and elsewhere. The fact is also mentioned by Thuanus. He was also charged with plagiarism by Lambin. Gifanius had inserted in his edition of Lucretius all the best notes of Lambin, without acknowledging to whom he was obliged; and with some contempt of Lambin, which Lambin, in a third edition of that author, resented with such abusive epithets as we are sorry to say are not unfrequent in the literary world. He calls him “audacem, arrogantem, impudentem, ingratum, petulantem, insidiosum, fallacem, inh’dum, nigrum.” Gifanius had also another quarrel with Seioppius, about a ms. of Syinmachus; which Scioppius, it is said, had taken away, and used without his knowledge. 1


Gen. Dict. —Moreri. Freheri Theatrum. —Foppen Bibl. Belg.-—Saxii Onomast.