Annius, Giovanni

Annius, Giovanni was born at Viterbo July 7, 1432. Having entered the order of Dominicans, he became a proficient in the Latin, Greek, and Oriental languages, and in theology. He published two works, entitled,

1. Tractatus de Imperio Turcarum; and

2. De Futuris Christianorum triumphi, etc. (Genoa, 1480, 4to), in which he endeavors to show that Mahomet was the Antichrist of the Apocalypse. But the work by which he is chiefly known is his seventeen books of Antiquities (Rome, 1498, fol.), in which he pretended to give the works of Berosus, Marsylus of Lesbos, Caton, Sempronius, Archilochus, Xenophon, Metasthenes or Megasthenes, Manetho, and others. These writings were the cause of a dispute among the learned at the time, some, as Pineda, Louis Viveza, the Spaniard, Vossius, Melchior Canus, and others, maintained the utter falsity of all these pieces, and declared Annius to be a sheer impostor; while others, who had among them such men as: Nauderius, Leander Albert, Sixtus of Siena, Alph. Mildonatus, etc., declared themselves in his favor. Annius was master of the palace for Alexander VI, and was, it is supposed, poisoned by Casar Borgia, whom he had offended. He died Nov. 13, 1502. — Hoefer, Biog. Genzrale, 2, 729; Landon, Eccl. Dict. s.v.

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