Balbi, Giovanni

Balbi, Giovanni (called De Janua, or Jannensis, from his birthplace), was a Genoese monk of the Order of Brother Preachers, and lived near the close of the 13th century. He must not be confonndedwith another Genoese, his contemporary, of the Dominican Order that is to say, with James (Giacomo), called De Voragine, the author of the Golden Legend. Balbi composed, about 1286, a kind of universal dictionary or encyclopsdia, which treated of theology, natural history, orthography, prosody, etymology, jurisprudence, etc. This was entitled the Catholicon. Schoffer and Johamnn Faust published this in 1450, and it was several times republished. The author also wiote Dialogus de Quaestionibus Animoe ad Spiritutm, and Opus Paschale: the latter work he prepared after having entered the Dominican Order. See Hoefer, Nouvelle Biog. Generale, s.v.

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