Castalion, Castalio, or Castellio, Sebastian
Castalion, Castalio, Or Castellio, Sebastian, a Protestant writer of extraordinary talent, was born of poor parents in Dauphine in 1515. His family name was Châteillon, which he Latinized into Castalion. He applied himself early to the ancient languages, and became a great proficient in Greek and Hebrew. In 1540-1 Calvin invited him to Geneva, and had him appointed to a professor's chair. In a few years Castalio, having become obnoxious to Calvin on account of his opinions on predestination, left Geneva for Basle, where he employed himself in teaching and writing. He wrote Psalterium reliquaque sacrarum Literarum Carmina et Precationes (1547, with notes): — Jonas Propheta, heroico carmine Latino descriptus: — Dialogorum Sacrorum ad linguam et mores puerornumformandos, libri iv (translated into English by Bellamy under the title Youth's Scripture Remembrancer, or Select Sacred Stories by way of familiar Dialogues, Lat. and Eng., London, 1743). He also published a version in Latin verse of the Silbylline Books, with notes, and a Latin translation of the Dialogues of Bernardino Ochino. Before he left Geneva he had undertaken a complete Latin version of the Bible from the Hebrew and Greek, which he completed at Basle (Biblia Vet. et Nov. Test. ex versione Seb. Castalionis, Basil. 1551), and dedicated to Edward VI of England. He published a French version of the same in 1555. Castalio's versions were made the subject of much conflicting criticism. His Latin Bible went through several editions; that of Leipzig, 1697, contains also his Delineatio Reipublicae Judaicae ex Josepho; Defensio versionis Novi Fosderis contra Th. Bezam, and Nota prolixior in cap. ix Epistolae ad Romanos. He carried on an epistolary controversy with Calvin and Beza, who assailed him with many charges, and even urged the magistrates of Basle to drive him away. He passed his latter years at Basle in great poverty, and died Dec. 23, 1563, leaving his family in want. "In 1562 Castalio published Defensio suarum Translationum Bibliorum et maxime Novi Foederis. His Dialogi IV de Praedestinatione, Electione, Libero Arbitrio, ac Fide, were published in 1578 by Faustus Socinus. The book attacks Calvin's doctrines with great violence, as making God a tyrant, as tending to encourage vice, and to discourage all exertion toward virtue. Castalio has been abused both by Calvinists and Roman Catholics; Arminian critics have been more indulgent to him; He wrote a treatise to prove that magistrates have no right to punish heretics" (English Cyclopaedia). He was more a philologist than a theologian; he treated the Bible rather as a critic than as an interpreter. — Horne, Bibliog. Appenrdix, pt. 1, ch. 1, § 4; Haag, La France Protestante, 3:361; Hagenbach, Hist. of Doctrines, § 250; Bayle, Dictionary, s.v.; Wesley, Works, 7:571.