Nifo (Lat. Niphus), AUGUSTINUS, an Italian philosopher and commentator, was born about 1473 at Jopoli, in Calabria (although he signed himself Sessanus, as if a native of Sessa). He had scarcely commenced his studies when he was forced to flee from his paternal home to escape ill treatment. At Naples he met a citizen of Sessa, who took him to his home to be the preceptor of his children. In teaching his pupils Nifo instructed himself, and later he accompanied them to Padua, where he followed a philosophical course. He next returned to Sessa, but shortly after went to Naples, where he became professor of philosophy. His celebrity commenced with a treatise, De intellectuet demonibus, in which he maintained, following the sentiment of Averroes, that there is but one universal soul, one single intelligence, and that no other spiritual substances exist, with the exception of those who preside over the movement of the heavens. These doctrines, borrowed from a vague Neo-Platonism — the Alexandrine pantheism then prevalent — justly scandalized the theologians; but the bishop of Padua interposed, and Nifo was left to promise that he would correct his book. He afterwards proved his orthodoxy by writing against the philosophical treatise Pomponace. In 1513 Leo X called him as professor to the academy at Rome. Nifo was afterwards created Count Palatine, and received permission to bear the name and the arms of the house of the Medici. Several of his works indeed are signed Augustinus Niphus Medices. Notwithstanding these favors, he did not remain at Rome. He went to teach at Pisa, then at Bologne, and finally, in 1525, at Salerno, where he passed the remainder of his life. His death occurred about the middle of the 16th century. Niceron mentions forty-four of his works, which have scarcely any interest today; they consist largely of commentaries upon Aristotle and Averroes. The original treatises of Nifo have but little more importance than his commentaries; it will suffice to quote a few of them: De intellectu libri sex et de Daemonibus libri tres (Venice,: 1l3, 1527, fol.; the 1st ed. in 1492): — De immortalitate animce, adversus Petrum Pomponatium (ibid. 1518, 1524, fol.); in this work, undertaken by the order of Leo X, Nifo has proposed to demonstrate that, following the principles of Aristotle, the soul is immortal: — Opuscula moralia et politica. (Paris, 1645, 4to). See Paul Jove, Elogia, No. 92; Toppi, Bibliotheca Napoletana; Naude, Notice sur Nifo, Introduction to Opuscula moralia; Bayle, Dictionnaire, s.v.; Niceron, Memoires pour servir a l'histoire des hommes illustres, vol. 18; Tiraboschi, Storia delta Letteratura Italiana, vol. vii, pt. i, p. 340i Gin guene, Histoire litteraire d'Italie; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, 38:72; Ueberweg, Hist. of Philosophy, 2:13, 467.

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