Scioppius, Kaspar

Scioppius, Kaspar, a noted German controversialist, was born at Neumark, in the Palatinate, May 27, 1576. He studied at Heidelberg, Altdorf, and Ingolstadt, and in 1597 visited Italy, Bohemia, Poland, and Holland. He had already become favorably known by his Latin verse and his notes upon different Latin authors. In 1598 he abjured Protestantism and became a Roman Catholic, in consequence of which the pope gave him the title of a knight of St. Peter, and soon afterwards made him Comes Apostolic us de Claravalle.

He also settled upon him a pension of 600 florins. Scioppiusi after becoming Roman Catholic, studied theology, and published some smaller works, partly to extenuate his own conduct, and partly to sustain the pope against the Protestants. Henceforth his career is a series of fierce onslaughts, chiefly against the Protestants, but also directed against all whom accident or malice led him to hate. The first person whom he selected was Joseph Scaliger, who had left the Romish Church and espoused Protestantism. In 1607 he launched against him his Scaliger Hypobolimoeus, in which he also attacks Henry IV of France. Sent in 1608 by the court of Rome to the Diet of Ratisbon for the purpose of observing the religious condition of Germany, he published in the same year more than twenty pamphlets against the Protestants, recommending the Catholic powers to exterminate them. At Venice, in the following year, he was imprisoned for a short time (three or four days) because of his endeavor to persuade Paolo Sarpi to come over to the pope's party, lie next visited Vienna, and the emperor, a devoted Catholic, gave him a favorable reception, made him councillor to his court, and raised him to the rank of count palatine. In 1611 he published two works, one called Ecclesiasticus Autoritati Ser. D. Jacobi, Magnoe Britannioe Regis, Oppositus," and the other, Collyrium Regium, Ser. D. Jacobo, Magnoe Britannioe Regi, etc., both being directed against James I of England, but the first also containing fresh attacks on Henry IV of France. Scioppius returned to Italy, but shortly (in 1613) went to Madrid, where he was dreadfully beaten by the servants of lord Digby, the English ambassador, in retaliation for the abuse of his sovereign. He fled to Ingolstadt, where he published his Legatus Latro against the ambassador. In 1617 he settled in Milan, Italy, where he resided for the next twelve years. Returning to Germany in 1630, he requested from the Diet of Regensburg a pension, which being refused through the influence of the Jesuits, he became a bitter enemy to the order. He first attacked them anonymously, but in 1634 openly, in a work called Astrologia Ecclesiastics. His life being endangered by these attacks, he retired to Padua, where he began to occupy himself with writing a commentary on the Apocalypse; but before he had completed this work he died, Nov. 19, 1649. Of Scoppius's works, the principal are, Poemata Varia (Heidelb. 1593): — Verisimilium Libri Quatuor, etc. (Norimb. 1596): Suspectoe Lectiones (ibid. 1597): —De Arte Critica (ibid. 1597): —Symbols Critica in Apuleii Opera (Augsb. 1605): —Observationes Linguoe Latinoe (Frankf. 1609): —De Rhetoricarura Exercitationum Generibus (Milan, 1628); and others.

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