Vives, Juan Ludovico

Vives, Juan Ludovico a learned and liberal minded humanist of the 16th century, was born in March, 1492, at Valencia, in Spain, and educated at Paris and Louvain. He made himself acquainted with the ancient classics, and thereby came to understand the barrenness and tastelessness of the scholastic studies of his time so thoroughly that he became their open adversary, and assailed them in public lectures and in repeated publications, chief among the latter being his Liber in Pseudo Dialecticos. His zeal in this work gained for him the friendship of Thomas Miore, Buddeus, Erasmus, and other scholars of similar tendency. The publication of an edition of Augustine's De Cicifate Dei, dedicated to Henry VIII of England, led cardinal Wolsey to invite Vives to England; and as his independent notes appended to the work had involved him in disputes with the doctors of Louvain, he was glad to accept. His reception was magnificent. Oxford gave him a theological doctorate, and the king discussed scientific matters with him and appointed him the tutor in Latin and Greek of the princess Mary (the Catholic). The royal favor was, however, forfeited by Vives when he refused to sanction Henry's separation from his queen, Catharine of Aragon. He was thrown into prison and kept there more than six months. On his release, he fled to Bruges, in Flanders, and from thence addressed a letter to the king, in which he admonished him against the intended divorce, and pointed out the hurtful consequences to State and Church to which such a measure would lead (comp. Epist. ad Ien. VIIT, Angl. Regem, in Opp. Omnia, vol. 7).

The following years were spent by Vives at Bruges in undisturbed quietness engaged in literary occupations. The ripest fruit of his mind is the work De Disciplinis Lib. XX (Antwerp, 1551), a cyclopedic presentation of the sciences, which is characterized by a wide reading, frequent exercise of penetrating and sound judgment, and a wealth of thought, though the narrowness of his times is apparent and the language is often dry and hard. Of equal value is the last work upon which he was engaged, the De Veritate Fidei Christiana, in five books. His wife published this book, which contains many things not to be freely spoken in the Romish Church of later times; and which have occasioned the suppression of various paragraphs by later editors (comp. Henke, Allgem. Gesch. d. christl. Kirche. 4th ed. 1806, 3, 256). His independent spirit exposed him in life as well to the suspicion of being favorably disposed towards the Protestant doctrines. He died suddenly, May 6,1540. His complete works were published in two folio volumes at Basle in 1555. The best and most complete edition is that of archbishop Francis Fabian and Fuero, under the title, Jo. Ludov. Vices Palentini Opera Omnia a Gregorio Majansio (Valencia, 1782 sq. 8 vols. 4to). His published letters furnish important contributions to his biography. See, in addition, Antonius, Biblioth. Hisp. (Rome, 1672), 1, 553 sq.; Dupin, Biblioth. 14:99; Teissier, Eloges, 51, 266; Niceron, 23:12 sq.; Morhof, Polyhistor. passim.; Jocher. Allgem. Gelehrten-Lexikobn, 4:1661 sq.; Tenuemann, Gesch. d. Philosophie, 9:42 sq.; Ritter, Gesch. de christl. Philosophie, 5, 438 sq.; Wachler, Gesch. d. Literatur, 4:3; Schröckh, Christl. Kirchengesch seit d. Reformation, 1, 47 sq.; Herzog, Real-Encyklop. s.v.

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