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JACOPO SADOLETO (1477-1547)

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Originally appearing in Volume V23, Page 994 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JACOPO SADOLETO (1477-1547), Italian humanist and churchman, was born at Modena in 1477, and, being the son of a noted jurist, was designed for the same profession. He gave himself, therefore, to humanistic studies and acquired reputation as a Latin poet, his best-known piece being one on the group of Laocoon. Passing to Rome, he obtained the patronage of Cardinal Carafa and adopted the ecclesiastical career. Leo X. chose him as his secretary along with Pietro Bembo, and in 1517 made him bishop of Carpentras. Sadoleto had a remarkable talent for affairs and approved himself a faithful servant of the papacy in many difficult negotiations under successive popes, especially as a peacemaker; but he was no bigoted advocate of papal authority, and the great aim of his life was to win back the Protestants by peaceful persuasion—he would never countenance persecution—and by putting Catholic doctrine in a conciliatory form. Indeed his chief work, a Commentary on Romans, though meant as a prophylactic against the new doctrines, gave great offence at Rome and Paris. Sadoleto was a diligent and devoted bishop and left his diocese with reluctance even after he was made cardinal (1536). His piety and tolerant spirit, combined with his reputation for scholarship and eloquence and his diplomatic abilities, give him a unique place among the churchmen of his time. He died in 1547• His collected works appeared at Mainz in 1607, and include, besides his theologico-irenical pieces, a collection of Epistles, a treatise on education (first published in 1533), and the Phaedrus, a defence of philosophy, written in 1538. The best collection is that published at Verona (1737–1738) ; it includes the life by Fiordibello. See also Pericaud, Fragments biographiques sur Jacob Sadolet (Lyons, 1849) ; Joty, Etude sur Sadolet (Caen, 1857) ; Balan, Monumenta, vol. i. (Innsbruck, 1885) ; Rochini's edition of the letters (Modena, 1872).
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