A student of the natural sciences, and an historian, b. at Verona, Northern Italy, 13 December, 1662; d. at Rome, 2 March, 1729. At first he devoted himself to the study of mathematics, physics, and astronomy ; later he also took a course in theology. In 1699 he was advanced to deaconship, but never became a priest. In 1684 he transferred his residence to Rome, where he found at once a protector in Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni, of whose library he became custodian. When the cardinal became Pope Alexander VIII (1689-91) he still extended his favours to Bianchini; after Alexander's death, his nephew, also Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni, lodged the scholar in his own palace. Bianchini received also many honours and commissions of trust from succeeding popes. In 1703 he was elected president of the society devoted to the study of historical antiquities; he was made secretary of the commission for the reform of the calendar and he was sent to Paris with the cardinal's hat destined for Rohan Soubise. During this journey he was received everywhere with consideration by the learned. The University of Oxford furnished the expenses of his sojourn in England. Benedict XIII (1724-30) appointed him historiographer of the synod held at the Lateran, Rome (1725). He was a member of many learned academies in Italy and elsewhere. He was distinguished for "a great purity of life and an exceeding modesty of mind ", as the canons of St. Mary Major expressed it in his epitaph. His chief works are: "Two Dissertations on the Calendar and the Cycle of Julius Caesar, and the Paschal Canon of St. Hippolytus" (Rome, 1703); "A Solution of the Paschal Problem" (Rome, 1703); one volume of "A Universal History" (Rome, 1697); an edition of the "Liber Pontoficalis" in four volumes, three of which were edited by himself (Rome, 1718-29), and the fourth by his nephew, Giuseppe Bianchini (Rome, 1735). Besides the text of the lives of the popes the work contains learned introduction, various readings of the manuscripts, copious notes by himself and others, and several documents relative to the history of the popes. It was republished in Migne, P.L., CXXVII-CXXVIII.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online