Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

(Often called Balbi, or de Balbis.)

Grammarian; born at Genoa, date unknown; died there about 1298. Of his early life and education nothing is known. He distributed his wealth among the poor of the city, and entered the Order of St. Dominic, apparently at a somewhat advanced age. His noted work, the "Summa Grammaticalis", more commonly known as the "Catholicon", has made his name widely celebrated. The work comprises treatises on orthography, etymology, grammar, prosody, rhetoric, and an etymological dictionary of the Latin language ( primae, mediae et infimae Latinitatis ). The great number of manuscripts in which the "Catholicon" still exists, and the numerous editions through which it passed during the first seventy-five years after the invention of printing, attest the wide acceptance accorded it and the popularity it long enjoyed. For more than a century it was highly esteemed as a textbook. It has been the subject at once of excessive criticism and excessive praise. Erasmus, the most conspicuous of its critics, speaks of it in caustic terms in his "De Ratione Studiorum" and "Colloquia". Leander Alberti ("Viri Illustres Ord. Praed." and "Discrittione di tutta Italia") defends it against the aspersions of the humanist. If we bear in mind the materials the author had at his disposal, the purpose of the work, and the needs of the time, it must be conceded that the "Catholicon" possessed considerable merit. That it met the demands of the age is attested by its popularity. The author by his own assertion refuted those who would have made him an adept in Greek. Besides the "Catholicon", he wrote "Liber Theologiae qui vocatur Dialogus de Quaestionibus Animae ad Spiritum" and "Quoddam opus ad inveniendum festa mobilia". A "Postilla super Joannem" and a "Tractatus de Omnipotentia Dei" are also attributed to John of Genoa.


More Encyclopedia

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 between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

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

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Daily Reading for Wednesday, June 1st, 2016 HD Video
  • Bl. Margaret Pole: Saint of the Day for Saturday, May 28, 2016
  • WARNING: Exorcist claims demon is targeting families
  • Daily Readings for Saturday, May 28, 2016
  • Advent Prayer HD Video
  • Your Daily Inspirational Meme: He will never leave you
  • Woman diagnosed with 'nightmare bacteria' in US

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Peter 4:7-13
7 The end of all things is near, so keep your minds calm and sober for ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 96:10, 11-12, 13
10 Say among the nations, 'Yahweh is king.' The world is set firm, it ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 11:11-26
11 He entered Jerusalem and went into the Temple; and when he had ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 27th, 2016 Image

St. Augustine of Canterbury
May 27: At the end of the sixth century anyone would have ... Read More