Orientalist, exegete, and editor of the "Antwerp Polyglot", born at Frejenal de la Sierra in Estremadura, Spain, 1527; died at Seville, 1598. Passing through the schools of Seville, he studied theology and the Oriental languages at Alcalá, later gaining proficiency in the various European languages by means of extended travel. He became a clerical member of the Military Order of St. James, and accompanied the Bishop of Segovia to the Council of Trent (1562) where he won great distinction. On his return he retired to a hermitage at Aracena whence he was summoned by Philip II (1568) to supervise a new polyglot edition of the Bible , with the collaboration of many learned men. The work was issued from the Plantin press (1572, 8 volumes) under the title "Biblia sacra hebraice chaldaice, graece et latine, Philippi II regis catholici pietate et studio ad sacrosanctae Ecclesiae usum", several volumes being devoted to a scholarly apparatus biblicus . Arias was responsible for a large part of the actual matter, besides the general superintendence, and in obedience to the command of the king took the work to Rome for the approbation of Gregory XIII. Leon de Castro professor of Oriental languages at Salamanca, to whose translation of the Vulgate Arias had opposed the original Hebrew text, denounced Arias to the Roman, and later to the Spanish Inquisition for having altered the Biblical text, making too liberal use of the rabbinical writings, in disregard of the decree of the Council of Trent concerning the authenticity of the Vulgate, and confirming the Jews in their beliefs by his Chaldaic paraphrases. After several journeys to Rome Arias was freed of the charges (1580) and returned to his hermitage, refusing the episcopal honours offered him by the King. He accepted, however, the post of a royal chaplain, but was only induced to leave his retirement for the purpose of a superintending the Escorial library and of teaching Oriental languages. He led the life of an ascerlc, dividing his time between prayer and study. In addition to the works written in connection with polyglot, the most celebrated of which is "Antiquitatum judaicarum libri IX" (Leyden, 1593), Arias left many commentaries on various books of the Bible ; also: "Humanae salutis monumenta" (Antwerp, 1571); a Latin translation of the "Itinerary" of Benjamin of Tudela, and other works on widely varying subjects. He was also celebrated as a poet, his verses being chiefly of a religious nature.
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.
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