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Sylvester Mazzolini

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(M OZOLINI, also P RIERIAS )

Theologian, b. at Priero, Piedmont, 1460; d. at Rome, 1523–sometimes confounded with Sylvester Ferrariensis (d. 1526). At the age of fifteen he entered the Order of St. Dominic. Passing brilliantly through a course of studies he taught theology at Bologna, Pavia (by invitation of the senate of Venice ), and in Rome, whither he was called by Julius II in 1511. In 1515 he was appointed Master of the Sacred Palace , filling that office until his death. His writings cover a vast range, including treatises on the planets, the power of the demons, history, homiletics, the works of St. Thomas Aquinas, the primacy of the popes. He is credited with being the first theologian who by his writings attacked publicly the subversive errors of Martin Luther. John Tetzel's productions against the arch-reformer are called by Echard scattered pages ( folia volitantia ), and Mazzolini stands forth as the first champion of Roman Pontiffs against Luther. The heresiarch replied to Mazzolini's arguments; the latter published rejoinders, and there was a regular controversy between the innovator and the defender of the ancient Faith. The necessity of promptness in attack and defence will account for defects of style in some of his writings. His principal works are: "De juridica et irrefragabili veritate Romanæ Ecclesiæ Romanique Pontificis" (Rome, 1520); "Epitoma responsionis ad Lutherum" (Perugia, 1519); "Errata et argumenta M. Lutheri" (Rome, 1520); "Summa Summarum, quæ Sylvestrina dicitur" (Rome, 1516), reprinted forty times; an alphabetical encyclopedia of theological questions; "Rosa aurea" (Bologna, 1510) an exposition of the Gospels of the year; "In theoricas planetarum" (Venice, 1513).

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