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Ballerini, Pietro and Girolamo


Patristic scholars and theologians; Pietro, b. Sept. 7, 1698, d. March 28, 1769; Girolamo, b. Jan. 29, 1702, d. Feb. 23, 1781. The brothers, sons of a surgeon, were born and educated in Verona. Pietro was ordained in 1722 and became the principal of a classical school in Verona. Several propositions in his book on usury were condemned by Benedict XIV in the bull Vix pervenit (1745). But together with Girolamo (ordained 1725), Pietro opposed the Jansenists (see jansenism), and the Febronian party, which questioned the administrative power of the pope. The Ballerinis' primary service to scholarship consisted in a close collaboration in editing ecclesiastical works, particularly the writings of several fathers of the Church. Between 1729 and 1732, they published four volumes of the historical and other writings of Cardinal Henry Noris, a Veronese compatriot. In quick succession, but with careful scholarship, they brought out S. Zenonis, Episcopi Veronensis, Sermones (with notes, 1739); S. Antonini, Archiepiscopi Florentini, Summa Theologica (with a life of the author, 4 parts, 174041); and Ratherii, Episcopi Veronensis, Opera (1765). At the request of Benedict XIV, they prepared a new edition of the works of St. Leo the Great to replace that of the Gallican-tainted Pasquier Quesnel (1675); theirs is still the standard edition (complete with notes, 3 v., Venice 175357; reprinted Patrologia Latina v. 5456). Pietro published a history of probabilism, Saggio della Storia del Probabilismo (Verona 1736); De vi et ratione Primatus Romanorum Pontificum (1766); and De Potestate Ecclesiastica Summorum Pontificum et Conciliorum Generalium (1765).

Bibliography: a. de meyer, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques 6:399401. w. telfer, "The Codex Verona LX (58) Note B," Harvard Theological Review 36 (1943) 23132. c. verschaffel, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique (Paris 190350) 2.1:13132.

[f. x. murphy]

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