Orsi, Giuseppe Agostino

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Dominican theologian and cardinal; b. Florence, Italy, May 9,1692; d. Rome, Italy, June 12, 1761. He taught philosophy and theology first in the convent of San Marco, florence, where he was also prior, and then after 1732 at the Casanatense Library in Rome. In 1738 he was appointed secretary to the Congregation of the index; in 1749, master of the Sacred Palace; and in 1759, cardinal priest with the title of San Sisto. A man of wide learning and deep piety, he was a controversialist, theologian, and historian of high merit. His chief work is the Istoria ecclesiastica in 21 volumes (Rome 174962, the last volume, posthumously), which he wrote to counteract the obvious tendencies toward gallicanism in Claude fleury's Histoire ecclésiastique (Paris 16911723). His work goes only as far as the end of the seventh century, but it was continued to 1529 by Filippo Becchetti, OP, and republished several times. One of the best editions is that of Venice in 1822, which with its continuation runs to 42 volumes. Noteworthy among his other numerous works is the De irreformabili Romani pontificis in definiendis fidei controversiis iudicio (Rome 1739) in three volumes, written in defense of the papacy against Gallican theories.

Bibliography: g. g. bottari, who edited the posthumous ed. of v.21 of the Istoria, wrote a life of Orsi as an introd. to be found in all eds. of the work. a. fabroni, Vitae Italorum doctrina excellentium, 18 v. (Pisa 177899) 11:636. m. m. gorce, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant, 15 v. (Paris 190350; Tables générales 1951) 11.2:161219. g. moroni, Dizionario de erudizone storico-ecclesiastica, 103 v. in 53 (Venice 184061) 49:144145.

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