Pagnini, Santes

views updated


Also known as Pagninus or Pagnino, philologist and biblical scholar; b. Lucca, Tuscany, Oct. 18, 1470; d. Lyons, France, Aug. 24, 1536. He entered the Dominican order on Feb. 16, 1487, at Fiesole (near Florence), where one of his early masters was Girolamo savonarola. Florence at that time was a center for Oriental studies, and Pagnini displayed a facility in this field. He was elected prior several times (e.g., at Pistoia 1502, Florence 1504, Lucca 1508) and gained a reputation for sanctity as well as for learning. Called to Rome by Leo X, he taught Oriental studies there until 1521. Adrian VI named him apostolic preacher and master of sacred theology. In 1524 he went to Lyons, where he fought successfully against the Waldensian and Lutheran heresies, and where appeared the most important of his several publications, the Veteris et Novi Testamenti nova translatio (1528), a Latin translation of the Bible from the original texts. The fruit of 25 years of labor, it was the first Latin translation of the Hebrew Bible since that of St. Jerome and the first Bible in which all the verses were numbered, chapter by chapter, a notation still in use in modern Bibles. Whatever the translation's defects, all admit its faithfulness in rendering the original idiom, and many concede that it influenced the English versions of the OT through the use made of it by the early Protestants.

Bibliography: j. d. gauthier, "Santes Pagninus, O.P.," The Catholic Biblical Quarterly 7 (1945) 175190. Dictionnaire de la Bible, ed. f. vigouroux, 5 v. (Paris 18951912) 4.2:194950.

[a. smith]