Pagnini, Santes°

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PAGNINI, SANTES ° (Xanthus Pagninus ; 1470–1536), Italian Hebraist and Bible scholar. Born in Lucca, Pagnini entered the Dominican order in 1487 and, under the direction of Savonarola, later studied Hebrew, his teacher being the Spanish convert Clement Abraham. Pagnini became one of the foremost Hebraists of the age and, at the request of Pope Leo x, taught in Rome for many years before settling in Lyons, where from 1524 until death he combated French heterodoxy. His greatest achievement was his Utriusque instrumenti nova translatio (Lyons, 1528), of which the Old Testament portion was the first since Jerome to be based directly on the original Hebrew. This Bible, the prefaces to which include two letters from Giovanni Pico della *Mirandola, reputedly took 25 years to prepare; and its notation of the biblical text according to chapter and verse has been retained until the present day. Pagnini's Latin translation inspired the Italian Bible of the Florentine reformer Antonio Brucioli (Venice, 1532) and the later Italian Protestant Bible of Geneva (1562).

Other works by Pagnini were Institutionum hebraicarum abbreviatio (Lyons, 1528; Paris, 1556); the authoritative and pioneering Thesaurus linguae sanctae sire Lexicon hebraicum (Lyons, 1529); and Isagogae ad sacras literas, liber unicus. Ejusdem isagogae ad mysticos Sacrae Scripturae sensus, libri decem et octo (Lyons, 1536). He also wrote a commentary on the Psalms. Pagnini's Bible and Hebrew grammar were widely consulted in the 16th century.


C. Roth, Jews in the Renaissance (1959), 146f.; F. Secret, Les Kabbalistes chrétiens de la Renaissance (1964), index; New Catholic Encyclopedia, 10 (1967), 862.

[Godfrey Edmund Silverman]