Cardinal, bishop of Carpentras, distinguished for his classical scholarship and his participation in the early Catholic Reformation; b. Modena, July 12, 1477; d.
Rome, Oct. 18, 1547. Although Giovanni Sadoleto expected his son to prepare for a career of public service in the regime of the Este in Ferrara, Jacopo went to Rome in 1498 to pursue classical studies in the household of Cardinal Oliviero Caraffa. There he was soon recognized as a minor poet, an accomplished Latinist, and a prominent figure in the Roman Academy. He was ordained in 1511. Leo X appointed him, with Pietro Bembo, to the Apostolic Secretariate in 1513. Three years later Sadoleto was invested with a diocese in the Comtat venaissin, where he lived as a devoted and often militant bishop in the interludes (1523–24, 1527–36, 1538–42, 1543–45) between assignments to the Curia. During his service to clement VII (1524–27), Sadoleto emerged as an exegete and ecclesiastical reformer. In 1527 Sadoleto left the Vatican for Carpentras and turned the next nine years to the greatest literary output of his career, producing both his most ambitious work as a humanist, the Neoplatonist De laudibus philosophiae (1538); and his most controversial work as a theologian, the neo-Pelagian In Pauli Epistolam ad Romanos Commentariorum libritres (1535). In 1535 he was recalled to Rome by Paul III to join Gasparo contarini's commission on reform and in December 1536 he was named cardinal. Although consistently unwilling to compromise with the Protestants on matters of dogma, Sadoleto vigorously argued for the reform of the Church—a profoundly sincere though sometimes quixotic agent of reunion and reconciliation. His overtures to Philip Melanchthon (1537) and Jakob Sturm (1538), like his letters "To the Princes and People of Germany"(1538) and "To the Council and People of Geneva"(1539), provoked bitter attacks in Catholic and Protestant circles alike. But Sadoleto continued to oppose the use of force in the suppression of heresy and remained a partisan of peace, the council, and internal reform to the end of his life, standing far closer to the position of Contarini and Reginald pole, than to that of Girolamo aleandro or Bartolomeo Guidiccioni.
Bibliography: Opera quae extant omnia, 4 v. (Verona 1737–38); Epistolae quotauot extant proprio nomine scriptae, ed. v. a. costanzi, 3 v. (Rome 1760–64); Lettere del Card. Jacopo Sadoletoe di suo nipote, ed. a. ronchini (Modena 1871); Epistolae Leonis X, Clementis VII, Pauli III, nomine scriptae, ed. v. a. costanzi (Rome 1759). a. joly, Étude sur Jacques Sadolet, 1477–1547 (Caen 1856). s. ritter, Un umanista teologo: Jacopo Sadoleto (Rome 1912). g. von schulthessrechberg, Der Kardinal Jacopo Sadoleto: Ein Beitrag zür Geschichte des Humanismus (Zurich 1909). g. mÜller, Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 7 v. (3d ed. Tübingen 1957–65)3 5:1278–79. r. m. douglas, Jacopo Sadoleto, 1477–1547: Humanist and Reformer (Cambridge, Mass. 1959), bibliog.
[r. m. douglas]