Page:EB1911 - Volume 24.djvu/236

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221
SAROS—SARPI

in Rassegna d'art, 1904, 69). The place is well known for its gingerbread (amaretti) and is also a manufacturing town. It is situated on one of the lines (Ferrovia Nord) from Milan to Como, and has branch lines to Seregno, Busto Arsizio and Varese.


SAROS, in Babylonian numeration, the number 3600, i.e. 60 times 60. In astronomy and chronology, a remarkable period of 18 years and 10 or 11 days, at the end of which every eclipse of the sun or moon recurs with little change as regards the time and the character of the eclipse. It is supposed to have afforded in ancient times the principal method of predicting eclipses (see Eclipse).


SARPEDŌN, in Greek legend, son of Zeus and Laodameia, Lycian prince and hero of the Trojan war. He fought on the side of the Trojans, and after greatly distinguishing himself by his bravery, was slain by Patroclus. A terrible struggle took place for the possession of his body, until Apollo rescued it from the Greeks, and by the command of Zeus washed and cleansed it, anointed it with ambrosia, and handed it over to Sleep and Death, by whom it was conveyed for burial to Lycia, where a sanctuary (Sarpedoneum) was erected in honour of the fallen hero. Virgil (Aen. i. 100) knows nothing of the removal of the body to Lycia. In later tradition, Sarpedon was the son of Zeus and Europa and the brother of Minos. Having been expelled from Crete by the latter, he and his comrades sailed for Asia, where he finally became king of Lycia. Euripides (Rhesus, 29) confuses the two Sarpedons.

See Homer, Iliad, v. 479, xii. 292, xvi. 419–683; Apollodorus iii. 1, 2; Appian, Bell. civ. iv. 78; Herodotus i. 173, with Rawlinson's notes.


SARPI, PAOLO (1552–1623), Venetian patriot, scholar and church reformer, was born at Venice, on the 14th of August 1552, and was the son of a small trader, who left him an orphan at an early age. Notwithstanding the opposition of his relatives, he entered the order of the Servi di Maria, a minor Augustinian congregation of Florentine origin, at the age of thirteen. He assumed the name of Paolo, by which, with the epithet Servila, he was always known to his contemporaries. In 1 570 he sustained no fewer than three hundred and eighteen theses at a disputation in Mantua, with such applause that the duke made him court theologian. Sarpi spent four years at Mantua, applying himself to mathematics and the Oriental languages. After leaving Mantua, he repaired to Milan, where he enjoyed the protection of Cardinal Borromeo, but was soon transferred by his superiors to Venice, as professor of philosophy at the Servite convent. In 1579 he was sent to Rome on business connected with the reform of his order, which occupied him several years, and brought him into intimate relations with three successive popes, as well as the grand inquisitor and other persons of influence. Having successfully terminated the affairs entrusted to him, he returned to Venice in 1588, and passed the next seventeen years in study, occasionally interrupted by the part he was compelled to take in the internal disputes of his community. In 1601 he was recommended by the Venetian senate for the small bishopric of Caorle, but the papal nuncio, who wished to obtain it for a protégé of his own, informed the pope that Sarpi denied the immortality of the soul, and had controverted the authority of Aristotle. An attempt to procure another small bishopric in the following year also failed, Clement VIII. professing to have taken umbrage at Sarpi's' extensive correspondence with learned heretics, but more probably determined to thwart the desires of the liberal rulers of Venice. The sense of injury, no doubt, contributed to exasperate Sarpi's feelings towards the court of Rome. For the time, however, he tranquilly pursued his studies, writing those notes on Vieta which establish his proficiency in mathematics, and a metaphysical treatise now lost, which, if Foscarini's account of it may be relied upon, anticipated the sensationalism of Locke. His anatomical pursuits probably date from a somewhat earlier period. They illustrate his versatility and thirst for knowledge, but are far from possessing the importance ascribed to them by his disciples. His claim to have anticipated Harvey's discovery rests on no better authority than a memorandum, probably copied from Caesalpinus or Harvey himself, with whom, as well as with Bacon and Gilbert, he maintained a correspondence. The only physiological discovery which can be safely attributed to him is that of the contractility of the iris. It must be remembered, however, that his treatises on scientific subjects are lost, and only known from imperfect abstracts.

Clement died in March 1605; and Paul V. assumed the tiara with the resolution to strain papal prerogative to the uttermost. At the same time Venice was adopting measures to restrict it still further. The right of the secular tribunals to take cognizance of the oEences of ecclesiastics had been asserted in two remarkable cases; and the scope of two ancient laws of the city of Venice, forbidding the foundation of churches or ecclesiastical congregations without the consent of the state, and the acquisition of property by priests or religious bodies, had been extended over the entire territory of the republic. In January 1606 the papal nuncio delivered a brief demanding the unconditional submission of the Venetians. The senate having promised protection to all ecclesiastics who should in this emergency aid the republic by their counsel, Sarpi presented a memoir, pointing out that the threatened censures might be met in two ways-de facto, by prohibiting their publication, and de jure, by an appeal to a

general council. The document was received with universal applause, and Sarpi was immediately made canonist and theological counsellor to the republic. When in the following April the last hopes of accommodation were dispelled by Paul's excommunication of the Venetians and his attempt to lay their dominions under an interdict, Sarpi entered with the utmost energy into the controversy. He prudently began by republishing the anti-papal opinions of the famous canonist Gerson. In an anonymous tract published shortly afterwards (Risposta di un Doltore in Teologia) he laid down principles which struck at the very root of the pope's authority in secular things. This book was promptly put upon the Index, and the republication of Gerson was attacked by Bellarmine with a severity which obliged Sarpi to reply in an A pologia. The Considerazioni sulle censure and the Trattato dell' inlerdello, the latter partly prepared under his direction by other theologians, speedily followed. Numerous other pamphlets appeared, inspired or controlled by Sarpi, who had received the further appointment of censor over all that should be written at Venice in defence of the republic. Never before in a religious controversy had the appeal been made so exclusively to reason and history; never before had an ecclesiastic of his eminence maintained the subjection of the clergy to the state, and disputed the pope's right to employ spiritual censures, except under restrictions which virtually abrogated it. Material arguments were no longer at the pope's disposal. The Venetian clergy, a few religious orders excepted, disregarded the interdict, and discharged their functions as usual. The Catholic powers refused to be drawn into the quarrel. At length (April 1607) a compromise was arranged through the mediation of the king of France, which, while salving over the pope's dignity, conceded the points at issue. The great victory, however, was not so much the defeat of the papal pretensions as the demonstration that interdicts and excommunications had lost their force. Even this was not wholly satisfactory to Sarpi, who longed for the toleration of Protestant worship in Venice, and had hoped for a separation from Rome and the establishment of a Venetian free church by which the decrees of the council of Trent would have been rejected, and in which the Bible would have been an open book. The republic rewarded her champion with the further distinction of state counsellor in jurisprudence, and, a unique mark of confidence, the liberty of access to the state archives. These honours exasperated his adversaries to the uttermost. On the 5th of October he was attacked by a band of assassins and left for dead, but the wounds were not mortal. The bravos found a refuge in the papal territories. Their chief", Poma, declared that he had been moved to attempt the murder by his zeal for religion, a degree of piety and self-sacrifice which seems incredible in a bankrupt oil-merchant. “ Agnosco stylum Curiae R0manae, ” Sarpi himself pleasantly said, when his surgeon commented upon the ragged and inartistic character of the wounds, and the justice of the observation is as