Ermolao Barbaro

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Ermolao Barbaro (14541493), Italian scholar, was born at Venice on the 21 May 1454. At an early age he was sent to Rome, where he studied under Pomponius Laetus. He completed his education at the university of Padua, where he was appointed professor of philosophy in 1477. Two years later he revisited Venice, but returned to Padua when the plague broke out in his native city.

He was sent on various missions to persons of high rank, amongst them Pope Innocent VIII, by whom he was nominated to the important office of patriarch of Aquileia (1491). The Venetian senate, however, refused to ratify the appointment, which, contrary to the law, he had accepted without first obtaining its sanction. He was banished and forced to resign the patriarchate, under the threat of being punished vicariously by the confiscation of his father’s property. Barbarus remained at Rome, in receipt of a small pension from the pontifical government, until his death (probably from the plague) on the 14 June 1493 (according to some, two years later).

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