"Paulus Jovis, the author of the Lives of illustrious Men, was befriended by Pope Leo X, and made a Bishop by Clement VIII, but because of his scandalous living was retired by Paul III. This work is his most important writing, done in excellent "law style". It consis...
"Paulus Jovis, the author of the Lives of illustrious Men, was befriended by Pope Leo X, and made a Bishop by Clement VIII, but because of his scandalous living was retired by Paul III. This work is his most important writing, done in excellent "law style". It consists of nearly two hundred biographical sketches. The contemporary characters selected as candidates for his early "Who's Who" were approached for financial contributions by Jovius almost in the guise of a blackmailer, for "no man ever asked for a present with less reserve than he did". One cardinal presented him with two houses; a villain, for whom Jovius invented a most noble and ancient lineage, gave him a princely gift. For Don Juan III of Portugal, at a price, Jovius added several additional victories. For these he used his "pen of gold", for other who refused his demands he used his "pen of iron". To Jovius, the historian of his age, we are indebted for much information regarding the personal lives of the great who lived in and molded that great half century from 1500 from 1550. In this book we have, in a number of instances, the only surviving portraits of some of these famous people. The finer of these portrait wood engravings are by Tobias Stimmer and Christopher Sichem. The family of Petri is famous in the annals of printing. Andrew, the father of Henri, was formerly associated with Froben, and a relative of Henri had printed a number of works for Luther. Henri himself was knighted by Emperor Rudolf II. Generally, the works of German printers of the late sixteenth century "are discouraging as typographical productions", but these of Petri, using the Roman or "antiqua" letter which condensed italics, give the pages a distinction about equal to that of Estienne in France and the Aldine works in Italy which are produced at the same time" (Ege, Otto F.)