Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/112

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ACADEMIES
ACADEMIES
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name. Its principal members were humanists, and nearly all of them were known for their irreligious and epicurean lives, e.g. Bartolomeo Platina and Filippo Buonaccorsi. Moreover, in their audacity, these neo-Pagans compromised themselves politically, at a time when Rome was full of conspiracies fomented by the Roman barons and the neighbouring princes. Paul II (1464–71) caused Pomponio and the leaders of the Academy to be arrested on charges of irreligion, immorality, and conspiracy against the Pope. The prisoners begged so earnestly for mercy, and with such protestations of repentance, that they were pardoned. The Academy, however, collapsed (Pastor, History of the Popes, II, ii, 2). The sixteenth century saw at Rome a great increase of literary and æsthetic academies, more or less inspired by the Renaissance, all of which assumed, as was the fashion, odd and fantastic names. We learn from various sources the names of many such institutes; as a rule, they soon perished and left no trace. At the beginning of the sixteenth century came the "Accademia degl' Intronati", for the encouragement of theatrical representations. There were also the Academy of the "Vignaiuoli", or "Vinegrowers" (1530), and the Academy "della Virtù" (1538), founded by Claudio Tolomei under the patronage of Cardinal Ippolito de' Medici. These were followed by a new Academy in the "Orti" or Farnese gardens. There were also the Academies of the "Intrepidi" (1560), the "Animosi" (1576), and the "Illuminati" (1598); this last, founded by the Marchesa Isabella Aldobrandini Pallavicino. Towards the middle of the sixteenth century there were also the Academy of the "Notti Vaticane", or "Vatican Nights", founded by St. Charles Borromeo; an "Accademia di Diritto civile e canonico", and another of the university scholars and students of philosophy (Accademia Eustachiana). In the seventeenth century we meet with similar academies; the "Umoristi" (1611), the "Fantastici (1625), and the "Ordinati", founded by Cardinal Dati and Giulio Strozzi. About 1700 were founded the academies of the "Infecondi", the "Occulti", the "Deboli", the "Aborigini", the "Immobili", the "Accademia Esquilina", and others. As a rule these academies, all very much alike, were merely circles of friends or clients gathered around a learned man or wealthy patron, and were dedicated to literary pastimes rather than methodical study. They fitted in, nevertheless, with the general situation and were in their own way one element of the historical development. Despite their empirical and fugitive character, they helped to keep up the general esteem for literary and other studies. Cardinals, prelates, and the clergy in general were most favourable to this movement, and assisted it by patronage and collaboration.

With the seventeenth century, and while the Roman Academy, in its older form, still survived, there began a new epoch. The Academy was constituted as a public body, i.e. it was no longer confined to a small circle of friends. It set itself a fixed and permanent scope in the field of science, letters, and arts, often of a polemic or apologetic character. Naturally this higher definitive form of the new or remodelled Roman academies was closely allied with the general academic movement of Italy and of foreign countries, whose typical instance was the French Academy founded by Richelieu. It was then that academies became practical and efficacious instruments of culture, with a direct influence on public opinion; in this way, too, they claimed the special attention of the heads of the State. This was especially the case at Rome, where the papacy kept up its traditional patronage of the most varied ecclesiastical and general scholarship. In this period the first Roman academies that call for mention are the "Accademia dei Lincei" (Lynxes), founded in 1603, and the "Arcadia", founded in 1656. Ecclesiastical academies, whose scope was fixed by the counter-Reformation, were the "Accademia Liturgica", founded by Benedict XIV, and the "Accademia Theologica", founded in 1695. All of these are still extant; we shall treat of them in detail farther on. After the French Revolution and the restoration to Rome of the papal government, the new conditions suggested the adoption of the "Academy" as a link between the old and the new, and as a means of invigorating ecclesiastical culture and of promoting the defence of the Church. In this way there sprang up new academies, while old ones were revived. Under Pius VII (1800–23) were founded the "Accademia di Religione Cattolica", and the "Accademia Tiberina"; in 1835 that of the "Immacolata Concezione". The "Accademia Liturgica" was re-established in 1840, and in 1847 the "Accademia dei (Nuovi) Lincei". Apart from this group we have to chronicle the appearance in 1821 of the "Accademia Filarmonica". After the Italian occupation of Rome (1870), new Catholic academies were founded to encourage learning and apologetics; such were the "Accademia di Conferenze Storico-Giuridiche" and the "Accademia di San Tommaso", founded by Leo XIII, to which must be added, though not called an Academy, the "Società di Conferenze di Archeologia Sacra", founded in 1875. In 1870 the Italian government resuscitated, or better, founded anew, the "Accademia dei Lincei", and in 1875 the "Accademia Medica". We shall now deal in closer detail with these various academies.

Accademia dei Lincei and dei Nuovi Lincei (1603).—The Roman prince, Federigo Cesi (1585–1630), a distinguished scholar and patron of letters, assembled in his palace (in which he had a magnificent library, a botanical garden, and a museum of antiquities) a number of scholarly persons, and with them founded (17 August, 1603) the "Accademia dei Lincei", so called because they took for their emblem the lynx, as denoting the keenness of their study of nature. According to the usage of the time, the Academy, though dedicated to physical, mathematical, and philosophical studies, made way also for literary pursuits. This intellectual circle was worthy of high praise, for it promoted the physico-mathematical studies, then little cultivated, and offset the prevalent tendency to purely literary studies. In the end it devoted itself particularly to the study of the exact sciences, of which it became the chief academic centre in Italy. It was not until 1657 that its Tuscan rival arose in the ducal "Accademia del Cimento". The Cesi library, to which was added that of Virginio Cesarini, became a powerful aid to scientific labours. Several of the academicians, during the lifetime and under the patronage of Cesi, prepared for publication the great unedited work of Francesco Hernandez on the natural history of Mexico (Rome, 1651). An abridgment of it in ten books by Nardo Antonio Recchi was never published. They contributed also to the issue of the posthumous botanical work of the prince "Tavole Filosofiche". Other colleagues of Cesi, in the foundation of the Academy, were Fabio Colonna, the author of "Fitobasano" (a history of rare plants), and of other scientific works, and Francesco Stelluti, procurator-general of the Academy in 1612, author of the treatise on "Legno Fossile Minerale" (Rome, 1635) and also of some literary works. The Academy gained great renown through its famous Italian members, such as Galileo Galilei, and through such foreign members as Johann Faber of Bamberg, Marcus Velser of Augsburg, and many others. After the death of Prince Cesi, the Academy met in the house of its new and distinguished president, Cassiano dal Pozzo. But notwithstanding all his ef-