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BALBUENA


217


BALDACHINUM


ctlebres (Madrid, 1S30), II: Diccionario de Historic y Geografia (Mexico. 1853). I; Mendiburu, Diccionario Hiatorico (Lima, 1876), II; Herreba, Hisloria General (2d ed., Madrid 1726-30); Prfscott, History of the Conquest of Pent; Robert- son, History of America.

Ad. F. Baxdeuer.

Balbuena, Berx.U!do de, a Spanish poet, b. in Val de Penas, 1568; d. in Porto Rico, 1627. At a very early age he was taken by his parents to Mexico, where he received his education. Later he spent twelve years in Jamaica, and then passed the re- mainder of his days as Bishop of Porto Rico, to which see he was appointed in 1620. He published "La Grandeza Mejicana" in 1604, and in 160S, in Madrid, "Siglo de Oro en las Selvas de Eriphile", a very learned pastoral romance abounding in beautiful poetic passages. The book, howe\'er, contained no description of the scenerj' or manners of the Xew World and nothing connected ^ith the historj' of the times. Possibly for tliis reason it was not in great demand among Balbviena's contemporaries. But in 1821 it had the honour of being republished by the Spanish Academy. Another work "El Bernardo 6 Victoria de Roncesvalles" was publLshed in Madrid in 1624 (new edition, 1808). It is an epic poem on the subject of Spain's resistance to the invasion of Charlemagne.

Vextura Fuextes.

Balbns, Hierontmus (Accellixi), humanist, poet, diplomatist, and Bishop of Gurk in Carinthia, b. about 1450 at Venice; d. there, probably 1535. He was a pupil of Pomponius Ljetus, the founder of the Roman Academy. As a young man, by his manner and bearing alike, Balbus gave great offence; he was of a quarrelsome disposition, and, for a time, led a very loose life. But in later years he was highly respected and came to be regarded as one of the most accomplished men of his day. In 1485 he was pro- fessor at the L'niversity of Paris. His overbearing manner here soon brought him into conflict with various scholars, and in consequence of the attack which these men made on his character, he was obliged to leave Paris in 1491. A few years later (1494), at the invitation of Emperor Maximilian I, he went to the LTniversity of Vienna, where he lec- tured on poetry, the Roman classics, and jurispru- dence. He was again in Paris, for a short period, in 1495, and visited London in 1496, but resumed his professorship at Vienna in 1497. Here he became a member of the Danube Society, and lived on terms of intimate friendship with its learned founder, Conrad Celtes the Hmnanist, at that time professor and librarian at the University of Vienna. In little less than a year, renewed contentions with his col- leagues forced him to quit Vienna. Balbus next went to Prague (1498), where he accepted a pro- fessorship which had been obtained for him by his Viennese friends. But his irregular conduct, scandal- ous writings, and disputatious temper soon drove him from the city. On leaving Prague he withdrew to Hungary (FUnfkirchen), and remained in retire- ment for a period of fifteen years, during which time he changed his manner of life completely, and even took orders. His subsequent career as an eccle- siastic was one of considerable distinction. He became provost of the Cathedral Chapter at Waizen, 1515, later also of that at Pressburg, and, for some years, held an important position at the Court of Hungary, where he was tutor of the royal princes, and private secretary to the king, Ladislaus VI.

In 1521 Balbus appeared at the Diet of Worms as the ambassador of Louis II of Hungary, and at- tracted considerable attention by an eloquent dis- course in which he protested against the innovations of Luther, and urged upon the assembled princes the necessity of a joint undertaking again.st the Turks. Shortly afterwards he was in the service of Arch-


duke Ferdinand of Austria, who, in 1522, designated him Bishop of Gurk, and sent him to Rome on a congratulatory embassy to the newly elected pontiff, Adrian VI. It was a part of his mission also to in- duce the pope to proclaim a crusade against the Turk. The address which he made on being received by the pope in a public audience, 9 Februarj', 1523, abounded in extravagant rhetoric, but in humanistic circles it was considered a marvel of elot|uence. Balbus remained in Rome for some time, and was there consecrated Bishop of Gurk, 25 March, 1523. As a bishop, he enacted many wholesome and timely ordinances, and had the preservation of church discipline sincerely at heart, but he was frequently absent from his diocese. From one of his letters we learn that in the time of Clement VII he lived at Rome for some years in the papal palace and was much in the confidence of that pontiff. In 1530, though quite an old man, he accompanied Charles V to Bologna to attend the emperor's coronation. At Bologna he wrote his best known work, "De corona- tione principum", which, on account of the views it contains on the relation of Church and State, was placed on the Index, 23 July, 1611. Balbus was the author of many other works. Of these, the poetical, oratorical, and politico-moral ^\Titings were edited by Jo-seph von Retzer (Vienna, 1791-92, 2 vols.). His poems, in part coarse and indelicate, are of no particular merit.

Vox Retzer. Xachrichten von dem Leben und den Schriften des ehemaligen Bi^chofs von Gurk Hieroni/nius Balbi (Vienna, 1790); .A^LLEN in English Hist. lieriew. XVII. 417; Pastor. Kirchenlex.. s. v.; Idem. Gesch. der Papste (1907), IV, 730, 732; AscHBACH, Gesch. der Vnir. Wien (1877). II, 161 sqq.; HoFLER. Papst Adrian VI (Vienna. 1880>. 370 sqq.; Bacch, Die Rezeption des Humanismus in Wicn (1903), 40 sqq.

Thomas Oe.streich.

Baldachinum of the Altar, a dome-like canopy in wood, stone, or metal, erected over the high altar of larger churches, generally supported on four columns, though sometimes suspended by chains from the roof. Other forms will be noted in tracing the cause of its history. The name is late medieval, baldacchino, from Baldocco, Italian form of Bagdad whence came the precious cloths of which in their later development these canopies were made. It was called earlier ciborium, from the Greek (ci/Siipioy (the globular seed-pod of the lotus, used as a drinking- cup) because of the similarity of its dome top to an inverted cup. The early history of the baldachinum is obscure, but it probably originated in the de- sire to give to the primitive altar table a more dig- nified and beautiful architectural setting. The arcosoUum altars of the catacombs perhaps fore- shadow this tendency. With the construction or adaptation of the larger church edifices of the fourth century, the baldachinum became their architec- tural centre, emphasizing the importance of the sacrificial table as the centre of Christian worship. Thus, while the altar retained its primitive simplicity of form and proportions, the baldachinum gave it the architectural importance which its surroundings demanded. By its dais-like effect, it designated the altar as a throne of honour. It served also the prac- tical purpose of supporting, between its columns, the altar-curtains, while from its roof were sus- pended lamps, vases, riclily ornamented crowns, and other altar decorations. The summit was sur- mounted by the altar-cross. The earliest reference to the baldachinum is foimd in the "Liber Pon- tificalis" (ed. Duchesne, I, 172, 191, 233, 235) which described the Fa.stidiuni argenteuvi given by Con- stantine to the Lateran basilica during the pontifi- cate of Sylvester I (314-335) and replaced, after the ravages of Alaric's Gothic hordes, by another erected during the pontificate of Sixtus III (432-440). The oldest representation in art is the early sixtn-century mosaic in the church of St. George in Thessalo-