Scaliger, Joseph Justus

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Scaliger, Joseph Justus

(skăl`ĭjər), 1540–1609, French classical scholar. He was the son of Julius Caesar Scaliger, from whom he acquired his early mastery of Latin. He adopted Protestantism in 1562, served as companion of a Poitevin noble (1563–70), studied under Cujas at Valence (1570–72), and was professor of philosophy at Geneva (1572–74). After 1593 he held a research professorship at Leiden. Renowned in his own day for his erudition, he was learned in mathematics, philosophy, and many languages, and he was a promoter of scientific methods for textual criticism and the study of the classics. His De emendatione temporum [on the correction of chronology] (1583) surveyed all the ways then known of measuring time, and placed the study of ancient calendars and dates on a scientific basis. He discovered and restored the content of the lost original of the second book of Eusebius' chronicle. The chronological foundation for the modern study of ancient history was summed up in his Thesaurus temporum [repertory of dates] (1606). A brief autobiography, extending to 1594, supplemented by a selection from his letters, was edited and translated by G. W. Robinson (1927).


See biography by J. Bernays (1885, repr. 1965).

Scaliger, Joseph Justus


Born Aug. 5, 1540, in Agen; died Jan. 21, 1609, in Leiden. French humanist of Italian descent.

Scaliger became a Calvinist in 1562 and took an active part in the Wars of Religion in France, fleeing to Geneva after the Massacre of St. Bartholomew. In 1593 he took up residence in Leiden, where he taught at the university. He won renown for his commentaries on Varro, Vergil, Cato, and other classical authors and for his studies in comparative linguistics. He laid the groundwork for a scientific chronology of classical antiquity with the treatise De emendatione temporum (1583) and developed a system to standardize chronology.


Bernays, J. J. J. Scaliger. Berlin, 1855.
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Also, in the beginning chapters, de Thou's relationships with friends such as Isaac Casaubon and Joseph Scaliger, two of the most intellectual figures of the day, reveal his place as a prominent statesman and man of letters.
He initially worked on the polymath Joseph Scaliger, whose De emendatione temporum laid the foundation, in 1583, for all subsequent discussion of the chronology of the ancient world.
The Chronology is closely associated with Joseph Scaliger, who renewed, after a lapse of 1300 years, Eusebius's work at the cross-cultural correlation of ancient chronologies and capped his own career by reconstructing Eusebius's work.
We have already mentioned John Greaves and Edward Bernard, but we could also mention Bedwell himself, and individuals of the prior generation, such as Guillaume Postel (1510-81) and his student Joseph Scaliger (1540-1609).
Miller traces in clear detail the cooperation and reciprocal respect between Rabbi Salomon Ayubi of Carpentras and Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc, a seventeenth-century associate of Galileo, Rubens, and Joseph Scaliger.
De Smet traces the later survival of this narrative type in satires by Nicolas Rigault, Daniel Heinsius, Joseph Scaliger, Gaspar Scioppius, and others.
Nearly a century later, in 1573, Joseph Scaliger, in the dedication of his commentary on the Priapea,(50) asked his friend Sebastien Senneton to protect him from certain hostile critics within what Gaisser calls "a harsher climate" produced by "the dry winds of religious orthodoxy and sexual prudery.
Complete editions appeared in Heidelberg in 1607 and 1617, the first with many corrections and additions, perhaps by Joseph Scaliger and possibly from a now lost autograph - making it the only edition besides that of 1561 useful to establish the text.
With this volume Anthony Grafton completes, after a decade's work, his intellectual biography of Joseph Scaliger.
Borrowing a move from the reader-response critics, Gaisser affirms that all readers interpret a text through the lenses of their own experiences, so that the Catullus of Marc-Antoine de Muret reflects the French poetic theory and Venetian philological polemics of his day, that of Achilles Statius reflects the Christian humanism of post-Tridentine Rome, and that of Joseph Scaliger reflects the austere Calvinism of its author (whose philological successes incidentally, turn out to be more the result of his prodigious natural ability than his much-vaunted method).
Key figures, such as Daniel Heinsius, Caspar Barlaeus, Gerardus Vossius, Joseph Scaliger, and most notably, Hugo Grotius, are mentioned, if at all, only if they wrote also in Dutch, were translated into Dutch, or had contact with other Dutch writers.