Julius Caesar Scaliger

(redirected from Julius Scaliger)

Scaliger, Julius Caesar,

1484–1558, Italian philologist and physician in France. Scaliger studied medicine and settled in France (1526), where he worked as a physician. A scholar of profound erudition, Scaliger was nevertheless contentious and arrogant and made many enemies, including Erasmus and Jerome Cardan. In his De causis linguae Latinae (1540), he analyzed Cicero's style, criticizing the earlier studies of his humanist predecessors. He wrote commentaries on the medical and botanical writings of Hippocrates, Theophrastus, and Aristotle and urged an improved classification of plants according to their unique characteristics. In his famous Poetics (1561, tr. 1905) he extolled Vergil and Seneca.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Scaliger, Julius Caesar


(pen name of Giulio Bordoni). Born Apr. 23, 1484, in Padua, Italy; died Oct. 21, 1558, in Agen, France. French philologist, critic, poet, and physician.

Scaliger studied theology, philosophy, medicine, and the Greek and Latin classics. In 1528 he settled in Agen under the name J.-C. de Lescalle. In 1531, Saliger, who wrote in Latin, issued a lampoon in letter form attacking Erasmus; as a rationalist, he was an opponent of a number of humanists. His most interesting work is Poetics (published 1561), which provides definitions of verse and dramatic genres and seeks to justify the principle of the three dramatic unities on the grounds that the unities correspond to the logic of theatrical presentation. The French classicists made Scaliger’s theories the basis for normative poetics.

Scaliger’s De causis linguae latinae (1540) was one of the first grammars in Europe to be based on new ideas and methods that broke with the centuries-long tradition of compilations from Donatus and Priscian. These ideas were further developed in the Port-Royal Grammar.


Poetices libri septem. Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt, 1964. (Facsimile reprint of the Lyon edition of 1561.)


Anikst, A. Teoriia dramy ot Aristotelia do Lessinga. Moscow, 1967.
Ferraro, R. M. Giudizi critici e criteri estelici nei Poetices libri septem (1561) di J. C. Scaligero. Chapel Hill, N.C, 1971.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Julius Scaliger in 1557 wrote that the 'leaves' of a tree growing by the side of a river in Ireland when they fall in the water become fishes, and when they fall on land become birds.(10) A bird that lives at sea and eats fish has a fishy and watery nature.