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Mario di Calasio

Friar Minor and lexicographer, b. at Calasio in the Kingdom of Naples about 1550; d. at Rome, February 1, 1620

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Calasio, MARIO DI, Friar Minor and lexicographer, b. at Calasio in the Kingdom of Naples about 1550; d. at Rome, February 1, 1620. Having entered the Franciscan Order, he devoted himself to the study of Hebrew with such success that the pope called him to Rome, where he taught Hebrew in the Franciscan convents of Ara Coeli and San Pietro in Montorio. Calasio enjoyed the special favor of Paul V who made him his confessor and bestowed upon him all the titles and privileges generally accorded to doctors of theology. When he was dying he caused the Passion to be read to him and expired while chanting the Psalms of David in Hebrew. Calasio’s reputation as a scholar in the Semitic languages rests mainly upon his “Concordantiae Sacrorum Bibliorum Hebraicorum” which was published at Rome in 1622, two years after his death. Another, though inferior, edition of the same work appeared at London. in 1747. Besides this work Calasio wrote a “Dictionarium Hebraicum” and “Cannes Generales linguae sanctae”.

STEPHEN M. DONOVAN


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