Renaissance engraving of Pope Simplicio Cavalieri 1587

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Page 49 from the book 'Le Vite de' pontefici, di Antonio Ciccarelli,... con l'effigie di Giovan Battista de Cavallieri' (Lives of the Popes by Antonio Ciccarelli ..with engravings by Cavalieri), printed in 1587.

Text on back is associated with engraving of next Pope in book.


21.5 x 15.5 cm

Folded upper right corner, waterstained back and front, chipping along left border. 


Giovanni Battista de'Cavalieri (1526–1597), an Italian engraver, was born at Lagherino and died at Rome. His style of engraving resembles that of Aeneas Vico. Many of his plates are copies after the great Italian masters; they are etched, and finished with the graver. He was very laborious, and his plates number nearly 380. The following are those most worthy of notice.

  • The Frontispiece, and Heads of the Popes, for the Vite de' Pontifici.

Pope Simplicius (died 10 March 483) was pope from 468 to his death in 483. He was born in Tivoli, Italy, the son of a citizen named Castinus. Most of what is known of him is derived from the Liber Pontificalis.

Simplicius defended the action of the Council of Chalcedon against the Eutychian heresy, labored to help the people of Italy against the marauding raids of barbarian invaders, and saw the Heruli mercenaries revolt and proclaim Odoacer king of Italy in 476, having deposed Romulus Augustulus, the last Western Roman Emperor. Odoacer made few changes in the administration in Rome, firmly in the hands of its bishop, St. Simplicius. He worked to maintain the authority of Rome in the West.

Simplicius is credited with the construction of a church named in memory of the virgin and martyr St. Bibiana. St. Simplicius's feast day is celebrated on 10 March, the day of his death.

Source: Wikipedia