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Bio-Bibliographical Guide to Medieval and Early Modern Jurists

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Report No. t161

Alexander Carerius



Alternative Names

Alessandro Carriero (Cariero)



It is not completely certain that A. is the author of the only strictly legal work attributed to him: De sponsalibus (TUI 1584, t. 9), but he probably is. A. obtained a laureate in utroque at Padova, but he never practiced law nor, although was invited to, did he teach it. He was a priest, and engaged briefly in pastoral work. He was of a noble family and apparently did not lack for funds. He devoted most of his life to his writings. A. wrote about Dante, but his best known work is De potestate Romani Pontificis adversus impios politicos libri duo (Padova 1599). The work is extreme, even for its time. It espouses the direct power of the pope over secular affairs, contrary to the prevailing and developing view in Catholic circles that the power of the pope in such affairs is indirect. Cardinal Bellarmine attacked the work as heretical, and it was put on the index of prohibited books in 1600. A. withdrew from the controversy and devoted the rest of his life to writing a history of Padova. That work was never published, but pieces of it survive in manuscript.

Source: S. Oliveri Secchi, in DBI (v. 20, 1977).

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