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Bio-Bibliographical Guide to Medieval and Early Modern Jurists

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Report No. t236

Joannes Hieronymus Albanus



Alternative Names

Giovan Gerolamo Albani (Albano)



Born to a noble family in Bergamo, J. was trained in humanistic studies, but pursued and obtained a doctorate in law at Padova, when he was only 20. He returned to Bergamo, married, and had children, but did not remarry when his wife died in 1539. Rather, he devoted himself to his writings, including De donatione Constantini Magni (first ed. 1535) (TUI 1584 t. 15.2) (an attempt to defend the authenticity of the Donation), De cardinalatu (first ed. 1541) (TUI 1584 t. 13.1), and De postestate papae et concilii (first ed. 1544) (TUI 1584 t. 13.2). 1553 saw the publication of two more works: De immunitate ecclesiarum (TUI 1584 t. 13.2) and Disputationes ac consilia.

In 1563, two of his sons commanded a group that assassinated the count Achille Brembati in the church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Venezia, an event in a long enmity between the Albani and the Brembati. J. was suspected of having been involved in the conspiracy that led to the assassination, and he was condemned to five years confinement on the island of Lesina. He wrote Latin poems reflecting on these events. In 1566, however, when his old friend and mentee, Michele Ghislieri, was elected Pope Pius V, the pope brought him to Rome and made him a cardinal in 1570. He remained an important member of the college of cardinals to the end of his life and was even considered as a candidate in the papal elections of 1585 and 1590, but failed to be elected probably both because of his advanced age and the violence that was continued by his grandsons.

In addition to the works mentioned above, J. published two volumes of Lucubrationes in Bartoli lecturas sive Commentana (Venezia in 1559 [vol. 1] and 1561 [vol. 2], and again in 1571 [both]).

Source: G. Cremaschi, in DBI (1 [1960]).

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