Isidoro Chiari

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Isidoro Chiari, perhaps better known by his Latin name Isidorus Clarius and sometimes called Brixianus after the land of his birth, was one of the fathers of the Council of Trent[1] and a translator of the Bible.[2][3] Born Taddeo Cucchi in Chiari, Brescia in 1495, he took the name Isidorus Clarius at his profession as a Benedictine in 1517 at the abbey of Saint John in Parma. He made rapid progress in both sacred and secular literature and became known as one of the most learned men of his day. Esteemed as well for his purity, charity, and eloquence, he was appointed prior of the monastery of St Peter in Modena in 1537. He was the abbot of the Benedictine congregation of Abbey of Santa Giustina in Padua. In 1541 he published an edition of the New Testament in Latin which was followed one year later by the whole Bible.[4] Most notable is his revision following the Hebrew text of the Song of Songs with extensive commentary; it became the text for ten motets by Gioseffo Zarlino.[5] He was mitred by Pope Paul III and sent to the council, where he successfully argued for an honored place for the Latin Vulgate in accord with the tradition of the Church. The preface and notes of his own edition were condemned shortly after, although its text was approved. Following the council, he was ordained bishop of Foligno[6] on the recommendation of Reginald Pole.[7] There he gained a great reputation for his instruction of the poor and the promotion of literature through an academy which he founded. He died in 1555 where his remains were venerated by his people.

His efforts on behalf of the Bible and the Song of Songs were part of a larger spiritual movement among the Cassinese Congregations emphasizing the restoration of the Imago Dei in man as the primary significance of justification.[8] He and his edition of the Vulgate are mentioned by name in the preface of the King James Bible.


  1. ^ Is Abbot Isidore also among the prophets?: Protestant influences upon the annotated Bible of Isidore Clarius. R. G. Hobbs. Renaissance and Reformation, 1993, vol. 17, no1, pp. 53-71
  2. ^ Holy Bible Authorized Version, Preface
  3. ^ Illustrations of Biblical Literature, vol. II, Rev. James Townley, 1856
  4. ^ Available digital copy by the Austrian National Library at Google Books here.
  5. ^ Motets from 1549: Motets Based on the Song of Songs. Preface, Cristle Collins Judd, 2006.
  6. ^ Gasparo Contarini: Venice, Rome, and reform, Elisabeth G. Gleason, 1993. P. 265, footnote
  7. ^ Reginald Pole: prince and prophet, Thomas F. Mayer. 2000. p. 148.
  8. ^ Italian Benedictine Scholars and the Reformation: The Congregation of Santa Giustina of Padua. Barry Collet, 1985. p. 222