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THE PENNY CYCLOPÆDIA
THE SOCIETY FOR THE DIFFUSION OF
SIGO'NIO CA'ROLO was born at Modena, about the year 1520. He was a pupil of Franciscus Portus, who taught him Greek. He afterwards studied medicine and philosophy at Bologna, and he also visited the university of Pavia. In 1546 he was invited back to Modena to fill the chair of Greek literature, which had become vacant by the departure of Portus. In 1552 he accepted the chair of belles-lettres at Venice, where he became acquainted with Panvinio, who, like himself, was a diligent student of antiquity. His reputation having become widely spread by various works on classical antiquity, he had invitations both to Rome and Padua, at which latter place he accepted the Chair of eloquence in 1560. At Padua he again met with Robortello, with whom he had already had a dispute on the names of the Romans, and the disputes between these two scholars, being renewed, were carried to such a pitch that the senate of Venice found it prudent to silence the combatants. [ROBORTELLO.]
Sigonio left Padua in the year 1563 for a place in the university of Bologna, where he received a handsome salary, and was made a citizen. His reputation attracted numerous students to Bologna. Roman antiquity was his special subject, and his instruction was characterised both by comprehensiveness and accuracy. He also occupied himself with middle-age history, and with this object he visited the great libraries and collections of Italy. It was at the request of Pope Gregory XIII., in 1578, that he commenced the ecclesiastical history, of which his friend Panvinio had formed the plan. Sigonio having discovered some fragments of Cicero's treatise De Consolatione,' undertook to restore the work, which he completed and published as a genuine work of Cicero. The fraud was detected and exposed by Riccoboni, one of his pupils; but Sigonio, instead of confessing the fact, endeavoured to reply to the arguments of his opponent; and so well has he succeeded in imitating the expression and manner of Cicero, that the work 'De Consolatione' long passed for genuine, notwithstanding the criticism of Riccoboni; and Tiraboschi, who maintained this side of the question, was only convinced by seeing some unpublished letters of Sigonio, in which he acknowledges himself to be the author. Sigonio retired to the neighbourhood of Modena, where he died in 1584. His numerous writings were collected by Argellati, Milan, 1732-1737, in 6 vols. folio, to which is prefixed a Life by Muratori. All his works on matters of antiquity are also contained in the 'Thesaurus Antiquitatum Græcarum et Romanarum' of Graevius and Gronovius.
The following, which are among the principal works of Sigonio, will indicate the general character of his labours: 'Regum, Consulum, Dictatorum ac Censorum Romanorum Fasti, una cum Actis Triumphorum à Romulo rege usque ad Tiberium Cæsarem; in fastos et acta triumphorum explicationes,' Modena. 1550, fol.: there is also a second edition of this work, Venice, 1556; De Antiquo Jure Civium Romanorum Libri Duo; de Antiquo Jure Italiae Libri Tres; de Antiquo Jure Provinciarum Libri Tres,' Venice, P C., No. 1359.
1560, fol.; De Republica Atheniensium Libri Quinque; de Atheniensium et Lacedæmoniorum Temporibus Liber Unus,' Bologna, 1564, 4to.; De Judiciis Romanorum Libri Tres,' Bologna, 1574, 4to.; De Occidentali Imperio Libri xx., ab anno 281 ad 575,' Bologna, 1577, fol.; Historiae Ecclesiasticae Libri xiv. ;' this work comes down to the year 311, but it was the intention of the author to continue it to 1580.
Sigonio was one of the great scholars to whom we owe much of our knowledge of antiquity, and particularly of Roman history. His industry was unwearied, and his learning was sound and comprehensive. He wrote the Latin language with ease and correctness, and his style is simple and perspicuous. Modern scholars have often been more indebted to Sigonio than they have been willing to allow, and the results of his labours have been used by one person after another, and sometimes without making any discrimination between what is right and what is wrong. Heineccius was largely indebted to him, as will appear from examining his 'Syntagma.' If we consider what was done before his time, and what he accomplished towards the illustration of Roman antiquity, we shall find few scholars who have so well deserved a lasting reputation. It would require a minute investigation to ascertain how far some of the more recent views of the Roman polity have been suggested by the writings of Sigonio. His remarks on the Agrarian laws, though far from being marked by sufficient clearness and precision, are still worth reading. (De Antiquo Jure Italiae.)
SIGUENZA, a large town of the province of Guada laxara in Spain, situated on the declivity of a hill near the source of the river Henares, in 40° 58' N. lat. and 2° 57′ W. long. It is the see of a bishop, suffragan of Toledo, and has a university, which was founded in the year 1441. The town is badly built; the streets are narrow and crooked, but clean. Of the numerous ecclesiastical buildings which this town contains, the cathedral is the only one worthy of mention. It was built at the beginning of the fourteenth century, in the pure Gothic style; it contains one nave and three aisles, and measures 330 feet by 112. One of its chapels, that of Santa Catalina, is greatly admired for its large dimensions and the beautiful marble tombs which it contains. Siguenza is the antient Saguntia, mentioned by Pliny (iii. 4) as one of the six towns among the Arevaci in Hispania Tarraconensis. Livy (xxxiv., 19) calls it Seguntia; and in the 'Itinerary' of Antoninus it is mentioned as Segontia. Inscriptions bearing the latter name have been found in the neighbourhood. It was the seat of a contested battle between Pompey and Sertorius. In 1106 Alfonso VI., king of Leon and Castile, wrested it from the Moors, who had occupied it since the beginning of the eighth century. An antient castle which commands the town is the only remain of Mohammedan architecture. The population, according to Miñano (Diccionario Geográfico, &c.), was about 30,000 in 1832. The only trade of the place consists in coarse flannels, blankets, and hats, which are exported to Toledo and Guadalaxara. VOL. XXII.-B