Paolo Sarpi

1552-1623. Servite* theologian. He attended a school for nobility in Venice, coming under the Servite tutelage of Gian Maria Capella. At eighteen the bishop of Mantua made Sarpi a reader in canon law. After studying Greek, Hebrew, philosophy, law, natural science, and history, he was elected provincial of the Servite Order. While in Rome during 1580 and between 1585 and 1588 he met Bellarmine* and other influential men. Meanwhile in 1578 Sarpi took a doctorate at Padua and mingled in Venetian society. He was a close friend of French Protestants, many of whom he met in Venice. While yet in his twenties, he was accused by the Inquisition in Milan for denying that Genesis 1 taught the Trinity. In 1601 the papal nuncio reported his identity with the errors taught possibly by Morosini. The pope blamed Sarpi in 1606 for dissensions in Venice, using this as one excuse for the famous interdict of 1606. Sarpi prepared the Venetian defense for the Senate's formal reply; his defense of Venetian liberties stands behind his famous Istoria del Concilio Tridentino, a critical account of Trent's* attempt to reform Catholicism (ET 1619).