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3 vols. 4to, reprinted in 1787, in 6 vols. 8vo, to which is prefixed “Some account of his life, and anecdotes of several of his friends, written by bimself,” a narrative which well deserves to be printed separately, as containing much ecclesiastical and political information, and many striking traits of character. The contents of the volumes are: 1. “ Dissertations on the Prophecies,” the only part of his works which has since' been reprinted separately ; “Thirty dissertations, chiefly on some parts of the Old Testament;' “Nine occasional Sermons;" * Five Charges ;” and “Sixty dissertations, chiefly on some parts of the New Testament." These dissertations, although they can never obtain the popularity of his work on the prophecies, contain many ingenious and acute remarks, but in a few of them his opin: nions are not strictly in unison with those of the church, as be seems inclined to the doctrine of universal redemption, and in endeavouring to maintain this, perplexes himself, as others have done, on the awful subject of the decrees of God.
NICAISE (CLAude), a celebrated French antiquary in the seventeenth century, was descended of a good family at Dijon, where his brother was proctor-general of the chamber of accounts, and born in 1623. Being inclined to the church, he became an ecclesiastic, and was made a canon in the holy chapel at Dijon; but devoted himself wholly to the study and knowledge of antique monuments. Having laid a proper foundation of learning at home, he resigned his canonry, and went to Rome, where he resided many years; and, after bis return to France, he held a correspondence with almost all the learned men in Europe. Perhaps there never was a man of letters, who had so frequent and extensive a commerce with the learned men of his time as the abbé Nicaise, nor with men of high rank, The cardinals Barbarigo and Noris, and pope Clement XI. were among his regular correspondents. This learned in. tercourse took up a great part of his time, and hindered him from enriching the public with any large works; but the letters which he wrote himself, and those which he re. ceived from others, would make a valuable “ Coinmercium Epistolicum." The few pieces which he published are, a Latin dissertation “ De Nummo Pantheo," dedicated to Mr. Spanheim, and printed at Lyons in 1689. The same
Life prefixed to his Works.
year he published an explication of an antique monument found at Guienne, in the diocese of Aach; but the piece which made the greatest noise was “ Les Sirenes, ou discours sur leur forme et figure,” Paris, 1691, 4to ; “ A discourse upon the form and figure of the Syrens,” in which, following the opinion of Huet, bishop of Auvranches, he undertook to prove, that they were, in reality, birds, and not fishes, or sea-monsters. He translated into French, from the Italian, a piece of Bellori, containing a description of the pictures in the Vatican, to which he added, “ A Dissertation upon the Schools of Athens and Parnassus,” two of Raphael's pictures. He wrote also a few letters in the literary journals, and a small tract upon the ancient music; and died while he was labouring to present the public with the explanation of that antique inscription which begins "Mercurio et Minerva Arneliæ, &c." which was found in the village of Villy, where he died in Oct. 1701, aged 78."
NICANDER of Colophon, a celebrated grammarian, poet, and physician, Aourished in the 160th olympiad, about 140 B. Č. in the reign of Attalus; or, according to some, in the time of Ptolemy Philadelphus. Suidas tells us, that he was the son of Xenophon of Colophon, a town in Ionia ; and observes, that, according to others, he was a native of Ætolia ; but, if we may believe Nicander himself, he was born in the neighbourhood of the temple of Apollo, at Claros, a little town iu Ionia, near Colophon; yet the name of his father was Dampbæus *. He was called an Ætolian, only because he lived many years in that country, and wrote a history of it. A great number of writings are ascribed to him, of which we have remaining only two: one entitled “Theriaca ;" describing, in versë, the accidents which attend wounds made by venomous beasts, with the proper remedies; the other, “ Alexi. pharmaca ;' in which he treats of poison's and their antidotes, or counter-poisons + : these are both excellent poems. Demetrius Phalereus, Theon, Plutarch, and Di. philus of Laodicea, wrote commentaries upon the first; and we have still extant very learned Greek “ Scholia" upon both, the author of which is not known; though Vossius imagines they were made by Diphilus just mentioned. He wrote also “ Ophiaca," upon serpents; “ Hyacinthia," a collection of remedies, and a commentary upon the “Prognostics of Hippocrates” in verse, The Scholiast of Nicander cites the two first of these, and Suidas mentions two others. Athenæus also cites, in several places, some poetical works of our author upon agriculture, called his 6. Georgics,” which were known likewise to Curio. Besides these he composed five books of “Metamorphoses," some verses of which are copied by Tzetzes, and the “Metamorphoses" of Antonius Liberalis were apparently taken from those of Nicander. He composed also several histo rical works, among which “ The History of Colophon,” his birth-place, is cited by Athenæus ; we are told likewise of his bistory of Ætolia, Bæotia, and Thebes, and of “ A History and description of Europe in general." He was undoubtedly an author of merit, and deserves those eulogiums which are given of him in some epigrams in the “ Anthologia.” This Nicander has been confounded with Nicander the grammarian of Thyatira, by Stephanus Byzantius ; and Vossius, in giving the titles of the books written by both these Nicanders, does not distinguish them very clearly. Merian, in his essay on the influence of the sciences on poetry (in the Memoirs of the royal academy of Berlin for 1776), mentions Nicander to show the antipathy that there is between the language of poetry and the subjects which he treated. He considers Nicander as a therapeutic bard, who versified for the apothecaries, a grinder of anecdotes, who sung of scorpions, toads, and spiders. The “ Theriaca” and “ Alexipbarınaca” are inserted in the Corp. Poet. Græc. Of separate editions, the best is that of Aldus, 1522; of the “ Theriaca," that of Bandini, 1764, 8vo, and of the “ Alexipharmaca,” that of Schneider, 1792, 8vo.
* The passage is in the beginning + Among these he mentions only of one of his poems, where he says, two that were extracted from minerals, that he was neighbour to Apollo of the litharge and the ceruse, which shews Claros : and Suidas tells us, that the there was no other known at that time s temple of Claros, where that god gave all the rest were extracted either from his oracles, was very near Colophon; plants or animals, of which the most so that his birth might be at Colophon, pernicious was that called Toxicum; and not actually at Claros.
not described by the botanists, be1 Moreri.-Dict. Hist.
cause, no doubt, they knew not from in physic, while nobody knows whether which plant it was extracted, or indeed they are derived from plants or ani what it was, though they were no mals, or how they are prepared, as strangers to the ill effects of it. And coming froin foreign countries. Ni. the same thing is seen at this day, in cander ranks opium among the poi. regard to some drugs which are used sons. Le Clerc, Hist. de Med. · ! Vossius de Poet. Græc.-Fabric. Bibl. Græc.-Eloy Dict. de Medicin. Month. Rev, vol. LXI.
NICCOLI (NICCOLO, Lat. NICOLAUS), a very eminent contributor to the restoration of literature, and founder of the library of St. Mark at Florence, was the son of Bartholomew Nicolas, a merchant of Florence, and was born in 1363. He was intended, and as some say, for a time engaged, in mercantile pursuits, but preferring the cultivation of the liberal arts, he placed himself, on the death of his father, under Marsigli, or Marsilius, a scholar of considerable fame. So ardent was his love of learning, that when he had attained a competent knowledge of the Latin language, he went to Padua, for the express purpose of transcribing the compositions of Petrarch. To this laborious task he was compelled, according to Tiraboschi, by the mediocrity of bis fortune, which prevented his purchasing manuscripts of any great value. His fortune, however, such as it was, and his whole time, he devoted to the collection of manuscripts or making transcripts, and accumulated about eight hundred volumes of Greek, Roman, and oriental authors. What he copied, was executed with great accuracy, and he was one of the first who corrected the defects and arranged the text of the manuscripts which he had an opportunity of studying. His house was the constant resort of scholars and students, who had free access to his library, and to many of whom he was a liberal patron. Poggio Bracciolini valued him highly in this character, and on Niccoli's death, Jan. 23, 1437, published a funeral oration, in which he celebrated his prudence, benevolence, fortitude, &c. He was not, however, without his faults, and had disgusted some eminent scholars of his time by his sarcastic wit and irritability of temper. By his will be directed that his library should be devoted to the use of the public, and appointed sixteen curators, among whom was Cosmo de Medici; but as lie died in a state of josolvency, this legacy would have been lost, had not Cosmo offered to pay his debts on condition of obtaining a right to dispose of the books. This being agreed to, he deposited them in the Dominican monastery
of St. Mark at Florence. This collection was the foundation of another celebrated library in Florence, known by the name of the Bibliotheca Marciana, or library of St. Mark, which is yet open to the inspection of the learned, at the distance of three centuries. It does not appear that he was the author of any literary work, except a short treatise on the orthography of the Latin language, in which he attempted to settle various disputed points on this subject, by the authority of ancient inscriptions."
NICEPHORUS (GREGORAS), a Greek historian, was born about the close of the thirteenth century, and flourished in the fourteenth, under the emperors Andronicus, John Palæologus, and John Cantacuzenus.
He was a great favourite of the elder Andronicus, who made him librarian of the church of Constantinople, and sent him ambassador to the prince of Servia. He accompanied Andronicus in his misfortunes, and attended at his death; after which he repaired to the court of the younger Andronicus, where he appears to have been well received ; and it is certain, that, by his influence over the Greeks, that church was prevailed on to reject any conference with the legates of pope John XXII. But, in the dispute which arose between Barlaam and Palamos, happening to take the part of the former, he maintained it so zealously in the council that was held at Constantinople in 1351, that he was cast into prison, and continued there till the return of John Palæologus, who released him; after which he held a disputation with Palamos, in the presence of that emperor. He compiled the Byzantine history in a barþarous style, and very inaccurately, from 1204, when Con. stantinople was taken by the French, to the death of An. dronicus the younger, in 1341. Besides this work, he is the author of some others. His history, with a Latin translation by Jerome Wolf, was printed at Basil in 1562, and again at Geneva in 1615. We have also a new version of it, and a new edition more correct than any ceding, printed at the Louvre in 1702, by Boivin the younger, the French king's librarian, 2 vols. fol. This edition contains, in the first volume, the thirty-eight books of Gregoras, wbich end with the year 1341; and in the second are the thirteen following, which contain a history of ten years. There are still fourteen remaining to be published; as also fourteen other pieces of Gregoras. Gregoras also wrote Scholia upon “ Synesius de Insompiis,” published' by Turnebus in 1553; the version of which, by John Pichon, is printed among the works of the same Synesius. *
I Shepherd's Poggio Bracciolini, p. 40, 314, &c.—Roscoe's Lorenzo, Tiraboschi, & Moreri.-Vossius de Hist, Græc. -Cave, vol. II. Saxii Onomast. VOL. XXIII.
of the pre