Cesare Baronio

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Cardinal Caesar Baronius

Cesare Baronio (Latin Caesar Baronius) (born August 30, 1538 in Sora , Kingdom of Naples , † June 30, 1607 in Rome ) was an Italian cardinal and church historian .


From 1557 Baronius was one of the first pupils of St. Philip Neri and a member of the Congregation of the Oratory founded by him , of which he became Praepositus in 1593. Up to 1583 he also played a major role in putting together the martyrs and saints of the Martyrologium Romanum .

After long source studies, Baronius was able to begin in 1588 to publish his main work, the Annales ecclesiastici a Christo nato ad annum 1198 , in Rome. In the year of his death (1607), the last of the twelve volumes of this great church-historical work was published. Despite numerous errors, this church history still remains a treasure trove of church-historical knowledge, simply because of the number of documents communicated.

The achievement earned Baronius the dignity of papal confessor, apostolic protonotary , cardinal (1596) and librarian of the Roman Church .

In the papal election in March 1605, Baronius achieved a simple majority, but stubbornly refused to accept the office on the grounds that he was unworthy, so that finally Alessandro Ottaviano de'Medici was elected. According to other sources, his election failed because of the resistance of the Spanish party among the papal voters. He took after the early death of the Medici Pope Leo XI. also took part in the second conclave of 1605.

Cesare Baronio died on June 30, 1607 at the age of 69. In January 2008, on behalf of Pope Benedict XVI. the process of beatification for Cesare Baronio resumed.


In the years between 1646 and 1676, the oratorian Odoricus Raynaldus (1595–1671) wrote a continuation (in nine volumes) of the annals up to 1565; Augustin Theiner continued it from 1572 to 1585. Theiner completely revised the annals between 1864 and 1883 and published them in 37 volumes.

Works (selection)

Title page of the Annales ecclesiastici


Web links

Commons : Cesare Baronio  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Baronio, Orat., Cesare. In: Salvador Miranda : The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church. ( Florida International University website ), accessed July 25, 2016.
  2. Vaticanhistory.de , November 29, 2015