Portrait of Cardinal Sforza Pallavicino
|Diocese||Diocese of Rome|
|Appointed||1 April 1657|
|Term ended||5 June 1667|
|Created cardinal||9 April 1657|
by Pope Alexander VII
|Born||28 November 1607|
Rome, Papal States
|Died||5 June 1667|
Francesco Maria Sforza Pallavicino (or Pallavicini) (28 November 1607, Rome - 5 June 1667, Rome), was an Italian cardinal and historian of the Council of Trent. He used the name Sforza Pallavicino as an author and is often incorrectly identified as Pietro Sforza Pallavicino.
Pallavicino was born in Rome. He was son of the Marquis Alessandro Pallavicino, the adopted son of Sforza Pallavicino marchese di Cortemaggiore, a famous Italian condottiero, Captain-General of the Republic of Venice, and his second wife, Francesca Sforza di Santa Fiora, widow of Ascanio della Penna della Cornia.
Descended from the line of Parma of the ancient and noble house of the Marchesi Pallavicini, his father's first-born son, he renounced the right of primogeniture and resolved to enter the priesthood. He entered the Roman College, where he devoted himself to the study of philosophy and law.
He earned doctorates in philosophy in 1625, and in theology in 1628, having studied under the famous Spanish theologian John de Lugo. Pope Urban VIII appointed him referendarius utriusque signaturæ and member of the Congregatio boni regiminis and of the Congregatio immunitatis, assigning him a pension of 250 scudi.
Pallavicino was highly esteemed in the literary circles of Rome. He was elected Member of the Accademia degli Umoristi and became friends with the poet Virginio Cesarini and with some of the most prominent personalities of italian baroque, including Agostino Mascardi, Fulvio Testi, John Barclay and Giulio Strozzi. Alessandro Tassoni praised him in a verse of his mock-heroic poem La secchia rapita.
When his friend Giovanni Ciampoli, the secretary of briefs, fell into disfavour, Pallavicino's standing at the papal court was also seriously affected. He was sent in 1632 as governatore to Jesi, Orvieto, and Camerino, where he remained for a considerable time.
Over his father's objections, he entered the Society of Jesus on 21 June 1637. After the two years' novitiate he became professor of philosophy at the Roman College. In 1643, when John de Lugo was made a cardinal, Pallavicino succeeded him in the chair of theology, a position he held until 1651 while also fulfilling assignments for Pope Innocent X. These included appointments as a member of the commissions that examined the writings of Jansenius and Martin de Barcos, which resulted in the condemnation of two works by de Barcos in 1647.
His other writings include Trattato dello Stile, Vindication. Soc. Jes., and Del Bene which latter was later praised by the Italian philosopher Benedetto Croce for its contribution to the development of modern aesthetics.
Pallavicino is chiefly known by his History of the Council of Trent, a harsh if well researched rebuttal to Paolo Sarpi's Istoria del Concilio Tridentino. The work was published at Rome in two folio volumes in 1656-1657 (2nd ed., considerably modified, in 1666). In this he continued the task begun by Terenzio Alciati, who had been commissioned by Pope Urban VIII to correct and supersede the very damaging work of Sarpi. Alciati and Pallavicino had access to many important sources which had been denied to Sarpi.
The great nineteenth-century historian Leopold von Ranke reported that he examined many of the manuscript sources from which Pallavicino drew his materials, and that the extracts he has made from the instructions and other official documents were "scrupulously exact" and that he has "carefully consulted the whole of the documents". Until the twentieth century, Pallavicino's History of the Council of Trent was the principal work on this important ecclesiastical assembly. It was translated into Latin by a fellow Jesuit, Giattini (Antwerp, 1670-1673), into French (Migne series, Paris, 1844-1845); into Spanish and into German by Theodor Friedrich Klitsche de la Grange (1835-1837). There is a good edition of the original by Francesco Antonio Zaccaria (6 vols., Faenza, 1792-1799).
Il nome proprio di Pallavicino è stato oggetto di equivoco già lui vivente, generato dalla rarità del nome proprio 'Sforza' e dall'omonimo cognome materno. Nel corso del Novecento la situazione si è ulteriormente complicata per la comparsa - nelle biografie, nei repertori e in testa alle riedizioni delle sue opere - di un presunto nome 'Pietro', non confermato da alcun documento. Il nome da lui comunemente usato nella vita pubblica e privata era Sforza (Apollonio, 2013)." Translation: "Pallavicino's correct name was misunderstood even during his lifetime, generated by the rarity of the proper name 'Sforza' and the homonymous maternal surname. In the twentieth century the situation was further complicated by the appearance, in biographies, in bibliographies, and on the title pages of his reissued works, of a presumed name 'Pietro' that no document supports. The name he commonly used in both his public and private life was Sforza (Apollonius, 2013).