This chapter, the book’s longest, explores a dispute between Martin Delrio and the famous Huguenot scholar Joseph Scaliger (1540–1609) that began with the Disquisitiones and lasted until their deaths. Delrio’s denunciation of Scaliger, smuggled into the concluding pages of the Disquisitiones, proved an opening salvo for a wider confessional polemic. The chapter argues that Delrio collaborated with another Jesuit, Nicolas Serarius, to defend the antiquity of Christian monasticism. The two Jesuits defended separately two of the foundations—the testimony of Philo and (pseudo-)Dionysius the Areopagite—that Scaliger had attempted to refute in one fell swoop. This conflict must be studied jointly within its social and intellectual contexts, although it would shift into a decidedly lower register as time went on. What began as an attempt to defend the Catholic Church historian Cesare Baronio descended into vitriol and name-calling.
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