Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Marco Sgarbi

Javelli, Giovanni Crisostomo

Born: ca. 1470, Canavese, Italy
Died: ca. 1538, Piacenza, Italy
  • Leen SpruitEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02848-4_734-1


Giovanni Crisostomo Javelli (ca. 1470–ca. 1538) studied theology under Tommaso de Vio (Cajetan); he was involved in the Pomponazzi controversy; he wrote extensive commentaries on the works of Plato and of Aristotle and composed numerous treatises in theology.


Numerous Treatise Italian Region Extensive Commentary Complete Work Henry VIII 
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Alternate Names


Giovanni Crisostomo Javelli was born in 1470 (or 1472) in the Italian region of Canavese, possibly in San Giorgio (now San Giorgio Canavese). He entered the Order of the Dominicans in 1485, studied philosophy, and in August 1495 started to study theology in the school of Bologna. Then, he taught logic and natural philosophy there. Probably in these years, he elaborated his teachings in Logicae compendium peripateticae (1540; 30 editions till 1629) and Epitome super totam naturalem philosophiam Metaphysicam Aristotelis: necnon subtilissima enucleatio propositionum omnium in Librum de causis (Javelli 1547). In 1507 he was assigned by the chapter of his Order to the school of Bologna, where he remained till 1512, when he moved to Milan. From 1513 to 1516, he taught again in Bologna. He graduated in theology on February 18, 1516, at the University of Bologna. From 1518 to 1521, he was regent of the school in Bologna and composed his commentaries of the introductory treatise of the first part of Thomas Aquinas’ Summa theologiae (published for the first time in the 1596 Venice edition of Aquinas’s Summa) (Giacon 1944; Lohr 1988; Tavuzzi 1990, 1991).

He participated in the contemporary philosophical and theological disputes, in particular in the controversy raised by Pomponazzi’s Treatise on the Immortality of the Soul (1516). He was asked by Pomponazzi himself to write a confutation of the arguments sustaining the mortality of the soul, published as Solutiones rationum animae mortalitatem probantium in the 1519 edition of the Treatise, as well as appendix in Pomponazzi’s Defensorium against Agostino Nifo which appeared in the same year. Javelli returned to discuss this issue in Tractatus de animae humanae indeficientia (1536) (Gilson 1961). His interest in Plato’s philosophy is witnessed by Epitome in Ethicen, hoc est, moralem Platonis philosophiam and Epitome in Politicam, hoc est civilem Platonis philosophiam (both: 1536), while his Philosophia civilis Christiana (1540) reveals the influence of Ficino. The fifth part of this book is devoted to the confutation of Luther’s De captivitate Babylonica Ecclesiae praeludium (1520).

Javelli moved to Piacenza in 1523, where he published commentaries of Aristotle’s natural philosophy. In 1532 he moved to Cremona, where he finished his comment on the Metaphysics and the Politics (1534 and 1536). In 1534 he also published his commentaries on Physics and De anima (Javelli 1555; Rhodes 1972).

In the controversy over the annulment of Henry VIII’s marriage with Catherina of Aragon, he defended Henry VIII, in contrast to his fellow friars of the Bologna school. He died probably in 1538 in Piacenza. His complete works, issued in 1568–1574, ran through four reprints until 1580.



Primary Literature

  1. Javelli, G.C. 1547. Epitome in uniuersam Aristotelis philosophiam tam naturalem, quam transnaturalem, nunc ex ipsius auctoris autographo mendis quamplurimis repurgata. Horum omnium indicem uersa pagina uidebis. Venetijs: apud Hieronymum Scotum.Google Scholar
  2. Javelli, G.C. 1555. Super tres libros Aristotelis De Anima. Quaestiones epitome in libros de coelo Aristotelis. De generatione et corruptione. Venezia: Apud Ioannem Maria Bonellum.Google Scholar

Secondary Literature

  1. Giacon, C. 1944. La seconda scolastica, I, 87–90. Milano: Fratelli Bocca.Google Scholar
  2. Gilson, E. 1961. L’affaire de l’immortalité de l’âme à Venice au début du XVIe siècle. In Umanesimo europeo e umanesimo veneziano, 50–61. Firenze: Sansoni.Google Scholar
  3. Lohr, Ch. 1988. Latin Aristotle commentaries, II, 202–204. Firenze: Leo S. Olschki.Google Scholar
  4. Rhodes, D.E. 1972. The first edition of the works of Chrysostomus Javelius. In The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 66:13–19, 427.Google Scholar
  5. Tavuzzi, M. 1990–1991. Chrysostomus J. O.P. (ca. 1470-1538) – A bio-bibliographical essay. Angelicum 67:457–482; 68:109–121.Google Scholar

Copyright information

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for the History of Philosophy and ScienceRadboud University NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands

Section editors and affiliations

  • Luca Bianchi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversità degli Studi di MilanoMilanItaly