Appeared in Summer 2003, Vol. XXVIII, No. 2
Sylvester Maurus was among the most renowned of the great philosophers and theologians who in the seventeenth century graced the Roman College of the Society of Jesus, now known as the Gregorianum. He was born in Spoleto, Italy, in 1619 to a family of the nobility. As a boy he attended schools of grammar and rhetoric, but at the age of sixteen he placed his name for reception into the Society of Jesus. After spending the usual period in the Jesuit novitiate, he studied Greek and Latin and was sent on to the order’s Roman College, where he studied philosophy and theology until 1648. There then followed in his life a period of preparation in which he took on pastoral duties for the first and only time. The Society had marked him out for the intellectual life, and so in 1652 he returned to the Roman College, this time to direct the studies of the younger scholars.
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