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Printed by Nichols, Son, arid Benti.ey, Ked Lion Passage, Fleet Street, London.
CONTAINING ^2-4 0
AN HISTORICAL AND CRITICAL ACCOUNT
LIVES AND WRITINGS
MOST EMINENT PERSONS
IN EVERY NATION;
A NEW EDITION,
REVISED AND ENLARGED BY
ALEXANDER CHALMERS, F. S. A.
PKINTED rOR J. NICHOLS AND SON; F. C. AND J. R1VINGTON; T. PAYNE;
A NEW AND GENERAL
SlMEON of DURHAM, an eminent English historian, and the contemporary of William of Malmsbury, lived in the twelfth century. He both studied and taught the sciences, and particularly the mathematics at Oxford, and became precentor to the church of Durham. He died probably soon after the year 1130, where bis history ends. He took great pains in collecting our ancient monuments, especially in the north of England, after they had been scattered by the Danes in their devastations of that country. From these he composed a history of the kings of England from the year 616 to 1130, with some smaller historical pieces. It was continued by John, prior of Hexham, to the year 1156. This work, and Simeon's account of the church of Durham, are printed among Twisden's "Decem Scriptores;" but of the latter a separate edition was published in 1732, 8vo, by Thomas Bedford.1
SIMEON* surnamed Metaphrastes, from his having written the lives of the saints in a ditfuse manner, was born of noble parents at Constantinople, in the tenth century, and was well educated, and raised himself by his merit to very high trust under the reigns of Leo, the philosopher, and Constantine Porphyrogenitus his son. It is said, that when sent on a certain occasion by the emperor to the island of Crete, which the Saracens were about to surprize, a contrary wind carried his ship to the isle of Pharos. There he met with an anchorite, who advised him to write the life of Theoctista, a female saint of Lesbos. With this he complied, and we may presume, found some pleasure
in the undertaking, as he gradually extended his researches to the lives of an hundred and twenty other saints, which, with respect to style, are not disgraceful to a scholar, but, cardinal Bellarmin says, he describes his saints rather as what they ought to be, than as what they were. There are Latin translations of this work by Lipoman, Surius, and others, but no edition of the original Greek; and his translators are accused of having added much of a fabulous nature. Some other religious tracts of Metaphrastes are extant, and some "Annals." He died in 976 or 977.1
SIMLER (josias), a learned divine of the sixteenth century, who co-operated in the reformation, was born Nov. 6, 1530, at Cappell, a village near Zurich in Swisserland. His father, Peter Simler, after having been for many years a member of, and afterwards prior of the monastery there, embraced the reformed religion, became a preacher of it, and died in 1557. After being educated for some time in his father's monastery, he went to Zurich in 1544, and studied for two years under the direction of the celebrated Bullinger, who was his god-father. He removed thence to Basil, where he studied rhetoric and mathematics, and afterwards to Strasburgh, where Sturmius, Martyr, Bucer, and others of the reformers resided; but as he had no thoughts at this time of divinity as a profession, he improved himself chiefly in other branches of learning. He continued here about two years, and passed three more in visiting various universities, and hearing the lectures of the most eminent professors. In 1549, he returned home, and with such visible improvement in learning, that Gesner often employed him to lecture to his scholars, both in geometry and astronomy. In 1552 he was appointed to expound in public the New Testament, which he did with so much ability as to be greatly admired by the learned of Zurich, as well as by the English who had taken refuge there from the Marian persecution. In 1557 he was made deacon; and when Bibliander, on account of his advanced age, was declared emeritus, Simler was appointed to teach in his place, and was likewise colleague with Peter Martyr, who had a high opinion of him, and on his death in 1563, Simler succeeded him as professor of divinity. He filled this office with great reputation until bis
• Leo AHatius 9e Simeouum Scriptis.—-Vossius Ue Hist. Grsec.—Barouii An« itales.—Cave, Vol. II Saxii Onomast.