||Gramamtical work on the Hebrew language by Roberto Bellarmini. The full title, as given on the title page, is, Institutiones linguae hebraicae: postremo recogn., ac locupletatae. The work opens with an introduction, Admonitio ad lectorum, with a large historiated letter, followed by contents and the Hebrew letters, and the text, which is a detailed exposition of the Hebrew language. The text is in a single column in Latin with numerous examples in vocalized Hebrew.
The distinguished Jesuit theologian, writer, Saint Roberto Francesco Romulus Bellarmini (Bellarmino, Bellarmine, 1542-1621), was Cardinal, Archbishop of Capua. His maternal uncle was Pope Marcellus II. Bellarmini began his study of theology at Padua in 1567, but in 1569 was sent to finish it at Louvain, where he could obtain a fuller acquaintance with the prevailing heresies. Ordained there, he quickly obtained a reputation both as a professor and a preacher, in the latter capacity drawing to his pulpit both Catholics and Protestants, even from distant parts. In 1576, he was recalled to Italy, and entrusted with the chair of Controversies recently founded at the Roman College. His lectures there grew into the work De Controversiis which forms the chief title to his greatness. It is a monumental attempt to systematize the various controversies of the time, and made an immense impression throughout Europe, and in Catholic circles it is considered so great a refutation of Protestantism that it has not yet been superseded. Nevertheless, it was almost placed in the Index. A prolific writer, Bellarminiís works, in addition to polemics, include catechetical and spiritual, and exegetical works, and, of course, this book on the Hebrew language. Bellarmini dealt with Galileo case in its earlier stage. He was on terms of friendly correspondence with Galileo. His position with Galileo's heliocentric theory was that if a scientific theory is insufficiently proved, it should be advanced only as an hypothesis; but if, as is the case with this theory now, it is solidly demonstrated, care must be taken to interpret Scripture only in accordance with it. When the Holy Office condemned the heliocentric theory, by an excess in the opposite direction, it became Bellarminiís official duty to signify the condemnation to Galileo, and receive his submission.