Baronius, Caesar bərō´nēəs [key], 1538–1607, Italian ecclesiastical historian, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He went to Rome c.1557 and soon came under the tutelage of St. Philip Neri. His chief work, the Annales ecclesiastici a Christi nato ad annum 1198 [ecclesiastical annals from the nativity to 1198], was a response to the Lutheran, Historia Ecclesiae Christi [History of the Church of Christ]. As Vatican librarian, Baronius had access to the sources in the archives. His use of this material and his inclusion of many previously unpublished sources accounts for the completeness and usefulness of the Annales. Its accuracy has been questioned by Protestant critics. Baronius was a strong defender of the papacy and was largely responsible for the Roman martyrology. He became superior of the Oratory (1593) on St. Philip Neri's death, a cardinal (1596), and was confessor to Pope Clement VIII.
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