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Onofrio Panvinio, O.S.A.

One of the earliest scholars of the Roman Republic and Empire was Onofrio Panvinio.


Two of his most important works have been digitized and are available in the Contributions from Augustinian Theologians and Scholars Collection: his work on the Roman triumph and the magistrates of the republic and empire, the Fasti et triumphi Rom. a Romulo rege usque ad Carolum V. Caes. Aug. and his work on the Roman games, De ludis circensibus.

Along with being a historian and compiler of data from the ruins of the Roman secular world, Panvinio also compiled one of the first histories of the Augustinian Order as well as other related chronicles of the church and the early papacy. Indeed his explorations to forage for inscriptions, illustrations, and documents were authorized by Pope Pius IV.

Many of his works have never been published as books and remain only available as manuscripts, so much work still remains to bring greater attention to these important materials. Living only to the age of 38, dying in Palermo in 1568 A.D., Panvinio’s contributions to later ecclesiastical and classical historians show that great scholarly effort can come from even a short life. Father Gersbach notes: “his descriptions of Roman churches remain valuable for art historians. His indefatigable labors in unearthing and organizing vast amounts of historical material have merited the admiration of later scholars.”

Indeed, the eminent historian Mary Beard in her 2007 work, The Roman Triumph, said:”so efficient and accurate were they that Onofrio Panvinio’s study of the triumph in his Fastorum Libri V first published in the 1550s – an analytical list of Roman office holders from Romulus to Charles V in the sixteenth century – remains even today one of the most comprehensive collections of evidence for the ceremony.”

Several images from his now digitized Roman histories follow including: an image of the Emperor Claudius, the procession of the Roman Triumph, the ceremonies preparatory to a Roman game, and lists of consuls and magistrates.







Mary Beard. The Roman Triumph. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2007, pp. 54-54.

K.A. Gersbach. “Panvinio, Onofrio”. New Catholic Encyclopedia. pp. 828-829.



  1. Comment by peacay — April 3, 2009 @ 1:50 PM

    Michael, I’m not raising anything with the ‘De Ludis..’ link {didn’t try the others}. Or at least no images are deployed; the page loads ok and identifies the title, but no images at all, even clicking on the thumb icon.
    I guess it could be a temporary glitch or it could be me (FF on XP) for some reason. I’ll try again later on or in the next day or 3. Looks good anyway!

  2. Comment by Michael Foight — April 3, 2009 @ 1:57 PM

    Hi peacay,

    It is our end; we have been down most of the day today, April 3 in this time zone, but expect to be back up later.

    Thanks for your continuing encouragement!

  3. Comment by Reference Services — April 24, 2009 @ 8:12 PM

    Your library’s web site is outstanding!

    Here is the blog from the Archives of the Sandusky Library,
    if you would like to take a look:

  4. Comment by Delaware Dating — June 4, 2009 @ 6:56 AM

    Been enjoyed looking pictures.. Great to know the history fist fighting. I just wondered how can they blow their strength in that position?

  5. Comment by dual action colon cleanse — February 14, 2010 @ 8:37 AM

    Not all of his numerous historical, theological, archaeological, and liturgical works were published, even posthumously. Some are preserved in manuscript in the Vatican Library.

  6. Trackback by roman catholic news — March 25, 2010 @ 5:31 AM

    roman catholic news…

    Your post on Falvey Library Blogs: Blue Electrode ” Onofrio Panvinio, O.S.A. was interesting….

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Last Modified: April 3, 2009

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