PLATINA, BARTOLOMEO (BARTOLOMEO SACCHI): Italian humanist, theologian, and historian of the popes; b. at Piadena (17 m. e. of Cremona) 1421; d. at Rome 1481. After studying at Mantua, he went to Florence in 1457 to learn Greek of Argyropulos, and in 1462 migrated to Rome, where he obtained a position at the Curia in the College of Abbreviators. When Paul II. ascended the throne in 1464, Platina, like many others, lost his position, and then headed a sharp reaction against the pope. He was arrested and imprisoned for four months in the Castle of St. Angelo, and did not obtain a new office until Sixtus IV. appointed him director of the Vatican library, a position which he held until his death. The same pope gave him the incentive for the preparation of his most important work, his Opus in vitas summorum pontificum ad Sixtum IV. (Venice, 1479; translated into the principal languages of Europe; Eng. transls., 2 vols., Lives of the Popes, London, 1685, 1888). In the main, Platina repeated the statements of his predecessors Damasus, Anastasius, Pandulphus, Ptolemæus of Lucca, and others, though he frequently made independent investigations. At the same time, like his precursors, he utilized forged decretals without suspecting their real nature.
In addition to Platina's Opus, mention should also be made of his Historia inclyt urbis Mantu et serenissim famili Gonzag libri sex (Vienna, 1675).