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Angelo Fabroni

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Angelo Fabroni (September 25, 1732 – September 22, 1803) was an Italian biographer and historian.

He was born at Marradi in Tuscany to Alessandro and Iancinta Fabroni, of a banking family formerly of great fortune.[1] After studying with tutors and at Faenza, in 1750 he entered the Collegio Bandinelli in Rome, founded for the education of young Tuscans. His father having died that year, Piero Francesco Foggini took an interest in the young man's education. Fabroni became a priest.

On the conclusion of his studies he continued his stay in Rome, and having been introduced to the celebrated Jansenist historian, Giovanni Gaetano Bottari, the librarian of the Corsini, he translated some meditative works of Pasquier Quesnel and received from Bottari a canonry at Santa Teresa in Trastevere. With Bottari's aid he presented a polished Latin life of Pope Clement XII Corsini, for which Cardinal Corsini defrayed the printing costs and made a handsome present to its author. Some time after this Fabroni was chosen to preach a Latin discourse in the pontifical chapel before Benedict XIV, with whom he made such a favorable impression that the pontiff settled on him an annuity, in the possession of which Fabbroni was able to devote his whole time to study. Fabroni was asked to deliver the funeral oration in 1766 for James Stuart, the "Old Pretender" to the throne of Great Britain. He was intimate with Leopold Peter, Grand Duke of Tuscany, who appointed him prior of the Basilica of San Lorenzo, Florence (1767); two years later, Fabroni took leave to pursue promises of preferment at Rome, made by Pope Clement XIV Ganganelli, in which he was disappointed.

He was at work on the biographical dictionary of Italian men of letters for which he is remembered; the first volume was published in 1766, and was met with criticism, for the Jesuits disliked him on account of his Jansenist views. Besides his other literary labors he began at Pisa in 1771 a literary journal, Giornale de' letterati, which he continued till 1796, by which time 102 fascicles had appeared, many from his own pen. About 1772, funded by the Grand Duke, he made a journey to Paris, where he formed the acquaintance of Condorcet, Diderot, d'Alembert, Rousseau and most of the other Encyclopédistes— whom he found to be leaders of impiety— and other eminent Frenchmen of the day. He also spent four months in London, of which he also disapproved, where Benjamin Franklin fruitlessly urged him to go to America. He returned to Tuscany in 1773. Later he corresponded with Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor. He died in retirement among the Carthusians at Pisa.

His principal works were: Vitae Italorum doctrina excellentium qui in saeculis XVII. et XVIII. floruerunt (20 vols., Pisa, 1778-1799, 1804-1805);[2] Laurentii Medicei Magnifici Vita (2 vols., Pisa, 1784), which served as a basis for William Roscoe's Life of Lorenzo de' Medici; Leonis X pontificis maximi Vita (Pisa, 1797); and Elogi di Dante Alighieri, di Angelo Poliziano, di Lodovico Ariosto, e di Torquato Tasso (Parma, 1800).

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Alexander Chalmers, The General Biographical Dictionary, (1814 ed.)s.v. "Fabbroni, Angelo" has provided many details for this article.
  2. ^ "The Lives of Italians more outstanding in learning, who were active in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries"; the last two volumes, published posthumously, contain a life of the author and some collected letters.

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