Dizionario degli uomini illustri nella Storia ad uso delle Scuole di Umane Lettere.
[Biographical dictionary].

Bassano: A Spese Remondini di Venezia, 1790. First edition? OCLC and RLIN list only a 1802 edition, and that only in one copy (at New York Public Library). Covers lightly soiled, a little light foxing, but overall a very good, uncut copy. Contemporary stiff wrappers with vellum ties. Octavo. viii, 161, [1, blank] pp (Item ID: 12333)


A rare anonymous biographical dictionary, listing important historical figures from antiquity to the middle of the eighteenth century. The criteria for inclusion is not entirely clear. Pope has an entry, but neither Voltaire nor Galileo are mentioned. The index gives some interesting clues, listing entries not under name or nationality, but according to the characteristics they exhibited, such as faithful love, arrogance, clemency, fanaticism, modesty, tyranny, sarcasm, etc. This would suggest, in keeping with the notion that the book is for the use of “Scuole di Umane Lettere,” that the dictionary is primarily aimed at those who would wish to use historical figures to illustrate moral virtues (or vices).

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