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Home > Mezzofanti > Biography > 1807 to 1814 > Learned Societies

The late Lord Guilford, who was Chancellor of the University of Corfu, made his acquaintance during one of his visits to Bologna ; and on every subsequent occasion on which he passed through that city, Mezzofanti was invariably his guest, accompanied by all the Greeks who chanced to be at the time students of the University. As his reputation extended, the literary societies of the various cities of Italy were naturally desirous to number him among their members. He was already an associate of the Societá Colombina at Florence, and of the " Society of Letters, Sciences, and Arts," at Leghorn ; and he received about this time, the decoration of the Royal Order of the Two Sicilies. The only literary society, however, in whose proceedings he took an active part, was the Scientific Academy of the Institute of his native city. It has been commonly supposed that he rarely, if at all, appeared in the literary arena, and it is true that he has not left behind him anything at all commensurate with his reputation; but he frequently read papers, chiefly on philological subjects, in the Bolognese Academy. The first of these which is noticed by Dr. Santagata was read on the 22nd of July, 1813; and another, " On the Symbolic Paintings of the Mexicans," was delivered in the following session, on the 23rd of March, 1814. Owing to his early association with several ex-Jesuit American Missionaries who had settled in Bologna, he had long felt an interest in the curious subject of Mexican Antiquities. Among his MSS., which still remain in the possession of the Cavaliere Minarelli at Bologna, is a Mexican Calendar, drawn up by Mezzofanti's own hand, and illustrated with facsimiles of the original pictures and symbolical representations from the pencil of his niece, Signora Anna Minarelli; but of the paper read in the Academy, no trace has been found.

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