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Home > Mezzofanti > Biography > 1817 to 1820 > Opuscoli Letterari

During the winter of 1817-8, a literary society was formed in Bologna for the cultivation of poetry and the publication of literary and scientific essays, of which Mezzofanti was appointed president.

The original members of this body were twenty-one in number, and included Ranzani, Angelelli, Mezzofanti's nephew, Giuseppe Minarelli, several professors, both of the University, and of the Academia delle Bellfc Arti, and some literary noblemen and gentlemen of the city. They met occasionally for readings and recitations ; and printed a serial collection, called Opuscoli Letterarj di Bologna. I had hopes of learning something from the records of this society, or from the recollections of its members, which might' tend to illustrate the history of Mezzofanti's studies at this period : but, unhappily, not a single original mem¬ber of the society is now living ; and their only publi¬cation available for the purposes of this biography is Mezzofanti's own Discorso in Lode del P. Aponte ;— his solitary publication, which was printed in the Opuscoli Letterarj, in 1820.

Mezzofanti continued, even after the formation of this society, to frequent the meetings of the Academy of the Institute. On the 3rd of December, 1818, he read a paper in this Academy, "on a remarkable Mexican MS., preserved in the Library of the Insti¬tute." This paper was most probably the basis of the Essay upon the Mexican Calendar already alluded to. As it entered minutely into the whole subject of the hieroglyphical writings of the Mexicans, and discussed at some length the opinions of all the various writers on Mexican antiquities down to Humboldt, the paper created very considerable interest in the Academy, and was spoken of with praise by the literary journals of the day.Note 1

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Note 1
Santagata, " Sermones Duo,"

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