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Home > Mezzofanti > Biography > 1823 to 1830 > Filopoeri

Soon after the date of these letters was founded at Bologna a literary Academy, which has some interest in connexion with the history of Mezzofanti. Like many of the older learned societies of Italy, Note 1 of Modena, as the best testimony which could be offered to the rare merit of the deceased; but, although already known in Italy, they are well worthy of being preserved, not merely as a tribute to the memory of the youth whose death they record, but as representing most truthfully the piety, the sensibility, the fervour, and above all, the amiable and affectionate disposition, of the writer himself. it took to itself a somewhat fanciful designation, although one which falls far short in oddity of those of many among its predecessors;—as the Oziosi, or the Inquieti, of Bologna, the Insensati of Perugia, the Assorditi of Urbino, or (strangest of all), the Umi-di Note 2 of Florence, who carried the fancy so far as to designate themselves by the names of fish and waterfowls. Mezzofanti and his fellow Academicians contented themselves with the less startling, though somewhat affected, title of Filopieri, " Lovers of the Muses." Their Society received the formal approval of the Congregation of Studies, in the beginning of 1830, and commenced to hold its meetings in the same year. But, in connexion with the life of Mezzofanti, it is chiefly memorable for a curious volume of verses, addressed to him by the members, on the occasion of his elevation to the Cardinalate. Note 3

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Note 1
See a very curious chapter in Tiraboschi, vol. vii., p. 139-201 ; which Disraeli has, as usual, turned freely to his own account in the Curiosities of Literature, p. 348-54.

Note 2
This is the origin of the nom-de.guerre, La Lasca—(the Roach,') by which the too notorious novelist, Grazzini, chose to designate himself as member of this society.

Note 3
All' Emo Signor Cardinal Giuseppe Mezzofanti, Applausi dei Filopieri, 8vo. Bologna, 1838.

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