Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Francisco Xavier Alegre

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Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Volume 1
Francisco Xavier Alegre

by Adolph Francis Alphonse Bandelier


Historian, born at Vera Cruz, in Mexico, or New Spain, 12 November, 1729; died at Bologna, 16 August, 1788. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1747, and soon acquired a reputation of unusual learning in everything related to the classics. He occupied a chair at the Jesuit college at Habana and afterwards at Mérida in Yucatan; recalled to Europe in 1767, he settled at Bologna, he died there of apoplexy, He left quite a number of shorter works, mostly translations of classics. Among them are the "Alexandriadas" (1773, Italy), the "Iliad" in Latin (Rome, 1788), "Homeri Batrachiomachia" in Latin (Mexico, 1789), together with fragments of Horace and a good translation into Spanish of the first three cantos of the "Art Poétique" of Boileau. But the work for which he is especially noted is his "History of the Society of Jesus in New Spain" (ed. Bustamente, Mexico, 1841). Although composed at a time when the order was persecuted in Spanish colonies, and often with great rigor, the tone of this most valuable work, indispensable for the study of the colonial history of Mexico and of many of its Indian tribes, is dignified and free from attacks upon Spain and the Spaniards.

Béristain de Souza, Biblioteca hispano-americana sententrional I, (Mexico, 1818); Alegre, Historia de la Compañia de Jésus in Neuva España (Mexico, 1841); Opúsculos ineditos, Latinos y Castellanos, del Padre Francisco Xavier Alegre (Mexico, 1889); Bancroft, Native Races of the Pacific States; History of the Pacific States.

AD. F. BANDELIER