Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Jacopo Facciolati

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Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Volume 5
Jacopo Facciolati

by Edmund Burke (CCNY)


Lexicographer and philologist, b. at Torreglia, near Padua, Italy, 4 Jan., 1682; d. at Padua, 26 Aug., 1769. He was educated in the seminary at Padua, and later was made professor of logic and regent of the schools in the university of that city, continuing in this position for forty-five years. In 1719 he brought out a revised edition of the "Lexicon Septem Linguarum", a Latin dictionary in seven languages, called the "Calepinus", from the name of its author, the monk Ambrogio Calepino. In this work Facciolati was assisted by his pupil, Forcellini. Their labours on the "Calepinus" convinced them of the need of a totally new Latin lexicon. Therefore, putting aside all other works, they undertook the compilation of a lexicon which should be the most comprehensive vocabulary of the Latin language that had ever been made. For forty years, under the supervision of Facciolati, Forcellini laboured, reading through the entire body of Latin literature, as well as the whole collection of Latin inscriptions, including those on coins and medals. Their great lexicon, which bore the title, "Totius Latinitatis Lexicon", was published in four volumes, at Padua in 1771, after the death of both the editors. This monumental work, on which all Latin lexicons now in use are based, gives every Latin word, with its Italian and Greek equivalents and copious citations illustrating the various meanings. Subsequent editions are the English one of Bailey in two volumes (London, 1828), and that of De Vit (Prato, 1858-87). Facciolati also published a new edition of the "Thesaurus Ciceronianus" of Nizolius. He left a number of letters, remarkable for their elegant Latinity, which were afterwards published. (See FORCELLINI.)

EDMUND BURKE