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Forcellini, Egidio

A distinguished Italian lexicographer, born near Padua, August 26th, 1688. Being of humble parentage, he had few opportunities for early training, so that he was of mature age when he began a course of advanced study in the philological seminary of Padua under Facciolati (q.v.). His great ability, zeal, and industry, however, soon gave him an honourable rank, so that he was appointed an assistant to his teacher, with whom his name is inseparably associated in their joint work, the great Latin lexicon (Totius Latinitatis Lexicon) whose completion was in great part due to the untiring labour of Forcellini. Notebook in hand, he read through not only the entire body of Latin literature, but also the whole collection of inscriptions, including those on coins and medals, and thus compiled the most comprehensive and valuable vocabulary of the language that had ever been made, with both the Greek and the Italian equivalent of every word. The lexicon appeared in 1771 in 4 vols., three years after Forcellini's death, which occurred April 4th, 1768. Besides this magnum opus, Forcellini had assisted his master in the preparation of the so-called Calepine Vocabulary, and from 1724 to 1731 was Professor of Rhetoric in the seminary at Ceneda. See Lexicon.

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