Amenta, Nicholas

, an Italian lawyer and miscellaneous writer, was born at Naples in 1659, and for the first fourteen years of his life, was obliged to be confined in a dark room, owing to a complaint in his eyes. On his recovery, he made very rapid progress in general science, went through a course of law, and had very considerable practice at Naples. His leisure hours he dedicated to polite literature, and particularly cultivated the Tuscan language, which he wrote with the greatest purity, and used in all his works. He died at Naples, July 21, 1719. His principal writings are, 1. Seven prose comedies, La Costanza, H Forca, la Fante, &c. which are, Baretti says, perhaps the wittiest we have in Italian; but the author makes some of his actors appear masked and speak the different dialects of Italy, especially the Neapolitan. 2. “Rapporti di Parnasso,” part I. the only one ever published, Naples, 1710, 4to. These are somewhat in the manner of Boccalini’s advertisements, but unlike them in their subjects, which are matters of literature and literary history. 3. “II Torto è il Diritto del non si puo, &c. esaminato da Ferrante Longobardi,” i. e. father Daniel Bartoli, whose work is here reprinted with. Amenta’s Observations, Naples, 1717, 8vo, 1728, 8vo; the latter edition has the remarks of the abbe Cito. 4. “Delia lingua Nobile d’Italia, &c.” another work on language divided into parts, Naples, 1723, | 4to. 5. The lives of Scipio Pasquali, and Lionardo, a Neapolitan poet. 6. Twenty-four “Capitoli,” or satirical pieces, in the style of the capitoli of Berni, and other burlesque poets, Naples, 1721, 12mo. 7. “Rime,” or poetical pieces, published in various collections. 1


Biog. Universclie. Haym Bibl. Ital. Baretti’s Italian Library.