Argellati, Philip

, an Italian printer, and one of the most learned and laborious editors of his time, was born at Bologna about the end of the year 1685. His family, then one of the most ancient in that city, was originally of Florence. After having begun his studies at Bologna, he went to Florence, and became acquainted with many of the literati of that city, particularly the celebrated Magliabechi. From Florence he went to Lucca, and then to Leghorn, where he meant to embark for France, but the death of one of his uncles rendered it necessary for him to return to his own country. He first projected an edition of the works, already in print, or in manuscript, of Ulysses Aldrovandi, with additions, notes, and corrections, and engaged several learned persons to assist him, but death having removed the greater part of them in a few years, he was obliged to give up the undertaking. He then published a collection of the poems of Carlantonio Bedori, a Bolognese gentleman, at Bologna, 1715, 4to. Two years after, having been elected one of the magistrates of that city, known by the title of the tribunes of the people, when he came to resign his office, he made an eloquent address on the duties of the office, which his successors ordered to be registered among their acts. His next and most important undertaking was an edition of that immense historical collection, entitled “Scriptores Rerum Italicarum.” The learned Muratori having imparted to him the design he had conceived of collecting and publishing the | ancient Italian historians, acknowledged at the same time that he had been obliged to abandon the plan from the impossibility of finding a press adequate to such an extensive undertaking, the art of printing, once so highly cultivated in Italy, having now greatly degenerated. Argellati being of opinion that Milan was the only place where a trial might be made with effect, to revive useful printing, immediately went thither, and communicated Muratori’s plan to count Charles Archinto, the patron of letters, and his own particular patron. Archinto formed a society of noblemen of Milan, called the Palatine Society, who undertook to defray the expence of the edition, sixteen of the members subscribing four thousand crowns each. Argellati then took every necessary step to establish a printing-office suited to this liberal patronage, and the “Scriptores Rerum Italicarum” was the first work printed, in which Argellati bore a considerable part, collecting and furnishing Muratori with most of the manuscripts, notices, and dedications of the first volumes. He superintended at the same time, the printing of other works, particularly an edition of Sigonius, 1738/6 vols. fol. The emperor Charles VI. to whom it was dedicated, and who had repaid him for the dedication of the first volume of the Italian historians, by the title of imperial secretary, and a pension of three hundred crowns, now doubled this pension. Argellati continued to publish, with incredible labour and dispatch, various editions of works of importance, as “Opere inedite di Ludovico Castelvetro,1727, 4to. “Grazioli, De antiquis Mediolani aedificiis,1736, fol. “Thesaurus novus veterum Inscriptionum,” by Muratori, 1739, fol. But we are more particularly indebted to him for, 1. “Bibliotheca scriptorum Mediolanensium,Milan, 1745, 2 vols. fol. 2. “Biblioteca de' Volgarizzatori Italiani,Milan, 5 vols. 4to, 1767, besides which he contributed a great number of essays and letters to various collections. He died at Milan Jan. 5, 1755, after having had the misfortune to lose his son, the subject of the following article. 1


Biog. Universelle. —Saxii Onomasticon. Mazzuchelli Scrittori d’ltalia, vol. I.