Averani, Benedict

, elder brother to Joseph, was born at Florence in 1645. His preceptor in rhetoric was Vincent Glarea, who soon confessed that his pupil went beyond him. He read almost incessantly the best Italian and Latin writers. And having at first employed a considerable time in the perusal of the poets, epecially the epic, he afterwards applied himself wholly to the reading of Cicero, and of the historians. From the works of the rhetoricians he proceeded to those of the philosophers, and particularly admired and followed Plato. He bestowed an indefatigable attention upon those parts in the writings of the philosophers, which in any manner related to eloquence, the attainment of which he sought with incredible ardour. Amidst these occupations he sometimes renewed his poetical exercises. At his father’s request he composed a Latin poem in praise of St. Thomas Aquinas. This, with many others of our author’s poems, is lost. Those of his poems which are extant, most of which he composed. in his youth, shew that if he had chosen to addict himself exclusively to this study, he might have attained a very | high rank. His father afterwards sent him to Pisa to study jurisprudence, and he exercised himself daily in writing to perfect his style. Nor did he write in Latin only for he translated Sallust, and Celsus, and other Latin authors, into Greek and some Greek elegies of his are extant. He was created chief of the academy of Apathists. On the death of the cardinal Leopold of Medicis, he was ordered to compose verses in his praise, which were so much approved, that similar tasks were imposed upon him on the deaths of other princes. In the year 1676, the place long Tacant of teacher of Greek in the Lyceum of Pisa was bestowed upon him by the archduke Cosmo III. After filling this office six years, he was advanced to the dignity of teacher of humanity. In this he succeeded Gronovius, who, by the rudeness and asperity of his manners, had given so much offence to the college, that he was obliged to quit the academy in less than a year after his entering on his office in it. Benedict wrote well in Italian, as appears by the Lezioni which he recited in the Tuscan academy, and in the academy of the Apathists. In his youth he cultivated Italian poetry, and several of his Italian poems are preserved at Rome. He was invited to be professor of humanity in the academy of Pavia on the death of the former professor in 1682, and the same offer was soon after made to him by pope Innocent XI. who was desirous of bringing into the Roman Archigymnasium so eminent a man. In 1688 he was induced by the solicitations of his friends to publish the first book of his Orations. He died in 1707. The dissertations he made in the academy at Pisa, a posthumous work, his orations and poems republished, and his letters then first printed, were all published together at Florence in 3 vols. 1717, folio. 1