Benedictus, Peter

, a celebrated Maronite, was born at Gusta in Phenicia, 1663, of a noble family, and sent to the Maronite college at Rome when but nine years old, where he made a great progress in the oriental languages, returned afterwards to the east, and applied himself to preaching the gospel there. The Maronites of Antioch sent him back to Rome, as a deputy from their church. Cosmo III. grand duke of Tuscany, invited Benedict to his court; heaped many honours and favours upon him, and made him professor of Hebrew at Pisa, and Clement XI. appointed him one of the correctors of the Greek press. He entered among the Jesuits at the age of forty: his amiable temper, integrity, and profound skill in the oriental languages, procured him the esteem of all the learned. He died September 22, 1742, at Rome, aged 80. He published the first volumes of that excellent edition of St. Ephraim, which has been continued and finished by M. Assemani. 2


Fabroni Vitæ Italorum, vol, XI.—Dict. Hist.