Biscioni, Anthony Maria

, a celebrated Italian scholar of the last century, was born at Florence, Aug. 14, 1674. After finishing his studies, he taught a school, which produced Bottari, the prelate, and some other eminent men. The grand duke Cosmo III. having given him some benefices, he took priest’s orders, and the degree of doctor in the university of Florence, and spent several years in preaching, particularly in the cathedral church of St. Laurence. The chapter, in 1713, appointed him keeper of the Mediceo-Laurentian library, and to this office he was re-elected in 1725, 1729, and 1739, but he could not, with all his endeavours, prevail on the chapter to grant it him for life. While here, however, he began a new course of studies, learned Greek, Hebrew, and other oriental languages, and applied himself particularly to the Tuscan here also he found a very useful patron in Nicolas | Panciatichi, a very opulent Florentine nobleman, who received him into his house, where he remained eleven years, and made him his children’s tutor, his librarian, secretary, archivist, &c. and amply rewarded him for his services in all thi’se departments. He was also appointed apostolic prothonotary, synodal examiner at Florence and Fiesola, and reviser of cases of conscience in these dioceses. At length, in 174-1, the grand duke of his own accord made him royal librarian of the Laurentian library, and in 1745, gave him a canonry of St. Laurence. In his place as librarian, he was of essential service to men of letters, and was engaged in many literary undertakings which were interrupted by his death, May 4, 1756. He left a very capital collection of rare editions and manuscripts, which the grand duke purchased and divided between the Laurentian and Magliabechian libraries. Biscioni during his life-time was a man of great reputation, and many writers have spoken highly in his praise. He published very little that could be called original, his writings consisting principally of the notes, commentaries, prefaces, letters, and dissertations, with which he enriched the works of others such as the preface and notes to his edition of the “Prose di Dante Alighieri e di Gio. Boccaccio,Florence, 1713 1723, 4to his notes on “Menzini’s Satires” his preface and notes on the “Riposo” of Raphael Borghini, Florence, 1730, 4to, &c. &c. The only work he published not of this description, was a vindication of the first edition of the “Canti Carnascialeschi,” against a reprint of that work by the abbé Bracci, entitled “Parere sopra la seconda edizione de' Canti Carnascialeschi e in difesa della prima edizione,” &c. Florence, 1750, 8vo. He had begun the catalogue of the Mediceo- Laurentian library, of which the first volume, containing the oriental manuscripts, was magnificently printed at Florence, 1752, folio, and the rest continued by the canon Giulanelli, many years after, who added the Greek Mss. Biscioni left many notes, critical remarks, &c. on books, a history of the Panciatichi family, and of his own family, and some satires on those who had so long prevented him from being perpetual keeper of the Laurentian library, an injury he seems never to have forgotten. 1


Biog. Univrselle. rMazzuchelli.