Olivieri, Hannibal

, a learned Italian antiquary, honorary chamberlain to Clement the XHIth, and perpetual secretary of the academy of Pesaro, in the Marche of Ancona, was born in that city on the 17th of June, 1708, of an ancient and illustrious family. His lively and active disposition, and an uncommon thirst for information, gave an early promise of his subsequent progress in the career of literature. After receiving at home the rudiments of a learned education, he went through the usual studies of polite literature, at the college of noblemen at Bologna. He then applied himself to the study of the civil and canon law at the university of Pisa, under the tuition of the illustrious civilian and literator Averani, until 1727, when he went to Rome in order to practise at the bar.

Having gone through a regular course of studies; he returned to his native place in 1733, and soon after married a lady of the same town, of the name of Belluzzi, a family illustrious as his own. He had scarcely attained his twentyeighth year when he published his capital work “Marmora Pesauriensia notis illustrata,” 2 vols. folio, which, for its depth of research, judgment, information, and utility, ranked him amongst the greatest antiquaries of his age, and gained him the highest esteem from his illustrious contemporaries, Macedon, Maffei, Gori, Zeno, Lanni, Quirini, Antonelli, Garampi, and others. After the publication of this excellent work, it appeared that he had relinquished his favourite pursuit, as nothing else of the kind appeared for thirteen years. He however presented to the public many valuable memoirs and dissertations on literary history, in the celebrated collection of Cologera, who, from respect and gratitude, dedicated to him the volume of the collection which appeared in 1750.

During this interval, however, he was far from being idle in other respects, as he was employed in collecting materials for his successive works. He had formed with infinite labour, an ample collection of inscriptions, diplomas, and manuscripts of every kind, many of which, by permission of pope Benedict XIV, he had obtained from | the several archives of the papal dominions. In the vestibule and hall of his palace he had collected a vast numbec of statues, busts, marbles, and other monuments of civil and ecclesiastical history; and had arranged in his museum an immense quantity of coins, seals, cameos, engraved stones, pieces of glass and ivory, and other curious works of antiquity; and it is worthy of remark, that the whole of this collection related in some measure to his own native city, Pesaro, to the illustration of whose history he had devoted his talents. At length, in 1774, he published, in 4to, his “Memoirs of the ancient Port of Pesaro,” of which an honourable account was given by Tiraboschi, in the new literary journal of Modena, as tending to illustrate many important particulars in the history of the latter period of the Roman empire.

From the sixty-eighth to the seventy-eighth year of his life, a period when the generality of learned men withdraw from the public, M. Olivieri published no less than sixteen works on different subjects, though all in the line of his favourite pursuit. Ecclesiastical annals, feudal vicissitudes, public law, churches, castles, abbeys, eminent persons, and other particulars relative to the city and territory of Pesaro, were all respectively illustrated. The best were considered to be “The History of the Church of Pesaro during the thirteenth century,” and the Memoirs of his illustrious friend and predecessor Passeri, published in 1780.

The chevalier Olivieri died on the 29th Sept. 1789, in the eighty-second year of his age; no less respected for his moral than for his mental qualifications. He was one of the warmest promoters in his province, of sciences, arts, manufactures, and agriculture; and so benevolent, that the greatest part of his annual income was employed in relieving the wants of others. He had no issue, so that his family became extinct at his death. His fortune devolved on two nephews of the family of Machirelli; but wishing to be of some service to his city, even after his death, he bequeathed to it his magnificent palace, together with the library and museum, and a suitable revenue for their support. In gratitude his townsmen erected a statue to him on the ground floor of his own palace, with an inscription by the celebrated Abbe Lanzi. Great honours were also paid to him by various literary societies. 1


Vecchietti’s “Bibliotheca Picena,” in the Literary Journal, —Dict. Hist.Saxii Onomast.