Scopoli, John Anthony

, an eminent naturalist, was born in 1725, at Cavalese, in the bishopric of Trent. He studied at Inspruck, and at twenty years old obtained the degree of licentiate in medicine, and afterwards was intrusted with the care of the hospitals of Trent, and of hi* native town Cavalese; but as this stage was too small for his ambition, he requested that his parents would permit him to go to Venice. In that city, under the auspices of Lo taria Lotti, he extended his knowledge of medicine, and added to it a more intimate acquaintance with pharmacy, botany, and natural history. On his return he traversed the mountains of Tirol and Carniola, where he laid the foundation of his “Flora” and “Entomologia Carniolica.” In 1754- he accompanied count de Firmian, prince bishop, and afterwards cardinal, to Gratz, from whence he went to | Vienna to obtain a diploma to practice in the Austrian dominions. His examination is said to have been rigorous, and his thesis on a new method of classing plants to have been received with great regard. The friendship of Van Swieten, if in this instance it can be called friendship, procured him the office of first physician to the Austrian miners of Tirol. In this banishment he continued more than ten years; for it was only in 1766, after repeated solicitations, that he obtained the post of counsellor in the mining department, and professor of mineralogy at Schemnitz; but in this interval he produced his “Anni tres Historico-naturales,1769 to 1771, 8vo. In this new office he was indefatigable in teaching, exploring new mines, composing different works on fossils, and improving the method of treating minerals; but after ten years’ labour, he was not able to obtain the newly-established chair of natural history at Vienna; yet soon after his attempt, about the end of 1776, he was appointed professor of chemistry and botany at Pavia. In this situation he published some pharmaceutical essays, translated and greatly augmented Macquer’s Dictionary, and explained the contents of the cabinet of natural history belonging to the university, under the title of " Deliciae Florae et Faunae Insubricee,' 7 the last part of which he did not live to complete. The president of the Linnsean society, who dedicated the Scopolia to his memory, informs us that, after some domestic chagrin, and much public persecution, he died at Pavia, May 8, 1788. He had been concerned with all the most eminent men of that university, Volta, Fontana, and others, in detecting the misconduct of their colleague, the celebrated Spallanzani, who had robbed the public museum. But the emperor, loth to dismiss so able a professor, contented himself with a personal rebuke at Vienna to the culprit, and his accusers were silenced, in a manner which was supposed to have caused the death of Scopoli. The survivors told their story, as explicitly as they durst, in a circular letter to the learned of Europe. 1

1 Crit. Re*. vol. Lxyti. —Rees’s Cyclopædia art Scopolia.