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Salomone Morpurgo

MORPURGO, SALOMONE (1860–1942), Italian philologist and librarian. While still a student, Morpurgo was an active member of the Italian nationalist movement. He was arrested by the Austrian authorities in his native Trieste and received a prison sentence. He then moved to Rome, where he became coeditor of the Archivio storico per Trieste, l'Istria e il Trentino (1881–95), which campaigned in favor of the Irredentist claim to Italy's Austrian-controlled territories. Best known for his literary work, Morpurgo was a coeditor of the Rivista critica della letteratura italiana (1884–91), director of the Riccardiana library in Rome (whose Manoscritti italiani he carefully described), and subsequently headed the Marciana library in Venice, which he transferred to the Palazzo della Zecca (La Biblioteca Marciana nella sua nuova sede, 1906). From 1905 to 1923 Morpurgo directed and reorganized the National Library in Florence. He investigated the medieval Italian version of the legend of the Wandering *Jew, publishing L'ebreo errante in Italia (1891), and edited the Italian manuscript of the story written in Florence by Antonio di Francesco d'Andrea early in the 15th century, which predates the well-known German edition of the legend. A pupil of the eminent writer Giosuè Carducci (1835–1907), Morpurgo specialized in the study of old Italian dialects and literary sources, and prepared editions of various manuscripts, analyzing their linguistic features and their relation to the figurative arts. The outcome of this work was his Supplemento alle opere volgari a stampa dei secoli XIII e XIV, indicate e descritte da F. Zambrini (1929; reissued 1961). A leading authority on Dante and Petrarch, Morpurgo later taught Italian literature at the University of Bologna.


E. Battisti, in: Studi Trentini, 23 (1922), 135–6; L'Osservatore Romano (Feb. 18, 1942).

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.