Open main menu

Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Alessandro Alessandri

ALESSANDRI, Alessandro (Alexander ab Alexandro), a learned jurisconsult, born at Naples about the year 1461 (died 1523). He studied at Naples and Rome, and afterwards practised for a time as advocate in both cities. At Naples he is said to have been royal proto-notary in 1490. Dissatisfied, according to his own account, with the corrupt administration of justice, he at length quitted the bar, and devoted himself entirely to literary pursuits, especially to the study of philology and antiquities. A sinecure appointment, which he owed to the favour of the pope, enabled him to lead a life of learned leisure at Rome, where he died on the 2d October 1523. What is known of his biography has been gathered chiefly from detached statements in his work entitled Dies Geniales, which appeared at Rome in 1522, and is constructed after the model of the Noctes Atticæ of Aulus Gellius, and the Saturnalia of Macrobius. The work consists of a confused mass of heterogeneous materials relating to philology, antiquities, law, dreams, spectres, &c., and shows great credulity and want of judgment on the part of its author.