Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Latin lexicographer, b. at Fener, near Treviso, Italy, 26 Aug., 1688; d. at Padua, 4 April, 1768. His parents were poor, so that he was deprived of the opportunities of an early education, and he was of mature age when in 1704 he entered the seminary at Padua. There his ability and industry soon attracted the attention of his teacher, Facciolati, who secured his assistance in his lexicographical work. Forcellini collaborated with his master in revising the so-called "Calepinus", the Latin dictionary, in seven languages, of the monk Ambrosius Calepinus. While engaged in this work, Forcellini is said to have conceived the idea of an entirely new Latin lexicon, the most comprehensive ever compiled. Towards the end of 1718, under the direction of Facciolati, he began the laborious task of reading through the entire body of Latin literature as well as the whole collection of inscriptions. His labours were interrupted in 1724, when he was called to Ceneda, where he became professor of rhetoric and director of the seminary. He resumed his work on the lexicon on his recall to Padua in 1731. It was not until three years after Forcellini's death that this great lexicon, on which he had spent nearly forty years of untiring industry, and which is the basis of all the Latin lexicons now in use, was published at Padua in four folio volumes under the title, "Totius Latinitatis Lexicon". In it are given both the Italian and the Greek equivalents of every word, together with copious citations from the literature. There is an English edition by Bailey in two volumes (London, 1828). The latest complete edition is that of De Vit (Prato, 1858-87). (See LATIN LITERATURE.)

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 2:19-22
19 So you are no longer aliens or foreign visitors; you are ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:2-3, 4-5
2 day discourses of it to day, night to night hands on the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 6:12-16
12 Now it happened in those days that he went onto the mountain to pray; ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 28th, 2016 Image

St. Jude Thaddaeus
October 28: St. Jude, known as Thaddaeus, was a brother of ... Read More