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Carlo Giuseppe Imbonati

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Cistercian of the Reform of St. Bernard, orientalist, biographer, theologian ; born at Milan ; flourished in the latter half of the seventeenth century. The date of his death is disputed, yet it certainly did not occur before the year 1696. He occupied the chairs of theology and Hebrew in Rome and was raised to the dignity of abbot. A former pupil of Giulio Bartolocci, who was a member of the same order and projector of the "Bibliotheca magna rabbinica", Imbonati eventually became his master's collaborator. Upon the demise of the latter he completed and edited the fourth volume (Rome 1693) of this monumental work, which, notwithstanding its shortcomings, bears witness to the untiring industry and vast erudition of its authors, and laid the foundation for Wolf's "Bibliotheca hebraica" and other works of the kind. Imbonati brought out a supplementary fifth volume under the title "Bibliotheca latino-hebraica, sive de Scriptoribus latinis, qui ex diversis nationibus contra Judaeos vel de re hebraica utcumque scripsere" (Rome, 1694). This volume also contains a "Chronology of Sacred Scripture " and two dissertations of an apologetico-polemicai character (viz., on the Messias, and on the Divinity and Humanity of Christ) based upon miscellaneous Hebrew, Greek, and Latin writings. Imbonati's "Chronicon Tragicum, sive de eventibus tragicis Principum" (Rome, 1696) has a didactic as well as a scientific aim, and was written chiefly for the guidance of "Principes veritatis amatores". The dedicatory letter, prefixed to this work and addressed to Card. Coelestinus Sfondratus, O.S.B. , is dated from the Monastery of St. Bernard in the Baths of Diocletian, 1 April, 1696. This is the latest date ascertainable concerning Imbonati's career. (See BARTOLOCCI, GIULIO.)


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