Carocci, Horacio

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Jesuit missionary and linguist; b. Florence, Italy, 1579; d. Tepotzotlán, Mexico, July 14, 1662. Having entered the Society of Jesus on Oct. 23, 1601, he was sent to Mexico in 1605. He was ordained in 1608 and after tertianship was sent to Tepotzotlán, where the society maintained a school for the natives who spoke only Mazahua (Mazagua), Nahuatl, or Otomí. Carocci became a specialist in Otomí. In 1625 a report sent by Diego de Torres to Jerónimo Díez, the provincial procurator appointed to Rome and Madrid, noted that the priests sent to Tepotzotlán to study Otomí learned only to hear confessions, poorly at that, for they did not wish to become proficient in the language for fear of being stationed permanently among the natives; only Carocci knew Otomí well. Torres requested that Carocci be allowed 100 pesos annually to pay the native peoples who helped with the linguistic labors of preparing a grammar and vocabulary of Otomí. Carocci prepared also a grammar and vocabulary of Nahuatl, published in 1645, and he was familiar with Mazahua. He was rector of the major seminary from 1649 to 1653 and then rector of the school and novitiate in Tepotzotlán until his death. The Jesuit historian Francisco Javier alegre felt that Carocci's brilliant qualities, enhanced by humility and a zeal for souls, were stifled in the loneliness of an inhospitable village and sacrificed to his relations with the ungrateful Otomí.

Bibliography: f. j. alegre, Historia de la provincia de la Compañía de Jesús de Nueva España, ed. e. j. burrus and f. zubillaga, 4 v. (new ed. Rome 195660). a. m. garibay kintana, Historia de la literatura náhuatl, 2 v. (Mexico City 195354).

[f. zubillaga]