Carpani, Melchiorre

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Barnabite missionary to Burma; b. Lodi, Italy, 1726;d. there, July 8, 1797. At the age of 18, he entered the barnabites, and in 1764 he departed for the missions of Ava and Pegù in Burma. There he was the first to study the characters of the Burmese alphabet, which he attempted to set in type for a printing press. In 1774, after an attempt upon his life, he was recalled to Rome. During his term as superior of the College of San Giovanni at Lodi (177585) he published the Alphabetum Burmanum (1776) and the Memorie sopra la vita di Hyder Ali Kan (1782). The latter biography of an Indian general is an important source for the modern history of India.

Bibliography: l. gallo, Storia del cristianesimo nell'Impero birmano, 2 v. (Milan 1862), passim. g. boffito, Scrittori Barnabiti, 4 v. (Florence 193337) 1:424426.

[u. m. fasola]