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Dionigi da Piacenza


Missionary, whose writings contributed greatly to European knowledge of distant peoples and places in the modern era of discovery and exploration; b. Piacenza, Italy, 1637; d. Venice, Italy, 1695. In 1652, at the age of 15, Dionigi Carli entered the Bologna province of the Capuchin Order. Dionigi, destined to become one of the most traveled missionaries up to his time, labored in the Congo from 1667 to 1671, after which he went to Brazil. After returning to Italy, he was sent in 1678 to the missions of Asia Minor, Persia, and Russian Georgia. In Georgia he served as proprefect of the mission. He spent his last years in Venice. Dionigi's two books of narration of his experiences caused a sensation among his European contemporaries. His narratives were widely distributed, and even during his lifetime appeared in French and German translations, and were incorporated in monumental collections of works on foreign travel, for example, the English rendering by J. Pinkerton in A General Collection of the Best and Most Interesting Voyages and Travels (v. 16 London 1808).

Bibliography: Lexicon Capuccinum (Rome 1951) 507508.

[t. macvicar]

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