Levi, (Graziadio) David

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LEVI, (Graziadio) DAVID

LEVI, (Graziadio ) DAVID (1816–1898), Italian patriot and poet. Born at Chieri in northern Italy into a wealthy family, Levi studied at the universities of Parma and Pisa and joined Giovane Italia, the secret nationalist movement of Giuseppe Mazzini. He worked as a journalist in Switzerland and later in Paris where he associated with Italian patriots and came into contact with Hungarian and Polish nationalists. Levi returned to Italy to take part in the revolution of 1848. He supported the Sardinian king against the Austrians, contrary to Mazzini's republican policy of opposition to all monarchies. In 1860 following the unification of Italy he was elected to the Italian assembly as a liberal representative. He fought for equal rights and religious freedom until his defeat in 1879. Levi wrote many poems and war songs including a satire on Pope Pius ix and war songs for Garibaldi's brigades. His romantic dramas include Il Profeta (2 parts, 1866–84), an allegorical work based on the story of Jeremiah, in which Levi shows deep love of both Zion and Italy. All his works were imbued with the spirit of 19th-century European liberalism with which he equated the ethical values of Judaism.