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Giovanni Vincenzo Gravina
He was descended from a distinguished family, and under the direction of his maternal uncle, Gregorio Caloprese , who possessed some reputation as a poet and philosopher, received a learned education, after which he studied at Naples civil and canon law. In 1689 he came to Rome, where in 1695 he united with several others of literary tastes in forming the Academy of Arcadians.
A schism occurred in the academy in 1711, and Gravina and his followers founded in opposition to it the Academy of Quirina. From Innocent XII Gravina received the offer of various ecclesiastical honors, but declined them from a disinclination to enter the clerical profession. In 1699 he was appointed to the chair of civil law in the college of La Sapienza, and in 1703 he was transferred to the chair of canon law. He died at Rome on the 6th of January 1718. He was, the adoptive father of Metastasio.
Gravina is the author of a number of works of great erudition, the principal being his Origines juris civis, completed in 3 vols (1713) and his De Romano imperio (1712). A French translation of the former appeared in 1775, of which a second edition was published in 1822. His collected works were published at Leipzig in 1737, and at Naples, with notes by Mascovius, in 1756.
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