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He studied at the Jesuit college at Monza, entered the order, and was appointed in 1755 professor of eloquence in the university of Milan. Here he produced (1766-1768) Vetera humiliatorum monumenta (3 vols), a history of the extinct order of the Humiliati, which made his literary reputation.
Nominated in 1770 librarian to Francis III, duke of Modena , he turned to account the copious materials there accumulated forthe composition of his Storia della letteratura italiana. This vast work, in which Italian literature from the time of the Etruscans to the end of the 17th century is traced in detail, occupied eleven years, 1771-1782, and the thirteen quarto volumes embodying it appeared successively at Modena during that period.
A second enlarged edition (16 vols) was issued from 1787 to 1794, and was succeeded by many others, besides abridgments in German, French and English. Tiraboschi died at Modena on the 3rd of June 1794, leaving a high reputation for virtue, learning and piety.
Tiraboschi also, amongst many works, wrote:
- Biblioteca modenese (6 vols, 1781-1786)
- Notizie de' pittori, scultori, incisori, ed architetti modenesi (1786)
- Memorie storiche modenesi (5 vols, 1793-1794)
He edited the Nuovo giornale dei letterati d'Italia (1773-1790), and left materials for a work of great research entitled Dizionario topografico-storico degli stati estensi (2 vols 4to, Modena, 1824-1825),
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