Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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EMPARAN, Diego de (empar'an), Mexican author, born in Puebla, Mexico, 5 April 1718; died in Ravenna, Italy, after 1807. He came of a noble and rich family, studied in the seminary of his native City, and in 1733 was sent to Rome to complete his education in the Jesuit College of the Trinity. He received consecration as priest in 1745, and soon published his first work, "Los Jesuitas y el PApa" (1746), which appeared at the same time in Latin, Spanish, and Italian, and was soon translated into English and French. In this work he attacked Louis XIV, and, on the demand of the French government for his punishment, he was confined in the ecclesiastical prison, where he remained for nearly five years. After his release he published "La orden de los templarios y la de los jesuitas bajo el punto de vista histdrico; Santiago de Melay 6 Ignacio de Loyola" (Bologna, 1751), which attracted a censure from the holy office, and a suspension for a year of his functions as priest. But Emparan was not to be subdued, and soon issued "Los apostoles de sayal y los apostoles de tdnica," containing a panegyric of the company of Jesus and a bitter critic of the princes of the Church and their vices (1752). This time he had gone too far, and the clamors of the Church dignitaries were so powerful that the pope deposed him from the priesthood and condemned him to perpetual imprisonment in the fortress of San Angelo.
The executioner publicly burned his work, but one copy was saved, and exists today in the National academy of Mexico. Emparan finally received pardon through the intercession of his mother, and remained for some years in obscurity, but, unable to remain silent for a long time, published the most noteworthy of all his books, "PitAgoras, Empedocles y Zendn" (1760). This book also attracted the censure of the holy office, was put on the "Index expurgatorius," and its author interdieted; but he, foreseeing his fate, had escaped to France and hid in Paris for several months, nearly reduced to absolute poverty. In 1761 another book, "Le Diable, les femmes, et Saint Bernard," caused him to be arrested and imprisoned in the Bastile.
In 1762, thanks to the influence of Voltaire, he was set at liberty, and acquainted with the principal philosophers and encyclopaedists of the 18th century living at the court. He soon became one of the leaders of the philosophy of that age, and for several years, together with Condorcet, was a contributor to different scientific reviews under the pen name of "Zoroaster." He received a rich inheritance from his parents in 1790, and, after several years of foreign travel, settled in England in 1793. He removed again to Paris in 1795, and in 1806 made a voyage to Mexico, but Iturrigaray, at that time viceroy, considering Emparan's presence in New Spain dangerous for the public order, expelled him, without consideration for his advanced age and infirmities. He then returned to Europe, and went to Bologna, and afterward to Ravenna, where he died. Emparan was an accomplished linguist, speaking and writing correctly Greek, Latin, Spanish, French, Italian, and English. His other works include "The Tombs of Mohammed and Christ "; "Voltaire and his School "; "Science and Superstition "; and "Religion and Ilygiene" (London, 1794'5); and " La Virgen India," predicting the independence of Mexico (Bologna, 1807).
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