Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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FABREGAT, Lino (fahbraygah'), Mexican scholar, born in Mexico in 1746; died there in 1809. He was the son of a rich Mexican shipowner, and was himself engaged in commerce for some time, but, after suffering several severe losses, he decided to give up business and devote himself to study. He entered the Jesuit's College in Mexico in 1774, and was debating as to what branch he should pursue, when Father Figueira, superior of the order, suggested that he apply himself to deciphering some Aztec manuscripts in the College library. Father Fabregat immediately set to work, became greatly interested, and was soon able to read the manuscripts. He spent much time in wandering about the country, examining private libraries, and searching for stones bearing Aztec inscriptions. He soon gathered a magnificent collection, which he spent his time in deciphering. The Jesuits now urged him to go to Rome, where he could profit by the labors of such men as Boturini, Veytia, Borunda, and Antonio Gama, some of whom were still living, and where the treasures of the Vatican would aid him in his researches. He accordingly set out for Rome, where, to facilitate his studies, Cardinal Borgia made him librarian in 1780.
Thenceforward Father Fabregat lived alternately in Rome and Mexico. The French invasion of 1800 forced him to return to Mexico permanently, and he remained there till his death. Father Fat h'egat's works are of great value, as he was one of the first to explain the signification of Aztec manuscripts, and therefore we owe to him all knowledge of Mexican history before the Spanish conquest. It is much to be regretted that Father Fabregat died before the completion of his labors, and left behind him but few notes, for since his time but little advance has been made in knowledge on these subjects, had he lived a few years longer, many points would have been decided that to this day remain contested. Father Fabregat left a manuscript in Italian in the Vatican library entitled "Explicatione dell| figuri hieroglifiehi del Codice Mexicano." This work was published by Ram|fez (1827), and opened the way to important discoveries. The notes left by Father Fabregat were collected and published by TernauxCompans, as " Notes et manuscrits et ouvrages inacheves laisses par l'illustre hierogramate Mexicain, Fabregat tirds des archives du College des Jesuites et de la bibliotheque Vat|cane" (4 vols., Paris, 1843).
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