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Angelo Camillo De Meis



Angelo Camillo De Meis

Bucchianico (Chieti) 1817 - Bologna 1891


Physician and patriot, De Meis first studied at the Royal College of the Piarist Fathers in Chieti, where he met Bertrando and Silvio Spavento; he then moved to Naples, where he attended the clinical school directed by Pietro Ramaglia. After his medical degree, he practised in the Ospedale degli Incurabili (Hospital for Incurables) in the same city, and in 1848 he was named Rector of the Medical Surgical College there.
He cultivated literary and philosophical interests alongside his scientific studies, and Francesco De Sanctis – his contemporary and friend – introduced De Meis into Neapolitan idealist groups. Like Luigi Settembrini and Pasquale Villari, he shared the liberal ideals of the Italian Risorgimento. Accused of conspiracy in the Neapolitan uprisings of 1848, he was in exile in Paris until 1853. After his return to Italy, he was the Representative from Chieti in the first Parliament formed after Italian unification, and was subsequently elected by the constituency of Manoppello in 1865. In his main work, Dopo la laurea, he espoused natural philosophy and a Hegelian aesthetic, and he presented his political and philosophical conceptions in his treatise Il Sovrano.

Main works: Nuovi elementi di fisiologia generale speculativa ed empirica (Napoli 1848-1849); Dopo la laurea. Vita e pensieri (Bologna 1868-1869); I tipi animali. Lezioni (Bologna 1872-1875); Il Sovrano. Saggio di filosofia politica con riferenza all’Italia (1868; a cura di B. Croce, Bari 1927).

Bibliography: A. Del Vecchio Veneziani, La vita e l’opera di Angelo Camillo De Meis, Bologna, Zanichelli 1921; U. Russo, Studi sul De Meis e sulla cultura abruzzese tra Otto e Novecento, Pescara, Ed. Trimestre 1975; F. Tessitore, De Meis, Angelo Camillo, in Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, vol. 38 (1990); L. Mammarella, Storia di un italiano. Angelo Camillo De Meis, Roma, D. Borgia 1991; R. Colapietra, Angelo Camillo De Meis politico “militante”, Napoli, Guida Editori 1993.



Catalogo della Biblioteca di A.C. De Meis

On 18 October 1890 Angelo Camillo De Meis sent a letter to the mayor of Chieti, Cesare De Laurentiis, stating his desire to donate part of his books “to our city”. It is probable that the most substantial part of the donation took place after his death; in 1918 it was decided to name the Library after De Meis.
A file of documents kept in the Provincial Library of Chieti contains the inventory of De Meis’ collection and 8 envelopes, along with the confirmation of the purchase of the collection. The books of the collection are not shelved together, but rather distributed in the relative areas throughout the library. The typed inventory, titled Catalogo della biblioteca di A.C. De Meis, is 131 pages long and contains 4,510 volumes divided into three disciplinary areas – medicine, physical and natural sciences; literature and philosophy; history and geography – each of which is then organized by author. The envelopes contain manuscripts found among the books, official documents, autographs, telegrams, condolences for the death of De Meis, 9 brochures and 2 newspapers.

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