Ccsare Cantu, an Italian historian, poet, and philosopher, born in Brivio, Sept. 5, 1805. He was educated at Sondrio, where he taught belles-lettres, resided afterward in Como, and next at Milan till 1848. One of his earliest works, entitled Ragionamenti sulla storia lom-barda delsecolo XVII. (21st ed., 1864), brought upon the author the animadversion of the Austrian government, which condemned him to a year's imprisonment. During his confinement he composed a historical romance, Margherita Pusterla (Florence, 1845; 36th ed., 1864). His great work, Storia universale, appeared first in 1837, at Turin. It was revised and reprinted at Palermo and Naples (9th ed., 35 vols., Turin, 1864), and translated into German and French. The work consists of the narrative, followed by volumes of documentary history and various illustrative essays by the author, and concludes with tables and appendices giving a resume of the whole work. Cantu possesses a critical spirit, and in his judgments on literary and political characters he seeks to be just as well as independent. He is a friend of liberty, and has suffered in its cause; yet he is a devoted admirer and practical follower of the doctrines of the Roman Catholic church.

All these traits combine to give a peculiar character to his history, and render it both interesting and important. His religious lyrics are found in all popular collections of that kind of poetry, and are much esteemed by his countrymen. Among his other works are: Storia di Como (2 vols., Como, 1829); Parnasso italiano: Poeti ita-liani contemporanei, maggiori e minori (Paris, 1843); Algiso, o la Lega lombarda (Milan, 1846); Letture giovanili (4 vols., published about the same time), devoted to popular education; Storia degli Italiani (6 vols., Turin, 1854); Storia delta letteratura latina (1863); Storia delta letteratura greca (1863); Storia delta letteratura italiana (Florence, 1864); Il tempo de' Francesi (Naples, 1864); Gli eretici d'Italia (3 vols., Turin, 1866); Buon senso; and Porto-foglio d'un operajo (Milan, 1867). Cantu was obliged to leave Milan at the time of the insurrection of 1848, but subsequently returned, and devoted himself to historical and philosophical studies. In 1869 he was elected a corresponding member of the French academy of moral sciences.