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FINZI, GIUSEPPE:

Italian patriot and parliamentarian; born at Rivarolo Fuori, province of Mantua, 1815; died Dec. 17, 1886. He studied at Padua from 1831 to 1835; in 1834 he joined the secret organization Giovane Italia. In 1844 he met Mazzini in London, who entrusted him with the nationalist propaganda in Switzerland and Lombardy. In 1848 Finzi fought behind the barricades at Milan during the "cinque giornate." After serving for a time in the army of Charles Albert, he organized a Bersaglieri regiment, consisting of Mantuans; he first fought at Novara against Austria, and afterward at Rome against the papal troops. As an intimate friend of Mazzini, he was brought before an Austrian court martial at Mantua. While many of his friends were condemned to the gallows, he was sentenced to eighteen years' imprisonment; but after a short term of imprisonment at Theresienstadt and Josephstadt, the amnesty of 1856 set him at liberty.

When Lombardy was freed from Austrian domination, Finzi was appointed royal commissary for the province of Mantua. He became the confidant of Garibaldi, and was entrusted with the funds for the expedition to Sicily. The voluntary contributions not being sufficient, Finzi appealed to Cavour, who, on condition of strictest secrecy, supplied him with state funds. Cavour urged Finzi to revolutionize Naples while Garibaldi was in Sicily. Accordingly, with Zanardelli, Besana, and others, Finzi went there, but had little success; nevertheless he paved the way for Garibaldi's entry later. Ill health compelled Finzi to resign the office of general director of public safety for the southern provinces, to which he had been appointed. He sometimes mediated between Garibaldi and Cavour when their relations became strained. For about twenty-five years—from 1860 onward—Finzi was a member of the Lower House, and highly esteemed by all parties. He was a man of unflagging energy, but he was not an orator. June 7, 1886, he was made a senator; he was destined, however, never to enter the Senate chamber.

Bibliography:
  • Leone Carpi, Il Risorgimento Italiano, Biografie Storico-Politiche d'Illustri Italiani Contemporanei, iv. Milan, 1888;
  • Telesforo Sarti, Il Parlamento Subaipino e Nazionale, Profili e Cenni Biografici, Turin, 1890.
S. S. Mün.
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