Born in Palermo, patriot and historian, Amari devoted a great part of his life to the history of Sicily, and took personally part in its emancipation. Amari was also an Orientalist and served as the Italy’s first minister of public education.
Amari became an important figure during the Risorgimento. He was a link between Prime Minister Camillo Benso di Cavour and influential Sicilians, helping to convince them to support the Italian unification. Amari did so expecting Cavour to grant Sicily some regional autonomy after unification.
Amari’s historical works focus on Medieval Sicilian history, including extensive works on the period of Muslim control. His efforts have earned him acknowledgment as one of 19th century Europe’s premier translators of Medieval Arabic writings. His “Storia dei Musulmani di Sicilian” (History of the Muslims of Sicily, 1854) has been translated into many languages, including Arabic by a group of Egyptian scholars in 2004. He died in Florence in 1889.
1. Treccani, http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/michele-benedetto-gaetano-amari_(Dizionario_Biografico)/
2. Wikipedia, https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michele_Amari