Dobritzhoffer, Martin

Dobritzhoffer, Martin, a Jesuit missionary, was born at Gratz, in Styria, in 1717. He was admitted to the Society of Jesus in 1736, and was sent in 1749 as missionary to Paraguay, where he spent eighteen years among the Abipones and Guaranas, when, on the expulsion of the Jesuit missionaries from Spanish South America in 1767, he was compelled to return to Europe. In 1784 he published Historia de Abiponibus, equestri bellicosaque Paraguariae Natione (Vienna, 3 volumes, 8vo, 1783-84). It is very ample and minute, but, though it contains many curious and interesting facts, abounds in extravagant statements. Dobritzhoffer's book was a favorite with Southey, and at his suggestion Sara Coleridge translated it into English — An Account of the Abipones, an equestrian People of Paraguay (1822, 3 volumes, 8vo). It has also been translated into German. Dobritzhoffer died at Vienna in 1791. — English Cyclopaedia; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, 14:403.

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