Poggio Bracciolini, Gian Francesco

born Feb. 11, 1380, Terranuova, Tuscany
died Oct. 30, 1459, Florence

Italian humanist and calligrapher.

While working as a copyist of manuscripts, Poggio invented the humanist script, which later became the prototype for Roman fonts in printing. He traveled to various monasteries in Europe, uncovering lost, forgotten, or neglected classical Latin manuscripts, including works by Cicero and Lucretius. He also translated works by Lucian, Xenophon, and others into Latin. His own writings include moral dialogues and Facetiae (1438–52), a collection of humorous tales containing satires of his contemporaries.

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▪ Italian scholar
born Feb. 11, 1380, Terranuova, Tuscany [Italy]
died Oct. 30, 1459, Florence

      Italian humanist and calligrapher, foremost among scholars of the early Renaissance as a rediscoverer of lost, forgotten, or neglected classical Latin manuscripts in the monastic libraries of Europe.

      While working in Florence as a copyist of manuscripts, Poggio invented the humanist script (based on the Caroline minuscule), a round, formal writing that, after a generation of polishing by scribes, served the new art of printing as the prototype of “Roman” fonts. In 1403 he moved to Rome, where he became a secretary to Pope Boniface IX. In 1415, at Cluny, he brought to light two unknown orations of Cicero. At St. Gall in 1416 he found the first complete text of Quintilian's Institutio oratoria, three books and part of a fourth of Valerius Flaccus' Argonautica, and the commentaries of Asconius Pedianus on Cicero's orations. Various expeditions in 1417 to Fulda, St. Gall, and other monasteries produced P. Festus' De significatu verborum; Lucretius' De rerum natura; Manilius' Astronomica; Silius Italicus' Punica; Ammianus Marcellinus' Res gestae; Apicius' work on cooking; and other lesser works. He also found at Langres in 1417 Cicero's oration Pro Caecina and perhaps at Cologne seven other orations of Cicero. It is not known where and when he discovered the Silvae of Statius. Poggio made copies of the newfound works in his elegant script, several of which still survive.

      He spent four years (1418–23) in England, where his hopes of continuing his discoveries were disappointed by the inadequacy of English libraries. In 1423 he was reappointed curial secretary in Rome and made further discoveries, including Frontinus' De aquaeductibus and Firmicus Maternus' Matheseos libri, the latter found at Monte Cassino in 1429. He translated into Latin Xenophon's Cyropaedia, the histories of Diodorus Siculus, and Lucian's Onos. His classical interests extended to the study of ancient buildings and the collecting of inscriptions and of sculpture, with which he adorned the garden of his villa near Florence. He succeeded Carlo Aretino as chancellor of Florence (1453). His last years were spent in exercising this office and in writing his history of Florence.

      In his own writings, Poggio was gifted with a lively eloquence and a capacity for artistic representation of character and conversation that distinguish his moral dialogues from numerous similar contemporary works. The most important of these are De avaritia (1428–29), De varietate fortunae (1431–48), De nobilitate (1440), and Historia tripartita disceptativa convivalis (1450). A vein of sadness and pessimism runs through some and appears strongly in his De miseria humanae conditionis (1455). His Facetiae (1438–52), a collection of humorous, often indecent tales, contains vigorous satires on monks, clerics, and rival scholars such as Francesco Filelfo, Guarino, and Lorenzo Valla, with whom Poggio engaged in some of the most notorious and vituperative polemics of a polemical age. This same spirit animates his dialogue Contra hypocritas (1447–48). Poggio's ability to handle Latin as a live idiom is best shown in his copious correspondence, which for its form as much as for its content stands out among the epistolari of the humanists.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Poggio Bracciolini, Gian Francesco — (11 feb. 1380, Terranuova, Toscana–30 oct. 1459, Florencia). Humanista y calígrafo italiano. Mientras trabajaba copiando manuscritos, Poggio inventó la caligrafía humanista, que más adelante se convertiría en el prototipo para las fuentes romanas …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Poggio Bracciolini — Poggio Bracciolini. Gian Francesco Poggio Bracciolini (Terranuova, cerca de Arezzo, 1380 – Florencia, 10 de octubre 1459) fue un humanista italiano. Estudió en Florencia y vino a Roma alrededor del año 1402. El papa Bonifacio IX …   Wikipedia Español

  • Gian Francesco Poggio Bracciolini — (Gian Francesco) Poggio Bracciolini (February 11, 1380 – October 30, 1459) was one of the most important Italian humanists. He recovered a great number of classical texts, mostly lying forgotten in German and French monastic libraries, and… …   Wikipedia

  • Poggio Bracciolini —   [ pɔddʒo brattʃo liːni], Gian Francesco, italienischer Humanist, * Terranuova (bei Arezzo) 11. 2. 1380, ✝ Florenz 30. 10. 1459; seit 1403 in Rom, zunächst Schreiber, dann Sekretär der päpstlichen Kurie, blieb in diesem Amt (abgesehen von einem… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Poggio Bracciolīni — (spr. poddscho brattscho ), Gian Francesco, Humanist, geb. 11. Febr. 1380 im Kastell Terranuova bei Florenz, gest. 30. Okt. 1459 in Florenz, trat 1403 als Sekretär in den Dienst der päpstlichen Kurie, begleitete Johann XXIII. zum Konzil von… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Poggio Bracciolini — Gian Francesco Poggio Bracciolini (Terranuova, cerca de Arezzo, 1380 Florencia, 10 de octubre 1459), humanista italiano. Estudió en Florencia y vino a Roma alrededor del año 1402. El papa Bonifacio IX hizo de él uno de sus secretarios apostólicos …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Poggio Bracciolini — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Poggio. Gian Francesco Poggio Bracciolini ou Poggio Bracciolini dit en français Le Pogge ou …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bracciolini —   [brattʃo liːni], Gian Francesco Pọggio [ dʒo], italienischer Humanist, Poggio Bracciolini, Gian Francesco …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Francesco — (as used in expressions) Francesco di Cristofano de Giudicis Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola Francesco Petrarca Albani Francesco Francesco Albano Roberto Francesco Romolo Bellarmino Borromini Francesco Francesco Castelli Cavalli Pier Francesco… …   Universalium

  • Francesco — (as used in expressions) Albani, Francesco Francesco Albano Roberto Francesco Romolo Bellarmino Borromini, Francesco Francesco Castelli Cavalli, (Pier) Francesco Pietro Francesco Caletti Bruni Crispi, Francesco Francia, Francesco Francesco di… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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