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Ravagnani, Benintendi de’

(429 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
1317-65. Italy. Venetian chancellor. Author of a reworking and continuation of Andrea Dandolo's chronicles and possibly of an account of the siege of Zara in 1346, all in Latin. Born in Chioggia, Ravagnani began government service as a notary in the Venetian chancery, served as chancellor of Zadar in 1346-47, and was promoted to the rank of Grand Chancellor in 1352. Ravagnani established a friendship with Francesco Petrarca on his visit to Venice in January 1354, which he renewed on a…
Date: 2016-10-17

Caresini, Raffaino

(365 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
[Raphaynus de Caresinis] 1314-90. Italy. Venetian chancery official and chronicler of Venetian history 1343-88. Born at Cremona in Lombardy in about 1314 and trained in the notarial arts, Caresini first appears as a public notary in Venice in 1334. He soon found work in the Venetian chancery, serving as notary of the Council of Forty in 1343, and rose through the ranks to become the grand chancellor of the Venetian Republic following the death of Benintendi Ravignani in 1365. He was amon…
Date: 2016-10-17

Ferreti, Ferretto de'

(428 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
1294-1337. Italy. Vicentine notary and historian, who wrote a long history of events in northern Italy between 1250 and 1318, as well as a poem on the origins of the della Scala family. Born in Vicenza in 1294 into a family of judges and notaries, Ferreto de' Ferreti was trained as a notary in his native city and elected head (gastaldo) of the College of Notaries in 1320. In addition to his work in city government, Ferreti studied ancient authors, mainly the Latin poets, wrote a number of priapic verses (which survive only in fragments) and a long poem o…
Date: 2016-10-17

Chronica Venetiarum

(356 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
14th century. Italy. A largely derivative Latin chronicle of the history of Venice from its founding to 1358, commonly attributed to Piero di Giustiniano Giustinian ( Venetiarum historia vulgo Petro Iustiniano Iustiniani filio adiudicata) and completed sometime after 1358. The earlier part of the chronicle makes no pretense to originality and is dependant on the earlier Venetian histories, such as the anonymous Chronicon Altinate and Historia ducum Venetorum, and especially the Chronica brevis of Andrea Dandolo. The narrative is organized by doge-ship and then by ye…
Date: 2016-10-17

Giustinian, Bernardo

(525 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
1408-89. Italy. Major Venetian humanist, diplomat and historian. Born into one of the city's most illustrious noble families, the son of statesman Leonardo and nephew of Venice's first patriarch, the blessed Lorenzo Giustinian, Bernardo received a superb humanist education, counting among his teachers, Guarino da Verona, Francesco Filelfo and George of Trebizond. He was fluent in Italian and Latin, with a fine knowledge of classical Greek. One of his first works was a Latin version of…
Date: 2016-10-17

Iacopo Piacentino

(238 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
[Iacopus Placentinus, Giacomo da Piacenza] 14th century. Italy. Born in Piacenza at the end of the 13th century, Iacopo da Piacenza served as a public notary in the ducal chancery of the Venetian Republic from 1317, sometimes acting as an envoy on missions to Sicily and other states. In 1340 he was charged with trading state secrets to Venice's enemies, fined and dismissed from office. He ended his days as a schoolmaster in Venice, probably murdered in a local quarrel in 1349. His major work is a Latin prose ch…
Date: 2016-10-17

Vergerio, Pier Paolo

(346 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
1370-1444. Italy. Humanist, educational theorist, and church reformer. Wrote Latin biographies of the first seven lords of the da Carrara family who ruled over Padua in the 14th century. Born in Istria, Vergerio spent his most formative years, from 1390 to 1405, in Padua, where he was a student at the university and tutor to the sons of the ruling lord, Francesco Novello da Carrara. There he wrote his widely circulated treatise on education, De ingenuis moribus et liberalibus studiis adolescentiae (On teaching young people noble habits and the liberal arts), and composed his De principib…
Date: 2016-10-17

Caroldo, Gian Giacomo

(385 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
ca 1480-1538. Italy. Venetian chancery official and diplomat, who wrote a vernacular history of Venice from its origins to 1382. Born in Venice and trained as a notary, Caroldo entered the Venetian chancery in 1496 and was soon employed on various diplomatic missions, including trips to England, Spain and Constantinople. During the War of the League of Cambrai, he served on missions to Milan, and in 1517 to the king of France. The following year he returned to Venice, securing the pos…
Date: 2016-10-17

Dolfin, Zorzi

(335 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
[Giorgio] 1396 - ca 1458. Italy. Venetian diplomat and office-holder, who wrote a history of Venice that provides the most detailed account of the city under the rule of Doge Francesco Foscari (1427-57). His Cronica de la nobel cita de Venetia e de la sua provintia et de destretto (Chronicle of the noble city of Venice, of its province and of its district) is a typical vernacular chronicle of Venice, beginning with the passion of Christ and largely derivative of other authors, in this case Antonio Morosini, down to the early Quattrocento. For…
Date: 2016-10-17

Gesta magnifica domus carrariensis

(426 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
(Magnificent deeds of the house of Carrara) late 14th century. Italy. An anonymous compendium of lives of the leaders of the Carrara family in Padua from the early 11th until the late 14th century. The several versions of the Gesta magnifica domus carrariensis survive in four redactions, two in Latin and two in Paduan dialect. According to the research of Roberto Cessi and Marino Zabbia, the original version (now lost) was composed at the Carrara court in the 1360s and rewritten in the 1370s by the curial notary Bernardo da Caselle, who added a number of cha…
Date: 2016-10-17

Sabellico, Marcantonio Coccio

(468 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
[Coccius Marcus Antonius Sabellicus] 1436-1506. Italy. Public historian of Venice. Born at Vicovaro in the Roman Campagna, whence he took the name Sabellicus, a poetic form of Sabinus, Marcantonio Coccio studied classics with Domizio Calderini and Pomponius Laetus in Rome, where he composed a number of Latin poems and elegies. In 1472 he left Rome for Friuli to join the household of the bishop of FeltreAngelo Fasolo, he was vicar of the patriarch of Aquileia, and Latin teacher at the comm…
Date: 2016-10-17

Giovanni da Nono

(415 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
[Iohannes de Nono] ca 1275-1347. Italy. Notary and author of fanciful chronicles on the origins, topography and leading families of late medieval Padua. Born near Padua, Giovanni da Nono took his name from his family's ancestral village of Naone west of the city. In 1306 he matriculated in Padua's College of Judges and served intermittently as a judge in the communal government until his death in 1347. He wrote a tripartite work on medieval Padua, sometimes entitled Liber Ludi Fortune (Book of the Fortune's game), of which only the second part has been edited.The very short first part, …
Date: 2016-10-17

Barbaro, Giosafat

(372 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
1413-94. Italy, Persia, Russia. Venetian diplomat, merchant and travel writer for Persia and Russia. Born in Venice into a noble family, Barbaro was admitted to the Great Council in 1431 and began his travels to Tana on the Sea of Azov as a merchant in 1436 and soon served as consul to the Venetian community there. During the following years he travelled extensively to cities along the Black Sea and to the Transcaucasus, where he observed the customs of the natives. Further travels br…
Date: 2016-10-17

Navagero, Andrea

(357 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
1483-1529. Italy. Venetian poet, humanist, and diplomat, and supposed author in the vernacular of an official history of Venice from its origins to 1498. Born into a patrician family at Venice in 1483, he received a humanist education in his native city from Marcantonio Sabellico and Marcus Musurus (ca 1470-1517), and later worked with the scholarly printer Aldus Manutius (1449/50-1515) as an editor of such Roman authors as Cicero, Quintilian, Virgil, Ovid and Lucretius. In 1516 he wa…
Date: 2016-10-17

Chinazzo, Daniel

(296 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
d. 1428. Italy. Trevisan druggist and public official at end of 14th century. Wrote most detailed contemporary account of the War of Chioggia (1378-81) between Venice and forces of Genoa, king of Hungary and lord of Padua. Born the son of a mercenary captain, Biachino called Chinazzo, at Motta di Livenza in the Trevisano, Daniele di Chinazzo was orphaned early but was able to keep his inheritance thanks to the intervention of the Venetian Senate. He learned the trade of apothecary in Venice, which he later…
Date: 2016-10-17

Sanudo, Marin Torsello, il Vecchio

(809 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
1270-1343. Italy. Venetian merchant, diplomat, historian and propagandist for renewing the crusade against the Ottoman Turks in the early 14th century. Born in Venice into a family instrumental in the Venetian settlement of the islands of the Aegean after the Fourth Crusade, Sanudo spent his early career as a merchant in the Levant. He visited Acre before its fall to the Turks and represented his father in dealings with his cousins, the dukes of Naxos. By 1300 he was a member of the household of the canon lawyer a…
Date: 2016-10-17

Petrarca, Francesco

(368 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
[Petrarch] 1304-74. Italy. Latin humanist and Italian lyric poet who wrote two major works of history containing mainly biographies of and anecdotes concerning ancient figures, De viris illustribus (Of illustrious men) and Rerum memorandarum libri (Books of facts to be remembered). Born at Arezzo into an exiled Florentine family, Petrarca grew up in Avignon. After abandoning legal studies at Bologna, he embarked on a church career (taking minor orders) in the service of Cardinal Giovanni Colonna. In the 1330s he acquired a house…
Date: 2016-10-17

Gatari, Galeazzo and Bartolomeo

(449 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
14th-15th century. Italy. Galeazzo (1344-1405) and Bartolomeo (1380-1439) were the father and son authors of a history in the vernacular of the rule of the Carrara family over Padua from 1318 to 1405. Born in Padua into a merchant family from Bologna, Galeazzo practiced the trade of apothecary all his life, but by the 1370s he become a loyal servant of the Carrara regime, undertaking several diplomatic missions. He later held the office of treasurer of the Carrara household, which gave him acces…
Date: 2016-10-17

Chronicon Estense

(273 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
14th century. Italy. Anonymous, annalistic account of the history of Ferrara, focussing on the Este dynasty, from 1095 to 1393, with additions to 1478. The author of the chronicle is unknown, but the detailed knowledge of the domestic history of the Este family suggests a notary working in the dynasty's chancery.The chronicle begins in the framework of a universal history in 328 with an account of the martyrdom of Saint Ursula and is a derivative annalistic account until the rise of Ghibelline power in northeast Italy in the 13th century. With the election of the Este dynasty as th…
Date: 2016-10-17

Chronicon Marchiae Tarvisinae et Lombardiae

(305 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
[Annales Sanctae Iustinae patavini] late 13th century. Italy. Anonymous prose chronicle of the political events in northeast Italy 1207-70. Composed between 1289 and 1293, perhaps as often asserted by a monk at the Benedictine monastery of Santa Giustina in Padua, but more likely by a Veronese author; Botteghi argues for a partisan of the Este house and the Guelf party.The work provides a narrative of the political events of the cities of northeast Italy, especially Padua, Verona, Vicenza and Ferrara, from the point of view of a partisan to the Guelf ca…
Date: 2016-10-17
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