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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

Morosini, Antonio

(379 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
ca 1365 - post 1433. Italy. Author of a vernacular chronicle of Venice from 1095 to 1433, especially full after 1414, when it becomes a diary of Venetian politics and commercial affairs. Born into the influential Morosini noble family in Venice in the late 14th century, son of Marco. Little is known of his career, except that he undertook to write a history of his native city in Venetian dialect from its origins until his death in 1433. The earlier portion on the history of Venice from its founding until 1095 was later lost, and much of t…
Date: 2016-10-17

Mussato, Albertino

(1,411 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
1261-1329. Italy. Padua's leading statesman, poet and historian in the first quarter of the 14th century, Mussato wrote major historical works on the descent of Emperor Henry VII into Italy and its aftermath in the Trevisan March. He was born in Padua in 1261. Giovanni da Nono suggested in his Liber de generatione aliquorum civium urbis Padue, tam nobilium, quam ignobiliumthat Mussato wasthe illegitimate son of a local noble. However, the illegitimate nature of Mussato's birth is far from certain. It should also be mentioned that Mussato is a nickname, n…
Date: 2016-10-17

Cadamosto, Alvise

(335 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
[Alvise da Mosto; da Ca' da Mosto] 15th century. Italy. Venetian merchant and travel writer who explored the coast of West Africa and discovered the Cape Verde Islands in 1455-57. Born into a Venetian noble family at its palace, Ca' da Mosto, Alvise da Mosto travelled frequently as a young man on Venetian merchant fleets to North Africa, Alexandria, Crete and Flanders (1445-52). On a voyage to Flanders in 1454, adverse winds forced his ship to make an unplanned stop at Cape St. Vincent, where he soon e…
Date: 2016-10-17

Sanudo, Marin, il Giovane

(1,168 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
[Marino Sanuto] 1466-1536. Italy. The major historian working in Venice in the late 15th and early 16th century. Famous for his monumental lives of the doges to 1494 and his massive diary of contemporary politics from 1496 to 1533, Sanudo was also the author of works on Venice's institutions and their history, Venice's war with Ferrara in the 1480s, and the French invasion of Italy. Born on 22nd May 1466 into one of the most ancient families of the Venetian patriciate, he attended the chancery school of San Marco after the early death of his father. There he st…
Date: 2016-10-17

Benzo of Alessandria

(338 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
[Bentius Alexandrinus] d. ca 1330. Italy. Chancery official and chronicler from Piedmont and author of a universal history in Latin prose, with excerpts in verse. Born in Alessandria in the second half of the 13th century, Benzo was by profession a notary and probably studied the ars dictaminis and Latin authors at the University of Bologna. While serving as a notary at the curia of the bishop of Como from 1295 to 1325, he composed a vast encyclopedia in three parts. From 1325 to 1329 he served as a notary in the court of Cangrande della Sca…
Date: 2016-10-17

Barbaro, Niccolò

(347 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
d. post 1453. Italy, Byzantium. Venetian physician, author of vivid, eyewitness diary in Venetian dialect on the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Born in Venice at the beginning of the 15th century, Barbaro was trained in medicine and arrived in Constantinople as a ship's doctor on one of the Venetian great galleys in 1451. When the siege of Constantinople was mounted in the spring of 1453, Barbaro was surgeon with the Venetian fleet moored in the harbour, and thus well positioned as an observer of events both on land and on …
Date: 2016-10-17

Contarini, Ambrogio

(317 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
1429-99. Italy and Persia. Venetian merchant, government official and diplomat. Author of a detailed account of his embassy to the king of Persia in 1474-77. Born into a distinguished noble family in Venice, Contarini was admitted to the city's Great Council in 1447, and took up residence as a merchant in Constantinople soon after its fall to the Turks. He returned to Venice at the outbreak of the Veneto-Turkish War in 1463, conducting trade in the western Mediterranean before assuming command of a war galley against the Turks in the Aegean in 1470.In December 1473 Contarini was appoin…
Date: 2016-10-17
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