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Lyric Poetry. Etna

Lyric Poetry. Etna

Pietro Bembo

Translated by Betty Radice
Edited and translated by Mary P. Chatfield

ISBN 9780674017122

Publication date: 07/30/2005

Pietro Bembo (1470-1547), scholar and critic, was one of the most admired Latinists of his day. After some years at the court of Urbino, where he exchanged Platonic love letters with Lucrezia Borgia, he moved to Rome and served as secretary to Leo X (1513-1520). Later he retired to Padua and a life of letters. He was made a cardinal in 1539. The poems in this volume come from all periods of his life and reflect both his erudition and his wide-ranging friendships. This verse edition is the first time they have been translated into English.

This volume also includes the prose dialogue Etna, an account of Bembo's ascent of Mt. Etna in Sicily during his student days, translated by Betty Radice.


  • Chatfield has provided a useful life, a brief commentary on each work, and textual, metrical, and the occasional substantive note, with a bibliography and index. The pages are bright and uncluttered. There is a generous holding back of the facing Latin text in order to allow the English to catch up, so that the original is always next to its translation...Even in translation, Bembo has a voice of his own. It sounds through the English in his thoughts, moods, and modes; he can be lyrical, didactic, epigrammatic, and epic.

    —Marcia Karp, Sixteenth Century Journal


  • Mary P. Chatfield is the former Head of the Classics Department at the Commonwealth School, Boston.
  • Betty Radice (1912–1985) was Editor of Penguin Classics.

Book Details

  • 304 pages
  • 5-1/4 x 8 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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