The most complete translation available of these brief biographies of great European figures, written by one of the leading historians of the sixteenth century.
Portraits of Learned Men provides a fascinating synopsis of the contours, mentality, and trajectory of humanistic culture in Italy and Europe by one of the leading historians of the sixteenth century, Paolo Giovio (1483–1552). These brief biographies of 146 men of learning—from Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio in the fourteenth century to Erasmus, Thomas More, and Juan Luis Vives in the sixteenth—were meant to accompany accurate portrait paintings commemorating great figures in modern history. Presented together with the literary portraits in this volume, these paintings would be located in a purpose-built villa on Lake Como that would be open to the public. Giovio called this his musaeum, or home of the Muses, one of the first such institutions in European history. His museum would not only serve the traditional function of inspiring virtuous emulation but also provide a comprehensive, candid, and personal overview of the Republic of Letters as it had taken shape and flourished in Italy and Europe during the Renaissance.
This volume contains a fresh edition of the Latin text and a new, more complete translation than any now available in English.