At the age of ten, after the premature death of his father, Poliziano began his studies at Florence , as the guest of a cousin. There he learned the classical languages of Latin and Greek. From Marsilio Ficino he learned the rudiments of philosophy. At 13 he began to circulate Latin letters; at 17 he wrote essays in Greek versification; and at 18 he published an edition of Catullus. In he won the title of homericus adulescens by translating books II-V of the Iliad into Latin hexameters. The humanistic content of his lessons brought him into constant conflict with their mother, Clarice.
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At the age of ten, after the premature death of his father, Poliziano began his studies at Florence , as the guest of a cousin.
There he learned the classical languages of Latin and Greek. From Marsilio Ficino he learned the rudiments of philosophy. At 13 he began to circulate Latin letters; at 17 he wrote essays in Greek versification; and at 18 he published an edition of Catullus. In he won the title of homericus adulescens by translating books II-V of the Iliad into Latin hexameters.
The humanistic content of his lessons brought him into constant conflict with their mother, Clarice. Lorenzo also secured him a distinguished post at the University of Florence. Adulthood and teaching The annunciation of the angel to Zaccharia — He also educated students from Germany , England and Portugal. It was the method of professors at that period to read the Greek and Latin authors with their class, dictating philological and critical notes, emending corrupt passages in the received texts, offering elucidations of the matter, and teaching laws , manners , religious and philosophical opinions of the ancients.
Poliziano covered nearly the whole ground of classical literature during his tenure, and published the notes of his courses upon Ovid , Suetonius , Statius , Pliny the Younger , and Quintilian.
This recension influenced the Roman code. The king replied in a positive manner, in a letter of October 23, , but delayed the commission. It is likely that Poliziano was homosexual , or at least had male lovers, and he never married. The last suggests he was killed by a fever possibly resulting from syphilis which was exacerbated by standing under the windowsill of a boy he was infatuated with despite being ill. In , the bodies of Poliziano and Pico della Mirandola were exhumed from the Church of San Marco in Florence to establish the causes of their deaths.
He was the representative of that age of scholarship in which students drew their ideal of life from antiquity. He was also known as an Italian poet, a contemporary of Ariosto. At the same time he was busy as a translator from the Greek.
Of these learned labors, the most universally acceptable to the public of that time were a series of discursive essays on philology and criticism , first published in under the title of Miscellanea. They had an immediate and lasting effect, influencing the scholars of the next century. Earlier Florentine humanists had studied the ancient world in order to become better men and citizens. Poliziano by contrast insisted above all on the need to understand the past in the light of every possibly relevant bit of evidence — and to scrap any belief about the past that did not rest on firm documentary foundations This work was left unfinished following the Pazzi conspiracy , which resulted in the assassination of its protagonist.
His philosophical works are: Praelectio de dialectica , an introduction to Aristotelian logic; Lamia. Praelectio in Priora Aristotelis Analytica ; Dialectica , an introduction to a course on Aristotelian philosophy.
English translations Poliziano, A. The Stanze of Angelo Poliziano. David Quint ed. University of Massachusetts Press. Poliziano, A. Fantazzi ed. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
"Stanze per la giostra" di Angelo Poliziano: riassunto e commento
Written between , the poem includes a fictional description of reliefs cast by Vulcan for the doors of the Temple of Venus. It would seem likely that Botticelli would have known this text when he painted his Birth of Venus. In any case, both Poliziano and Botticelli were working in the context of the Medici court in Florence. Study of classical texts was central to this humanist culture. In describing the imagined reliefs cast by Vulcan, Poliziano was employing a literary form that became popular in the Late Antique world known as ekphrasis , where one artistic form emulates another artistic form. XCIX 99 In the stormy Aegean, the genital member is seen to be received in the lap of Tethys , to drift across the waves, wrapped in white foam, be- neath the various turnings of the planets; and within, both with lovely and happy gestures, a young woman with nonhuman countenance, is carried on a conch shell, wafted to shore by playful zephyrs ; and it seems that heaven re- joices in her birth.
Stanze per la giostra
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