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Some Early Poems of Antonio Geraldini

  • J. F. C. Richards (a1)
  • Please note a correction has been issued for this article.


Antonio Geraldini is well known for his eclogues, which have been reprinted in modern times. But there is another group of his poems which illustrates an early phase of his life. Since these poems have been previously unknown, it seems worth while to print them now. There are thirteen of them (531 lines) and they are contained in a manuscript in the Bodleian Library, Lat. misc. e 81, ff. 85r-96v. They are written in nine different metres; four are in Sapphics (1, 3, 6, 11), two are in elegiacs (12,13), and there is one poem in each of the following metres: lesser Asclepiad (2), first Asclepiad (8), second Asclepiad (4), third Asclepiad (10), Alcmanian (5), fourth Archilochian (9), and Phalaecean (7).



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1 Cf. Horace, Odes 1, 1, 3, 6, 5, 7, 4; Catullus I.

2 P. O. Kristeller, Studies in Renaissance Thought and Letters (Rome, 1956), pp. 154-157.

3 The Eclogues of Antonio Geraldini, ed. Mustard, W. P. (Baltimore, 1924), pp. 1116. They are mentioned by Ellinger, Georg, Geschichte der neulateinischen Lyrik (Berlin and Leipzig, 1929), 1, 8687. There is an excellent description and criticism of these eclogues by Leonard Grant, W., Neo-Latin Literature and the Pastoral (Chapel Hill, N. C., 1965), pp. 266270.

4 See also E. W. Palm, Los monumentos arquitectonicos de la Española (Ciudad Trujillo, 1955), n, 29.

5 Both the life of Angelo Geraldini and the eclogue on the Geraldini family were published in the Bollettino della Societa Umbra di Storia Patria n (1896). Mustard's edition of the eclogues was reviewed by E. Carrara (Giomale Storico della Letteratura Italiana LXXXVI, 1925, 132-141). He agrees that Antonio went to Spain in 1469 and died in 1489, but he thinks he was born in 1453. The evidence of the early poems written in Florence makes 1449 a much more likely date. He describes Vat. lat. 3611, which contains poems to Paul 11, and states that it was edited by Belisario Geraldini, together with the eclogue on the family, under the title of Specimen carminum (Amelia, 1893).

6 Rochon, A., Lajeunesse de Laurent de Medicis (1449-1478) (Paris, 1963). Rochon does refer to Geraldini (p. 402), but merely mentions him as the author of eclogues.

7 Lorenzo's sonnets to Lucrezia are well known, and there is a poem addressed to her by Ugolino Verino, which also celebrates Lorenzo as a lover. See Verino, Ugolino, Flametta, ed. Mencaraglia, L. (Florentiae, 1940), pp. 8991 : ‘Ad Lucretiam Donatam ut Laurentium Medicem amet'.

8 For Ficino see P. O. Kristeller, The Philosophy qfMarsilio Ficino, tr. Virginia Conant (New York, 1943).

9 Pompeo Litta, Famiglk celebri italiane, vol. x: Capponi di Firenze, tavola XI.

10 Rochon, op. cit., pp. 31-35.

11 Scala's reputation has been unduly obscured by a tendency to regard him merely as the political creature of the Medici and to see him through his famous quarrel with Poliziano. This point is made by P. O. Kristeller in describing an exchange of letters between Scala and Braccesi ('An unknown correspondence of Alessandro Braccesi with Niccolo Michelozzi, Naldo Naldi, Bartolommeo Scala and other humanists’ in Classical, Mediaeval and Renaissance Studies in Honor ofBerthold Louis Ullman, ed. Charles Henderson Jr., Rome, 1964, Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, n, 311-364, especially 334-337). Other recent articles have directed attention to his literary work; N. Rubinstein discusses his Historia Florentinorum ('Bartolomeo Scala's Historia Florentinorum’ in Studi di bibliografia e di storia in onore di Tammaro de Marinis, Verona and Vatican City, 1964, IV, 49-59) and Alison M. Brown describes his Collectiones Cosmianae, various writings assembled by him in memory of Cosimo de’ Medici ('The Humanist Portrait of Cosimo de’ Medici, pater patriae', Jour, of the Warburg and Courtauld Inst., XXIV, 1961, 186-221).

12 There is a life of Scala by Mannius, D. M., Bartholomaei Scalae Collensis vita (Florence, 1768), and a poem was written to him by his son-in-law Marullo; see Michaelis Marulli carmina, ed. Perosa, A. (Zurich, 1951), p. 61.

13 Archivio storico lotnbardo (ser. 3), IV, 1905, p. 455.

14 A. Cinquini, ‘Spigolature da codici manoscritti del s. XV: II codice Vaticano- Urbinate Latino 1193', Classici e Neolatini, 1 (1905), 160, v (1909), 255-256. See also Bibliothecae Vaticanae codices Urbinates Latini, by C. Stornaiolo, in (Rome, 1921), p. 200: no. 1193, Antonii Puteobonelli (f. 143) tetrastichon, (ibid.) elegia, (f. 143“) elegia.

15 F. Malaguzzi Valeri, La corte diLodovico UMoro, 1 (Milan, 1913), 172, and 11 (1915), 313 and 316: ‘II cortile della casa dei Pozzobonelli, ora Minoia, in via dei Piatti, n. 2'.

16 A document of 1443 and 1465 mentions a Joannes de Posbonellus prior Claraevallensis (Archivio Storico Lombardo, xxn, 1895, p. 128).

17 W. and E. Paatz, Die Kirchen von Florenz, I (Frankfurt, 1940), 62-196, especially 65-66 and 68.

18 The writer would like to thank Dr. R. W. Hunt of the Bodleian Library for allowing him to publish these poems and Professor Paul Kristeller for calling the manuscript to his attention and lending him a microfilm. He is especially grateful to Professor Kristeller and Professor James Hutton for the help that they have given him.

19 Stelligera domus seems to refer to Geraldini's family. In his eclogue about the family he speaks of the olive tree which formed part of their coat of arms. But in addition to the olive there were three stars. Carrara in his review of Mustard (op. cit., p. 136) says of this eclogue: ‘E l'esaltazione dell'olivo—che fregiato di tre stelle recavano i Geraldini nel loro stemma—preso in funzione della loro gloria familiare.'


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