Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Poets and Princess: The Panegyric Poetry of Johannes Michael Nagonius

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Poets and Princess: The Panegyric Poetry of Johannes Michael Nagonius

Article excerpt

Paul Gwynne, Poets and Princes: The Panegyric Poetry of Johannes Michael Nagonius, Medieval and Renaissance Court Cultures 1 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2012). xxiv + 544 pp.; 28 figures and 8 plates. ISBN 978-2-503-53160-1. euro150.00. In Poets and Princes - admirable, highly skilled work on recalcitrant materials, eye-opening - Paul Gwynne brings into view the career of an otherwise invisible transnational Latin historical poet, who published chiefly in manuscript, tellingly called here Johannes Michael Nagonius. For although Giovanni Michele Nagonio was of Italian origin, probably Rome-trained and Romebased for the better part of his working life, his career was not only Italian. Between 1493 and 1509, sometimes in the form of his writings alone, Nagonius visited transalpine Europe's widest extent too, from the central Danube to furthest Britain, leaving behind him, now in libraries from York to Poznan (though no further south than Rome), a dozen manuscript collections of his poetry, extending to as many as 9,000 lines in 120 separate verse items, presented serially to three northern kings, one German emperor, two Jagiellonians, a brace of northern Italian signori, one French duke, and a pope with his frightful nephew - all involved in the diplomatic frenzies of the Italian Wars.

Some quantity of this yawning vastness is represented in the book, excerpt-wise, by way of quotations from it throughout the chapters and in a series of appendices. The representations of the poetry itself may not be the book's best parts, in some particulars. Nonsense ('Nos tibi Cura sumus vives sub imagine nostra', e.g. translated "We are anxious that you will live in our imaginings' (pp. …

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