Donato Giannotti (dōnä´tō jän-nôt´tē), 1492–1573, Italian political theorist, b. Florence. He studied at Pisa and in 1527 became secretary of the supreme council of the Florentine republic. After the Medici returned to power (1530), he lived in exile. Giannotti, whose precepts resemble those of Machiavelli, explained his political theory in several books. An ideal government, he believed, was a fusion of aristocratic, monarchical, and democratic institutions. He also wrote the comedy Vecchio amoroso [old man in love].
See R. Starn, ed., Donato Giannotti and His Epistolae (1968).