Dictionary of Italian Literature

By Jody Robin Shiffman; Peter Bondanella et al. | Go to book overview

A
ALAMANNI, LUIGI ( 1495-1556), Florentine poet and statesman. Alamanni was a frequent visitor to the Orti Oricellari, the circle of young republican intellectuals that included Cosimo Rucellai ( 1495-1519) and Niccolò Machiavelli.* Alamanni was deeply involved in the unsuccessful conspiracy of 1522 against Giulio de'Medici, the future Pope Clement VII. Fleeing to Venice and then to France when Giulio became pope, Alamanni returned to Florence after the brief interval of republican freedom to serve in the city's government from 1527 to 1530, when he was once again forced to go into exile in France, where he enjoyed the patronage of Francis I, Henry II, and Catherine de' Medici. His presence at the French court was partially responsible for the Italianate cultural influence, so important during the mid-sixteenth century. His ties to the French monarchy enabled him to return to Italy on numerous occasions and to establish contacts with Bembo,* Varchi,* Speroni,* and others who were to be central figures in the history of Franco-Italian intellectual and literary relationships during the Renaissance.*

Machiavelli valued Alamanni's friendship enough to make him one of the speakers in his Arte della guerra (The Art of War), and he also dedicated his Vita di Castruccio Castracani (The Life of Castruccio Castracani) to him. Alamanni himself produced several influential, if minor, literary works. Besides a number of eclogues, Petrarchan lyrics, and satires, his best compositions are Antigone ( 1556, Antigone), a tragedy after Sophocles; Flora ( 1549, Flora), a comedy in the Roman style; and Avarchide ( 1560, The Avarchide), a minor epic* poem, in imitation of the Iliad, which deals with the siege of Bourges by King Arthur. His most famous work, which retained a certain popularity long after his death, was La coltivazione ( 1546, Agriculture), a didactic poem in blank verse in imitation of Virgil's Georgics. Here, amid many erudite references to the classics, several passages of genuine poetry stand out: Alamanni's praise of the country life, his description of the Golden Age as contrasted to the corrupt

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Dictionary of Italian Literature
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface to the Second Edition vii
  • Preface to the First Edition ix
  • How to Use This Dictionary xiii
  • DICTIONARY OF ITALIAN LITERATURE xv
  • A 1
  • Appendix A: Time Life 627
  • Appendix B: Entries Grouped by Subject Matter or Period 675
  • Reference Aids: A Selected List 683
  • Index 685
  • About the Editors and Contributors 707
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