Epistolarum familiarium, libri VI. Eiusdem, Leonis X. Pont. Max. nomine scriptarum, lib. XVI
The book is not sold individually, but only as part of the collection ARS EPISTOLICA. To inquire about the price of the entire collection please write to govirarebooks@gmail.com

Epistolarum familiarium, libri VI. Eiusdem, Leonis X. Pont. Max. nomine scriptarum, lib. XVI

Autore: BEMBO, Pietro (1470-1547)

Dati tipografici: Venezia [Gualtiero Scotto], 1552


Two parts in one volume, 8vo. (16), 398, (2 blank) pp. + 543, (25) pp. *8, A-Z8, Aa-Bb8 + AA-ZZ8, AAA-MMM8, NNN4. With the printer's device on the title-page. Contemporary limp vellum.

Edit 16, CNCE 5041; Index Aureliensis, 116.425; P. Bembo, Lettere. Edizione critica, E. Travi, ed., (Bologna, 1987), I, pp. XLV-XLVI.

 

FIRST EDITION of Pietro Bembo's Latin epistolary edited by his literary executor Carlo Gualteruzzi. The second part of the volume contains a collection of official letters which Bembo composed as apostolic notary to Pope Leo X, published for the first time in 1535 (see item no. XXX).

“Per quanto riguarda l'epistolario delle familiari latine l'editio princeps resta senza alcun dubbio, per correttezza dei dati e del testo, oltre che per aver avuto come sovraintendente alla stampa il Gualteruzzi, quella dello Scotto apparsa nel 1552 a Venezia, la quale in linea di massima concorda con la tradizione manoscritta” (E. Travi, Pietro Bembo e il suo epistolario: le edizioni, in: “Rendiconto dell'Istituto Lombardo”, Classe di Lettere, 106, 1972, p. 654).

“Tutt'altra è la configurazione formale e contenutistica delle Epistolae familiares bembiane. Anch'esse offrono, ben leggibile, una ‘storia' personale; ma si tratta di una storia di tutt'altro tipo, che copre tutto l'arco di una vita. Il numero delle lettere trascelte è quasi uguale a quello dell'epistolario del Sadoleto, 271 epistole, divise in sei libri, ma mentre la raccolta del Sadoleto comincia dalla piena maturità culturale e politica del soggetto, abolendo o censurando gli anni della formazione e della prima ascesa (e saltando perciò, con un silenzio eloquente, l'epoca d'oro di Leone X), le Familiares bembiane, in ciò innovando in misura non piccola rispetto alle canoniche raccolte ciceroniana e petrarchesca, trascelgono testi da tutto l'arco della vita culturale, privata e pubblica dell'autore. Così la prima epistola è del 1492, e l'ultima del 1546: 54 anni di vita e di rapporti culturali, un arco impressionante di corrispondenti. E se manca la testimonianza per qualche anno particolare (nessuna epistola del '15, una del '16, nessuna del '17, '18, '19), si tratta di anni nei quali è nozione ben comune che i rapporti del Bembo erano più e non meno numerosi e ricchi rispetto ad altri periodi (gli anni dei ‘brevi' per Leone X). Formalmente, le epistole sono raccolte, diversamente da quanto accade per il Sadoleto, per corrispondente; indipendentemente dalla diversità delle posizioni ricoperte via via, tutte le lettere alla stessa persona sono raccolte insieme (per es. la corrispondenza col Sadoleto è testimoniata dal 1499 al 1539); si privilegia insomma il rapporto col Bembo, e non la funzione pubblica, e dunque l'emittente finisce con l'essere ancor più chiaramente oggetto centrale della documentazione. Di fatto poi l'attenta disposizione dei testi fa sì che ci sia anche un sostanziale rispetto dell'ordine cronologico: cosicché nel primo libro prevalgono largamente le epistole scritte prima del tornante secolare, nell'ultimo le lettere degli ultimi anni. Si tratta insomma, in primo luogo, di un ritratto diacronico che, ancor più di quanto non accada nelle lettere volgari, dove l'ordinamento per ‘funzioni' di una parte dell'insieme (lettere a papi, cardinali, ecc.) squilibra l'immagine, tende in realtà a documentare la maturazione esemplare di un letterato umanista. Il punto di arrivo è anche in questo caso la figura del cardinale… Se si osservano epistolae e lettere volgari dal punto di vista dell'efficacia espressiva, diciamo della disinvoltura linguistica e stilistica, dobbiamo notare che il Bembo mostrava spesso più agio e confidenza con il latino che con il volgare. La ‘riconquista' umanistica del latino è giunta qui al suo culmine, ha reso disponibili tutti i ‘registri' letterari, è propriamente, lingua d'uso; sicché non mancano fin dalle epistole giovanili, eccezionali risultati di pieghevolezza ed efficacia rappresentativa (ricordiamo – ma sono davvero esempi casuali – il resoconto al padre del viaggio e dell'arrivo a Messina il 30 maggio del 1492; o la missiva dal Noniano ad Alberto Pio del 21 agosto 1498 che rende conto del rientro nella villa paterna)” (P. Floriani, Pietro Bembo tra ‘Epistolae familiares' e ‘Lettere familiari', in: “La Correspondence (II)”, ed. G. Ulysse, Aix-en-Provence, 1985, pp. 170 e 173).

 

(Part one, Book I:)

Urticio, Giovanni Alessandro. Noniano, March 29, 1492 (p. 1)

id. Venezia, August 15, 1494 (p. 3)

id. Noniano, August 26, 1495 (p. 4)

Bembo, Bernardo. Messina, May 30, 1492 (p. 5)

Bembo, Bernardo and Pisano, Paolo. Padova, April 29, 1495 (p. 6)

Bembo, Bernardo. Urbino, November 22, 1509 (p. 7)

Poliziano, Angelo. Messina, November 18, 1493 (p. 11)

Savorgnan, Girolamo. Venezia, December 29, 1493 (p. 13)

Stato, Giovanni Battista. Venezia, September 11 or 22, 1494 (p. 13)

id. From Padua's countryside, October 1, 1494 (p. 16)

Sanuto, Marco. From Padua's countryside, November 5, 1494 (p. 17)

Domineo, Nicola. Padova, November 5, 1494 (p. 18)

Pisano, Paolo. Padova, April 22, 1495 (p. 19)

id. Ferrara, July 26, 1498 (p. 21)

Sanuto, Marco and Pisano, Paolo. Ferrara, May 30, 1499 (p. 22)

Cinzio, Giovanni. Venezia, August 7, 1495 (p. 23)

Gabriele, Angelo. Noniano, September 26, 1495 (p. 24)

id. Ferrara, March 1, 1499 (p. 25)

id. Ferrara, March 29, 1499 (p. 26)

id. Padova, September 12, 1500 (p. 28)

id. Venezia, November 22, 1500 (p. 30)

 

(Book II:)

Boldù, Antonio. Navi, June 23, 1496 (p. 31)

Artusino, Andrione. Venezia, February 19, 1496 (p. 33)

id. Venezia, February 21, 1509 (p. 34)

Agolanti, Bartolomeo. [1500 ca.] (p. 34)

Ronzani, Antonio. Venezia, August 21, 1496 (p. 36)

Donato, Girolamo. Venezia, May 25, 1496 (p. 37)

id. Noniano, August 24, 1498 (p. 37)

id. Venezia, December 5, 1498 (p. 39)

Grimani, Domenico. Venezia, September 7, 1498 (p. 40)

id. Ferrara, September 13, 1498 (p. 41)

Da Porto, Giovanni Battista. Ferrara, November 19, 1497 (p. 42)

Gabriele, Trifone. Ferrara, December 11, 1497 (p. 43)

id. Ferrara, March 1, 1499 (p. 45)

Sabellico, Marco Antonio. Ferrara, April 16, 1498 (p. 46)

from Bembo, Bernardo to Barozzi, Pietro. Ferrara, February 2, 1498 (p. 47)

from Bembo, Bernardo to Barozzi, Pietro. Ferrara, February 17, 1498 (p. 48)

Pio, Alberto. De pulchri speculi Villa Herculeiana, August 2, 1498 (p. 49)

id. Noniano, August 21, 1498 (p. 49)

Gabriele da Fano. Padova, September 12, 1498 (p. 51)

id. Venezia, December 3, 1503 (p. 52)

id. Venezia, April 20, 1498 (p. 54)

id. Venezia, December 13, 1505 (p. 55)

id. Venezia, January 22, 1505 (p. 57)

Amerino, Placidio. Ferrara, April 13, 1499 (p. 59)

from [Bruno], Cola to Amerino, Placidio. Ferrara, April 13, 1499 (p. 60)

 

(Book III:)

Superchio, Valerio. Ferrara, May 23, 1499 (p. 61)

id. Urbino, February 16, 1511 (p. 62)

id. Urbino, November 26, 1506 (p. 63)

id. Urbino, December 3, 1506 (p. 65)

Aureli, Giovanni. Ferrara, June 20, 1499 (p. 66)

Quirino, Vincenzo. Noniano, May 1, 1500 (p. 68)

Quirino, Vincenzo and Gabriele, Angelo. De Strotiano, October 31, 1502 (p. 71)

Comino, Bartolomeo. Noniano, May 28, 1500 (p. 74)

Strozzi, Ercole. Venezia, July 6, 1500 (p. 76)

id. De Strotiano tuo, October 17, 1502 (p. 77)

id. De Strotiano tuo, October 20, 1502 (p. 77)

id. De Strotiano tuo, November 16, 1502 (p. 78)

id. De Strotiano, November 17, 1502 (p. 79)

id, De Strotiano tuo, April 24, 1503 (p. 80)

id. De Strotiano tuo, August 28, 1503 (p. 82)

id. Venezia, January 13, 1503 (p. 82)

Zorzi, Marin. Venezia, November 28, 1500 (p. 83)

Benedetti, Giovanni Francesco. Noniano, February 25, 1501 (p. 83)

Volterrano, Fedra. Venezia, September 15, 1502 (p. 84)

Tessira, Ludovico. E Strotiano, January 9, 1503 (p. 85)

Sadoleto, Jacopo. E Strotiano, March 27, 1503 (p. 86)

id. Venezia, October 1, 1505 (p. 89)

id. Venezia, May 3, 1506 (p. 90)

id. Padova, December 14, 1526 (p. 94)

id. Venezia, January 19, 1531 (p. 98)

id. Padova, August 9, 1532 (p. 102)

id. Padova, October 26, 1532 (p. 107)

id. Padova, April 25, 1533 (p. 111)

id. Padova, September 27, 1533 (p. 113)

id. Padova, January 9, 1535 (p. 116)

id. Padova, June 22, 1535 (p. 118)

id. Padova, October 26, 1536 (p. 119)

id. Padova, December 29, 1535 (p. 120)

id. Padova, January 4, 1537 (p. 122)

id. Padova, February 9, 1537 (p. 124)

id. Roma, December 3, 1539 (p. 125)

Pio, Ercole. De Strotiano, September 10, 1503 (p. 128)

Alessi, Leandro. Venezia, January 19, 1504 (p. 129)

Corner, Marco. Venezia, March 23, 1504 (p. 129)

 

(Book IV:)

Augurello, Giovanni Aurelio. Venezia, July 7, 1504 (p. 131)

Bologni, Girolamo. Venezia, October 14, 1504 (p. 131)

Beroaldo, Filippo. Venezia, January 13, 1505 (p. 132)

id. Venezia, May 3, 1506 (p. 136)

id. Urbino, December 17, 1506 (p. 138)

Bragadino, Francesco. Venezia, March 1, 1505 (p. 140)

Montefeltro, Guidobaldo da, Duke of Urbino. Venezia, March 7, 1505 (p. 142)

Sannazaro, Jacopo. Venezia, April 13, 1505 (p. 144)

Flaminio, Pietro Francesco. Venezia, August 30, 1505 (p. 146)

Gambara, Uberto. Venezia, September 13, 1505 (p. 147)

Prendilacqua, Nicola. Venezia, December 1, 1505 (p. 147)

Alighieri, Dante Terzo. Venezia, March 19, 1506 (p. 148)

Burana, Giovanni Francesco. April 23, 1506 (p. 150)

Cribello, Alessandro. Venezia, April 24, 1506 (p. 151)

[López de Carvajal, Bernardino], Cardinal of Santa Croce. Venezia, June 5, 1506 (p. 152)

id. Urbino, January 16, 1508. (p. 1508)

Canal, Paolo. Urbino, September 26, 1506 (p. 156)

Gozzadini, Giovanni. Urbino, November 8, 1506 (p. 157)

Pio, Giovanni Battista. Metauro, December 8, 1506 (p. 158)

Tomarozzo, Giulio. Urbino, August 29, 1507 (p. 160)

Badoer, Giovanni. Urbino, December 24, 1506 (p. 119 recte 161)

Flaminio, Pietro. Metauro, November 17, [1510] (p. 162)

Fregoso, Federico, Archbishop of Salerno. Urbino, December 23, 1508 (p. 163)

id. Urbino, January 1, 1510 (p. 165)

id. Urbino, August 9, 1510 (p. 167)

id. Cesenatico, June 22, 1511 (p. 169)

id. Cesenatico, June 21, 1511 (p. 170)

 

(Book V:)

Contarini, Domenico. Urbino, July 7, 1510 (p. 172)

Sigismondo da Foligno. Metauro, November 25, 1510 (p. 176)

id. Urbino, July 15, 1511 (p. 177)

Cassiano, Giorgio. Urbino, June 5, 1511 (p. 178)

Medici, Giovanni de'. Roma, September 13, 1512 (p. 179)

Veterano, Federico. Roma, August 31, 1512 (p. 182)

Fregoso, Ottaviano. Roma, January 1, 1513 (p. 183)

Julius II. January 20, 1513 (p. 185)

Locum tenenti Magistri Rhodiorum, et Conventui (to the lieutenant of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes). Roma, December 20, 1513 (p. 190)

Zeno, Rutilio, Bishop of San Marco. Roma, August 19, 1513 (p. 191)

Bannisio, Giacomo. Roma, November 20, 1514 (p. 191)

[Szatmári, György], Bishop of Pécs. Roma, September 22, 1517 (p. 193)

Budé, Guillaume. Venezia, January 4, 1520 (p. 193)

id. Roma, April 6, 1521 (p. 196)

Longueil, Christophe. Roma, May 29, 1520 (p. 198)

id. Roma, August 20, 1520 (p. 200)

id. Roma, [March 17], 1521 (p. 205)

[Avolta], Gabriele. Roma, September 13, 1520 (p. 209)

Pole, Reginald. Ex villa Noniana, July 11, 1521 (p. 210)

id. Roma (p. 212)

id. Roma, December 24, 1525 [recte 1523] (p. 215)

id. Roma, January 23, 1525 (p. 218)

id. E Noniano, August 25, 1525 (p. 220)

id. De Noniano, December 31, 1524 (p. 221)

id. Padova, October 26, 1532 (p. 223)

id. Padova, December 30, 1535 (p. 224)

id. Padova, June 22, 1539 (p. 225)

 

(Book VI:)

Brissone, Pietro. Ex Noniano, October 15, 1522 (p. 228)

Vettori, Francesco. Padova, December 20, 1521 (p. 229)

id. Padova, March 28, 1523 (p. 230)

Buonafede, Francesco. Padova, November 22, 1523 (p. 231)

Buonamico, Lazzaro. Padova, November 30, 1523 (p. 232)

id. Roma, December 24, 1523 (p. 233)

Bruno, Cola. April 22, 1525 (p. 233)

id. De Noniano, July 20, 1537 (p. 235)

Amaseo, Romolo. De Noniano, July 18, 1525 (p. 235)

Gonzaga, Ercole. De Noniano, April 1 [recte August 17], 1526 (p. 238)

id. De Noniano, May 13, 1526 (p. 239)

Lando, Caterina. Padova, November 25, 1526 (p. 241)

from Lando, Caterina to Bembo, Pietro. (p. 242)

Gonzaga, Ercole. Padova, November 11, 1526 (p. 243)

Bernerio, Antonio. Padova, November 18, 1526 (p. 244)

Gonzaga, Ercole. Padova, April 26, 1527 (p. 245)

[Avolta], Gabriele. Padova, May 20, 1527 (p. 247)

Sandri, Bernardino. De Noniano, September 1, 1528 (p. 249)

Erasmus, Desiderius. Padova, April 4, 1529 (p. 250)

Utenhoven, Karl. Padova, April 15, 1529 (p. 253)

Fausto, Vittorio. De Noniano, May 25, 1529 (p. 253)

Sandri, Bernardino. Padova, June 12, 1529 (p. 255)

Corrado, Sebastiano. Padova, June 13, 1529 (p. 257)

Fregoso, Federico, Archbishop of Salerno. Padova, November 13, 1529 (p. 257)

Trevisan, Andrea. Bologna, January 13, 1530 (p. 259)

Baïf, Lazare de. Padova, June 11, 1530 (p. 260)

id. Padova, September 30, 1530 (p. 260)

[Canisio], Egidio. E Noniano, June 18, 1530 (p. 261)

Alciati, Andrea. Padova, July 15, 1532 (p. 264)

id. Padova, April 21, 1534 (p. 266)

id. Padova, March 21, 1535 (p. 267)

id. Padova, November 8, 1535 (p. 268)

id. Venezia, April 22, 1539 (p. 269)

Nigro, Girolamo. Venezia, January 11, 1531 (p. 270)

Superanzio, Vittorio. Padova, August 19, 1531 (p. 272)

Silvio, Costanzo. Padova, September 13, 1531 (p. 272)

Fedeli, Giovanni Battista. Padova, January 22, 1532 (p. 273)

Ricci, Bartolomeo. Padova, July 21, 1532 (p. 275)

Castellano, Bartolomeo. Venezia, October 6, 1532 (p. 276)

id. Padova, April 25, 1533 (p. 279)

Crisostomo, Giovanni. De Noniano, September 5, 1533 (p. 280)

Joachim I Nestor, Elector of Brandenburg. Padova, February 25, 1534 (p. 281)

Albrecht von Hohenzollern, Cardinal of Brandenburg. Padova, February 25, 1534 (p. 283)

[Clesio], Bernardo, Cardinal of Trento. Padova, April 7, 1534 (p. 285)

Froben, Hieronymus. Padova, July 1, 1534 (p. 286)

Egnazio, [Giovanni Battista]. De Noniano, July 24, 1534 (p. 287)

Floribello, Antonio. De Noniano, August 10, 1534 (p. 289)

Pellegrino, Fulvio. Padova, August 12, 1534 (p. 289)

Presbytero Albino (Saint-Aubin?). Padova, September 1, 1534 (p. 290)

Selve, Georges de, Bishop of Lavaur. Padova, September 8, 1534 (p. 290)

Belin, François. Padova, September 7, 1534 (p. 291)

Farnese, Alessandro. De Noniano, June 22, 1530 (p. 293)

Paul III, Pope. Padova, October 19, 1534 (p. 295)

id. Venezia, March 31, 1539 (p. 298)

id. Padova, May 13, 1539 (p. 300)

Boner, Franciszek. Padova, March 1, 1535 (p. 301)

Vergerio, Pier Paolo. Padova, November 10, 1534 (p. 303)

Barozzi, Michele. Padova, March 13, 1535 (p. 305)

Sabinus, Georg. Padova, June 25, 1535 (p. 306)

Farnese, Alessandro. Padova, August 25, 1535 (p. 307)

id. Padova, August 29, 1535 (p. 309)

id. Ex agro Veronensi, July 29, 1539 (p. 311)

Gheri, Cosimo, Bishop of Fano. Padova, January 26, 1533 (p. 312)

id. Padova, July 4, 1535 (p. 313)

id. Padova, October 26, 1536 (p. 315)

id. Padova, February 5, 1537 (p. 316)

Logschau (or Loxau), Georg von. Padova, May 29, 1537 (p. 317)

id. Padova, July 27, 1536 (p. 318)

Perrenot [de Granvelle], Antoine, Bishop of Arras. Venezia, November 27, 1538 (p. 319)

id. Padova, September 26, 1539 (p. 321)

Erasmus, Desiderius. Padova, August 29, 1532 (p. 321)

id. Padova, November 11, 1534 (p. 322)

id. Padova, June 20, 1535 (p. 324)

Sadoleto, Paolo. Venezia, January 19, 1531 (p. 325)

id. Venezia, April 8, 1532 (p. 326)

id. Padova, December 31, 1534 (p. 327)

Accolti, Benedetto. Padova, September 11, 1531 (p. 331)

id. Padova, July 19, 1532 (p. 332)

[Vega], Garsilaso [de la]. Padova, August 26, 1535 (p. 333)

Varicensio, Benedetto. Padova, January 5, 1536 (p. 336)

Trincavelli, Vittore. Padova, February 13, 1536 (p. 337)

Maurolico, Francesco. Padova, June 26, 1536 (p. 338)

id. Roma, April 15, 1540 (p. 342)

Molza, Francesco [Maria]. Padova, December 24, 1535 (p. 344)

Carolus, Adam. Padova, January 30, 1537 (p. 348)

Bonfiglio, Domenico. Venezia, February 6, 1538 (p. 350)

Bandinelli, Ubaldino. Padova, February 26, 1537 (p. 351)

Eparco, Antonio. Padova, December 16, 1536 (p. 352)

Gonzaga, Ercole. E Noniano, August 23, 1537 (p. 354)

Pietrasanta, Paolo. Padova, October 1, 1537 (p. 355)

Charles V Emperor. Venezia, November 27, 1538 (p. 356)

Perrenot [de Granvelle], Nicolas. Venezia, November 27, 1538 (p. 357)

Avila y Zúñiga, Luis de. Venezia, November 27, 1538 (p. 359)

id. Venezia, April 22, 1539 (p. 361)

Idiaqui, Alfonso. Venezia, November 27, 1538 (p. 362)

Maio, Michele. Venezia, November 27, 1538 (p. 363)

Pirresio, Gonzalo (Consalvo). Venezia, November 27, 1538 (p. 365)

id. Venezia, April 22, 1539 (p. 366)

Carolus, Adam. Venezia, March 15, 1539 (p. 366)

Trivulzio, Agostino. Venezia, April 13, 1539 (p. 367)

Ricci, Bartolomeo. Padova, May 24, 1539 (p. 368)

Giraldi, Giorgio. Padova, May 24, 1539 (p. 369)

Frangepàn, [Ferenc], Bishop of Eger. Padova, May 23, 1539 (p. 370)

[Várdai], Pál (or Pavol), Archibishopo of Esztergom. Padova, May 23, 1539 (p. 371)

Vida, Girolamo, Bishop of Alba. Padova, August 5, 1539 (p. 372)

Sigismund I, King of Poland. Padova, September 27, 1539 (p. 374)

Kmita, Piotr. Padova, September 27, 1539 (p. 375)

Cervini, Marcello. Roma, December 24, 1538 [recte 1539] (p. 376)

[Gois], Damião [de]. Venezia, April 5, 1539 (p. 377)

id. Roma, December 31, 1538 [or 1539] (p. 377)

[Aviz], Alfonso d', Cardinal. Roma, April 5, 1540 (p. 379)

Zanchi, Basilio. Vaticano, November 10, 1540 (p. 380)

Coelho, Jorge. Roma, April 9, 1541 (p. 381)

Cortese, Gregorio. Roma, June 3, 1542 (p. 382)

Bembo, Torquato. Roma, January 31, 1542 (p. 384)

id. Roma, July 26, 1544 (p. 384)

Massulo, Lorenzo. Roma, June 13, 1544 (p. 385)

Bembo, Torquato. Roma, January 17, 1544 (p. 386)

Canonicis et Societati Ecclesiae Bergom. (to the canons of the Church of Bergamo). Roma, May 5, 1544 (p. 386)

Antianis Bergomi (to the Seniors of Bergamo). Roma, May 7, 1544 (p. 387)

Sabinus, Georg. Roma, April 26, 1544 (p. 388)

Carolus, Adam. Roma, August 18, 1544 (p. 389)

Barbaro, Daniele. Roma, February 4, 1545 (p. 390)

Capece, Scipione. Roma, July 4, 1545 (p. 391)

Farnese, Ranuccio. Roma, December 17, 1544 (p. 392)

Lomellino, Jacopo and Lomellino Giovanni Battista. Roma, September 16, 1546 (p. 394)

Gois, Damião de. Roma, October 3, 1546 (p. 395)

Rapicio, Giovita. Roma, April 7, 1546 (p. 396)

 

(Part two:)

Petri Bembi Epistolarum Leonis Decimi Pontificis Max. nomine scriptarum libri sexdecim (p. 1ff., same text as 1536 edition, see item no. XXX).

 

Pietro Bembo, born in Venice to a patrician family, received a humanistic education in Florence, Rome, Bergamo and Messina (1492-1494), where he studied under the Greek scholar Constantine Lascaris. In 1496 he published his first work, the Latin dialogue De Aetna. Unsuitable for the political career to which he was destined, he decided to devote himself to literary pursuits. Between 1495 and 1500, while studying philosophy at the University of Padua and attending the courses of Niccolò Leoniceno in Ferrara, he wrote a dialogue on love, Gli Asolani (1505), inspired by his relationship with Maria Savorgnan. In the following years he began composing his major work, Le prose della volgar lingua, which underwent many changes and corrections before it was published for the first time in 1525. Thanks to its huge success (from the expiry of the privilege until the end of the century it appeared in over twenty editions), Le Prose became the model writing manual in the vernacular and imposed the Italian vernacular literature to the attention of the humanists. In 1501 and 1502 he also prepared milestone editions of Petrarch and Dante for Aldo Manuzio's printing house, giving birth to vernacular philology.

Before leaving Ferrara for Venice in 1504, Bembo had a love affair with Alfonso I d'Este's wife, Lucrezia Borgia, to whom he dedicated the first edition of Gli Asolani. In 1506 he moved to Urbino, where he pursued his literary interests and met the playwright and cardinal Bernardo Dovizi da Bibbiena, who soon became his closest friend. In 1513 he wrote De imitatione, a treatise on Ciceronian Latin, and, together with his friend Jacopo Sadoleto, he was appointed by Pope Leo X as secretary of papal briefs in Latin. In 1519, disappointed in his expectations of an ecclesiastical career, he left Rome and retired to his villa in Padua.

From 1519 to 1539 Bembo lived mostly in Padua and Venice, attending to the publications of Le Prose and of his Rime (1530), intended to provide an authoritative example of the principles he had previously theorized. In 1529 he was appointed historian of the Republic of Venice (his Historia Veneta was published posthumously both in Latin and Italian in 1551-1552), and librarian of the Biblioteca Nicena (today Marciana).

In 1539 Pope Paul III ordained him a priest and named him cardinal. He spent the last years of his life either in Rome or in his bishoprics, Gubbio (1541) and Bergamo (1544) (cf. C. Kidwell, Pietro Bembo: lover, linguist, cardinal, Montreal, 2004, passim).


Epistolarum familiarium, libri VI. Eiusdem, Leonis X. Pont. Max. nomine scriptarum, lib. XVI