Poliziano, Angelo

Also found in: Dictionary.

Poliziano, Angelo

(än`jālō pōlētsēä`nō), or


(pōlĭsh`ən), 1454–94, Italian poet, philologist, and humanist. Of middle-class origin, he was given a classical education, completed under the patronage of Lorenzo de' Medici. He became Lorenzo's companion and was tutor to the young Medici. For Lorenzo he translated much of the Iliad into Latin, and he later taught classics at Lorenzo's school. A fine classical scholar, he was a leader, with Lorenzo, in the use of the Tuscan vernacular in poetry. His ideas had substantial influence on the major Florentine artists of his time, including Botticelli and Michelangelo. His verse, tranquil and beautiful, shows the growing emphasis on style and form. Among his poetic works are the charming Stanze per la giostra, which is classical in tone, celebrating the jousting prowess of Lorenzo's brother Giuliano, and Orfeo (1475, tr. 1929, 1931), one of the earliest plays in the Italian language. He also wrote many lyrics in both Latin and Italian.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Poliziano, Angelo


(real surname Ambrogini). Born July 14, 1454, in Montepulciano; died Sept, 28 or 29, 1494, in Florence. Italian humanist poet and philologist.

Poliziano’s Stanzas About A Tournament (1478; published in 1518), an unfinished narrative poem in octaves, contains the embodiment of the Renaissance ideal of the complete man. He wrote several elegies in Latin and elevated the genres of Tuscan folk poetry— rispetti, baílate, May songs—to the level of the best Renaissance love lyrics. He is the author of the historical work Notes on the Pazzi Conspiracy (1478). The Story of Orpheus (staged 1480), a play in verse, is the first example of secular Renaissance drama in the national language.


Tuttle le poesie italiane. [Milan, 1952.]
Rime. [Rome, 1965.]


Dzhivelegov, A. K. “Orfei’ v literature i na stsene.” In Politsiano, A.: Skazanie ob Orfee. Moscow-Leningrad, 1933.
De Sankcis, F. Istoriia ital’ianskoi literatury, vol. 1. Moscow, 1963.
Lo Cascio, R. Poliziano. [Palermo, 1970.]


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.