Poliziano, Angelo

Poliziano, Angelo pōlĭshˈən [key], 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.

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