Politian or Poliziano, Angelo

Politian or Poliziano, Angelo a noted scholar of the Renaissance period, flourished in France and Italy, and was the favorite of the Medici at Florence. He was born at Montepulciano, in Tuscany, in 1454, and was the son of Benedetto Ambrogini, a doctor of law. In after-life he dropped his paternal name, and assumed that of Poliziano, from his native town Mons Politianus. Lorenzo de Medici took care of his education, placed him under good preceptors, and provided for all his wants. He afterwards entered into clerical orders, took his degree of doctor of law, and was made by Lorenzo a canon of the cathedral of Florence. He was also entrusted with the education of the ducal children, as well as with the care of the duke's library and collection of antiquities, and he was his guest and companion for the remainder of his life. Poliziano had studied Latin under Cristofiro Landino, Greek under Andronicus of Thessalonica, and philosophy under Ficino and Argyropultus of Constantinople. He was afterwards appointed professor of Latin and Greek at Florence. a chair which he filled with great reputation. He wrote scholia and notes on many ancient authors-Ovid, Catullus, Statius, Suetonius, Pliny the Younger, and the Scriptores Historiae Augustae; he translated into Latin the history of Herodian, the manual of Epictetus, the aphorisms of Hippocrates, some dialogues of Plato, and other works from the Greek. The Miscellanea of Poliziano, published at Florence in 1489, consist chiefly of observations he had made on the ancient authors, which he arranged for the press at the request of Lorenzo. Merula made an attempt to depreciate this work, which led to an angry controversy between the two scholars, in the midst of which Merula died. Poliziano had also a violent controversy with Bartolomeo Scala. Poliziano was conceited and vain, and very irritable, and his temper led him into an unbecoming altercation with Madonna Clarice, Lorenzo's wife, because she interfered in the education of her children, a thing which Poliziano seemed to think preposterous in a woman; and at last his behavior to her was so impertinent that she turned him out of her house in the country, and wrote to her husband at Florence to inform him of what she had done. Lorenzo perceiving that a reconciliation between the offended woman and the irascible scholar was impracticable, gave Poliziano apartments in one of his houses at Fiesole, where he wrote his Latin poem Rusticus. During Lorenzo's last illness, Poliziano attended the deathbed of his patron, who gave him tokens of his lasting affection. Poliziano wrote an affecting monody on Lorenzo's death, and not long after died himself; in September, 1494, and was buried in the church of San Marco, agreeably to his request. — English Cyclop. s.v. See Möller, de Polifiano (Altorf, 1698); Wenmer, Politimus (Magdeb. 1718); Mencken, Historie A. Politaai (Leips. 1736, 4to); Bonafous, De Politani Vita et Operibas (Paris, 1845, 8vo); Greswell, Memoirs of Politiano; Roscoe, Lives of ,Lorenzo de Medici and of Leo X; Tiraboschi, Storia della Letterat. Itrl.; Christian Schools and Scholars (Lond. 1867, 2 vols. 8vo), 2, 321 sq, 329; Lawrence, Historical Studies (N. Y. 1877, 8vo), p. 66.

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