CASTELVETRO, Lodovico

(1505-1571)
Lodovico Castelvetro, a prominent critic and linguist, stands out as the man who systematically arranged the supposed Aristotelian unities of time, place, and action. Castelvetro lived the life of a sixteenth-century humanist devoted to the study of letters.
Castelvetro, born in 1505 in Modena, Italy, expressed an early passion for the study of humanistic letters. He pursued a course of study at the Universities of Bologna, Ferrara, Padua, and Siena. Bowing to his father's wishes, Castel-vetro earned a doctorate of law at Siena before moving to Rome, where his family hoped that his maternal uncle, Giovanni Maria della Porta, would be able to use his political connections to advance his nephew's career. Finding life in Rome unbearable, around the time of its sack in 1527 by the imperial forces of Charles V,* Castelvetro returned to Modena, where he found intellectual satisfaction in the company of the humanists allied with Giovanni Grilenzono's circle of friends. Castelvetro and Grilenzono studied ancient languages while also practicing vernacular languages. Under Castelvetro's lead­ership, humanist scholarship flourished in Modena, with Castelvetro's contem­poraries referring to him as "another Socrates."
Castelvetro's association with the allegedly heretical Academy of Modena culminated in what may have been an unfounded accusation to the Sacred In­quisition of Rome. His criticism of Annibal Caro's* poetic sequence written in praise of the Farnese family and the royal house of France initiated Caro's systematic persecution of Castelvetro, a literary quarrel that further defamed Castelvetro's character in the eyes of his contemporaries. Castelvetro found him­self in the position of having to travel to Rome in 1560 to refute the accusation. Threatened with torture, Castelvetro fled Italy, was excommunicated, and re­mained living in exile for the next ten years of his life.
After leaving Rome, Castelvetro found temporary refuge in Ferrara, Chiavenna, Lyons, Geneva, and, finally, Vienna, where Emperor Maximilian II's pa­tronage provided the opportunity for Castelvetro to publish his most significant literary contribution: his commentary on Aristotle's Poetics (1570). In his ded­icatory epistle to Emperor Maximilian II, Castelvetro avowed his intent to com­plete Aristotle's unpolished treatise in order to prescribe rules for writing dramas.
Additional commentaries on Petrarch's Rime, published in 1582, and on the first twenty-nine cantos of Dante's Inferno, among other textual corrections and considerations of the development of the Italian language, comprise the remain­der of Castelvetro's critical endeavors. While still in exile, Castelvetro died on 21 February 1571.
A. Bongiorno, trans., Castelvetro on the Art of Poetry, Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, vol. 29, 1984.
H. B. Charlton, Castelvetro's Theory of Poetry, 1913.
R. C. Melzi, Castelvetro's Annotations to The Inferno: A New Perspective in Sixteenth Century Criticism, 1966.
Debbie Barrett-Graves

Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary. . 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Castelvetro, Lodovico — ▪ Italian critic born c. 1505, , Modena, Duchy of Modena died Feb. 21, 1571, Chiavenna, Swiss Confederation       a dominant literary critic of the Italian Renaissance, particularly noted for his translation of and independently rendered… …   Universalium

  • Lodovico Castelvetro — (* ca. 1505 in Modena; † 1571 in Chiavenna, Provinz Sondrio) war ein italienischer Humanist. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werk und Wirkung 3 Schriften …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Lodovico Castelvetro — (v. 1505 à Modène 1571 à Chiavenna, dans la province de Sondrio) est un écrivain italien de la Renaissance, qui, en raison de certains désaccords avec l Église catholique, fut déclaré hérétique en 1557, ce qui le fit mourir en exil. Ses… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Lodovico Castelvetro — (Módena, 1505 – Chiavenna, 1571) fue un filólogo y crítico literario italiano. Está considerado el máximo representante del aristotelismo literario del Cinquecento. Biografía Estudió Derecho y Letras en las universidades de Bolonia, Ferrara y… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Lodovico Castelvetro — (c.1505 1571) was an important figure in the development of neo classicism, especially in drama. It was his reading of Aristotle that led to a widespread adoption of a tight version of the Three Unities, as a dramatic standard.His supposed… …   Wikipedia

  • Castelvetro — Castelvẹtro,   Lodovico, italienischer Gelehrter und Schriftsteller, * Modena um 1505, ✝ Chiavenna 21. 2. 1571; war ab 1532 Professor der Rechte in Modena; wurde 1557 in Abwesenheit wegen Ketzerei verurteilt, hielt sich bis zu seiner Rückkehr… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Castelvetro — biographical name Lodovico circa 1505 1571 Italian critic & philologist …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Castelvetro — /kas tl ve troh/; It. /kah stel ve trddaw/, n. Lodovico /loh deuh vee koh/; It. /law daw vee kaw/, 1505 71, Italian philologist and literary critic. * * * …   Universalium

  • Castelvetro — /kas tl ve troh/; It. /kah stel ve trddaw/, n. Lodovico /loh deuh vee koh/; It. /law daw vee kaw/, 1505 71, Italian philologist and literary critic …   Useful english dictionary

  • Varchi — Benedetto Varchi Benedetto Varchi (* 1502; † 1565) war ein Florentiner Dichter und Historiker. Benedetto Varchi war der Sohn eines Notars und studierte Jura in Pisa. Aus republikanischer Überzeugung kämpfte er während der Belagerung durch die… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.