Italian poet and scholar, b. of a patrician family at Vicenza in 1478; d. at Rome, 8 December, 1550. He had the advantages of a good humanistic training, studying Greek under the noted Demetrius Chalcondylas at Milan and philosophy under Nicolò Leoniceno at Ferrara. His culture recommended him to the humanist Leo X , who in 1515 sent him to Germany as his nuncio ; later on Clement VII showed him especial favour, and employed him as ambassador. In 1532 the Emperor Charles V made him a count palatine. In spite of the banishment from Vicenza pronounced upon him in 1509 because his family had favoured the plans of Maximilian, he was held in honour throughout Italy. Wherever he abode his home was a centre for gatherings of scholars, littérateurs , and the most cultured men of the time. His family life was far from happy, apparently through little fault of his own. In the history of modern European literature Trissino occupies a prominent place because of his tragedy "Sofonisba" (1515; recent ed., Bologna, 1884), the first tragedy in Italian to show deference to the classic rules. Constantly a partisan of Aristotelean regularity, he disapproved of the genial freedom of the chivalrous epic as written by Ariosto. In his own composition the "Italia liberata dai Goti" (1547-8), dealing with the campaigns of Belisarius in Italy, he sought to show that it was possible to write in the vernacular an epic in accordance with the classic precepts. The result is a cold and colourless composition.
He was one of the many who engaged in the discussion as to what is true literary Italian. Following the lead of Dante, he espoused in his "Castellano" (1529) the indefensible theory that the language is a courtly one made up of contributions from the refined centres in Italy, instead of being, as it is, fundamentally of Tuscan origin. For clearness he proposed that in writing Italian certain new characters (derived from the Greek alphabet ) abe adopted to show the difference between open and close e and o and voiced and voiceless s and z . This wise proposition was ignored. "I Simillimi" (1548) which is a version of the "Menæchmi" of Plautus, "I Ritratti" (1524) which is a composite portrait of feminine beauty, and the "Poetica", which contains his summing up of the Aristotelean principles of literary composition, made up the rest of his important writings. An edition of his collected works was published by Maffei at Verona in 1729.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online