Accolti, Benedetto

, an eminent lawyer and historian of the fifteenth century, and the first of that ancient Tuscan family who acquired a name for literary talents, was born at Arezzo, in 1415. His father was Michel Accolti, a civilian of Florence, and his mother a daughter of Roselli of Arezzo, also a lawyer. After a classical education, he studied the civil law, and was made professor at Florence, where his opinions acquired him much popularity. The Florentines, after conferring on him the rights of citizenship, chose him in 1459 to be secretary of the republic, in the room of Poggius, which office he retained until his death in 1466. The account of his transactions in public affairs are preserved in four books, with a great collection of his letters to foreign princes, which evince his sagacity as a statesman, and his politeness as a writer. He married Laura Frederigi, the daughter of a lawyer and patrician of Florence, by whom he had a numerous family, of whom Bernard and Peter will be noticed hereafter. His memory is said to have been so retentive, that on one occasion, after hearing the Hungarian ambassador pronounce a Latin address to the magistrates of Florence, he repeated the whole word for word. -His inclination for the Study of history made him relax in the profession of the law, and produced: 1. “De bello a Christianis contra Barbaros gesto, pro Christi sepulchre et Judaea recuperandis, libri quatuor,Venice, 1532, 4to, and reprinted at Basle, Venice, and Florence, the latter edition with notes by Thomas Dempster, 1623, 4to, and at Groninguen, by Henry | Hoffnider, 1731, 8vo. It was also translated into Italian, by Francis Baldelli, and printed at Venice, 1549, 8vo. Yves Duchat of Troyes in Champagne, translated it into French and Greek, and printed it at Paris, 1620, 8vo. This is a work of considerable historical credit, and in the succeeding century, served as a guide to TorquatoTasso, in his immortal poem, the Gerusalemme liberata. It was dedicated to Piero de Medici, and not to Cosmo, as Moreri asserts. Paulo Cortesi, a severe censor, allows that it is a work of great industry, and that it throws considerable light on a very difficult subject. A more recent critic objects to the purity of his style, and the length of the speeches he puts in the mouths of his principal personages. 2. “De praestantia virorum sui aevi,Parma, 1689, or 1692, the tendency of which is to prove that the moderns are not inferior to the ancients. It appeared originally in the Bibliotheque of Magliabechi, and has been often reprinted since, particularly at Coburg, in 1735, in the first volume of John Gerard Meuschen’s “Vitae summorum dignitate et eruditione virorum.1

1

Moreri. Biographic Universelle, 1811. Roscoe’s Lorenzo.