Birago, Francis

, an Italian author of great authority in the science of which he may be said to have been professor, that which the Italians call Scienza cavalleresca, which embraces all questions relative to nobility, the profession of arms, the ancient customs of chivalry, and the laws of honour. He was born in 1562, of a noble Milanese family, and lived and wrote as late as the year 1637, but beyond that his history cannot be traced. Being the eldest of six brothers, he assumed, in his writings, the title of signor Metono and Siciano, two fiefs belonging to his family in the territory of Pavia. From Crescenzi, a contemporary, and author of a “treatise on the nobility of Italy,” we learn that Birago was arbitrator of all chivalrous disputes in Lombardy and that in all parts of Italy he | was consulted as an oracle, and his opinions were decisive, being considered as a gentleman who united honourable spirit with high blood. He wrote several works on the subject, enumerated by Ginguene“, the principal of which were collected and published in one vol. 4to, under the title” Opere cavalleresche distinte in quattro libri, cioè in discorsi; consigli, libro I e II e decisioni," Bologna, 1686. 1


Biog. Universelle.