Colocci, Angelo

, in Latin Angelus Colotius, an elegant Italian scholar, descended of an ancient and noble family, was born at Jesi, in 1467. He obtained in his youth the honour of knighthood, which was conferred upon him by the hands of Andreas Palaeologus Despota, when, then a refugee at Rome, he was recognized as the legitimate heir to the imperial diadem of Constantinople. Colocci was a disciple of Georgius Valla, under whom he made great progress in philosophy, but particularly in polite literature. For political reasons, which are detailed J>y Ubaldinus, in his life of this illustrious scholar, the family of Colocci were obliged, in the pontificate of Innocent VIII. to abandon the city of Rome where they had taken up their residence. Angelo, in consequence, repaired to Naples, where he became a member of the Pontana academy, under the assumed name of Angelus Colo* tius Bassus, and acquired an intimacy with the most eminent poets and wits of his time. Six years afterwards, Raving been permitted to return to his country, he divided | his time betwixt his literary pursuits and the official duties entrusted to him by his countrymen, who sent him as ambassador to Alexander VI. in 1498. He then took up his residence at Rome, where his hause became an elegant and liberal resort for men of learning and genius, and where the academy of Rome, which after the death of Pomponius Laetus had fallen into decay, was again revived under his care. Here also his extensive gardens, which, in addition to the most captivating scenery resulting from a happy combination of nature and art, were adorned with a profusion of statues, inscriptions, and other elegant remains of classic antiquity, revived Uie magnificence and amenity of the celebrated gardens of Saliust, of which they were supposed to occupy the actual site. On such objects, and on the patronage of learning and learned men, he employed his riches. The senate of Rome, struck with his liberality, bestowed on him the title of patrician, which extended to his family; and he was held in the highest estimation by the popes Leo X. Clement VII. and Paul III. Leo, independently of 4000 crowns with which he rewarded him for some verses in his praise, made him his secretary, and gave him the reversion of the bishopric of Nocera in 1521, Colocci having at that time survived two wives. This gift was afterwards confirmed to him by Clement VII. who also appointed him governor of Ascoli. These favours, however, were insufficient to secure him when Rome was sacked in 1527. On that occasion, his house was burnt, his gardens pillaged, and he was obliged to pay a large sum for his life and liberty. He then went for some time to his country, and on coming back to Rome, his first care was to invite together the members of the academy who had been dispersed. In 1537 he took possession of the bishopric of Nocera, and died at Rome in 1549. His Latin and Italian poems were published in 1772, but our authority does not mention where or in what shape. Most of them had, however, previously appeared in his life by Ubaldinus, Rome, 1673, 8vo. 1

1 Gresswell’s Memoirs of Politian. Moicri. —Dict. Hist.