Martelli, Peter James

, an eminent Italian poet, was born at Bologna in 1665, and was educated at the Jesuits’ school, and at the university of his native city, after which he devqted himself to the study of classical literature, and having obtained the post of one of the secretaries to the senate of B*ologna, was enabled to follow his studies without much interruption. After publishing a serious poem, entitled “Gli Ocche di Gesu,” The Eyes of Jesus, he produced a tragedy called “La Morte di Nerone,” which with several of liis other pieces was acted with great^ applause. In 1707 he was appointed professor of the belles lettres in the university of Bologna, and soon after was made private secretary to Aldrovandi, who had been nominated delegate to pope Clement XI. At Rome, where he contracted an intimacy with many men of high literary | reputation, he published a whimsical dialogue, “Del Volo,” On Flying, in which he endeavoured to prove that men and heavy bodies might be supported in the air, and also wrote several discourses in verse concerning the art of poetry. When he accompanied Aldrovandi, who was appointed the pope’s legate at the courts of France and Spain, he wrote at Paris his opinions “On” ancient and modern Tragedy,“in the form of dialogues; and on his return to Rome, he published his tragedies in three volumes, and was reckoned to have conferred a great benefit on Italian literature, although his style is often too turgid and florid for a model. He also began a poem” On the Arrival of Charlemagne in Italy, and his Accession to the Western Empire,“which he never finished. He died in 1727, at the age of sixty-two, leaving the character of a man of amiable manners and social qualities. His principal works,” Versi et Prose," were printed at Bologna in 1729, 7 vols. 8vo. 1


Fabroni Vita Italorum, vol. V.