Piccolomini, Alexander

, archbishop of Patras, and coadjutor of Sienna, his native place, was born in 1503. His family was illustrious, and originally Roman, but settled afterwards at Sienna. He was a successful writer of the drama; but, though involved in that seducing pursuit, preserved the credit of exemplary morals, as well as genius. His general charity was extreme, but he was particularly considerate of the wants of literary men, His works are numerous, all written in Italian, which language he was the first author who applied to philosophical subjects. He died at Sienna on the 12th of March, 1578. The most distinguished of his works are these: 1. Several dramatic compositions, which formed the chief basis of his reputation. 2. “The Morality of Nobles,Venice, 1552, 8vo. 3. “A Treatise on the Sphere.” 4. “A Theory of the Planets.” 5. “A Translation of the Rhetoric and Poetic of Aristotle,” 4to. 6. “The Institution of Morality,Venice, 1575, 4to. Many of his works evince a profound knowledge of natural philosophy, mathematics, and divinity. One work attributed to him, “Delia bella Creanza della Donne,” “On the Education of Ladies,” printed in 1541, 1558, and 1574, has been valued because scarce, but is disgraced by many dangerous maxims, and must have been a production of his youth; during which, we are told, he was a correspondent of the infamous Peter Aretin. 2


Tiraboschi.Niceron, vol. XXIII. Bullart’s Academic des Sciences.