Pompei, Jerome

, an Italian poet and a man of letters, was born of a noble family at Verona in 1731. He became an early proficient in classical literature, particularly the Greek, of which he was enthusiastically fond, and attained an excellent style. At this period the marquis Maffei and other eminent literary characters were resident at Verpna, in whose society the talents of Pompei received the most advantageous cultivation. He was first known as an author by “Canzoni Pastorali,” in two vols. 8vo. Able critics spoke in the highest terms of these pieces, on account of their sweetness and elegance it was thought by some good judges that they were never surpassed by any productions of the kind. He next translated some of the Idylls of Theocritus and Moschus, in which he exhibited a very happy selection of Italian words, corresponding with the Greek. The next object of his attention was dramatic poetry, in the higher departments of which the Italians were at that time very deficient, and he published in 1763 and 1770, his tragedies of “Hypermestra” and “Callirhoe,” which were represented with great success in several cities of the Venetian state. He now employed several years on a translation of “Plutarch’s Lives,” which appeared in 1774 in four vols. 4to. This work gave him considerable reputation as a prose writer and scholar, and it ranks among the very best classical versions in the Italian language. In 1778 he published two volumes of “Nuove Canzoni Pastorali” he also published poetical versions of the “Hero and Leander of Musjeus” of the “Hymns of Callimachus;” “A hundred Greek Epigrams” and the “Epistles of Ovid.” He was a member of some of the academies, and he served his native city in the capacities of secretary to the tribunal of public safety, and to the academy of painting. He died at Verona in 1790, at the age of fifty-nine, and his memory was honoured by various public testimonies, and by the erection of his bust in one of the squares of the city. He was highly respected and esteemed, as well for his morals as for his literary talents, and his fame was not limited to the confines of Italy. An edition of his works was published after his death in six vols. 8vo. 1

1 Fabroni Vitae Italorum, vol. XV, jUhenseuna, vol. IV.