Ruccellai, Bernard

, in Latin Oricellarius, a learned writer of the fifteenth century, was born in 1449. His mother was daughter of the celebrated Pallas Strozzi, one of the most powerful and opulent citizens of Florence, a great patron of literature, and who in his collections of books and antiquities, was the rival of Niccoli, and even of the Medicis themselves. To this last mentioned illustrious family Bernard became allied, in his seventeenth year, by his marriage with the sister of Lorenzo, which joyful occasion his father John Ruccellai is said to have celebrated with princely magnificence, at the expence of 37,000 florins. | Bernard after his marriage pursued his studies with the same avidity as before; and after Lorenzo de Medici’s death, the Platonic academy found in him a very generous protector. He built a magnificent palace, with gardens and groves convenient for the philosophic conferences held by the academicians, and ornamented it with the most valuable specimens of the antique, collected at an immense expence.

Like many other scholars of that day, he added political skill to his literary accomplishments, and held some offices of trust and importance. In 1480 he was chosen gonfalonier of justice and four years after, the republic appointed him ambassador to the state of Genoa, which was folloxved by three other embassies, one to Ferdinand king of Naples, and two to Charles VIII. king of France. During the revolutions which took place at Naples about the end of the fifteenth century, Ruccellai took a part, for which some Florentine historians censure him but whether his Conduct was patriotic or factious, is not very clear, although the former is most probable. He died in 1514, and was interred in the church of St. Maria Novella, the fagade of which, begun by his father, he finished with great magnificence.

Ruccellai’s principal work “De Urbe Roma,” contains an accurate account of what the ancient writers have handed down respecting the magnificent edifices of that city, and Was in all respects the best work of the kind that had then appeared. It was first published in the collection entitled “Rerum Ital. Scriptores Florentini.” He left also a history of the war of Pisa, and another of the descent of Charles VIII. into Italy, “De Bello Pisano,” and “De Jtello Jtajico;” the latter of which is said to have been first printed at London by Brindley in 1724, and both by Bowyer in 1733; but this last edition we do not find mention.ed in Mr. Nichols’s very accurate and elaborate list of the productions of Bowyer’s press. In 1752 was published at JLeipsic a treatise on the Roman magistracy, “De magistratibus Romanis,” written by Ruccellai, and sent to the editor by the learned antiquary Gori, who discovered it at Florence. Ruccellai was also a poet, and appears in the “Canti Carnascialeschi” as the author of the “Trionfo della calunnia.” In poetry, however, he was eclipsed by his son, the subject of our next article. 1


Tiraboschi. Ginguent Hist. Lit. d’ltalie. Roscoe’s Lorenzo de Medici.