Speroni, Sperone

, an Italian scholar of great eminence in the sixteenth century, was born at Padua April 12, 1500, of noble parents. After finishing his studies at Bologna, under the celebrated Pomponatius, he returned to Padua, and took a doctor’s degree in philosophy and medicine. He also was made professor of logic, and afterwards of philosophy in general; but soon after he had obtained the chair of philosophy, he was so diffident of his acquirements that he returned to Padua for farther improvement under his old master, and did not return to hi% professorship until after the death of Pomponatius. In 1528, however, the death of his father obliged him to resign his office, and employ his time on domestic affairs. Yet these, a marriage which he now contracted, the lawsuits which he had to carry on, and some honourable employments he was engaged in by^the government, did not prevent him from cultivating his literary talents with such success, that there were few men in his time who could be compared with him in point of learning, eloquence, and | taste. In 1560 he was deputed to go to Rome by the duke of Urbino, under the pontificate of Pius IV. and there obtained the esteem of the learned of that metropolis, and received marks of high favour from the pope and his nephew Charles Borromeo, who invited him to those literary assemblies in his palace, which were called “Vatican nights.” On his departure, after four years residence, the pope gave him the title and decorations of a knight. When he returned home he was equally honoured by the dukes of Urbino and Ferrara, but certain lawsuits, arising from his family affairs, induced him to remove again to Rome, about the end of 1573, and he did not return until five years after, when he took up his final residence at Padua. He had flattering invitations to quit his native city from various princes, but a private life had now more charms for him. He died June 12, 1588, having completed his eighty- eighth year. His funeral was performed with every circumstance of respect and magnificence. His works form no less than 5 vols. 4to, elegantly printed at Venice in 1740; but there had been editions of individual parts printed and reprinted often in his life-time. His range of study was extensive. He was equally conversant in Greek and Latin, sacred and profane literature, and displayed on every subject which employed his pen, great learning and judgment. Among his works, are dialogues on morals, the belles lettres, rhetoric, poetry and history. He wrote also both serious and burlesque poetry. His prose style is among the best of his age, and has fewer faults than arc to be found among the Italian writers o! the sixteenth century. He wrote a tragedy, “Canace et Macareus,” which had its admirers and its critics, and occasioned a controversy on its merits. 1


Tiraboschi. Ginguene Hist. Lit. d’ltalie. Niccron, vol. XXXIX. Tomasini Elogia