Ammirato, Scipio

, an eminent historian, was born at Lucca, in the kingdom of Naples, the 27th of September 1531. He studied first at Poggiardo, afterwards at Brundusium; and, in 1547, he went to Naples, in order to go through a course of civil law. When he was at Barri with his father, he was deputed by that city to manage some affairs at Naples, which he executed with great success. Some time after, he determined to enter into the church, and was accordingly ordained by the bishop of Lucca, who conceived so high an esteem for him, as to give him a canonry in his church; but not meeting afterwards with the preferment he expected, he formed a design of going to Venice, and entering into the service of some ambassador, in order to visit the several courts of Europe. Alexander Contarini, however, dissuaded him from this resolution of travelling, and engaged him to continue with him at Venice; where he had an opportunity of contracting a friendship with many learned men. But he was prevented by a very singular circumstance. The wife of Contarini, who used to take great pleasure in Ammirato’s conversation, having sent him a present as a token of her friendship, some ill-natured persons represented this civility in a light sufficient to excite the resentment of a jealous husband, and Ammirato was obliged immediately to fly, in order to save his life. He returned to Lucca, and | his father being then at Barri, he went thither to him, but met with a very cool reception, as he was dissatisfied to find him in no probable way of making a fortune, from having neglected the study of the law; and with this he reproached him very frequently.

Marcellus Marcini being chosen pope in 1555, under the name of Marcellus II. Ammirato, who knew that Nicolao Majorano, bishop of Molfetta, a city near Barri, had been formerly a friend of the pope’s, persuaded him to go to Rome, and congratulate him upon his election, with a view, by attending the bishop in his journey, to procure some place under the nephews of that pope; but, as they were preparing for this journey, the death of Marcellus put a stop to their intended scheme, and destroyed their hopes; upon which Ammirato retired to a country-seat of his father’s, where he applied himself closely to his studies. At last he was determined to return to Naples, in order to engage again in the study of the law, and to take his degrees in it; his relish for this profession was not in the least increased, but he thought the title he might procure would be of advantage to him. He had not, however, been six months at Naples, before he grew weary of it, and entered successively into the service of several noblemen as secretary. Upon his return to Lucca, he was appointed by this city to go and present a petition to pope Pius IV. in their favour, which office he discharged with success. Upon his return to Lucca, he was appointed by the city of Naples to settle there, and write the history of that kingdom; but the cold reception he met with from the governors who had sent for him, disgusted him so much, that he left the city with a resolution to return no more, and although they repented afterwards of their neglect of him, and used all possible means to bring him back, he continued inflexible. He then went to Rome, where he procured a great many friends; and, having travelled over part of Italy, visited Florence, where he resolved to settle, being engaged by the kind reception which the Grand Duke gave to men of letters. He was appointed to write the history of Florence, and received many instances of that prince’s bounty, which he increased after this publication, by presenting him with a canonry in the cathedral of Florence. This easy situation now gave him an opportunity of applying himself more vigorously to his studies, and writing the greatest part of his works. He died at | Florence the 30th of January, 1601, in the 69th year of his age. His works are as follow: 1. “Arguments,” in Italian verse, of the cantos of Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso, which were first published in the edition of that poem at Venice, in 1548, in 4to. 2. “II Decalione dialogo del poeta,Naples, 1560, 8vo. 3. “Istorie Florentine dopo la fondatione di Fierenze insino all‘ anno 1574,” printed at Florence, 1600, in 2 vols. folio. 4. “Discorsi sopra Cornelio Tacito,Florence, 1598, 4to. 5. “Delle famiglie nobili Napolitane,” part I. at Florence, 1580, in folio; part II. at Florence, 1651, folio. 6. “Discorsi delle famiglie Paladina et PAntoglietta,Florence, 1605, in 4to. 7. “Albero et storia della famiglia de conte Guidi, coll’ agiunte de Scipione Ammirato Giovane,Florence, 1640 and 1650. 8. “Delle famiglie Florentine,Florence, 1615, folio. 9. “Vescovi de Fiesoli di Volterra, e d‘Arezzo, con l’aggiiinta di Scipione Ammirato il Giovane,Florence, 1637, 4to. 10. “Opuscoli varii,Florence, 1583, in 8vo. 11. “Rime varie,” printed in a collection of poems by different authors. Venice, 1553, in 8vo. 12. “Poesi Spirituali,Venice, 1634, in 4to, 13. “Annotazioni sopra la seconde parte de Sonetti di Bernardino Rota fatti in morte di Porzia Capece sua moglia,Naples, 1560, in 4to. He left a manuscript life of himself, which is said to have been deposited in the library of the hospital of St. Mary. He made his secretary, Dei Bianco, his heir, on condition of taking his name, who accordingly called himself Scipio Ammirato the younger. He was editor of some of his benefactor’s works, particularly of his history of Florence, a performance of great accuracy and credit. 1


Gen. Dict. —Moreri. —Saxii Onomasticon.