Anguillara, John Andrew De

, one of the most celebrated Italian poets of the sixteenth century, was born about 1517, at Sutri in Tuscany, of very poor parents. After receiving such education as he could afford, he came | to Rome and engaged himself as a corrector of the press; but an intrigue with his master’s wife, in which he was detected, obliged him to leave Rome^with a little money and a few cloaths, of which he was stripped by robbers. He then begged his way to Vienna, and there got immediate employment from Franceschi, the bookseller; and, while with him, wrote his translation of Ovid, and some of his original works. He then returned to Rome, which his reputation as a poet had reached, but his misfortunes also followed him; and after having lived for some time on the sale of his cloaths and books, he died partly of hunger, and partly of a disease contracted by his imprudent conduct, in an inn near Torre de Nona. The exact date of his death is not known, but it appears by a letter addressed to him by Annibai Caro, that he was alive in 1564. His translation of the Metamorphoses still enjoys a high reputation in Italy, and Varchi and some other critics chuse to prefer it to the original. This is exaggerated praise, but undoubtedly the poetry and style are easy and elegant; although from the many liberties he has taken with the text, it ought rather to be called an imitation than a translation. The editions have been numerous, but the best is that of the Giunti, Venice, 1584, 4to, with engravings by Franco, and notes and arguments by Orologi and Turchi. He also began the Æneid, but one book only was printed, 1564, 4to; soon after which period it is supposed he died. His other works are: 1. “Œdipo,” a tragedy, partly original and partly from Sophocles. It had great success in representation, and was played in a magnificent temporary theatre built for the purpose by Palladio in 1565. 2. “Canzoni,” addressed to the dukes of Florence and Ferrara. 3. “Poetical arguments for all the cantos of Orlando Furioso.” 4. Four “Capitoli,” or satires, printed in various collections of that description. It appears by these last that he was gay and thoughtless in the midst of all his misfortunes. 1


Biog. Universelle.