Bonfinius, Anthony

, an historian of the fifteenth century, was born at Ascoli in Italy. Mathias Corvinus, king of Hungary, having heard of his abilities and learning, sent for him to his court, and Bonfinius paid his respects to him at Rees, a few days before that prince made his public entry into Vienna. At his first audience, as he himself tells us, he presented him with his translations of Hermogenes and Herodian, and his genealogy of the Corvini, which he dedicated to his majesty; and two other works addressed to the queen, one of which treated of virginity and conjugal chastity, and the other was a history of | Ascoli. He had dedicated also a small collection of epigrams to the young prince John Corvinus, to which there is added a preface. The king read his pieces with great pleasure, distributed them among his courtiers in high terms of approbation, and would not allow him to return to Italy, but granting him a good pension, was desirous that he should follow him in his army. He employed him to write the history of the Huns, and Bonfinius accordingly set about it before the death of this prince; but it was by order of king Uladislaus that he wrote the general history of Hungary, and carried it down to 1495. The original of this work was deposited in the library of Buda. In 1543 Martin Brenner published thirty books from an imperfect copy, which Sambucus republished in 1568, in a more correct state, and with the addition of fifteen more books, a seventh edition of which was printed at Leipsic, in 1771, fol. Sambucus also published in 1572 Bonfinius’s “Symposion Beatricis, seu dialog, de fide conjugali et virginitate, lib. III.” Bonfinius wrote a history of the taking of Belgrade by Mahomet II. in 1456, which is printed in the “Syndromus rerum Turcico-Pannonicarum,” Francfort, 1627, 4to; and, as already noticed, translated the works of Philostratus, Hermogenes, and Herodian. His Latin style was much admired, as a successful imitation of the ancients. The time of his death has not been ascertained. 1


Gen. Dict. —Moreri.- —Saxii Onomast.