Calcagnini, Celio

, a canon of the church of Ferrara, and a poet and orator of considerable distinction, was born at Ferrara in 1479, and, as generally supposed, was the natural son of a person who was an apostolic notary. He studied under Peter Pomponazzo, but devoting himself to a military life, served under the emperor Maximilian. He afterwards engaged in the service. of Julius II. and was employed in several important negociations. Returning to Ferrara, he obtained the particular favour of the family of Este, and was chosen to accompany the cardinal Ippolito on his journeyMiuo Hungary. About the year 1520, he was appointed professor of the belles lettres in | the university of Ferrara, which situation he filled with great credit until his death in 1541. He was interred in the library of the Jacobins, to which he bequeathed his books, and on which are two inscriptions to his memory, one signifying that “by continual study, he had learned to despise earthly things, and not to be insensible of his own ignorance,” (ignorantiam suam non ignorare.) His works were published at Basil in 1541, one vol. folio, or according to Moreri, in 1544, and contain sixteen books of epistles, and philosophical, political, and critical dissertations on various subjects, and he also wrote some Latin poetry, which the critics of his time prefer to his prose, the latter being heavy, unequal, and affected; his poetry was published with the poems of John Baptista Pigna and Louis Ariosto, at Venice, 1553, 8vo. He appears to have corresponded with Erasmus, whom, like many others, he blamed for his undecided character in the questions which arose out of the reformation. 1


Moreri.—Dict. Hist.—Roscoe’s Leo.—Paul Jovius, who gives a very unfavourable account of Calcagnini.