Campanus, John Anthony

, an Italian poet and prelate, was born in 1427 at Cavelli, a village of Campania, of parents so obscure that he bore no name but that of his country, and was employed in his early years as a shepherd, in which situation an ecclesiastic discovering some promise of talents in him, sent him to Naples, where he studied under Laurentius Valla. He went afterwards to Perugia, where he rose to be professor of eloquence, and filled that chair with so much reputation, that when, in 1459, pope Pius II. happened to pass through Perugia in his way to the council of Mantua, he bestowed his patronage on him, and made him bishop of Crotona, and secondly of Teramo. Enjoying the same favour under pope Paul II. this pontiff sent him to the congress of Ratisbon, which assembled for the purpose of consulting on a league of the Christian princes against the Turks. Sixtus IV. who | had been one of his scholars at Perugia, made him successively governor of Todi, of Foligno, and of Citta di Castello; but the pope having thought proper to besiege this last named city, because the inhabitants made some scruple about receiving his troops, Campano, touched with the hardships they were likely to suffer, wrote to the pope with so much freedom and spirit as to enrage his holiness, and provoke him to deprive him of his government, and banish him from the ecclesiastical states. Campano on this went to Naples, but not rinding the reception he expected, he retired to his bishopric at Teramo, where he died July 15, 1477, of chagrin and disappointment. His works, which were first printed at Rome in 1495, fol. consist of several treatises on moral philosophy, discourses, and funeral orations, and nine books of letters, in which there is some curious information with respect both to the political and literary history of his times. This volume contains likewise, the life of pope Pius II. and of Braccio of Perugia, a famous military character, and lastly, of eight book of elegies and epigrams, some of which are rather of too licentious a nature to accord with the gravity of his profession. These, or part of them, were reprinted at Leipsic in 1707, and in 1734. Campano was at one time a corrector of the press to Udalric, called Gallus, the first printer of Rome, and wrote prefaces to Livy, Justin, Plutarch, and some other of the works which issued from that press. 1


Gen. Dict. —Moreri. Ginguene Hist. Litt. d' Italic. Freheri Theatrum.