Cino, Da Pistoia

, a celebrated Italian lawyer and poet of the fourteenth century, who usually is known by that name, although he was of the ancient family of the Sinibaldi or Sinibuldi, and his first name was Guittoncino (not Ambrogino, as Le Quadrio says), the diminutive of Cuittone, and by abbreviation Cino. Much pains were bestowed on his education, and according to the fashion of the times, he studied law; but nature had made him a poet, and he cultivated that taste in conjunction with his | academical exercises. He took his first degree in civil law at Bologna, and in 1307 was appointed assessor of civil causes but at that time was obliged to leave Pistoia, owing to the civil commotions. Cino was a zealous Ghibelin, and was now glad to seek an asylum in Lombardy, whither he followed his favourite Selvaggia, whose charms he so often celebrates in his poems, but where he had the misfortune to lose her. After her death he travelled for some time in Lombardy, and is thought to have visited Paris, the university of which was at that time the resort of many foreigners. On his return, however, to Bologna in 1314, he published his “Commentary on the first nine Books of the Code,” a very learned work, which placed him among the ablest lawyers of his time, and has been often printed, first at Pavia in 1483; the best edition is that improved by Cisnez, Franefort, 1578. He now took his doctor’s degree, ten years after he had received that of bachelor, and his reputation procured him invitations to become law-professor, an office which he filled for three years at Trevisa, and for seven years at Perugia. Among his pupils in the latter place was the celebrated Bartolo, who studied under him six years, and declared that he owed his knowledge entirely to the writings and lessons of Cino. From Perugia he went to Florence, but his reputation was confined to the civil law. At this time the canonists and legists were sworn enemies, and Cino, not only in his character as a legist, but as a Ghibelin, had a great aversion to decretals, canons, and the whole of papal jurisprudence. It is not true, however, as some have asserted, that he taught civil law to Petrarch, or canon law to Boccaccio, although he communicated with Petrarch on poetical matters, and exhibited to him a style which Petrarch did not disdain to imitate.

Cino was professor at Florence in 13. '54, when he was appointed gonfalonier at Pistoia, where his party had gained the ascendancy; but either from a partiality for his present situation, or some other motive, he declined accepting the honour. We find him, however, on his return to his native country, when he was seized with a disorder which proved fatal in 1336, or the beginning of 1337, and not, according to Tiraboschi, in 1341, leaving, as his biographer says, two reputations which long subsisted without injuring one another, that of one of the revivers of civil jurisprudence, and one of the founders of Italian poetry. It is ia | the latter character that his fame has been of longest duration, and in which he has been praised by Dante, and more abundantly by Petrarch, who chose him for one of his models. Modern critics, however, have discovered among many beauties, an occasional flatness and obscurity in some of his poetical pieces. They were first printed at Rome in 1559, and reprinted thirty years after with a second part, and are in several collections. 1

1 Gen. Dict. Ginjfuenfc Hist. Litt, d’ltalie. —Tiraboschi.