Esperiente, Philip Callimachus

, an eminent Italian historian, was born at San Geminiano, a village of Tuscany, in 1437. He was of the illustrious family of the Buonaccorsi, which name he changed to that of Callimaco or Callimachus, when he had, along with Pomponius Laetus, and other men of learning, established an academy, the members of which adopted Latin or Greek names. The surname of Esperiente, or Experiens, he is supposed to have assumed in allusion to the vicissitudes of his life, but in that case he must have assumed it after he had met with these vicissitudes. It is therefore more reasonable to suppose that he merely meant to infer that all true knowledge is founded on experience. Paul II. having succeeded Pius II. in 1464, did not view Esperiente’s academy, and his change of name, in the same favourable light as his predecessor, but fancied he discovered something mysterious and alarming in such a society, and even persecuted the members of it with some severity. Esperiente was therefore obliged to make his escape, and after travelling in various countries, came to Poland in 1473, where he was kindly received by the archbishop of Leopol or Lemberg, and acquired the esteem of Casimir III. king of Poland, who appointed him preceptor to his children, and some time afterwards employed him as his secretary. Acquiring the confidence of the king, who perceived his talents for business, he was entrusted with several important negociations at Constantinople in 1475, and at Vienna and Venice in 1486. In 1488 he had the misfortune to lose his library by an accidental fire. The death of Casimir in 1491, made no difference in his situation, John Albert the successor to the crown, who had been his pupil, admitting him to his confidence, and even to a share of power, which excited the resentment of the natives, who were jealous of the interference of a foreigner and a fugitive; but the virtue and good conduct of Esperiente were superior to the attacks of his adversaries, and he retained his station and favour, with undiminished honour, to the close of his days. He died at Cracow Nov. 1, 1496, and his remains were deposited in a tomb of bronze, with the following inscription: “Philippus Callimachus Experieus, | natione Thuscus, vir doctissimus, utriusque fortunse exemplum imitandutn, atque oninis virtutis ctiltor pra?cipuus, ciivi oliin Casimiri et Joaunis Alberti, Poloniae regum, secretarius acceptissimus, relictis ingenii, ac reruin a se gestarum, plnribus tnonu mentis, cum summo omnium honor u in muToro, et regiffi domus, atque hujus reipublicae incoinmodo, anno sal mis nostne 1496, calendis Novembris, vita decedens, hie sepultus est,

All his works, of which the following is a correct list, are held in much esteem IAttila,” or, “De Gestis Attilae,” without date, but probably Trevisa, 1489, 4to reprinted at Haguenau, 1531, 4to, Basil, 1541, 8vo, and inserted in Bontinius’s collection of Latin historians. 2. “Historia de rege Uladislao, seu clade Varnensi,” Augsburgh, 1519, 4to. Michael Bruto appears to have been ignorant of this first edition, when he published one from a manuscript, which he entitled “De rebus ab Uladislao Hungarian ct Polonire rege gestis ad Casimiruin V. libri tres,Cracow, 15S2, 4to. He added, however, a very interesting life of Esperiente, which was reprinted at Cracow, 1584, 4to. Paul Jovius preferred this work of Esperiente to any history since the days of Tacitus. It is also printed, with the history of Poland, by Martin Cromer, 1589, and in Bonfidius’s collection. 3. “De clade Varnensi epistola,” inserted in the second volume of the “Chronicon Turcicum” by Louicerus, Bale, 1556, and Francfort, 1578, folio. 4. “Oratio de Bello Turcis inferendo et historia de his qu;r a Venetis tentata snnt, Persis ac Tartaris contra Turcos inovendis,” Haguenau, 1533, 4to. Among the Mss. he left were some Latin poems, and a history of his travels. 1


Biog Universelle in art. Callimachus.—Tiraboschi.—Roscoe’s Leo.—Fabr. Med. Lat.—Saxi Onomast.