Manetti, Giannozzo

, a very learned scholar, was born at Florence, June 5, 1396, of an illustrious family that had fallen into decay. After a course of philosophical, theological and mathematical studies, he became, in the Greek language, the pupil of Camaldoli, who then taught that language at Florence, and not of Chrysoloras, as Vossius, and Hody, if we mis-take not, have reported. Manetti then lectured on philosophy in | that city to a numerous auditory. He was afterwards employed by the state in various negociatious; and became successively governor of Pescia, Pistoria, and Scarperia, and commissary of the army along with Bernardetto de Medicis. He filled also several offices in the government of Florence, and rendered his own country many important services. When at Rome in 1452, at the coronation of the emperor Frederick, pope Nicholas V. bestowed on him the honour of knighthood. His talents and services, however, excited the envy of some of the families of Florence, and even the favour he acquired with the princes at whose courts he had been employed as ambassador, was considered as a crime; and a heavy fine being imposed on him, he found it necessary to leave his country, and take refuge in Rome, where pope Nicholas V. made him one of his secretaries, with a handsome salary, besides the perquisites of his place. He remained in the same office under the succeeding popes Calixtus III. and Pius II. which last made him librarian of the Vatican. Manetti at length left Rome to reside with Alphonsus, king of Naples, who had a great esteem for him, and gave him an annuity of 900 golden crowns. He did not, however, enjoy this situation long, dying Oct. 26, 1459, in his sixty-third year. He was an excellent scholar in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, which at that time was little known in Italy, and employed twenty-two years on those languages. He kept three domestics, two of whom were Greeks, and the third a Syrian, who knew Hebrew, and whom he ordered always to speak to him in their respective languages. He was the author of a great many works, most of which remain in manuscript in the Laurentian Library. Those published were, 1. “De dignitate et excellentia hominis,” Basle, 1532, 8vo. 2. “Vita Petrarchae.” This life of Petrarch is inserted in Tommasini’s “Petrarcha redivivus.” 3. “Oratio ad regem Alphonsum in nuptiis filii sui.” This, which was spoken in 1445, was printed by Marquard Freher, in 1611, 4to, along with three other orations, addressed to Alphonsus on the peace, to the emperor Frederic on his coronation, and to pope Nicholas V. Other works have been attributed to him, as a “History of Pistoria,” and the lives of Dante, Boccacio, and Nicholas V,; but we find no particular account of them. 1

1 Chaufcpie. —Niceron, vol. XXXVI. —Tiraboschi.