Ruccellai, John

, fourth son to the preceding, was born at Florence, Oct. 20, 1475, at a time when his family was in the plenitude of its power. By what masters he was educated we have not been told, but it maybe presumed, from his father’s character, that he procured him the best which Florence could afford; and it is said that he became very accomplished in the Greek and Latin languages, as well as in his own. In 1505 he was sent as ambassador from Florence to Venice. In the tumult raised by the younger citizens of Florence on the return of the Medici in 1512, and which contributed so greatly to facilitate that event, he and his brother Pallas took a principal part, apparently in opposition to the wishes of their father, who was on the popular side. On the elevation of Leo X. and the appointment of his nephew Lorenzo to the government of Naples, Ruccellai is supposed to have accompanied the latter to Rome, when he went to assume the insignia of captain-general of the church. In 1515 he attended Leo on his visit to Florence, on which occasion the pontiff was entertained in the gardens of the Ruccellai with the representation of the tragedy of “Rosmunda,” written by our author in Italian blank verse. As Ruccellai entered into the ecclesiastical order, it has appeared surprising that Leo did not raise him to the purple; but political reasons, and not any want of esteem, seem to have prevented this, fop he sent him, at a very important crisis, as his legate to Francis I. in which station he continued until Leo’s death. After this event he returned to Florence, and was deputed, lyith five other principal citizens, to congratulate the net* pope Adrian VI. which he performed in an oration yet extant. The succeeding pope Clement VII. appointed Ruccellai keeper of the castle of St. Angelo, whence he obtained the name of IL Gastellano. He died in 1526. His fame rests chiefly on his poem of the “Api,” or Bees, which was published in 1539, and will secure to its author a high rank among the writers of didactic poetry. “His diction,” says Mr. Roscoe, “is pure without being insipid, and simple without becoming vulgar; and in the course of his work he has given decisive proofs of his scientific acquirements, particularly on subjects of natural history.” Besides the tragedy of “Rosmunda,” already noticed, he wrote another, V Oreste,“which remained in manuscript until published by Scipio Maffei in his” Teatro Italiano,“who consider it as superior to his” Rosmunda.“They are both | imitations of Euripides. An edition of all his works was printed at Padua in 1772, 8vo, and his poem of theBees" was translated into French by Pingeron, in 1770. 1


Tiraboschi. Ginguene Hist. Lit. d’ltalie, vol. VI, Roscoe’s Leo.