Uberti, Fazio

, an Italian poet of the fourteenth century, was the descendant of an illustrious family of Florence, the Uberti, who, when the Guelphs became victorious, were banished from Florence, and their property divided among their enemies. Our poet was born in the poverty and obscurity to which his family had been reduced, and although the Florentines allowed him to return and reside in the country of his forefathers, he never became rich, and was obliged to attend the courts of the nobility, and gain a subsistence by chaunting his verses. Of those he composed a great many in the form of songs and other small pieces which were admired for their novelty; he is even thought to have been the inventor of the ballad species. In more advanced age, he undertook his “Dittamondo,” in imitation of Dante, who in his vision takes Virgil for his guide; Uberti takes Solinus, who conducts him over the whole habitable globe. By means of this fiction he includes geographical and historical matter, which has induced some to call his poem a geographical treatise. It is said to be written with energy and elegance, and was first printed, or at least a part of it, at Vicenza in 1474, fol. and reprinted at Venice in 1501. Both are rare, and chiefly valued for their rarity. Villani, who gives us a sort of eloge rather than a life of Uberti, says that he died at an advanced age in 1370. 2