Renaissance and Reformation Pier Paolo Vergerio The Elder
by
Craig Kallendorf
  • LAST MODIFIED: 29 September 2015
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195399301-0306

Introduction

Born in Capodistria (then part of the republic of Venice, now in Slovenia) around 1369, Vergerio studied in Padua, Florence, and Bologna and taught logic in Padua before entering Papal service. He was secretary to Popes Innocent VII and Gregory XII and helped organize the Council of Constance before leaving papal service for that of the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund. He died in Budapest in 1444. As one of the third generation of Italian humanists, Vergerio had a respectable career as translator, editor, and author while also serving some of the most powerful men of his day. He is of special interest as a humanist who also had a serious commitment to the church and as one of the key figures in the spread of Italian humanism into eastern and central Europe. (Pier Paolo Vergerio the elder is not to be confused with the eponymous religious reformer of the 16th century, Pier Paolo Vergerio the Younger.

Life

The standard intellectual biography of Vergerio is McManamon 1996, although Baduber 1866 and Bischoff 1909 remain useful and should still be consulted. Smith 1926 clarifies some of the details in Vergerio’s life, while Ziliotto 1906 gives direct access to two important documents. Cessi 1909 and Zaccaria 1982–1983 provide interesting details in two areas of importance. See also Pierantoni 1920, cited under Educational Theory.

  • Baduber, Giacomo. Pietro Paolo Vergerio il seniore da Capodistria, uno de’ più celebri umanisti italiani all’epoca del Risorgimento. Atti del’I. R. Ginnasio Superiore di Capodistria, anno scolastico 1865–1866. Capodistria, Slovenia: G. Tondelli, 1866.

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    An overview of the life and works of Vergerio in the tradition of late-19th-century Italian intellectual biography, with extensive quotations from Vergerio and his contemporaries. Not easy to find but available online.

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  • Bischoff, Conrad. Studien zu P. P. Vergerio dem Älteren. Berlin and Leipzig: Dr. Walther Rosenthal, 1909.

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    Part 1 offers observations on the character and date of Vergerio’s letters, Part 2 surveys Vergerio’s place in church politics during the great schism, and Part 3 contains brief discussions of De ingenuis moribus and Paulus and of Vergerio’s literary relationship with Francesco Zabarella.

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  • Cessi, Roberto. “Un avventura di Pietro Paolo Vergerio seniore.” Giornale storico della letteratura italiana 54 (1909): 381–388.

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    An interesting account of Vergerio’s arrest and brief detainment in Venice, placed within the context of the church-state politics of the day. Includes the texts of two relevant documents from Venice’s Archivio di Stato.

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  • McManamon, John M. Pierpaolo Vergerio the Elder: The Humanist as Orator. Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 163. Tempe, AZ: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1996.

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    A masterful intellectual biography, arguing that Vergerio was “a key member of the third generation of humanists . . . By emphasizing public service through oratory, Vergerio supplied a new matrix for Italian humanism” (p. ix).

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  • Smith, Leonardo. “Note cronologiche vergeriane, I e II.” Archivio veneto-tridentino 10 (1926): 149–157.

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    Uses Vergerio’s letters, which he was in the process of editing (see Smith 1934, cited under Vergerio’s Letters), to clarify several important points in Vergerio’s biography, with several key documents supplied in an appendix.

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  • Zaccaria, Vittorio. “Niccolò Leonardi, i suoi correspondenti e una lettera inedita di Pier Paolo Vergerio.” Atti e memorie della Accademia di scienze, lettere ed arti in Padova 95 (1982–1983): 95–116.

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    Provides biographical information on Leonardi, a Venetian medical humanist, then shows that his relationship with Vergerio was longer and more important than previously believed. An appendix contains a critical edition of a short, newly discovered letter from Vergerio to Leonardi.

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  • Ziliotto, Baccio. Nuove testimonianze per la vita di Pier Paolo Vergerio il vecchio. Trieste, Italy: Caprin, 1906.

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    Publishes and analyzes two documents, a brief life of Vergerio’s and his will.

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Works

Vergerio is best known for his treatise on education, which was widely disseminated in his own day and has been reprinted several times over the last century, but he also wrote an interesting letter collection and a number of other humanistic works, ranging from a popular comedy to works of history and rhetoric.

De ingenuis moribus

Unfortunately the existence of over 300 manuscripts and more than forty early printed editions has complicated the effort to produce a critical edition of Vergerio’s treatise on education, his most popular work. Gnesotto 1917–1918 is still cited regularly, but Gnesotto 1920–1921 can be seen as an acknowledgement by the editor himself that his edition is not fully satisfactory. Miani 1972–1973 rests on ten manuscripts but also cannot be considered definitive. Vergerio 1996 offers a condensed version of the text, while Vergerio 2002 presents a complete English translation.

  • Gnesotto, Attilio, ed. “Petri Pauli Vergerii Justinopolitani ad Ubertinum Carrariensem De ingenuis moribus et liberalibus studiis adulescentiae. Libellus in duas partes.” Atte e memorie della R. Accademia di scienze, lettere et arti in Padova 34 (1917–1918): 95–154.

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    One of two generally cited critical editions, with Miani 1972–1973, based on an incunable (Milan, 1477) and a series of Vatican manuscripts.

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  • Gnesotto, Attilio. “Vergeriana (Pierpaolo Vergerio seniore).” Atte e memorie della R. Accademia di scienze, lettere et arti in Padova 37 (1920–1921): 45–57.

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    An effort to improve Gnesotto 1917–1918, the author’s text of De ingenuis moribus, through a broader overview of the major manuscript witnesses and a list of readings derived from them.

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  • Miani, Carlo, ed. “Petri Pauli Vergerii ad Ubertinum de Carraria de ingenuis moribus et liberalibus adolescentiae studiis liber (Codicum conspectum recognovit brevique adnotatione critica instruxit Carlo Miani).” Atti e memorie della Società istriana di archeologia e storia patria 72–73.20–21 (1972–1973): 183–251.

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    A critical edition of Vergerio’s treatise on education, based on a full collation of the Venetian manuscripts along with those in Vienna and Trento.

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  • Vergerio, Pier Paolo. “The Treatise De ingenuis moribus by Petrus Paulus Vergerius.” In Vittorino da Feltre and Other Humanist Educators. Edited by W. H. Woodward, 93–118. Renaissance Society of America Reprint Texts. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996.

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    A free adaptation and condensation of Vergerio’s treatise. Essentially superseded by Vergerio 2002 but still cited and easily accessible. Originally published in 1963.

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  • Vergerio, Pier Paolo. “De ingenuis moribus et liberalibus adulescentiae studiis liber.” In Humanist Educational Treatises. Edited and translated by Craig Kallendorf, 2–91. The I Tatti Renaissance Library, 5. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002.

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    Offers an English translation of Vergerio’s treatise on education, with a text based on Gnesotto 1917–1918 and Miani 1972–1973 and an identification of Vergerio’s major classical sources.

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Paulus

Perosa 1983 and Semi and Cella 1966 both offer good critical editions of Vergerio’s comedy that improve on Müllner 1900. Katchmer 1998 and Vergerio 2005 offer a choice of English translations. See also Pierantoni 1920, cited under Educational Theory,

  • Katchmer, Michael. Pier Paolo Vergerio and the Paulus, a Comedy. Studies in the Humanities: Literature, Politics, Society 36. New York: Peter Lang, 1998.

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    Contains an extended biography of the author and sections that consider the date of the play and its debt to Roman and medieval comedy, followed by an appendix with a lively translation of the play.

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  • Müllner, Karl, ed. “Vergerios Paulus, eine Studentenkomödie.” Wiener Studien 22 (1900): 232–257.

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    A critical edition of Vergerio’s Paulus, with minimal apparatus and a brief introduction, severely criticized in Semi and Cella 1966.

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  • Perosa, Alessandro, ed. “Per una nuova edizione del Paulus del Vergerio.” In L’umanesimo in Istria. Edited by Vittore Branca and Sante Gracciotti, 273–356. Civiltà veneziana, studi, 38. Florence: Olschki, 1983.

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    The best critical edition of Vergerio’s comedy, preceded by an exhaustive study of the play’s textual tradition.

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  • Semi, Francesco, and Sergio Cella, eds. “Pier Paolo Vergerio il Vecchio: Il ‘Paulus.’” Atti e memorie della Società istriana de archeologia e storia patria 14 (1966): 45–103.

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    A critical edition with Italian translation, carefully prepared but unfortunately difficult to find.

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  • Vergerio, Pier Paolo. “Paulus.” In Humanist Comedies. Edited and translated by Gary R. Grund, 2–69. The I Tatti Renaissance Library 19. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005.

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    A good English translation of the Paulus, with the Latin text of Perosa 1983 included. The other four plays in this volume allow Vergerio’s work to be situated within the development of humanist theater in the Renaissance.

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Vergerio’s Letters

Smith 1934 is a masterful edition of Vergerio’s letters and an important source for information on his life and thought, although Zicàri 1954 criticizes Smith’s work on the textual tradition.

  • Smith, Leonardo, ed. Epistolario di Pier Paolo Vergerio. Fonti per la storia d’Italia pubblicate dall’Istituto storico italiano per il Medio Evo, 74. Rome: Istituto storico italiano, 1934.

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    A carefully prepared critical edition in which an eighty-page preface on Vergerio’s life and letters is followed by the annotated text of 148 letters and two appendices containing seven shorter works of Vergerio’s and ten documents concerning his life.

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  • Zicàri, Marcello. “Il più antico codice di lettere di P. Paolo Vergerio il vecchio.” Studia Oliveriana 2 (1954): 33–59.

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    Beginning with a careful description and analysis of Pesaro, Biblioteca Oliveriana, MS 44, Zicàri challenges the foundation on which the standard critical edition of Vergerio’s letters (Smith 1934) is based and urges further work on the manuscript tradition.

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Other Works

De principibus Carrariensibus is available in both a critical edition (Gnesotto 1924–1925) and Italian translation (Vergerio 1997), while Robey and Law 1975 offers a text of Vergerio’s history of Rome and Combi 1882 and McManamon 1999 contain critical editions of Vergerio’s speeches. Editions also exist of fragments of two works that do not survive whole, a treatise on the archaeology of Rome (Smith 1926) and a life of Seneca (Ziliotto and Vidossich 1905–1906).

  • Combi, C. A., ed. “Un discorso inedito di Pier Paolo Vergerio il Seniore da Capodistria.” Archivio storico per Trieste, l’Istria e il Trentino 1 (1882): 351–374.

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    A critical edition of “Pro redintegranda uniendaque ecclesia,” a speech given in a public consistory of cardinals in Rome after the death of Pope Innocent VII in the hope of ending the Papal schism and improving the general condition of the church.

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  • Gnesotto, Attilio, ed. “Petri Pauli Vergerii De principibus Carrariensibus et gestis eorum liber.” Atti e memorie della R. Accademia di scienze, lettere ed arti in Padova 41 (1924–1925): 327–475.

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    A critical edition of Vergerio’s treatise on the Carrara family, rulers of Padua in the later Middle Ages, accompanied by a survey of manuscripts and a useful index of people and places mentioned in the text. First published in 1925.

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  • McManamon, John, ed. Pierpaolo Vergerio the Elder and Saint Jerome: An Edition and Translation of Sermones pro sancto Hieronymo. Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 177. Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 1999.

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    A critical edition of the ten panegyrics to Jerome that Vergerio gave before he left Italy to go to the Council of Constance, with an English translation. The speeches are somewhat repetitive and simplistic, but they constitute an important source for the humanist study of Jerome.

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  • Robey, David, and John Law, eds. “The Venetian Myth and the De republica veneta of Pier Paolo Vergerio.” Rinascimento 15 (1975): 3–59.

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    A critical edition of a key text in the tradition that ascribes a special moral and political character to the city of Venice, accompanied by a lengthy introduction arguing that the basic elements of this vision were solidly established in the Middle Ages.

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  • Smith, Leonardo, ed. “Pier Paolo Vergerio: De situ veteris et inclytae urbis Romae.” English Historical Review 41 (1926): 571–577.

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    A critical edition of a fragmentary archaeological text on Rome, with an introduction that surveys the manuscript tradition and fixes the date of composition at 1398.

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  • Vergerio, Pier Paolo. Liber de principibus Carrariensibus et gestis eorum incipit feliciter. Translated by Pier Paolo Vergerio Jr. Brindisi, Italy: Schena, 1997.

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    A facsimile edition of Vergerio’s history of the Carrara rulers of Padua, accompanied by a translation into Italian. Useful primarily for the translation, which makes the text accessible to those whose Latin is not adequate for Gnesotto’s critical edition.

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  • Ziliotto, Baccio, and Giuseppe Vidossich, eds. “Frammenti inediti della ‘Vita di Seneca’ di P. P. Vergerio il vecchio.” Archeografo triestino 30 (1905–1906): 343–356.

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    Offers a critical edition and analysis of Vergerio’s life of Seneca, of which only fragments survive but which nevertheless offers important insight into Vergerio’s effort to study the classics.

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Italian Humanism

Although Vergerio’s birthplace is now in Slovenia (see Humanism in Eastern and Central Europe), it was under Venetian control in the 14th century, with King 1986 and Lazzarini 1980 offering an orientation to the intellectual environment in which Vergerio matured. Vergerio’s relationship to Petrarch, who had spent some time in Venice, was crucial to his development: he wrote a biography of him (Aurigemma 1977) and prepared an influential edition of his epic poem, the Africa (Busjan 2011 and Fera 1984).

  • Aurigemma, Marcello. “Il ‘Sermo di vita Francisci Petrarchae’ di Pier Paolo Vergerio.” In Studi filologichi, letterari e storici in memoria de Guido Favati. Vol. 1. Edited by Giorgio Varanini and Palmiro Pinagli, 33–53. Medioevo e umanesimo, 28–29. Padua, Italy: Antenore, 1977.

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    A careful examination of how Vergerio selected carefully from the material in Petrarch’s Posteritati to construct a biography that corresponds to what he felt was most important in the life and works of his subject.

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  • Busjan, Catharina. “Franciscus Petrarca posteritati salutem: Petrarcas Selbstentwurf und sein Widerhall in den Petrarca-Biographien der Frühen Neuzeit.” In Der Petrarkismus: Ein europäischer Gründungsmythos. Edited by Michael Bernson and Bernhard Huss, 51–83. Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2011.

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    Places Vergerio’s use of Petrarch’s autobiographical “Letter to Posterity” in the introduction to his edition of the Africa into a larger discussion of the structure and purpose of the letter and its afterlife in the 16th century.

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  • Fera, Vincenzo. “L’edizione vergeriana.” In Antichi editori e lettori dell’“Africa.” Edited by Vincenzo Fera, 83–104. Itinerari erudite 2. Messina, Italy: Università degli Studi, Centro di studi Umanistici, 1984.

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    A detailed study of Vergerio’s edition of Petrarch’s Africa, establishing that Vergerio preserved the variants of the author himself and the conjectures offered by Coluccio Salutati on the text of the first humanist epic poem.

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  • King, Margaret L. Venetian Humanism in an Age of Patrician Dominance. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1986.

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    The standard study of the development and character of humanism in the republic in which Vergerio was born. Does not deal much with Vergerio directly but is invaluable as a study of his general intellectual environment.

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  • Lazzarini, Lino. “Il patriziato veneziano e la cultura umanistica dell’ultimo Trecento.” Archivio veneto ser. 5.115 (1980): 179–219.

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    A careful study of the years 1381 to 1405, when the patriciate adopted humanism and produced a characteristically Venetian form of it. Provides background for the environment in which Vergerio’s thought developed.

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Humanism in Eastern and Central Europe

Vergerio was born near the Adriatic Sea where the modern countries of Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia come together; his birthplace, the city of Capodistria, was then part of the Republic of Venice but is now Koper, Slovenia. De Totto 1937 gives useful information on the important families of Capodistria, while Branca and Graciotti 1983 and Budiša 1988 offer an orientation to the humanist culture of the area. Vergerio passed his final years in Hungary, with Birnbaum 1988 and Koltay-Kastner 1939 providing the background for his work there and Banfi 1939 focusing more precisely on Vergerio.

  • Banfi, Florio. “Pier Paolo Vergerio il vecchio in Ungheria I-III.” Corvina (Archivio di scienze lettere ed arti della Società italo-ungherese Mattia Corvino) 1.1 (1939): 1–3.

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    An important effort by a scholar conversant with both Italian and Hungarian scholarship to interpret Vergerio’s activities in Hungary and to delineate his importance for the diffusion of Italian humanism in central Europe. Article concludes in Volume 2 (1940), pp. 1–30.

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  • Birnbaum, Marianna D. “Humanism in Hungary.” In Renaissance Humanism: Foundations, Forms, and Legacy: Humanism Beyond Italy. Vol. 2. Edited by Albert Rabil Jr., 293–334. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1988.

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    A good overview in English of humanist culture in Hungary, where Vergerio spent the last period of his life at the time when the new learning was just beginning to make its appearance there.

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  • Branca, Vittore, and Sante Graciotti, eds. L’umanesimo in Istria. Proceedings of a Conference held in Venice, 30 March–1 April 1981. Civiltà veneziana, studi, 38. Florence: Olschki, 1983.

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    A volume of essays on humanism in Istria, the region east of Italy where Vergerio was born. Useful as background and for information on the nexus of relationships that Vergerio maintained throughout his life.

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  • Budiša, Dražen. “Humanism in Croatia.” In Renaissance Humanism: Foundations, Forms, and Legacy. Humanism Beyond Italy. Vol. 2. Edited by Albert Rabil Jr., 265–292. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1988.

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    A good survey of humanism in Croatia, which was near enough to Vergerio’s birthplace to have influenced what went on there intellectually.

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  • De Totto, Gregorio. “Il patriziato di Capodistria.” Atti e memorie della Società istriana di archeologia e storia patria 49 (1937): 71–158.

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    A dictionary of the prominent families of Capodistria, integrating the entry on the Vergerio family into a broader survey of the influential people from the area of Vergerio’s birth.

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  • Koltay-Kastner, Eugenio. “L’umanesimo italiano in Ungheria.” La Rinascita 2 (1939): 10–55.

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    A detailed overview of humanism in Hungary as a phenomenon strongly influenced by its Italian origins. Useful as background for the environment in which Vergerio passed his final years and for access to relevant bibliography in Hungarian.

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Humanism and the Disciplines

As Paul Oskar Kristeller showed many years ago, humanist activity was focused in several key disciplines. Fisher 1987 and Robey 1969 explore Vergerio’s work in poetry, Tournoy 2006 focuses on historiography, and McManamon 1982 and Witt 2000 explore Vergerio’s impact on the history of rhetoric. Bolland 1996 extends the discussion to art, where the humanist contribution has been attracting increased scholarly attention.

  • Bolland, Andrea. “Art and Humanism in Early Renaissance Padua: Cennini, Vergerio and Petrarch on Imitation.” Renaissance Quarterly 49 (1996): 469–487.

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    Places Vergerio’s comments on imitation into the intellectual and artistic environment of early Renaissance Padua, by noting affinities with how this topic was treated by Cennino Cennini and Francesco Petrarca.

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  • Fisher, Alan. “Three Meditations on the Destruction of Virgil’s Statue: The Early Humanist Theory of Poetry.” Renaissance Quarterly 40 (1987): 607–635.

    DOI: 10.2307/2862444Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Explores three reactions to Carlo Malatesta’s destruction of Virgil’s statue in order to construct an early humanist theory of literature, with Vergerio’s being important as a theory of signs and how they relate to poetry. An important article.

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  • McManamon, John M. “Innovation in Early Humanist Rhetoric: The Oratory of Pier Paolo Vergerio the Elder.” Rinascimento 22 (1982): 3–32.

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    Relying on De ingenuis moribus and on his corpus of surviving speeches, McManamon argues that Vergerio moved the emphasis from the secondary applications of rhetoric in medieval works to speechmaking and recovered from classical theorists a broad understanding of the discipline as embracing all three rhetorical genres in the Renaissance.

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  • Robey, David. “Virgil’s Statue at Mantua and the Defence of Poetry: An Unpublished Letter of 1397.” Rinascimento 9 (1969): 183–203.

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    A study of a letter discovered by Ludwig Bertalot that was associated with Carlo Malatesta’s attack on Virgil’s statue in Mantua, an event that stimulated defenses of poetry by Vergerio and Leonardo Bruni. Robey challenges Bertalot’s attribution of the letter to Vergerio.

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  • Tournoy, Gilbert. “La storiografia greca nell’umanesimo: Arriano, Pier Paolo Vergerio e Enea Silvio Piccolomini.” Humanistica Lovaniensia 55 (2006): 1–8.

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    A brief discussion of Vergerio’s translation of Arrian, an author unknown in the West until the Quattrocento. Vergerio’s translation is shown to have been used by Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini. Contains extracts from three letters of Piccolomini’s that are relevant to the discussion.

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  • Witt, Ronald G. “In the Footsteps of the Ancients”: The Origins of Humanism from Lovato to Bruni. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2000.

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    As part of an influential revisionist study that pushes the origins of humanism back before Petrarch, Witt stresses Vergerio’s importance in the history of rhetoric, arguing that “Vergerio’s first works constitute the earliest public presentation of humanist oratory” (p. 374).

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Educational Theory

Vergerio has been best known, in his day and in ours, for his treatise on education. Iachino 1894 provides a good initial overview, while Pierantoni 1920 goes into more detail, and Garin 1976 places Vergerio’s treatise into the broader history of humanist educational theory. Calò 1939 and Robey 1981 explore the immediate context in which De ingenuis moribus was composed, while Saitta 1928 and Robey 1980 offer contrasting interpretations of Vergerio’s views on the relationship between education and the civic life.

  • Calò, Giovanni. “Nota vergeriana: Il De ingenuibus moribus e il supposto precettorato del Vergerio alla corte di Francesco Novello.” Rinascita 2 (1939): 226–252.

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    Argues that the question of whether Vergerio really was the teacher of Ubertino da Carrara, to whom his De ingenuis moribus was dedicated, remains unresolved. Reprinted as “La genesi del primo trattato pedagogico dell’umanesimo.” In Giovanni Calò, Dall’umanesimo alla scuola del lavoro, 1:37–66. 2 vols. (Florence: Sansoni, 1940).

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  • Garin, Eugenio. L’educazione in Europa (1400–1600): Problemi e programmi. 2d ed. Bari, Italy: Laterza, 1976.

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    A good overview of how humanist theory and practice transformed education in Renaissance Europe. Useful for providing a context to De ingenuis moribus.

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  • Iachino, Giovanni. “Del pedagogista Pier Paolo Vergerio.” La rassegna nazionale (1894): 145–189.

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    Offers a rapid overview of Vergerio’s educational theory that culminates in a tree diagram that serves as an outline of De ingenuis moribus.

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  • Pierantoni, Amelia Clelia. Pier Paolo Vergerio seniore. Chieti, Italy: Stabilimento arti grafiche, 1920.

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    After a brief overview of Vergerio’s life and works, Pierantoni provides a detailed synopsis of Vergerio’s educational theories, followed by a chapter comparing those theories to medieval writings on education. Also contains an appendix with the text of the Paulus.

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  • Robey, David. “Humanism and Education in the Early Quattrocento: The De ingenuis moribus of P. P. Vergerio.” Bibliothèque d’humanisme et Renaissance 42 (1980): 27–58.

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    Questions the argument put forth by Saitta 1928 and Garin 1976 that Vergerio’s treatise emphasizes the importance of education for the formation of the citizen, an interpretation that Robey feels is often wrongly extended to a broader civic interpretation of humanist education as a whole.

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  • Robey, David. “Vittorino da Feltre e Vergerio.” In Vittorino da Feltre e la sua scuola: umanesimo, pedagogia, arti. Edited by Nella Giannetto, 241–253. Civiltà veneziana, saggi, 31. Florence: Olschki, 1981.

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    Notes affinities between the educational theories of Vergerio and the practices of Vittorino da Feltre, which Robey attributes to a common period of study at the University of Padua and a mutual friendship with Giovanni Conversino da Ravenna.

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  • Saitta, G. L’educazione dell’umanesimo in Italia. Venice, Italy: La Nuova Italia, 1928.

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    Covers aspects of Vergerio’s treatise, concluding that humanist education was not an end in itself but a preparation for a life of virtue in service of the state.

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Politics

Marchente 1946 argues that Vergerio’s history of the Carrara princes is of value primarily as a record of the author’s political thought and not as an historical source. At the end of the 20th century, a lively debate arose over the nature of that political thought. Baron 1966 claimed Vergerio as a representative of a republican-oriented civic humanism, while Robey 1973, Robey 1983, and Kohl 2007 view him as sympathetic to seigneurial rule.

  • Baron, Hans. The Crisis of the Early Italian Renaissance: Civic Humanism and Republican Liberty in an Age of Classicism and Tyranny. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1966.

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    Places Vergerio within the development of civic humanism in early Renaissance Italy, arguing that an initial enthusiasm for an actively engaged republicanism on the Roman model yielded to a pro-monarchical stance in Vergerio’s later life. See pp. 126–134.

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  • Kohl, Benjamin G. “Chronicles into Legends and Lives: Two Humanist Accounts of the Carrara Dynasty in Padua.” In Chronicling History: Chroniclers and Historians in Medieval and Renaissance Italy. Edited by Sharon Dale, Allison Williams Lewin, and Duane J. Osheim, 223–248. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2007.

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    Argues that De principibus Carrariensibus, along with Giovanni Conversini da Ravenna’s Familie Carrariensis natio, should be valued not as modern historical documents but as efforts to bolster the legitimacy and grandeur of Padua’s ruling family, similar to other histories of princely regimes in the Renaissance.

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  • Marchente, Carmela. Ricerche intorno alDe principibus Carrariensibus et gestis eorum liber” attribuito a Pier Paolo Vergerio seniore. Università di Padova: Pubblicazioni della Facoltà di lettere e filosofia, 23. Padua, Italy: CEDAM, 1946.

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    Argues that the De principibus is essentially a pastiche of extracts taken from other authors, which robs the work of value as a historical source but leaves it as a record of the author’s political thought.

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  • Robey, David. “P. P. Vergerio the Elder: Republicanism and Civic Values in the Work of an Early Italian Humanist.” Past and Present 58 (February 1973): 3–37.

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    A detailed, careful refutation of Baron 1966, arguing that republicanism was never a key issue for Vergerio, whose political thought remained fairly traditional and compatible with monarchy.

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  • Robey, David. “Aspetti dell’umanesimo vergeriano.” In L’umanesimo in Istria. Edited by Vittore Branca and Sante Graciotti, 7–18. Civiltà veneziana, studi, 38. Florence: Olschki, 1983.

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    An interesting introduction to Vergerio’s humanism, focused on Baron’s analysis of the republican strain in Vergerio’s thought and Garin’s treatment of humanist educational theory (see Garin 1976, cited under Educational Theory).

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Religion

As Zanotti 1911 shows, Vergerio at one time contemplated a career in the church, with Kiséry 2009 exploring his activity in church politics and McManamon 1985 examining the effect of Vergerio’s humanist activity in the area of religion.

  • Kiséry, Zsuzsanna. “Raising the Dead to Raise the Money for the Living.” In Strategies of Remembrance: From Pindar to Hölderin. Edited by Lucie Doležalová, 185–200. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars, 2009.

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    Discusses Vergerio’s letter marking the death of Cardinal Francesco Zabarella, showing how Vergerio honored his friendship with the deceased even though they were on opposite sides of the debate over the papal election at the Council of Constance.

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  • McManamon, John M. “Pier Paolo Vergerio (the Elder) and the Beginnings of the Humanist Cult of Jerome.” Catholic Historical Review 71 (1985): 353–371.

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    Argues that Vergerio used a classical epideictic oration to present a picture of Jerome as an exponent of humanist learning, thereby affecting in both medium and message how the cult of Jerome would develop among Renaissance humanists.

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  • Zanotti, Luigi. “Pier Paolo Vergerio seniore e le sue aspirazioni al decanato cividalese.” Nuovo archivio veneto 21.1 (1911): 101–127.

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    An account of Vergerio’s unsuccessful effort to obtain a clerical benefice near his birthplace, with a detailed analysis of the people involved and the state of church politics at the time.

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