Bruni - READ AT LEAST PPS. 128-132 (page numbers are...

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READ AT LEAST PPS. 128-132 (page numbers are indicated below) Leonardo Bruni d'Arezzo De Studiis et Litteris W.H. Woodward, ed., Vittorino da Feltre and Other Humanist Educators (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1912), 119-33. [Page 119] THE TRACTATE OF LIONARDO BRUNI D?AREZZO, DE STUDIIS ET LITERIS THIS short Treatise, cast as usual in the form of a Letter, is probably the earliest humanist tract upon Education expressly dedicated to a Lady; just as Baptista di Montefeltro, to whom it is addressed, may stand as the first of the succession of studious women who were a characteristic product of the Renaissance. Baptista was the younger daughter of Antonio, Count of Urbino, who died in 1404. She was then twenty-one years of age, and was married, on June 14, 1405, to Galeazzo Malatesta, the heir to the lordship of Pesaro. The marriage was a most unhappy one. The worthless husband was so hated as a ruler that, after two years of power (1429-1431), he was driven from his city. His wife thereupon found a welcome refuge in her old home at Urbino. She lived for some twenty years a widowed and secluded life; she died, as a Sister of the Franciscan Order of Santa Chiara, in 1450. Even before her marriage she had cultivated a taste for poetry and was powerfully attracted by the passion for the ancient literature which marked the close of the 14th century. Her husband?s father, the reigning lord of Pesaro, is known to us as "Il Malatesta degli Sonetti," and he aided and shared the literary tastes of his young daughter-in-law. They interchanged canzoni and Latin epistles, many of which are [Page 120] preserved in MS. collections [1] . The Emperor Sigismund passing through Urbino in 1433 was greeted by her in a Latin oration [2] , which half a century later was still thought worthy of print. To her Lionardo Bruni, at the time probably Apostolic Secretary, addressed the Letter which is here given in English form. The date of its composition cannot now be determined. But we may fairly assume from the tenor of the opening words that it was written not much later than the year of her marriage (1405).
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The interest of the tractate lies chiefly in the fact that it reveals, at an early stage in the history of Humanism, a concern for classical study on the part of the more thoughtful and earnest of the great ladies of Italy. Baptista is the forerunner of the Nogarola of Verona [3] , of Cecilia Gonzaga, of Ippolita Sforza, and of her own more fortunate and distinguished descendants, Costanza and her daughter, another Baptista (1447-1472), the wife of the great Duke Federigo of Urbino. There is evidence also, I think, of the bitterness with which the New Learning was regarded in Florence by the Dominicans of Santa Maria Novella, which had lately found expression in the work of Giovanni Dominici [4] , who denounced the growing [Page 121] absorption of the intelligence of his day in pagan thought and letters. Bruni, however, as became his position, and in accord moreover, with all that we read of the
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Bruni - READ AT LEAST PPS. 128-132 (page numbers are...

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