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.
THE TRACTATE OF LIONARDO BRUNI D?AREZZO,
DE STUDIIS ET
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.
and Latin epistles, many of which are
. The Emperor Sigismund passing through Urbino in 1433 was greeted
by her in a Latin oration
, 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).