Burning Hatred of Martial

J.E. Sandys, A History of Classical Scholarship Vol. II

“Among the correspondents of these Roman poets was a patrician of Venice, Andreas Navagero (1483 — 1529). He revised for the Aldine press Quintilian and Virgil (1514), Lucretius (1516), Ovid and Terence (1517), Horace, and the Speeches of Cicero (1519). The three volumes of the last were accompanied by Ciceronian letters of dedication addressed to Leo X, Bembo and Sadoleto. Among the works dedicated to himself was the editio princeps (1514) of Pindar (whose Odes he had more than once transcribed), together with editions of Cicero, De arte rhetorica and Brutus (1514-5), and the first decade of Livy (1518). He wrote Latin verse of singular beauty and purity on elegiac and idyllic themes; and Giraldi has praised his antiquae simplicitatis aemulatio. So deep was his detestation of Martial that once a year, on a day dedicated to the Muses, he solemnly burnt a copy of that poet’s epigrams. He found relief from the depression caused by overwork by serving for a time as a soldier. He was afterwards appointed librarian of San Marco, and historiographer of Venice, but his early death, as envoy to the court of Francis I at Blois, led to the History being entrusted to Bembo. Among the poets and scholars of his age, he is one of the purest in life and the most attractive in character.”

Portrait of Andrea Navagero by Raffaello Sanzio

Leave a Reply