Leonardo Bruni: Consummate Badass

Giovanni Marrasio, Angelinetum (Preface):

This book, Leonardo, I wished to inscribe with your name so that the title page itself could shine forth more all the more brightly. If the honor of Greek and Latin eloquence and whatever praise there is in the world is to be given to anyone, if the immortal fame of our ancestors is owed to anyone, then the highest glory remains for you. You fashion our earliest ancestors with excessive gravity, and you even overcome the ancients in your probity. Not only would the Latins say that they are in debt to you, but even the Greeks would cultivate you and yours. Latin speech converted to Greek holds no less of the Greek than Latin does, thanks to you. Aristotle, made Latin, speaks with a charming and ornate voice – he was a barbarian before! The Punic Wars, dead for so many years, live; Cicero lives; Plato does not die. Why should I recount the fact that you translated countless Greek books and composed the same number of your own? Through you came the light of Italy, through you the Muses came to Italy, through you the ancient words please us. Would that you would indulge, my dear Leonardo, my madness, whether it was madness or pain. Would that you would make a judgment about my poem, whether incense should cover it, or whether my little words are worthy of being read. If they were praised by a benign judgment, then any poet at all could rebuke me as much as he wanted. Don’t be afraid to respond to your tablets, whether in prose or poem. If you write back to me, I will think that the nine sacred spirits of the Muses came straight from the Aeonian fount. Indulge my furor, man of Arrezzo, whether it’s furor or pain. When new poets dared to contrive their songs in ancient times, the consulted the Apollinian fires. But now, I need not consult the Sibylline oracles, and even Phoebus can be despised in these verses: you will be my Sibyl, you will be my Apollinian sisters, you will be the Apollo and the Calliope to my pen.

Epic World History: Leonardo Bruni
“Yeah, that’s fuckin’ right!”

Hunc, Leonarde, tuo volui obsignare libellum Nomine, quo titulus luceat ipse magis. Si quoi dandus honos Grai pariterque Latini Eloquii et quicquid laudis in orbe fuit Si quoi debetur fama immortalis avorum, Arretine, tibi gloria prima manet. Effingis priscos nimia gravitate parentes Et superas veteres tu probitate viros. Non solum dicant tibi se debere Latini, Verum etiam Argolici teque tuosque colant. Non minus in Graium conversus sermo Latinus Quam Graium per te lingua Latina tenet. Eloquitur lepida ac ornata voce Latinus Factus Aristoteles: barbarus ante fuit. Punica bella diu tot in annis mortua vivunt, Rex Cicero vivit non moriturque Plato. Quid recitem libros te traduxisse Pelasgos Innumeros, totidem et composuisse novos? Italiae lumen, per te venere Camenae Ad Latium, per te dicta vetusta placent. Indulgere velis nostro, Arretine, furori, Sive sit ille furor, sive sit ille dolor. Iudicium facias nostro de carmine, sive Thura tegat, vel sint verbula digna legi. Quae si iudicio fuerint laudata benigno, Mordeat o quantum quisque poeta velit. Nec pigeat nostris te respondere tabellis, Sive velis prosa, carmine sive velis. Si mihi rescribes, Musas venisse putabo Aonio ex fonte et numina sacra novem. Indulgere velis nostro, Arretine, furori, Sive sit ille furor, sive sit ille dolor. Quando novi vates ausi sunt tempore prisco Carmina, Phoebeos consuluere focos; Nunc quaerenda meis non sunt oracla Sibyllae Versibus et Phoebus despiciendus erit: Tu Cumaea mihi, tu Phoebeaeque sorores, Phoebus eris calamis Calliopeque meis. Prefatio in Angelinetum explicit.

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