Giovanni Meli

(4549 words)
  • Gaetano Cipolla (St. John's University )

Giovanni Meli is the most accomplished poet who ever wrote in Sicilian, a language that had already distinguished itself, under Frederick II, as the first poetic idiom of Italy. In spite of the fact that the use of his native language made his poetry nearly inaccessible to a majority of Italians, Meli occupies a place of prominence among Italian poets of the eighteenth century.

Meli was born in Palermo on March 6, 1740. His family was not wealthy: his father, Antonio, was a goldsmith, and his mother, Vincenza Torriquos, was of Spanish origin. Having received a traditional education – seven years in the Jesuits’ Collegio Massimo which he later characterized as worthless – he felt the need to study on his own. He began …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Cipolla, Gaetano. "Giovanni Meli". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 31 January 2011
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]

Articles on Meli's works

  1. Don Chisciotti e Sanciu Panza [Don Chisciotti and Sanciu Panza]