Giovanni Meli

(4754 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 b…

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Cipolla, Gaetano. "Giovanni Meli". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 31 January 2011
[, accessed 28 November 2015.]

Articles on Meli's works

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