Giovanni Pontano

(1528 words)
  • Matteo Soranzo (McGill University)

If versatility, self-entrepreneurship and intellectual excellence are the distinctive features of a Renaissance man, Giovanni Gioviano Pontano may be considered the embodiment of this long-lasting ideal. Born of a middle class family in Cerreto di Spoleto in the night of May 7, 1429, Pontano managed to become one of the protagonists of the short-lived but spectacular adventure of the Aragonese dynasty and the uncontested intellectual guide of Naples. In contrast to the Renaissance man as envisioned by Burckhardt and Cassirer, however, Pontano resignedly ascribed the causes of his fast ascent and sudden downfall to the influence of stars and planets upon human existence – a theme that runs across his vast poetic, philosophical and …

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Soranzo, Matteo. "Giovanni Pontano". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 September 2010
[, accessed 29 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Renaissance and Humanism