Giovanni Gioviano Pontano ; translated by Rodney G. Dennis
Giovanni Gioviano Pontano (1429 - 1503) was an important humanist and scholar of Renaissance Italy, the presiding spirit of the Accademia Pontaniana, and chief minister and tutor to the Aragonese Kings of Naples. He was also the most innovative and versatile Latin poet of Quattrocento Italy. His "Two Books of Hendecasyllables", given the subtitle "Baiae" by their first editor Pietro Summonte, experiment brilliantly with the metrical form associated principally with the ancient Latin poet Catullus. The poems are the elegant offspring of Pontano's leisure, written to celebrate love, good wine, friendship, nature, and all the pleasures of life to be found at the seaside resort of Baiae on the Bay of Naples. They are translated here for the first time into English.