Renæssanceforum 9 • 2015

Frances Muecke
"Suberat imago Syllii Italici…": Pomponio Leto and fifteenth-century Lives of Silius Italicus

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This paper examines the construction of a Life of Silius Italicus in the milieu of the Roman Studium from c. 1467–1483, and in the context of the intense contemporary interest in exegesis of Silius and Martial. Some of the Lives discussed demonstrate close connections between their authors—Giulio Pomponio Leto, Domizio Calderini and Pietro Marso. Also influential was the first printed Life, of uncertain authorship. Leto's and Calderini's Lives, preserved in dictata, to a certain extent remain sketches, but Marso, in the first printed commentary, attempts not only to synthesize the sources but also to compose a literary biography.