Francesco Matarazzo
Francesco Matarazzo
Francesco Matarazzo, was an Italian historian of the European Renaissance. His fame rests largely on his masterwork Chronicles of the City of Perugia 1492-1503 which has become a primary source for many later historians of the Italian Renaissance and in particular the city of Perugia.
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  • 1518
    Concerning his death we have the chronicle of his friend Teseo Alfani, which reads: "On this Friday morning, August 20, 1518, before dawn, died the most excellent Francesco Matarazzo, who had been down with fever for about a month.
    More Details Hide Details All the city was sore at heart, for the man had great qualities, and stood indeed above all others, not only in our city, but almost in the whole of Italy. May God have pardoned his sins. He was about seventy-five years old." At the time this chronicle was written, the city of Perugia was one of the many Renaissance centers of political strife, moral outrage and ruthless violence. The book relates the story of two rival families, the Oddi and the Baglioni, who are locked in a deadly struggle for possession of the city. In 1492 the victorious Baglioni are the reigning overlords of the Republic. The Oddi family and its attendant army live in exile in the valley between Perugia and Assisi where they conduct a long and oppressive guerrilla war against their rivals; and in the process devastate the Umbrian land and impoverish the common citizen.
  • 1503
    In 1503 he became the State Chancellor; he went as ambassador to Rome and Florence and to other States, and continued in active service of the State till 1513.
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  • 1492
    In 1492 he succeeded Ognibene as Professor of the Humanities at Vicenza, where he spent four or five years.
    More Details Hide Details The magistrates of Perugia ordered his return to the city under penalties and upon his return Matarazzo, contrary to his own expectations, was given a warm reception. "Men do me honour; as I pass through the streets I am saluted; I am loved by the Baglioni, and by all other citizens besides." The following year he was appointed Professor in the University of Perugia at a salary of 110 ducats, guaranteed by the taxes of two villages which were assigned to him. The rest of his life was spent in Perugia in an honourable position, in which, according to the usage of the time, political and literary employment were assigned to him in turns. He was frequently charged with the composition of funeral orations over distinguished citizens.
  • 1486
    The next seventeen years of his life were spent in his native city, and in 1486 he was appointed Professor of Rhetoric in the University.
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  • 1475
    After wide-ranging travels in the Mediterrean, he settled in Perugia circa 1475 where we find him designated as reverendi domini Perusinae civitatis secretarius dignissimus.
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  • 1472
    In 1472, he traveled to Greece and settled in Rhodes to study the Greek language.
    More Details Hide Details Writing to a friend he reported, "I already speak the language with such fluency that you might think I had been born and brought up in Greece."
  • 1464
    In 1464 he was teaching in the University of Ferrara and three years later he was assistant to the celebrated humanist teacher Ognibene da Lonigo at Vicenza.
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  • 1443
    Although the exact date of his birth in unknown, it is believed that Matarazzo was born about the year 1443 in the small town of Deruta, near Perugia.
    More Details Hide Details Little is known of his family, but he is said to have been of noble descent, which would have guaranteed him an extensive education. As a teenager he was chosen to compose the Latin inscriptions that were inscribed beneath the portraits of famous citizens of Perugia that Braccio Baglione had painted to decorate his palace in the city.
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