- Perotti, Niccolo
- (1429-1480)Italian humanist, born at Fano and educated by both of the most famous schoolmasters of the early Renaissance, Vittorino da Feltre at Mantua (1443-1445) and Guarino da Verona at Ferrara (1445-1446). At Ferrara Perotti en-joyed the patronage of the English procurator to the Holy See, William Gray, bishop of Ely, who was studying there. In 1447 Perotti moved to Rome and entered the service of the Greek-born Cardinal Johannes Bessarion, whom he accompanied to Bologna during the years 1450-1455 when Bessarion was papal legate to that city. Per-otti was one of the translators employed in the project of Pope Nicholas V to make the whole body of ancient Greek literature avail-able in Latin translation; his translations included Books I-V of Po-lybius (1452-1454) and the Enchiridion of the Stoic philosopher Epictetus. At a later period he translated the Hippocratic Oath, a hom-ily of St. Basil, and three short works of Plutarch. Pope Calixtus III appointed him papal secretary in 1455, and he was named archbishop of Siponto in 1458, though he continued to serve the papacy as gov-ernor of cities in the Papal States, including Perugia and Viterbo.Perotti prepared editions of the Latin authors Pliny the Elder and Martial and produced several independent works, including two trea-tises on Latin metrics, a book on letter-writing, and his Epitome, a collection of translated fables of Phaedrus and Avianus joined to his own poems. His most impressive work was Cornucopia linguae Lati-nae, which had the form of an extensive commentary on Martial but was really a rich and influential storehouse of information on ancient Latin language and literature, first published posthumously (1489) and often reprinted. His other major work was his grammar of the Latin language, Rudimenta grammatices (1473), which was widely used on both sides of the Alps and formed the basis for many other humanist textbooks on grammar that were adopted, especially north of the Alps, as part of the humanist campaign for educational reform.
Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. Charles G. Nauert. 2004.