Barbaro, Ermolao
(the Younger, 1453-1493)
   The most distinguished Venetian humanist of the 15th century, member of an influential noble family of Venice, educated in part by his uncle Ermolao the Elder (1410-1471), who had entered papal diplomatic service and was made a bishop. An outstanding Latin stylist and Greek scholar, young Ermolao lectured at Venice on Aristotle; and his commentary (Castigationes) on the Natural History of Pliny the Elder was a foundation for later scholarship on that author. Also influential was his handbook for diplomats, De officio legati / The Duties of an Ambassador. Bárbaro served Venice as a diplomat and became ambassador to the papal curia in 1490, but his acceptance of a papal appointment as patriarch of Aquileia in 1491 led to his permanent exile since the republic strictly forbade its citizens to accept foreign honors and appointments, especially ecclesiastical positions in Venetian territory, without approval of the home government. He died of plague in 1493.

Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. . 2004.

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