- Pulci, Luigi
- (1432-1484)Florentine vernacular poet. His wit and skill as a popular writer won him the patronage of Cosimo de'Medici. Urged by Cosimo's daughter-in-law to write a poem on the heroic exploits of the Emperor Charlemagne in support of reli-gion, in 1483 he published his fantastic poem Margante maggiore, drawn from the Chanson de Roland and popular verses on the "mat-ter of France," but conceived as a parody of traditional chivalric po-etry. It is a mock-epic recounting the adventures of Orlando (the Frankish hero Roland) and his giant friend Morgante. Pulci became a close personal friend of Lorenzo de'Medici and seems to have func-tioned as an irreverent counterweight to the solemn and pretentiously classical literature produced by the Neoplatonists and humanists of the Medici literary circle. He wrote sonnets mocking the ethereal spir-ituality of the philosopher Marsilio Ficino and in particular ridiculing Ficino's defense of the immortality of the soul. Pulci's irreverent tone eventually alienated Lorenzo, and in 1475 he entered the service of a Neapolitan nobleman. In addition to Morgante, he wrote an account of a tournament staged by Lorenzo at Florence in 1469, a parody of one of Lorenzo's poems, a novella, and a number of other verses. But Morgante was the work that made him famous throughout Europe.
Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. Charles G. Nauert. 2004.