- Della Casa, Giovanni
- (1503-1556)Italian author and churchman, most famous for his Galateo (1558), a book of manners that promotes a set of values for personal life emphasizing the importance of education, wealth, and social standing for those who have to cope with the unpredictability of human life. A native of Florence, Della Casa studied law at Bologna and in 1531 settled in Rome, where at first he led a dissolute life. He undertook a clerical career merely as a way to guarantee a comfortable life, but about 1537, the year when he published a book on whether a man should marry, he seems to have changed into a hard-working and earnest servant of the papal curia, where he gained high office. In 1544 Della Casa became archbishop of Benevento. Sent as papal nuncio to Venice that same year, he struggled to persuade the independent-minded Venetian government to be more active in enforcing Catholic orthodoxy and in censoring the press, and he succeeded in establishing a Venetian Inquisition in 1547 and in persuading the state to tighten control of the press. His collected vernacular poems were published posthumously in 1558, and he also wrote a number of treatises on moral and political questions.
Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. Charles G. Nauert. 2004.