- Sannazaro, Jacopo
- (1458-1530)Neapolitan humanist and poet. During his youth at Naples, he was a member of a circle of lo-cal humanists led by Giovanni Pontano. During the 1480s and 1490s he developed a reputation as a poet in both Italian and Latin. When his patron, King Frederick of Aragon, was dethroned and ex-iled to France, he shared the exile until the king's death in 1504 and then returned home to his rural villa, where he spent the rest of his life, busy writing but removed from court life and politics. In Latin he wrote Virgilian-style Piscatorial Eclogues and a Christian epic on the birth of Christ, De partu Virginis (1526). His most important po-etry, however, was his vernacular pastoral poetry, especially the lengthy Arcadia (1502 and 1504). This work, with its many allusions to classical poets and modern ones like Dante and Petrarch, de-scribes an imaginary society of cultivated shepherd-poets and pro-vides an allegorical account of his own romantic quest for the woman he loved. Arcadian pastoral poetry had great influence on later Re-naissance literature, not only in Italy but also in England, in the work of Sir Philip Sidney; in Spain, in the romances of Jorge de Mon-temayor and Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra; and in France, in the pastoral poetry of Honore d'Urfé.
Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. Charles G. Nauert. 2004.