Maffeo Vegio

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Maffeo Vegio (Latin: Maphaeus Vegius) (1407–1458) was an Italian poet who wrote in Latin; he is regarded by many as the finest Latin poet of the fifteenth-century. Born near Lodi, he studied at the University of Pavia, and went on to write some fifty works of both prose and poetry.

His greatest reputation came as the writer of brief epics, the most famous of which was his continuation of Virgil's Aeneid, known variously as the Supplementum (Supplement) or Aeneidos Liber XIII (Book 13 of the Aeneid). Completed in 1428, this 600-line poem starts immediately after the end of Virgil's epic, and describes Aeneas's marriage to Lavinia and his eventual deification. It is elegantly written, and its combination of classical learning and piety made it very popular in its day; it was often included in editions of the Aeneid in the fifteenth and sixteenth-centuries. An electronic text can be found at the Latin Library.

Vegio also wrote an epic Astyanax (1430), on the death of the son of Hector, prince of Troy, and a four-book epic Vellus Aureum (the Golden Fleece) (1431). During 1436-37 he completed his epic on the life of the Christian Saint Anthony, the Antoniad. Michael C. J. Putnam edited and translated Vegio's Short Epics for the I Tatti Renaissance Library (Harvard University Press).

Vegio flattered his way into the papal court, and was made canon of St. Peter's Basilica in 1443; it was an office he held until his death in 1458.

Some of Vegio's poems were later set as motets by renaissance composers - an example being Huc me sidereo, set by Josquin, Jacobus Vaet, Orlando Di Lasso and the first motet of Adrian Willaert's 1559 Musica Nova collection.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Orlando Di Lasso, Complete Motets: Vol.14 Peter Bergquist 1997 - Page xix ""Hue me sidéreo": Gustave Reese ascribes the poem to Maffeo Vegio (or Veggio, 1407-58), a minor Italian humanist.25 The poem was set several times before Lasso, including settings by Josquin, Willaert, and Jacobus Vaet.26"

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