Michael Tarchaniota Marullus

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Michael Marullus Tarchaniota
Μιχαήλ Μάρουλλος Ταρχανειώτης
Marullo.jpg
Portrait of Michael Marullus by Sandro Botticelli in about 1496.[1]
Born 1458
Constantinople or Despotate of the Morea
Died 1500 (aged 42)
Tuscany, Central Italy
Occupation Poet, Soldier, Humanist
Ethnicity Greek[2]
Literary movement Italian Renaissance
Spouse Alessandra Scala (m. 1494–1500)

Michael Tarchaniota Marullus or Michael Marullus (Greek: Μιχαήλ Μάρουλλος Ταρχανειώτης, Italian: Michele Marullo Tarcaniota; c. 1458 – 10 April 1500) was a Greek Renaissance scholar,[3] poet of Neolatin, humanist and soldier.

Life[edit]

Michael Tarchaniota Marullus was born to a family of Greek ancestry.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11] His biography is rather obscure, he was born in either Constantinople[12] or near the site of ancient Sparta in the Despotate of the Morea on the Peloponnese. His father was known as Manoli Marulo (Μανώλης Μάρουλλος) and his mother was Euphrosyne Tarchaneiotissa (Ευφροσύνη Ταρχανειώτισσα).[13] The name Tarchaniotes was borne by a noble Byzantine family and it probably derives from Tarchanion, a village of Thrake.[14] Another Tarchaniotes, Ioannes, author of several literary works in Greek and Latin in the 16th century, was a relative of Marullus'.[15][16]

Both of Marulo's parents were Greek exiles who had fled from Constantinople when it fell to the Turks in 1453,[17] and Michael Marullus always proudly called himself a Greek.[18]

Due to the Ottoman expansion in the 1460s, he fled with his parents to the Republic of Ragusa, where he spent his earliest years. From there, the family went further to Italy. He was educated in Italy, in Ancona, and also perhaps in Venice and Padua.[19] Marullus travelled from city to city as a composer of Latin poetry and an ardent advocate of a crusade against the Ottoman Turks. In the 1470s he fought as a common Stratioti against Turks in the Crimea.[20] In order to liberate his subjugated homeland from domination he was willing to take up arms himself and allied with the king of France when he planned to go on a crusade. In Italy he served under the cavalry capatain Nicholas Rolla, a Lacedemonian.[21]
Through his poetry, Marullus got in contact with many influential people of his time, including popes, kings and members of the Medici family. In Florence in 1494,[22] he married the learned Alessandra Scala (1475–1506),[23] daughter of Bartolomeo Scala.[24] On 10 April 1500 after visiting with the humanist Raffaello Maffei in Volterra, he was riding in full armour to join the armed forces against Cesare Borgia when he drowned with his horse in the river Cecina near Volterra.[25]

The only substantial biography of Marullus is by Carol Kidwell. In Marullus, Soldier Poet of the Renaissance (London, 1989), she reveals the life of a soldier poet who roams exotic lands, composes poems at the borders of the Black Sea, and participates in a military campaign of Vlad the Impaler (the inspiration for Dracula). Yet Kidwell is not sensitive to the manipulative moves in Marullus's "autobiographical" poems. These, and their implications, have been explored in more detail by Karl Enenkel in his chapter on the poet (see Die Erfindung des Menschen: Die Autobiographik des frühneuzeitlichen Humanismus von Petrarca bis Lipsius (Berlin, 2008), pp. 368–428). Enenkel argues that it is improbable that Marullus was born in Constantinople. On the contrary, he suggests that the poet was born after the city fell to the Sultan in 1453.
The French poet Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585) was considering Marullus as one of his teachers and dedicated an epitaph to him.[26]

Works[edit]

Marullus composed a large and varied collection of epigrams in four books. Some of his best love poems were later appropriated by Pierre de Ronsard and others. Marullus also composed a collection of hymns, the Hymni naturales, in which he celebrates the ancient Olympian pantheon. His Institutiones principales, or the education of princes, he left unfinished. An ardent reader of the Roman philosopher-poet Lucretius, he proposed some valuable emendations which are still in modern editions of Lucretius.

Marullus's opera omnia were first edited by Alessandro Perosa in 1951. The Hymnes and the Institutiones are available in translation. Both works were translated in German by Otto Schönberger (Würzburg 1996 and 1997). In addition, the Hymnes were translated in Italian by Donatella Coppini (Florence, 1995), and in French by Jacques Chomarat (Genève, 1995).

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Malaguzzi, Silvia (2003). Botticelli: the artist and his works. Giunti Editore Firenze Italy. p. 124. ISBN 88-09-02851-1. "Portrait of Michèle Marullo, known as Tarcaniota, c. 1496-1497, a Byzantine mercenary, literate and philologist, protected by Lorenzo Minor; Barcelona" 
  2. ^ Revard, Stella Purce (2001). Pindar and the Renaissance hymn-ode, 1450-1700. Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. p. 147. ISBN 0-86698-263-9. "Like the teachers of Greek who had also emigrated from Constantinople and the eastern empire in the fifteenth century, Marullo was of Greek stock" 
  3. ^ Charles, Hole (2009). A Brief Biographical Dictionary. BiblioBazaar, LLC. p. 271. ISBN 1-113-18908-8. "Marullus, Michael Tarchaniotes. Greek Scholar in Italy — ..1500" 
  4. ^ Rabil, Albert (1988). Renaissance Humanism: Humanism beyond Italy. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 269. ISBN 0-8122-8064-4. "The famed Neolatin poet of Greek origin, Michael Marullus, lived for a while in Dubrovnik, as did several noted Jewish humanists." 
  5. ^ Moss, Ann (2003). Renaissance truth and the Latin language turn. Oxford University Press. p. 270. ISBN 0-19-924987-3. "For others, notably the Greek, Michael Marullus, it was the experience of exile." 
  6. ^ Hallam, Henry (2009). Introduction to the Literature of Europe. BiblioBazaar, LLC. p. 129. ISBN 1-115-16877-0. "Marullus, a Greek by birth, has obtained a certain reputation for his Latin poems" 
  7. ^ Revard, Stella Purce (2001). Pindar and the Renaissance hymn-ode, 1450-1700. Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. p. 147. ISBN 0-86698-263-9. "Like the teachers of Greek who had also emigrated from Constantinople and the eastern empire in the fifteenth century, Marullo was of Greek stock" 
  8. ^ Williams, Dr. Jonathan; Cheesman, Clive (2004). Classical love poetry. J. Paul Getty Museum. p. 91. ISBN 0-89236-786-5. "Michael Marullus (ad 1453—1500): Classicizing poet of the Renaissance. Born to a noble Greek family in Constantinople and raised in Ragusa (Dubrovnik), he made his home in Italy where he fought as a mercenary." 
  9. ^ Harrison, S. J. (1995). Homage to Horace: a bimillenary celebration. Oxford University Press. pp. 330–331. ISBN 0-19-814954-9. "As well as being a poet, Marullus was by birth a Greek" 
  10. ^ McFarlane, Ian Dalrymple (1986). Acta Conventus Neo-Latini Sanctandreani: proceedings of the Fifth International Congress of Neo-Latin Studies. Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies. p. 145. ISBN 0-86698-070-9. "The inference seems clear: as Marullus was a Byzantine Greek and Constantinople fell on 29 May, his conception occurred shortly before that date, say around the middle of May." 
  11. ^ David Loth (2005). Lorenzo the Magnificent. Kessinger Publishing. p. 275. ISBN 0-7661-9979-7. "She married Michael Marullus, a handsome Greek whose writings had brought him the patronage of Lorenzo and, in happier days, the praise of Poliziano as well." 
  12. ^ Williams, Dr. Jonathan; Cheesman, Clive (2004). Classical love poetry. J. Paul Getty Museum. p. 91. ISBN 0-89236-786-5. "Michael Marullus (ad 1453—1500): Classicizing poet of the Renaissance. Born to a noble Greek family in Constantinople and raised in Ragusa (Dubrovnik), he made his home in Italy where he fought as a mercenary." 
  13. ^ Harrison, S. J. (1995). Homage to Horace: a bimillenary celebration. Oxford University Press. pp. 330–331. ISBN 0-19-814954-9. "As well as being a poet, Marullus was by birth a Greek…he was born in the Morea c, 1461, around the time of its subjugation by the Turks, the son of a man variously known as Manoli Marulo, Emmanuel Marulla…The poets mother was Euphrosyne Tarchaniotissa, bearer of a more distinguished family name than her husband's and friend of Francesca Marzano, niece of Ferrante I, king of Naples, and second wife of Leonardo III Tocco, despot of Arta." 
  14. ^ Polemis D.I. The Doukai. A contribution to Byzantine Prosopography. London, 1968, p. 183
  15. ^ Ioannes Tarchaniotes. Delle Historie del Mondo ... . From the catalogue of the Onassis Foundation Library
  16. ^ Ioannes Tarchaniotis (Ιωάννης Ταρχανιώτης), article in the Greek Wikipedia.
  17. ^ Valeriano, Pierio ; Gaisser, Julia Haig (1999). Pierio Valeriano on the ill fortune of learned men: a Renaissance humanist and his world. University of Michigan Press. p. 306. ISBN 0-472-11055-1. "Marullo was the child of Greek exiles who had fled from Constantinople when it fell to the Turks in 1453, and he always proudly called himself a Greek… He fought against Turks in the Crimea in the 1470s, with the French against Naples in the mid-1490s, and against Cesare Borgia in 1499-1500. During this last campaign, he met his death. After visiting the humanist Rafaelle Maffei in Volterra, he was riding in full armour to join the forces against Cesare when he drowned in the river Cecina – his copy of Lucretius still in his pocket." 
  18. ^ Valeriano, Pierio ; Gaisser, Julia Haig (1999). Pierio Valeriano on the ill fortune of learned men: a Renaissance humanist and his world. University of Michigan Press. p. 306. ISBN 0-472-11055-1. "Marullo was the child of Greek exiles who had fled from Constantinople when it fell to the Turks in 1453, and he always proudly called himself a Greek." 
  19. ^ Maddison, Carol (1960). Apollo and the nine: a history of the ode. Johns Hopkins Press. p. 70. OCLC 330874. "Marullus, however, despite the fact that he was Ronsard's favourite neolatin poet — and Ronsard's judgment is not to be despised—Marullus is hardly known at all…In English Marullus has been neglected along with almost all other humanists. Yet he was an interesting person as well as an extremely fine poet. A Byzantine Greek by origin — he was born in 1453 as his family fled from the fall of Byzantium — he grew up in the little, but beautiful republic of Ragusa in the days of its glory. He was educated in Italy, in Ancona, and perhaps also in Venice and Padua. Then he became a soldier of fortune and fought in the slavic countries and in Italy for various Italian states." 
  20. ^ Valeriano, Pierio ; Gaisser, Julia Haig (1999). Pierio Valeriano on the ill fortune of learned men: a Renaissance humanist and his world. University of Michigan Press. p. 306. ISBN 0-472-11055-1. "Marullo was the child of Greek exiles who had fled from Constantinople when it fell to the Turks in 1453, and he always proudly called himself a Greek… He fought against Turks in the Crimea in the 1470s, with the French against Naples in the mid-1490s, and against Cesare Borgia in 1499-1500. During this last campaign, he met his death. After visiting the humanist Rafaelle Maffei in Volterra, he was riding in full armour to join the forces against Cesare when he drowned in the river Cecina – his copy of Lucretius still in his pocket." 
  21. ^ A New and general biographical dictionary, 1795, vol. VII, p. 145
  22. ^ Robin, Diana Maury; Larsen, Anne R.; Levin, Carole (2007). Encyclopedia of women in the Renaissance: Italy, France, and England. ABC-CLIO. pp. 332–333. ISBN 1-85109-772-4. "Scala, Alessandra (1475-1506) Alessandra Scala was born in 1475, the fifth daughter of the chancellor of Florence, Bartholomeo Scala… In 1494, Scala did marry, and the mate she chose was the Greek poet Michele Marullo. Six years later Marullo drowned while fording the Cecina River. Abandoning her Greek studies and her home, Scala entered the convent of San Pier Maggiore in Florence. She died there in 1506." 
  23. ^ Stevenson, Jane (2005). Women Latin poets: language, gender, and authority, from antiquity to the eighteenth century. Oxford University Press. p. 164. ISBN 0-19-818502-2. "Alessandra Scala (1475-1506) married a fellow Greek scholar, Michael Marullo" 
  24. ^ Eliot, George (2008). The Writings of George Eliot, Volume 1. BiblioBazaar. p. 191. ISBN 0-559-29442-5. "Bartolommeo Scala gave his Alessandra to the Greek Marullo…" 
  25. ^ Valeriano, Pierio ; Gaisser, Julia Haig (1999). Pierio Valeriano on the ill fortune of learned men: a Renaissance humanist and his world. University of Michigan Press. p. 306. ISBN 0-472-11055-1. "Marullo was the child of Greek exiles who had fled from Constantinople when it fell to the Turks in 1453, and he always proudly called himself a Greek… He fought against Turks in the Crimea in the 1470s, with the French against Naples in the mid-1490s, and against Cesare Borgia in 1499-1500. During this last campaign, he met his death. After visiting the humanist Rafaelle Maffei in Volterra, he was riding in full armour to join the forces against Cesare when he drowned in the river Cecina – his copy of Lucretius still in his pocket." 
  26. ^ Pierre de Ronsard, Oeuvres complètes, Librairie A. Franck, Paris, 1866, Vol. 7, p. 238: Epitaph de Marulle, Capitaine et Poëte Grec tres-exellent, natif de Constantinople.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Kidwell, C., Marullus. Soldier Poet of the Renaissance (London: Duckworth, 1989).
  • Lefèvre, E., E. Schäfer (ed.), Michael Marullus: ein Grieche als Renaissancedichter in Italien (Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag, 2008) (NeoLatina, 15).

See also[edit]