Andrea Biglia

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Andrea Biglia (c.1395 – 1435)[1] was an Italian Augustinian humanist, known as a moral philosopher and historian.


He was born in Milan, and became an Augustinian hermit in 1412.[2] After time studying in Padua he came to the Santo Spirito, Florence in 1418.[3]

In 1423 he moved to Bologna, and by the end of the 1420s, after a period at Pavia. He was teaching at the University of Siena, having left Bologna because of anti-papal feeling in 1428. There he died of the plague in 1435.[2][4][5]


An early influence was Gasparino Barzizza at Padua, and Sicco Polento, another pupil there, became a friend. Biglia in Florence met the humanist circle including Ambrogio Traversari: others were Giovanni Aurispa, Leonardo Bruni and Niccolò Niccoli. In Bologna he associated with Niccolò Albergati. There he encountered Aurispa again, and the other humanists Leon Battista Alberti, Giovanni Lamola, Antonio Panormita, and Giovanni Toscanella.[2][6] His interest in Islamic history was stimulated by the 1432 visit to Siena of Sigismund of Hungary.[4][7]


Biglia wrote a treatise against the populist preacher Bernardino of Siena.[8] In connection with this dispute, Biglia wrote on the Holy Name of Jesus, and these theological writings proved influential.[9] Some of Biglia's own sermons survive.[2]

As a historian he wrote on Eastern Christendom and Islam, including a history of the Mongols.[10] His best-known work Rerum mediolanensium historia was a history of Milan in the period 1402–1431 in the style of Livy.[7] In it he was an apologist for the 1424 taking of Forlì by the Visconti.[11]

As a translator he worked on the Vita Timoleontis of Plutarch from Greek, which he had learned at some point, and some of Aristotle.[2]


  1. ^ "BIGLIA, Andrea". Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani (in Italian). 10. Treccani. 1968. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Charles L. Stinger (1977). Humanism and the Church Fathers: Ambrogio Traversari (1386-1439) and Christian Antiquity in the Italian Renaissance. SUNY Press. pp. 25–26. ISBN 978-0-87395-304-7. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  3. ^ Paul F. Grendler (29 September 2004). The Universities of the Italian Renaissance. JHU Press. p. 321. ISBN 978-0-8018-8055-1. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Margaret Meserve (2008). Empires of Islam in Renaissance Historical Thought. Harvard University Press. p. 316. ISBN 978-0-674-02656-8. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  5. ^ Achim Wesjohann (May 2012). Mendikantische Gründungserzählungen im 13. Und 14. Jahrhundert (in German). LIT Verlag Münster. p. 666. ISBN 978-3-643-11667-3. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  6. ^ Mirella Ferrari; Marco Navoni (2007). Nuove ricerche su codici in scrittura latina dell'Ambrosiana: atti del Convegno, Milano, 6-7 ottobre 2005 (in Italian). Vita e Pensiero. p. 255. ISBN 978-88-343-1486-9. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Marianne Pade (2007). The Reception of Plutarch's Lives in Fifteenth-Century Italy. Museum Tusculanum Press. p. 225. ISBN 978-87-635-0532-1. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  8. ^ Franco Mormando (1 May 1999). The Preacher's Demons: Bernardino of Siena and the Social Underworld of Early Renaissance Italy. University of Chicago Press. p. 90. ISBN 978-0-226-53854-9. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  9. ^ Riccardo Fubini (1 January 2003). Humanism and Secularization: From Petrarch to Valla. Duke University Press. p. 302. ISBN 978-0-8223-3002-8. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  10. ^ Z. R. W. M. von Martels; Arie Johan Vanderjagt (2003). Pius II, "el Più Expeditivo Pontifice": Selected Studies on Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini (1405-1464). BRILL. p. 31. ISBN 978-90-04-13190-3. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  11. ^ Ronald G. Witt (1 August 2003). In the Footsteps of the Ancients: The Origins of Humanism from Lovato to Bruni. BRILL. pp. 491–2. ISBN 978-0-391-04202-5. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 

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