Ermolao Barbaro (bishop)

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Ermolao Barbaro (1410–1471/1474) was an Italian prelate. He is sometimes referred to as "the elder" to distinguish him from his relative Ermolao Barbaro.


Ermolao Barbaro was born into the Venetian Barbaro family, the son of Zaccaria Barbaro and nephew to Francesco Barbaro.[1] around the year 1410. As a child, he studied the Greek language with Guarino Veronese. When he was 12 years old he made a Latin translation of 33 of Aesop's Fables.[2][3][4][5] Barbaro studied at the University of Padua, where he graduated in 1425.[4][6] Among his teachers was Guarino Guarini.[5][7]

Later he moved to Rome where he entered Papal service. In 1435, Pope Eugene IV named him apostolic prothonotary [5][8] and in 1443 appointed Barbaro as Bishop of Treviso.[4][5][9]

In 1447, the Pope promised Barbaro the nomination as Bishop of Bergamo, but instead appointed Polidoro Foscari to the position. Barbaro left Rome and traveled Italy, but he returned to work in the curia and remained there until 1453. Nicholas V appointed him Bishop of Verona and Barbaro settled there on a permanent basis,[4][5][10] except for a brief period in Perugia, from 1460 to 1462, as governor.[9][11] In 1459, Barbaro assisted with the council held by Pius II at Mantua.[4][5] In 1460, he was sent as a papal legate to Charles VII of France [4][5]

Barbaro was responsible for the construction of the Bishop’s Palace at Monteforte d'Alpone between 1453–1471, designed by Michele da Caravaggio.[2][3] He also tranalated the biography of Saint Athanasius by Eusebius of Cesarea.[4] He died in Venice in 1471.[5]

Modern Italian editions of his works[edit]

  • Ermolao Barbaro il Vecchio.Orationes contra poetas. Epistolae. Critical edition by Giorgio Ronconi. 16x24 cm, pp VIII+186. 16x24 cm, VIII +186 pp. Florence: Sansoni, 1972. Publications of the Faculty of the University of Padua
  • Ermolao Barbaro il Vecchio. Aesop Fabulae. Edited by Cristina Cocco. 22 cm, pp. Genoa: D.AR.FI.CL.ET., 1994. Trad. italiana a fronte
  • Hermolao Barbaro seniore interprete. Aesopi fabulae. Edited by Cristina Cocco, 25 cm, pp 155, Florence: SISMEL-Edizioni del Galluzzo, 2007. Il ritorno dei classici nell'umanesimo. National edition of the translations of Greek texts in humanistic and Renaissance age. ISBN 978-88-8450-250-6


  • Girolamo Tiraboschi, History of Italian Literature, Vol. VI, ed. Florence, 1819
  • Vespasiano da Bisticci, Lives of Illustrious Men of the Fifteenth Century', ed. Barbera-Bianchi, Florence, 1859
  • Pio Paschini, Three Eminent Prelates of the Renaissance: Ermolao Barbaro, Adriano Castellesi, Giovanni Grimani, Rome, Facultas Theologica Pontificii Athenaei Lateranensis, 1957


  1. ^ “A new general biographical dictionary, Volume 3”, Hugh James Rose, Henry John Rose, 1857, pg. 136 [1] ISBN 0-333-76094-8
  2. ^ a b Art in Monteforte
  3. ^ a b Il Palazzo Vescovile di Monteforte
  4. ^ a b c d e f g “A new general biographical dictionary, Volume 3”, Hugh James Rose, Henry John Rose, 1857, pg. 136 [2] ISBN 0-333-76094-8
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h “Biographie universelle, ancienne et moderne”, J Fr Michaud; Louis Gabriel Michaud, Paris, Michaud, 1811-28., pg. 330 [3]
  6. ^ Girolamo Tiraboschi, Storia della letteratura italiana, ed. Firenze, 1819, Vol. VI, pag. 808
  7. ^ “Possible lives: authors and saints in Renaissance Italy”, Alison Knowles Frazier, New York : Columbia University Press, 2005, pg. 217 [4] ISBN 0-231-12976-9
  8. ^ Società storica lombarda, Archivio storico lombardo, ser.4:v.7, 1907, pag. 323
  9. ^ a b Joseph, Thomas (1870). Universal Pronouncing Dictionary of Biography and Mythology. 1. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co. p. 262. 
  10. ^ The Death of the Child Valerio Marcello, Margaret L. King, University Of Chicago Press, September 15, 1994
  11. ^ L'Umanesimo umbro: Atti del IX Convegno di studi umbri. Gubbio, 22-23 settembre, 1974, Perugia, 1977, pag. 199
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Lodovico Barbo
Bishop of Treviso
Succeeded by
Marino Contarini
Preceded by
Francesco Condulmer
Bishop of Verona
Succeeded by
Giovanni Michiel