Lodovico Lazzarelli

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Lodovico Lazzarelli (via his muse) presents the manuscript of Fasti christianae religionis to Ferdinand I of Aragon, king of Naples and Sicily. (Beinecke MS 391, f.6v)

Ludovico Lazzarelli (4 February 1447 – 23 June 1500) was an Italian poet, philosopher, courtier and alleged magician and diviner of the early Renaissance.

Born at San Severino Marche, he had contact with many important thinkers of his time and above all with the preacher and hermeticist Giovanni Mercurio da Correggio. Himself a follower of hermetism, Lazzarelli also translated the Corpus Hermeticum, a translation which follows and enlarges the hermetic texts previously translated and collected by Marsilio Ficino.


The most important document for reconstructing Lazzarelli's biography is the Vita Lodovici Lazzarelli Septempedani poetae laureati per Philippum fratrem ad Angelum Colotium written by Lazzarelli's brother Filippo. This text addressed to the humanist Angelo Colocci was written immediately after Lazzarelli's death. The Vita is characterized by an hagiographic tone and pays particular attention to the author's literary endeavors while passing under silence important aspects of his career, e.g. his interest for magic arts. This document, however, gives important evidence of Lazzarelli's otherwise uncertain chronology.[1]

Thanks to this document, for example, we know that Lazzarelli was born in 1447 and earned his early literary education in Teramo. In this town, Alessandro Sforza, the lord of Pesaro, awarded a prize to Lodovico at age 13, for a poem on the battle of San Flaviano in 1460. Lazzarelli's family had moved to Teramo after their father's death, but Ludovico was born in San Severino Marche (in Latin Septemdpedanus, hence Lazzarelli's humanistic nickname).[2]


  1. ^ The text of the Vita can be read in M. Meloni,"Lodovico Lazzarelli umanista settempedano e il De Gentilium deorum imaginibus, in Studia picena, 66 (2001):114 ff.
  2. ^ G. Arbizzoni, "Lazzarelli, Ludovico," Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani p. 180

References and footnotes[edit]

  • Wouter J. Hanegraaff and Ruud M. Bouthoorn, Lodovico Lazzarelli (1447-1500): The Hermetic Writings and Related Documents, Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Tempe 2005.

External links[edit]