Marco Girolamo Vida

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Marco Girolamo Vida.

Marco Girolamo Vida or Marcus Hieronymus Vida (1485? – September 27, 1566) was an Italian humanist, bishop and poet.


Marco was born at Cremona, the son of the consular (patrician) Guglielmo Vida, and Leona Oscasale. He had two brothers, Giorgio, a captain in the service of Venice, and Girolamo, a Canon of the Cathedral Chapter of Cremona. He had three sisters, Lucia, Elena and a third whose name is unknown.[1]

He began his studies in Cremona, under the local grammarian, Nicolò Lucari. He was then sent to Mantua, and then Bologna and Padua. It is conjectured that it was in Mantua, where the Canons Regular had a school, that Marco took the habit, perhaps around 1505. By about 1510 he had been granted several benefices: in the diocese of Cremona[2] at Ticengo, then at Monticelli (diocese of Parma), then at Solarolo Monestirolo, where he held the office of Provost, and finally at Paderno, where he held the title of Archpriest.[3]

Vida joined the court of Pope Leo X and was given the Priory of San Silvestro at Frascati[4] Pope Clement VII appointed him a Protonotary Apostolic.[5] He became bishop of Alba on 7 February 1533.[6] In 1544, however, the diocese and the entire Marquisate of Monseratto were occupied by the Franch, in their long war with the Spanish, and the Bishop was forced to retreat to his benefices in Cremona.[7] Bishop Vida attended the Council of Trent in May and June 1546, and again in March 1547.[8] In 1549 and 1550 he became involved in a controversy between his native Cremona and the city of Pavia, helping to prepare the brief for his fellow citizens to be argued before the Spanish Governor of Milan, Ferrante Gonzaga.[9]

On 29 March 1564 Bishop Vida wrote his Last Will and Testament.[10] He died on 27 September 1566.[11]


Vida wrote a considerable amount of Latin poetry, both secular and sacred, in classical style, particular the style of Virgil. Among his best-known works are the didactic poem in three books, De arte poetica (On the Art of Poetry), partly inspired by Horace, and Scacchia Ludus ("The Game of Chess"), translated into many languages over the centuries. Both poems were first published in 1527.

His major work was the Latin epic poem Christiados libri sex ("The Christiad in Six Books"),[12] in the style and much of the language of Virgil. He began work on it under Pope Leo X, who was elected in 1513, but did not complete it until the early 1530s. It was published in 1535, well after the pope's death on 1 December 1521.[13]


  1. ^ Lancetti, p. 11.
  2. ^ Cardinal Ascanio Sforza was Administrator of the diocese of Cremona from 1484 until his death on 27 May 1505. He was succeeded by Cardinal Galeozzo Franciotto della Rovere (1505–1507), and then by the Cistercian Girolamo Trevisano. Which of these awarded the benefices is unknown.
  3. ^ Lancetti, pp. 19-21.
  4. ^ Lancetti, pp. 30-31.
  5. ^ Lancetti, p. 36.
  6. ^ His predecessor, Giuliano Visconti, had died on 5 January 1533. The Encyclopedia Britannica article is out-of-date. Eubel, Conradus (ed.); Gulik, Guilelmus (1923). Hierarchia catholica, Tomus 3 (second ed.). Münster: Libreria Regensbergiana. p. 100.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  7. ^ Lancetti, p. 44.
  8. ^ Lancetti, p. 52. Eubel, p. 100 note 4.
  9. ^ Lancetti, pp. 53-54.
  10. ^ Lancetti, p. 55, 57-60.
  11. ^ Eubel, III, p. 100.
  12. ^ See Marco Girolamo Vida, Christiad, trans. James Gardner, The I Tatti Renaissance Library, no. 39, ed. James Hankins (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Library, 2009). ISBN 978-0-674-03408-2
  13. ^ Chisholm 1911.


  • For a biography, background, comments on the main poems, and full study of the Christiad, see M. Di Cesare, Vida's Christiad and Vergilian Epic, New York: Columbia University Press, 1964.
  • For a detailed bibliography of editions and translations of all his works, see M. Di Cesare, Bibliotheca Vidiana, Florence: Sansoni, 1974.)
  • A translation of his De arte poetica by Christopher Pitt can be found in the 19th volume of the collection English Poets edited by Alexander Chalmers.
  • Gardner, James (trans.), Marco Girolamo Vida. Christiad (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2009) (The I Tatti Renaissance library, 39).
  • Lancetti, Vencenzo (1831). Della vita e degli scritti di Marco Girolamo Vida (in Italian). Milano: Giuseppe Crespi. pp. 8–61.
  • Schizzi (Conte), Folchino (1840). Sulle principali opere di Marco Girolamo Vida, e sull'utilita in generale dello studio della lingua latina (in Italian). Resnati. pp. 7–16.
  • Marcus Hieronymus Vida, Poeticorum libri tres, edited by Agnieszka Paulina Lew, serie XV, vol. 99, Klassische Sprachen und Literaturen, Peter Lang Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2011, ISBN 9783631580820
  • Marci Herionymi Vidae...Christiados Libri Sex (in Latin). Antwerp: Johan Steelsius, 1536.


Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Vida, Marco Girolamo" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 28 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

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