The Vespasiano Memoirs: Lives of Illustrious Men of the XVth Century
Published: May 1997© 1997
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 476 Pages
Dimensions: 5.99 x 9.00
476 Pages, 5.99 x 9.00 x 1.33 in
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Vespasiano da Bisticci (b. 1421) was a Florentine bookseller known as the most celebrated dealer of books and manuscripts of his generation. The renewed interest in Greek and Roman texts brought about by the rise of humanism inspired many wealthy individuals to seek codices of the best ancient and early Christian works. Vespasiano's bookshop became a meeting place for learned men, and he acquired patrons as illustrious as Cosimo de'Medici, Federigo da Montefeltro, the Duke of Urbino, Mathias Corvinus, the King of Hungary, and John Tiptoft, Earl of Worchester. The invention of the printing press proved to be too much competition for da Bisticci, and he retired to write his memoirs and biographical sketches of his friends and patrons.
Vespasiano da Bisticci's memoirs are a valuable resource in the history of politics, warfare and intellectual history, written from the perspective of an intelligent man who was able to watch and comment on the events of his age from a privileged position.