Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester (1390-1447) and the Italian humanists


    • Saygin, Susanne


Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester (1390-1447) and the Italian humanists

by Susanne Saygin

(Brill's studies in intellectual history, v. 105)

Brill, 2002

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Includes bibliographical references (p. [281]-295) and index



Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester (1390-1447) was the most important patron of Italian Renaissance humanism in England during the fifteenth century. This study reconstructs the network of patronage between Gloucester, his Italian middlemen, and several Italian humanists. Analysing their motives for establishing contacts with each other, it considers the literary interests of these men within the political and social context and argues that the early transmission of humanism to England was closely linked with the promotion of political, dynastic and socio-economic interests. This integrative approach highlights the dynamic interrelation between the intellectual and the political sphere; it shows Gloucester and the men in his circle as active proponents of their interests and explains the appeal Renaissance humanism held for such exponents of the vita activa in Italy and beyond.


List of Illustrations Acknowledgements Abbreviations Introduction PART I. AN ACTIVE LIFE. HUMPHREY, DUKE OF GLOUCESTER AS A LITERARY PATRON AND MAN OF POLITICS 1. Introduction 2. Henry V's Provisions for the Governance of England of 1421/22 and the Establishment of Conciliar Rule in 1422. A Tentative Re-Reading 3. Gloucester's Hainault Campaign, his First Confrontation with Henry Beaufort in 1425, Bedford's Intervention of 1425/6, and Lydgate's Serpent of Division 4. Gloucester's Role in English Politics 1427 to 1432 5. Educating Henry VI. Gloucester's Political Objectives in the Aftermath of his Coup and his Commission of Lydgate's Fall of Princes and Bruni's Translation of Aristotle's Politics 6. Struggling for the King's Confidence. Gloucester's Role in English Politics 1433 to 1437 and his Commission of Frulovisi's Vita Henrici Quinti and the Humfroidos 7. The First Donation to Oxford of 1439, da Monte's De Vitiorum, his Treatment of the Scipio/Caesar Controversy and Gloucester's Final Confrontation with Beaufort in 1440 8. A Period of Transition. Suffolk's Rise During the Late 1430s and the Cobham Trial of 1441 9. Gloucester's Role in English Politics 1441 to 1445 and his Donation to Oxford of 1444 10. Gloucester's Gift to Alfonso of Aragon and the Crisis of July 1445 11. Conclusion PART II. PAWNS OR PLAYERS? ZANONE DA CASTIGLIONE AND PIERO DA MONTE AS MIDDLEMEN BETWEEN HUMPHREY, DUKE OF GLOUCESTER AND THE ITALIAN HUMANIST COMMUNITY 12. Introduction 13. A Family Operation. Zanone da Castiglione, Bishop of Bayeux 1432-1459, and his Role as Mediator of Contacts between Gloucester and Italian Humanists 14. A Study in Failure. Piero da Monte, Papal Collector and Nuncio in England 1435 to 1440, and the Background of his Activity as Middleman between Gloucester and Italian Humanists 15. Conclusion PART III. TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS. THE MOTIVES OF ITALIAN HUMANISTS FOR SEEKING PATRONAGE OR EMPLOYMENT IN ENGLAND 1428 TO 1444 16. Introduction 17. Preliminary Observations on Humanist Career Patterns During the First Half of the Quattrocento 18. The Uses of Foreign Patronage. Pier Candido Decembrio, Lapo da Castiglionchio and Antonio Pacini and the Background for their Contacts with Gloucester or his Middlemen 1437 to 1444 19. Were they Pushed or Did They Jump? The Reasons for Italian Humanists to Seek Employment in England 1418 to 1445. Poggio Bracciolini, Tito Livio Frulovisi and Antonio Beccaria 20. Summary Conclusion Appendices Appendix I. Observations on the Distribution of Responsibilities between Individual Papal Secretaries in the Papal Secretariat during the Pontificates of Martin V and Eugenius IV Appendix II. The Professional Careers of Italian Humanists 1420 to 1450 Bibliography Index

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