Giovanni Antonio Campani called Campanus (27 February? 1429 –
15 July 1477), a protégé of Cardinal Bessarion, was a
Neapolitan-born humanist at the court of Pope Pius II, whose funeral
oration he wrote, followed by a biography, flattering but filled
with personal reminiscence, written ca 1470-77. Campanus was famous
for his Latin orations, poems and letters. In addition to Bessarion's
Academy, Campanus was a member of the Roman circle of Pomponius Leto.
After the death of the Pope in 1464, Campani taught at the Florentine
Campanus was known for his Latin poetry. The famous four epigrammatic
lines on a sleeping nymph Huius nympha loci..., thought to be of Roman
origin until revealed as a product of
Renaissance humanism by
Theodore Mommsen, were identified as Campani's from a note in a
manuscript in the Bibliotheca Ricciardiana, Florence. He wrote a
vita in Latin of the condottiero Braccio Fortebracci da Montone.
Giovanni Battista Campani was born at Cavelli, near Galluccio, in the
province of Caserta, to a family of very modest condition, in the
midst of the war between Angevin and Aragonese contenders for the
Kingdom of Naples. A place as tutor to the sons of the noble Carlo
Pandoni, where he spent six years, brought him to the notice of Michel
Ferno. In 1452 he went to Perugia, under the patronage of the
Baglioni, and, to his Latin added Greek, under the guidance of
Demetrius Chalcondyles. Having been part of the loyal embassy sent
on the city's behalf to
Pope Callixtus III
Pope Callixtus III in 1455, on his return was
called to the chair of rhetoric at the University of Perugia, 16
November 1455. At the elevation of Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini to the
Pope Pius II
Pope Pius II in August 1458, Campani was again among the
delegation from Perugia. It was Giacomo Cardinal Ammannati, apostolic
secretary, who introduced him to the learned humanist Pius II, who
named him bishop of Crotone in Calabria, 20 October 1462, the first of
a series of episcopal appointments that found Campani at last Bishop
of Teramo (23 May 1463). In Rome Campani was attached as secretary to
the household of Alessandro Cardinal Oliva.
After Oliva's death in 1463, Campani joined the familia of Pius'
nephew Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini (later briefly pope as Pius
III), whom he accompanied to Germany in 1471. Following the death
of Pius, his relations with Paul II deteriorated, but he was protected
from the persecution of the humanists in 1468.
On March 7, 1469, the feast of St. Thomas, Campani delivered the
annual encomium in honor of the "angelic doctor" for the Santa Maria
sopra Minerva studium generale, the future Pontifical University of
St. Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum.
Under Sixtus IV he was appointed governor of
Todi (1472) and Città di
Castello (1474), but his public comparison of papal military
activities with the Turks resulted in his permanent disgrace. He died
Siena and is buried in the Duomo.
An Opera Campani Omnia edited by Michele Ferno, published at Rome,
contains an introductory vita (2nd edition, Venice, 1495).
^ He assumed the surname later, as a native of Campania.
^ Noted with a question mark by Thomas Brian Deutscher, Contemporaries
of Erasmus: A Biographical Register of the Renaissance and ...
(University of Toronto Press) 2003
^ Vincenza Petrucci, "L'Orazione funebre per Pio II composta da
Giovanni Antonio Campano"
^ It was published in
Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum
Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum VI.5.3e.
^ Elisabeth B. MacDougall, "The Sleeping Nymph: Origins of a Humanist
Fountain Type" The Art Bulletin 57.3 (September 1975:357-365) p. 357f.
^ Translated into Italian, Venice 1572.
^ His De ingratitudine fugienda was dedicated to Pandulfo
^ a b Deutscher 2003.
Accessed 31 Dec., 2014
^ Alan Coates, A Catalogue of Books Printed in the Fifteenth Century
Now in the Bodleian .. (Oxford, 2005) cat. no. C-036, Opera)
di Bernardo, F. Un vescovo umanista alla corte ponteficia:
Giannantonio Campani (1429-1477) (Rome) 1975.
Cosenza, M.E., ed. Biographical and Bibliographical Dictionary of the
Italian Humanists and of the World of Classical Scholarship rev. 2nd.
ed. (Boston) 1962-67.
(Hausmann, Frank-Rutger) "Giovanni Battista Campani" in Dizionario
biografico degli italiani (Rome, 1974
ISNI: 0000 0000 8148 3585
BNF: cb122155922 (data)