6 February 1453|
Girolamo Benivieni (6 February 1453 – August 1542) was a Florentine poet and a musician. His father was a notary in Florence. He suffered from poor health most of his life, which prevented him from taking a more stable job. He was a leading member of the Medicean Academy, a society devoted to literary study. He was a friend of Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463–1494), whom he met for the first time in 1479; it was Mirandola who encouraged him to study Neoplatonism. In the late 1480s, he and Mirandola became students of Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola (1452–1498). In 1496, he translated the teachings of Savonarola from Italian to Latin. After he began following Savonarola, he rejected his earlier poetry and attempted to write more spiritually. He participated in Savonarola's Bonfire of the Vanities, and documented the destruction of art worth "several thousand ducats".
He was supported in his writing by noblewoman Lucrezia de' Medici (1470–1553). They were both interested in the works of poet Dante Alighieri (1265–1321). In 1506, Benivieni published an edition of the Divine Comedy with maps by Antonio Manetti (1423–1497) and commentary by Manetti and Benivieni. In March 1515 Benivieni drafted a letter to be sent from Lucrezia to her brother, Pope Leo X (s. 1513–21), seeking his assistance in bringing the body of Dante back to Florence. On 20 October 1519, Benivieni signed a Medicean Academy petition to Pope Leo, again requesting the return of Dante from Ravenna. Benivieni also used his connection with Lucrezia to advance his ideas on church reform with her brother, and later with her cousin, Pope Clement VII (s. 1523–34). In 1530, he wrote a letter to Pope Clement in defense of Savonarola, seeking to have his reputation restored within the church.
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- "Portrait of Girolamo Benivieni". The National Gallery. Retrieved 11 Jan 2016.