Historical Italian and Roman Biographies
The following list of Historical Italian & Roman Biographies will give you a basic understanding of these two cultures. The authors listed include Livy, Livius Patavinus, Cicero, and St Francis of Assisi. If you want to read more, however, it's best to start with the earliest Roman biographies. This way, you'll be able to compare their views and decide which ones to read first.
The first ten books of Livy's Italian and Roman Historical Biographies cover a period of over 600 years, from the 1st century BC to the 17th century CE. He writes almost a book per year. Although St. Jerome gave Livy's birth date as 59 BCE, there is some question as to his age. His early life is mysterious, but he likely received a formal education during the civil wars in Patuvium. In fact, Livy began to write short philosophical and historical works during his formative years.
As a historian, Livy's work is of great value because of its scope. Livy was a highly talented writer, but his style was not original. Though his style owes much to Latin poetry and Cicero, he still managed to write with a vivid style that reveals a vision of greatness, splendor, and moral excellence. His style is appealing and his work is still an important part of Roman history.
The style of Livy's history is characterized by mythical stories in the beginning and authentic accounts of real events in the latter. Livy himself remarked that it was difficult to discover information about events that happened over 700 years ago, especially those that occurred before his time. As such, he felt compelled to relate what he read without passing judgment. A number of critics have called Livy's style Patavinesque. Livy's works are still widely used as standard sources of history.
Livius Patavinus, or Titus, was a great Roman historian. He was born in Patavium, Italy, but moved to Rome sometime in the 30s BCE. While he never played an important role in the political world, he wrote a massive history of Rome. His 142-book work covers everything from the early history of the Roman Empire to the Second Punic War.
This historian wrote numerous books on ancient Rome, including the Annals and Histories, Lives of the Twelve Caesars, and the Dialogue on Oratory. He wrote in both Greek and Latin, and was one of the most respected historians of his time. Although his accounts of the lives of many famous Romans are unreliable, they provide a good foundation for the study of history.
Livy's works are based on the annalists system, which included all events in a year, although there was little logical connection between them. This was standard practice in Livy's day. His writing also includes lengthy speeches by leading men. This style of writing was used by many ancient historians, including Livy. In a recent edition, Livy has corrected some minor mistakes.
This historical Italian & Roman biography is written from the perspective of Cicero, a man who lived in Rome in the first century B.C. Despite his long career, Cicero maintained his loyalty to the Roman Republic. He viewed the First Triumvirate alliance with the Senate as antithetical to republican principles. He refused to join them, leaving himself vulnerable to their political agenda. While he was loyal to Rome, he also stood up to the powerful Caesar. In addition, he came under attack when he criticized the dictatorship of Publius Clodius.
Cicero's major extant works include his letters, orations, and rhetorical compositions. While he was not a pioneer of Greek philosophy, he influenced subsequent works in both style and content. In his rhetorical works, Cicero incorporated the arguments of the major Hellenistic schools, creating an entirely new philosophical vocabulary. The political and religious themes in his philosophical dialogues are more widely known, but are only partially preserved.
In his early life, Cicero lived through social unrest and civil wars. As a result of Sulla's first civil war, the new constitution strengthened the equestrian class and increased their influence in the political life of Rome. His first court appearance took place during the dictatorship of Sulla (81-80 b.c.e.). While defending Sextus Roscius of Ameria, Cicero expressed his disapproval for the regime.
St Francis of Assisi
When he was a teenager, Francis wanted to become a knight. However, his father had forbidden this, so he enrolled in a textile business instead. After a short time, he began to dream of knighthood, and eventually joined the militia of Assisi during the battle with Perugia. But his forces were defeated, and Francis was captured. His captors hoped that he would return to Assisi to repair the church, but Francis refused. This was not an easy task. He had to endure taunts, humiliation, and his father's anger to accomplish his mission.
After the death of Francis, his life became the subject of many biographies, and the first was published a few years after his death. Biographies have continued to be written about Francis, and two have recently appeared in English. Both authors, Thomas of Celano and Augustine Thompson, have written biographies of Francis. Both biographies are written in a scholarly style, and they are both excellent.
When the Holy Spirit moved Francis to abandon his worldly possessions, he began to experience a deep spiritual transformation. He spent time alone in the hills behind Assisi, where he lived as a beggar. He was also a scullion at a neighboring monastery. Later, he made his way to the village of Gubbio where a friend gave him a pilgrim's cloak, girdle, and staff. In the countryside, Francis met a group of lepers. Lepers were people with leprosy and often lived outside of towns and did not contact healthy people. He embraced the lepers and gave them money to rebuild the chapel.
Raphael is the supreme painter and architect of Italian High Renaissance classicism. He was born in Urbino and trained under Peruginino in Perugia. Later, he influenced Michelangelo and Leonardo while living in Florence and Rome. He also completed several Madonnas and frescoes in the Vatican apartments. In addition to painting the interiors of the Vatican, Raphael designed the exterior and interior of his house in Florence.
Raphael was born in 1483 and grew up in a refined court. His father, Giovanni Santi, was a court painter for the ruling Montefeltro family and ran a flourishing workshop. At a young age, he went to Florence to study under the great Pietro Perugino, who was a leading painter in Rome and Florence at that time.
Although Raphael exhibited the traits of a meticulous and shrewd painter, his life and death are also noteworthy. He was a nice and sociable person throughout his life. Perhaps he had a vision of his own demise and was afflicted by the death of his father early on. It is possible that this had a profound impact on his life.
There are numerous sources of information regarding Caravaggio. Some are more reliable than others, but this particular monograph offers an excellent overview of the artist. This book includes a bibliography and a detailed illustration of each painting. Published in 1955, it is especially useful for students. Among its highlights is its comprehensive coverage of Caravaggio's life and work. You can purchase this monograph from any bookstore that sells art books.
As a young boy, Caravaggio saw the effects of bubonic plague on his family. He saw his father, paternal grandparents, and uncle Pietro die of the disease. By the age of six, he had lost nearly every male member of his family to plague. This may have affected the artist's fiery temperament. It also influenced his religious works. In addition to being an artist of great talent, Caravaggio also enjoyed a turbulent childhood.
As his reputation spread, his paintings became increasingly popular. He continued to produce expressive religious images, including the Madonna of Loreto, which depicts the Virgin appearing to old men and women. Another work, The Resurrection of Lazarus, features Christ raising Lazarus from the dead. To make this work possible, Caravaggio excavated a recently-buried corpse and made it his model.
The historical Italian & Roman biography of Galileo is a fascinating read, but what makes it so intriguing is Galileo's personal life. This book contains letters from Galileo's oldest daughter, Suor Maria Celeste, to her father. At age thirteen, she was sent to a convent. Galileo was devastated when she discovered this and decided to send her father letters instead.
The real goal of Galileo's work was to publish a complete description of the universe and new physics. At the time, many people thought that the earth was motionless and that the sun revolved around it. However, with the assistance of religious experts, he wrote letters that would rank among the best religious writings of the time. Despite his personal motivations, Galileo's findings sparked a clash with the Catholic Church authorities.
After completing his education, Galileo decided to work as a teacher. While he was still a student, he served as head of two universities. He also conducted a series of experiments involving falling objects. In particular, he famously climbed the Leaning Tower of Pisa to prove his theories. By doing so, he was able to prove that objects of different weights would reach the ground at about the same time.