Reference Work Entry

Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

pp 1637-1637


Palingenius, Marcellus

Alternate Name

Manzolli, Pietro Angelo

FlourishedStellata (Italy), circa 1531

Palingenius authored the long satirical Renaissance poem, Zodiacus vitae (The Zodiac of Life), originally published in Latin hexameters at Venice circa 1531. Yet, almost nothing of certainty is known about the author, except that he was born at Stellata, near Ferrara, Italy. The work itself was dedicated to Hercules (Ercole) II, Duke of Ferrara, seemingly his patron. Palingenius may have served as physician to the duke, but this has not been verified. Because of the work’s later condemnation for heresy (see below), the author’s bones were posthumously exhumed and burned. The initial letters of the first 29 lines of the first book compose the author’s pseudonym and might represent an anagram of the writer’s true name (Watson 1908).

Zodiacus vitae became “one of the most popular Latin poems of the Renaissance” (Johnson 1937, p. 69). More than 60 editions were eventually published, including translatio ...

This is an excerpt from the content