Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy

pp 1-5

Date: Latest Version

Decembrio, Pier Candido

  • Eleonora GambaAffiliated withDipartimento di Scienze storiche, geografiche e dell’antichità - DiSSGeA, Università degli Studi di Padova Email author 


A leading figure of the Lombard humanism with Francesco Filelfo, Pier Candido Decembrio was a prolific, but not gifted author. He used to write to ingratiate himself with powerful figures or directly on demand of his patrons, the Visconti in Milan, the papacy, the Aragons in Naples, and the House of Este in Ferrara. His major work was an encomiastic biography of Filippo Maria Visconti, but his translations of classics, especially Plutarch, the historians, and Plato, had a fair circulation too. His renderings were similar to medieval ones, because Decembrio preferred to preserve the meaning of the original texts and not to make his prose elegant, as is clearly shown by his versions of Platonic dialogues Republic and Lysis. In spite of this, he felt free to remove some philosophical passages that were too difficult to understand or could offend moral standards.