Home >> Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 26 >> Tao Te King to Telegraphy >> Tasso


venice and ferrara

TASSO, tas'so (Eng. tas'(5), Bernardo, Italian poet: b. Venice, 11 Nov. 1493; d. Ostig lia, 5 Sept. 1569. His education began in Padua, and was continued during his visits to Rome, Ferrara and Venice. He was already known as a poet throughout Italy when Guido Rangone, general of the Pope and a patron of learning, took him into his service and em ployed him in negotiations with Clement VII at Rome and Francis I in France. He subse quently entered the service of Renata, Duchess of Ferrara, but soon left her court for Padua and Venice. Ferrante Sanseverino, Prince of Salerno, engaged him, in 1531, as secretary, and when that prince followed Charles V to Tunis, Tasso accompanied him, and after his return was sent on public business to Spain. In 1539 he married the rich, beautiful and intellectual Porzia de Rossi, and retired to Sorrento, where he lived till 1547. But the misfortunes of his master, whose estates had been seized by Charles V on account of his opposition to the introduction of the Inquisition into Naples, compelled the poet, at the invitation of the Duke of Urbino, to take up his residence at Pessaro. The leisure which he now enjoyed

was employed in finishing his (Amacligi,> which i he published at Venice in 1560. In 1563 the Duke of Mantua appointed him governor of Ostiglia. He was buried at Mantua under a monument erected by the duke, with the in scription "Ossa Bernardi Tassi,* but his son Torquato afterward removed his remains to Ferrara. His chief work, 'L'Amadigi di Gaula,' a romantic epic, displays much talent and art. His other works, in five books, are among the best Italian lyric and elegiac poems of the time. Consult Pasolini, Genitori di Torquato Tasso' (1895).