BEMBO, Pietro, Italian scholar and writ er : b. Venice, 29 May 1470; d. 18 Jan. 1547. At Ferrara he completed his philosophical studies, and after visiting Rome went, in 1506, to the court of Urbino, at that time one of those Italian courts where the sciences stood highest in esteem. In 1512 he went to Rome, where Pope Leo X made him his secretary. His many labors arising from his office, as well as his literary pursuits, and pethaps too great an indulgence in pleasure, having impaired his health, he was using the baths of Padua when he was apprised of the death of Leo X. Being by this time possessed of several church bene fices, he resolved on withdrawing entirely from business, and on passing his days at Padua, oc cupied only with literature and science, and enjoying the society of his friends. Bembo collected a considerable library; had a cabinet of medals and antiquities, which at that time passed for one of the richest in Italy, and a fine botanical garden. In the year 1529 the office of historiographer of the republic of Venice was offered to him, which he accepted, declirung the salary connected with it. At the same time he was nominated librarian of the library of Saint Mark. Pope Paul III, having resolved upon a new promotion of cardinals, from the most distinguished men of his time, conferred on him, in 1539, the hat of a car dinaL From that time Bembo renounced the belles-lettres, and made the Fathers and the Holy Scriptures his chief study. Of his former
labors he continued only the 'History of Ven ice.' Two years later Paul III bestowed the bishopric of Gubbio on him, and soon after the rich bishopric of Bergamo. Bembo's influence on the literature of Italy was deep and lasting. By his works, especially the 'Prose della volgar lingua' (1525) he helped bring about the tri umph of classic tradition in Italian. In poetry he aroused an increased interest in Petrarch and the resulting imitation of the latter by the Italian poets for a long period is known as bembism. A collection of all his works ap peared in 1729, at Venice, in four folio volumes. Consult Fletcher, J. B., 'The Religion of Beauty in Woman' (New York 1911) ; Spin garn, 'History of Criticism in the Renaissance) (2d ed., New York 1906) ; Symonds, 'Renais sance 111 Italy' (London 1881) ; Trabalza, (Storia della grammatica italiana> (Padova 1908).