Pier della Vigna


Pier della Vigna
(ca. 1190–1249)
   As Frederick II’s chancellor and one of the most powerful statesmen of his time, PIER DELLA VIGNA was also an important literary figure, one of the poets of the “Sicilian school” of lyric poetry, a group responsible for the first court poetry in the Italian vernacular. His apparent suicide inspired DANTE to immortalize him in Canto XIII of the Inferno. Pier was born in Capua. His family was apparently connected with the judicial system, but was of modest means, so that Pier had to make sacrifices to study law at the University of Bologna. In 1220, the archbishop of Palermo introduced him to the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick II, and shortly thereafter Pier joined Frederick’s court at Naples as a notary. Once at the court, Pier became one of the emperor’s most trusted advisers.He became a judge in 1225 and “protonotary” of Sicily in 1246, and ultimately Frederick’s chancellor in 1249. During the intervening years he was sent on a number of delicate diplomatic missions for the emperor. In 1230 he signed the Treaty of Ceprano, which ended a period of hostilities between Frederick and Pope Gregory IX. In 1231, he also was deeply involved in the composition of the Constitutions of Melfi—a law code that centralized imperial power in Sicily and served as the kingdom’s fundamental law code until Napoleonic times. At Frederick’s court Pier also became acquainted with fellow notary and poet GIACOMO DA LENTINO, and with him was instrumental in adopting the style and themes of the Provençal TROUBADOURS into Italian vernacular poetry. Three of his CANZONI, one SONNET, and part of a tenzone (see TENSO) with Giacomo are extant. All display the influence of the troubadours’ COURTLY LOVE tradition. Pier’s official letters are also an important literary achievement: Written in an eloquent Latin, the letters are one of the most important primary documents for historians studying Frederick’s reign.
   Shortly after Pier’s elevation to chancellor, he was accused of treason—apparently on trumped-up charges lodged by rival courtiers jealous of his influence with the emperor. Convicted and condemned by Frederick, Pier was dragged in chains through the towns of Tuscany as an example to traitors, and ultimately blinded with a red-hot iron. He may have died under torture, but was widely held to have committed suicide in April 1249. He is best remembered as Dante portrayed him: Speaking in the form of a tree in the wood of suicides, the shade of Pier della Vigna proclaims his undying loyalty to Frederick II.
   Bibliography
   ■ Goldin, Frederick, trans. German and Italian Lyrics of the Middle Ages: An Anthology and a History. New York: Doubleday, 1973.
   ■ Jensen, Frede, ed. and trans. The Poetry of the Sicilian School. New York: Garland, 1986.

Encyclopedia of medieval literature. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pier della Vigna — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Pier della Vigna (nacido en Capua en 1190 y muerto en la Toscana en 1249) fue un político y literato del Reino de Sicilia. Comenzó su carrera en el año 1220 como notario al servicio del emperador Federico II. En 1225 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Pietro della Vigna — Pietro della Vigna, or Pier delle Vigne (also Petrus de Vineas or de Vineis; c. 1190 ndash; 1249), was an Italian jurist and diplomat, who acted as chancellor and secretary to the Emperor Frederick II.He was born at Capua in humble circumstances… …   Wikipedia

  • Pier Maria Pennacchi — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Pier Maria Pennacchi (1464 antes de 1515) fue un pintor italiano del Renacimiento que desarrolló su obra principalmente en Treviso. Su más documentado trabajo es un fresco de Cristo de una capilla en la catedral de… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Pier Maria Pennacchi — (1464 before 1515) was an Italian Renaissance painter primarily active in Treviso. His one documented work is a fresco of Christ for a chapel in the Treviso cathedral. In Venice, the ceiling of the church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli is often… …   Wikipedia

  • Pier Maria Pennacchi — La Dormition de la Vierge Pier Maria Pennacchi (Trévise, 1464 Trévise, avant 1515) est un peintre italien de la Renaissance qui a été principalement actif à Trévise et à Venise et cla …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Infierno: Canto Decimotercero — Cantos Canto XII Infierno: Canto Decimotercero …   Wikipedia Español

  • École sicilienne — L’École sicilienne (en italien, La Scuola Siciliana), aussi connue depuis Dante comme I Siciliani (« Les Siciliens »), est une école poétique du XIIIe siècle qui s intéresse au fin amor (amour courtois). Fondée probablement par… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Italienische Literatur — Italienische Literatur. Die i. L. hat sich verhältnismäßig spät entwickelt. In Frankreich hatten sich längst die provenzalische und die französische Literatur entfaltet, als Italien immer noch ohne eine eigne Nationalliteratur war. Da nun die… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • List of cultural references in The Divine Comedy — The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri is a long allegorical poem in three parts or canticas (or cantiche ), Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory), and Paradiso (Paradise), and 100 cantos, with the Inferno having 34, Purgatorio 33, and Paradiso 33 …   Wikipedia

  • Literatura de Italia — La literatura en italiano es toda aquella literatura que se haya escrito en el idioma italiano. La configuración política de Italia y su unificación como estado único fue en el siglo XIX, momento en el cual se adopta el dialecto toscano como… …   Wikipedia Español


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.