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Coluccio Salutati.
Coluccio Salutati (February 16, 1331 – May 4, 1406) was an Italian man of letters and one of the most important political and cultural leaders of Renaissance Florencemarker.


Salutati was born in Stignano, near Buggianomarker (today's province of Pistoia, Tuscany). After studies in Bolognamarker, he began to work as notary in that town, then part of the Republic of Florence. His letters to Florentine scholars earned him the nickname of "Ape of Cicero", referring to his mastership of Latin style. Francesco Bruni took Salutati with him in Rome from 1368 to 1370, as assistant in the Papal secretacy. Having his career boosted by his stay in Rome, he was therefore appointed chancellor of Todimarker and then of the powerful Luccamarker.

In 1375 Coluccio was appointed Chancellor of Florence, the most important position in the bureaucracy of the Florentine Republic. In this period the latter was expanding against the other free cities of Tuscany and Central Italy, and his correspondence Salutati used his rhetoric qualities to support the Florentine ambitions, especially against the corrupted Papal court.During his life, Florence warred two times against its powerful northern rival, Giangaleazzo Visconti, Duke of Milan. His treatise De tyranno ("On the tyrant", published in 1400), has, most likely, its model in Visconti, although in it Salutati (despite being a republican) remains a supporter of the providential universal monarch already put forward by Dante. Thanks also to his capabilities in rallying the enthusiasm of the Florentines towards the Republic, he survived the war and maintained a strong political position in central Italy.

Coluccio's cultural achievements are perhaps even greater than his political ones. A skilled writer and orator, Coluccio drew heavily upon the classical tradition. A disciple of Petrarch, he spent much of his salary on amassing a collection of 800 books, a large library by the standards of the time. He also pursued classical manuscripts, making a number of important discoveries, the most important being Cicero's lost Letters to his Friends (Epistulae ad familiares), which overturned the entire medieval conception of the Roman statesman. Coluccio also did important studies of history, tying Florence's origin not to the Roman Empire but to the Roman Republic. In his lifetime, the study of secular literature, especially pagan literature, was discouraged by the Roman Catholic Church. Coluccio played an important part in changing this outlook, frequently engaging in theological debates on the merits of pagan literature with Church officials.

He promoted the work of younger humanists such as Gian Francesco Poggio Bracciolini, Leonardo Bruni and Manuel Chrysoloras.


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