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Francesco Barbaro (1390–1454) was a politician, diplomat, and humanist in Venicemarker of the patrician Barbaro family.

He was the son of Candiano Barbaro. Barbaro was a student at the University of Padua and studied under Giovanni Conversini, Gasparino Barzizza, Vittorino da Feltre and Guarino Veronese.

Barbaro engaged in research, collection and translation of ancient manuscripts and served as a patron to George of Trebizond. Early in his career, he translated two of Plutarch’s Lives, those of Aristides and Cato from Greek texts into Latin. He wrote De re uxoria, inspired by ancient Latin and Greek sources. His treatise in Latin on marriage was published in Paris in 1513 by Badius Ascensius and then republished in 1537, in 1548, in 1560, in Amsterdam in 1639 and again in 1667 translated into French under the title L'Etat du Marriage and in Italian translation in 1785 as A Scelta Della Moglie. Some of his letters and speeches and the history of the siege of Brescia were published for the first time in Brescia in 1728 under the title of Evangelistae Manelmi Vicentini Commentariorum de Obsidione Brixiae ann. 1438.

In 1419, Barbaro was appointed senator of the Republic of Venice. He served as governor of Vicenzamarker in 1423, of Bergamomarker in 1430, and of Veronamarker in 1434. As governor of Bresciamarker, from 1437 to 1440, he was able to reconcile the two rival factions of Avogadri and Martinenghi and he attained great reputation in his defense of the city against the forces of the Duke of Milan, led by Niccolò Piccinino. He was governor of Verona again in 1441, and later was appointed governor of Paduamarker in 1445, Governor General of Friulimarker. He finally returned to Venice as a state councilor and procurator of San Marco.

In 1426, he served as Venetian ambassador to the papal court of Martin V, and two years later, as ambassador in Ferraramarker and Florencemarker. Eugene IV asked Barbaro to represent at the court of Bohemia to Emperor Sigismund. Barbaro served as Venetian ambassador to Mantuamarker in 1443, Ferraramarker in 1444, and Milanmarker in 1446.

He is interred in the Church of the Frarimarker, Venice.

His son Zaccaria Barbaro, a senator, died in 1492 and is interred with epigraph in the church of San Francesco della Vignamarker. . Zaccaria was the father of the scholar Ermolao Barbaro and Alvise Barbaro, Cavalier, Procurator, and Provveditore al Sal.


  • Giuseppe Ignazio Montanari, Biography of Venetian Francesco Barbaro, 1840
  • Giovanni Battista Gerini, Italian Writers of the Fifteenth Century, Paravia, 1896
  • Attilio Hortis, Miscellanious Studies of Attilio Hortis, Caprino, 1910
  • Tibor Klaniczay, Reports Veneto-Hungarians at the Time of the Renaissance: Acts, Venice, Akadémiai Kiadó, 1975
  • Giovanni Ponte, The Fifteenth century, Zanichelli, 1996


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