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Janus Pannonius ( , , ; 29 August, 1434, Čazmamarker27 March, 1472, Medvedgradmarker castle, nearby Zagrebmarker) was a Croatian and Hungarian humanist, Latinist poet, diplomat and Bishop of Pécsmarker.
Janus Pannonius


He was the only truly significant poet of the Renaissance in the Kingdom of Hungary and one of the better-known figures of Humanist poetry in Europe. He was born in a small village near the Drava river in a corner of Slavoniamarker. Janus’s father was a Croatianmarker nobleman, but little is known about his family background. His mother, Borbála Vitéz, was the sister of Archbishop Vitéz.

Pannonius was brought up by his mother; then in 1447 his uncle sent him to Italy for a humanist schooling. He attended the School of Guarino da Verona at Ferraramarker where the pupils were educated in Latin and Greek authors under the guidance of a noted teacher of the Italian Renaissance. The young boy was considered the brightest pupil of his generation by both his teachers and fellow-students. He soon revealed his ability to write poetry according to the rules of classical prosody; he was around thirteen when he wrote his first epigrams. His higher education was completed at the University of Padua in canon law, and after making an educational tour of Rome, he returned to the Kingdom of Hungary in 1458, the year of Matthias’s accession to the throne. For a time, he worked at the Royal Chancery, and soon became the Bishop of Pécs and later Vice-Chancellor of the country. Janus Pannonius was thus an influential intellectual in the kingdom, and one who never severed his connections with some of the leading humanists of his time.

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