Biography of Gasparino da Barzizza


Gasparino da Barzziza’s original name was Gasparino Di Pietrobuono. In his time he was known for his academic caliber and for his exquisite teaching. Today, one notable achievement of his is the “rediscovery” of the complete works of Cicero. He was born around 1360 and died in 1431. He is considered to be one of the most influential Renaissance humanists.

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c.1360 – He is born at Barzizza, near Bergamo, Italy.

1403-1407 – He teaches in Pavia.

1406 – His son Guiniforte Gasparino is born at Pavia.

until 1407 – He is in Venice as the Barbaro family’s private tutor.

1407-1421 – He lectures in Pavia’s university and directs at a Pavian grammar school. [1]

1407-1421 – He lectures in Padua on rhetoric and “moral” authors such as Seneca, Cicero, Virgil, Terence, and more. [4]

1418 – He opens an elementary school in Milan, organized similarly to Gasparinus’ school in Padua.

c.1420 – He writes his ‘Tractatus de compositione’.

1421-1430 – He teaches in Milan, Pavia, and Bologna.

1428 – He sends the only surviving original manuscript of the “complete works of Cicero” back to where it was found and it disappears forever. We have no trace of where it is today.

c.1431 – He dies in Milan.

1470 – The first printing press book printed in France is his ‘Book of Letters’.

1723 – The text of ‘Tractatus de compositione’ is published by A. Furietus under ‘G. Barzizii Bergomatis et Guiniforti filii Opera’.

1725 – All of his works (treatises on grammar and rhetoric, orations, epistles, and poems) were printed at Rome.

1979 – Mercer prints a complete list of all known manuscripts which contains the works of Gasparino da Barzziza. (32 total)

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Two works of his that were not mentioned above are;

‘Orthographia’ – considered to be his most important work

‘Sinonima Ciceronis’ (Synonyms of Cicero) – this was produced to help expand students’ Latin rhetorical vocabulary

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