Pliny the Younger was an author, lawyer, and magistrate of Ancient Rome. Although Pliny the Younger wrote several letters, only 247 of them have survived and are of great historical value as they provide an insight into the relationship between provincial governors and the imperial office at that time.
Italian philosopher Giambattista Vico is regarded as a pioneer of what is now known as cultural anthropology, or ethnology. He brought together history and the social sciences in his work Scienza nuova. A poor bookseller’s son, he studied by candlelight but grew up to be a major Counter-Enlightenment figure.
Former prime minister of Italy, Enrico Letta was the son of a math professor and followed in his father’s footsteps to become a professor, too, teaching at universities such as HEC Paris. Later, he stepped into politics with the Christian Democracy party. He also has a doctorate degree in European Union Law.
Known as one of the EU’s founding fathers, Italian politician Altiero Spinelli was a communist who had spent 16 years in confinement for opposing fascist powers. While in prison, he co-wrote the Ventotene Manifesto. He later represented Central Italy in the European Parliament and was part of the Italian Chamber of Deputies.
Best remembered for his Treatise on Architecture, Filarete was a Florentine architect, sculptor, medalist and author. Born Antonio di Pietro Averlino, he was given the name Filarete, meaning lover of excellence, possibly by his teacher Lorenzo Ghiberti. Later, he began working independently, building the bronze central doors of Old St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and Ospedale Maggiore in Milan.
An influential art historian, critic, and curator, Germano Celant is known for coining the term, Arte Povera to describe the radically economical art of some post WWII Italian artists. Beginning his career with Geneva based art magazine Marcatrè, he eventually become the curator of New York’s Guggenheim museum and Director of Milan’s Prada Foundation, concurrently authoring many books on art.
Author of numerous literary, historical, and economic works, Pietro Verri was a leader of Milanese academy and moving force behind Società dei Pugni. Also a distinguished public administrator and political economist employed with the Milanese government, he has been credited with abolition of tax farming. Some of his important works are Riflessioni sulle leggi vincolanti and Meditazioni sull’ economia politica.
Jacobus de Varagine was an Italian chronicler and author who is credited with compiling a collection of the legendary tales of saints of the medieval church called the Golden Legend. His work became one of the most important and famous religious works of the medieval period. Jacobus de Varagine is also remembered for serving as the archbishop of Genoa.