Annibal Caro proved himself a competent administrator and diplomat in the service of a succession of cardinals. Notorious for his literary debates and quarrels with his contemporaries, Caro excelled as a man of letters. A dramatist, a poet, and an accomplished translator of classical languages, Caro exemplified the life of a sixteenth-century Italian courtier.
Caro, born in 1507 at Civitanova Marche, Italy, studied in his early youth at Florence, where he first served as tutor to Monsignor Giovanni Gaddi's nephew Lorenzo Lenzi and then as secretary to Gaddi himself. After Caro moved to Rome, his connection with Gaddi placed him in contact with the educated luminaries who comprised the followers of the reigning Farnese pope, Paul III, who ruled from 1534 to 1549. Caro temporarily served Monsignor Guidiccioni, a close friend and ally of the Farnese family. Upon Gaddi's death, Guidiccioni proved instrumental in obtaining a secretarial position for Caro with Pierluigi Farnese (assassinated 1547), Pope Paul's eldest son. Caro's only play, Gli strac-cioni (The scruffy scoundrels), written around 1543, may have been a condition of his employment with Pierluigi. Caro's play is noteworthy for its engaging dialogue and natural action.
After Pierluigi's assassination, Caro returned to Rome, where Pope Paul III's influential nephew, Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, employed him as his secretary. Caro worked for Alessandro until 1563, when he was able to devote himself solely to literary pursuits. Alessandro Farnese, also the patron of Pietro Bembo* and Giorgio Vasari,* commissioned Caro's Canzoniere in 1553, a poetic sequence written in praise of the Farnese family and the royal house of France. Lodovico Castelvetro's* criticism of Caro's poetry incited Caro's systematic persecution of Castelvetro. In response to Castelvetro's criticism of his work, Caro sought to defame Castelvetro by calling him indecent names and by issuing a series of pamphlets attacking him.
When Caro's collected letters were printed in Venice (c. 1572-74), they earned praise from his contemporaries for the elegant rhetorical style in which they were written. In addition, Caro's translation of Virgil's Aeneid, published in 1581, written in vernacular blank verse, remained in use as a standard text in Italian schools until recently.
A. Caro, The Scruffy Scoundrels (Gli Straccioni), trans. M. Ciavolella and D. Beecher, 1980.
M. Herrick, Italian Comedy in the Renaissance, 1960.
Источник: CARO, Annibal