5 Geniuses of Renaissance Italy You Should Read
Dante Alighieri, 1265 – 1321
Occupation: Statesman, poet, language theorist, political theorist
Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch), 1304 – 1374
Occupation: Scholar, poet
Petrarch was one of the earliest humanists and poets in Renaissance Italy. His rediscovery of Cicero's letters is claimed to be the beginning of Renaissance era in Italy. Francesco Petrarca was one of the founders of the modern Italian language and creator of a traditional model for lyrical poetry. Read his sonnets — the best examples of this genius of literature.
Giovanni Boccaccio, 1313 – 1375
Occupation: Writer, poet
Boccaccio was an Italian writer, poet and one of the greatest Italian humanists. He wrote a number of notable works, with his most famous work, The Decameron, being a masterpiece of Italian and world prose.
Leonardo da Vinci, 1452 – 1519
Leonardo is the prime exemplar of the "Universal Genius" or "Renaissance Man". He had achievements in many different areas of art and science: painting, sculpting, architecture, science, music, mathematics, engineering, literature, anatomy, geology, astronomy, botany, writing, history, and cartography. His mural painting The Last Supper is one of the world's most famous paintings.
Niccolò Machiavelli, 1469 – 1527
Occupation: Historian, politician, diplomat, philosopher, humanist, writer
Niccolò Machiavelli was an Italian historian, politician, diplomat, philosopher, and writer. He was for many years a senior official in the Florentine Republic and wrote a historical account of Florence. "Machiavellianism" is a widely used negative term used to characterize unscrupulous politicians of the sort Machiavelli described most famously in The Prince — his famous political treatise that is first work of modern political science.