Antonio Minturno

Antonio Sebastiano Minturno (1500–1574) was an Italian poet and critic, and Bishop of Ugento. His influential literary theories were largely Aristotelian. He was born at Minturno, then part of the Kingdom of Naples.

He wrote three collections of poems in Latin: Carmina (1548), Poemata (1562), and Poemata Tridentina (1564, written during the Council of Trent). He intensely admired the sonnets of Petrarch. In Italian he wrote the critical work De Poeta (1559), a lengthy dialogue which repeats the old idea of tragedy as a lesson to the audience on the transience of worldly things, and as a method of spiritual purgation.[1] It is prescriptive in tone and assumes poetry to be essentially imitative.[2] The functions of the tragedian are to delight, to teach and to move: delectare, docere, movere.[3]

The dialogue Minturno, ovvero de la bellezza ("Minturno, or On Beauty", 1592-3) by Torquato Tasso is dedicated to him. He died at Crotone in 1574.


  1. Thora Burnley Jones, Bernard de Bear Nicol. Neo-classical dramatic criticism, 1560-1770. CUP Archive, 1976. Pages 18-19. See also, E. Fosalba, “Tracce di una precoce composizione (ca. 1525-1533) del De Poeta di Minturno. A proposito della sua possibile influenza su Garcilaso de la Vega”, Critica Letteraria, 173 (2016), pp. 627-650.
  2. George Alexander Kennedy, Glyn P. Norton, eds. The Cambridge history of literary criticism, Volume 3. Cambridge University Press, 1989. Pages 101-102.
  3. James A. Parente. Religious drama and the humanist tradition: Christian theater in Germany and in the Netherlands, 1500-1680. Volume 39 of Studies in the history of Christian thought. BRILL, 1987. Page 53.
  • Cheney, David M. "Archdiocese of Crotone-Santa Severina". Retrieved June 16, 2018. (for Chronology of Bishops) [self-published]
  • Chow, Gabriel. "Archdiocese of Crotone-Santa Severina". Retrieved June 16, 2018. (for Chronology of Bishops) [self-published]

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