Basinio Basini

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Basinio da Parma (also Basinio Basini or Basinus Parmensis ; * 1425 in Vezzano near Parma , † May 24 or 25, 1457 in Rimini ) was an Italian epic poet and poet.


Basinio was the son of a soldier from Mantua , Virgil's hometown . At first he only received a simple school education. His father then sent him to Mantua to Vittorino da Feltre , with whom he learned Latin, and to Theodoros Gazes , who taught him Greek. After the death of da Feltres on February 2, 1446 Basinio followed Theodorus to Ferrara . There he continued his Greek studies and received his Latin training from Guarino da Verona . He was heavily influenced by both teachers. In Theodorus' opinion one could only learn Latin correctly if one also knew Greek. Basinio adopted this view. He also had his admiration for Homer from Theodorus . In Ferrara Basinio made the acquaintance of Leonello d'Este , stayed in court life and belonged to literary circles. It was there that he made his first poetic attempts: 12 elegies on Cyris and one on Hippodamia , all of which follow classical models. In addition, texts appeared that are now summarized under the name carmina varia . These include letters in poetic form (poetic genre of the epistle ) and small texts with references to Homer. These texts also offer reference points for the dating of works and insights into Basinio's working method.

In 1447 Basinio da Parma went on a diplomatic mission: After the death of Filippo Maria Visconti , Francesco Sforza was to be his successor. Basinio's mission was to obtain the liberation of Parma from the dependency of Milan.

His first epic is the Meleagris . It was dedicated to Leonello d'Este, who was an avid hunter. Presumably as a reward for the Meleagris , he received a teaching position for 1448/1449. As a consequence of his diplomatic mission, Basinio da Parma fought in 1449 on the side of Niccolo Guerriero Terzi in the Castello di Guardasone against Alessandro Sforza . After the castle fell, Parma had to stay with Milan and Francesco Sforza became Duke of Milan.

As the letters attest, Basinio probably left Ferrara before the death of Leonello d'Este (October 1, 1450). He went to Rimini to the court of Sigismondo Malatesta , where he attracted the attention of the court poet Giusto da Valmontone through a grave poem . The intellectual debate of the time about the status of Greek was also conducted at the court of Rimini: Basinio da Parma met two declared opponents of Greek, Porcelio Pandoni and Tommaso Seneca da Camerino . He continued his work in Rimini.

On May 24, 1457 he wrote his will, in which he expressed the wish to receive a self-chosen funeral motto , which he used as a basis for Ennius . This saying - Parma mihi patria est, sunt sydera carmen et astra - is conspicuously based on the funerary saying of Virgil. In addition, Bainio imitated Virgil with the desire to have his hesperis burned.

He died on the same day or the following day. He was also buried in the Tempio Malatestiano at his own request .


  • Elegies : Basinio wrote 12 elegies on Cyris and one on Hippodamia based on classical models ( Ovid ).
  • Carmina varia : various texts, including letters, with references to Homer.
  • Meleagris : Epic in 3 books (2425 verses) about the hunt for the Calydonian boar, dedicated to Leonelle d'Este. Publication: 1447 or 1448.
  • Isottaeus : fictitious correspondence between Isotta, Sigismund's wife, and Sigismund himself in meters with panegyric elements.
  • Astronomicon : didactic poem in two books, published in 1455.
  • Hesperis : epic in 13 books about the fight between Sigismund Malatesta and Alfons V of Aragon , work until 1457.
  • Argonautica : only preserved in fragments; Basionio died while working on the work (1457).