Cino da Pistoia

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Lectura Codicis, 1st half of the 14th century, Norwegian National Library, Schøyen Collection 209/04

Cino da Pistoia , with full name Guittoncino di Francesco dei Sigisbuldi (or Sighibuldi , Sinibuldi , Sinibaldi ), Latin Cynus or Cinus de Sigibuldis de Pistorio , Cinus Pistoriensis (* around 1270 probably in Pistoia ; † December 24, 1336 or January 27 1337 in Pistoia) was an Italian lawyer and poet from one of the noblest families of Pistoia.

Biography and legal career

Cino studied civil law in Bologna with Dinus de Rossonis Mugellanus and Franciscus Acursii, one of Accursius' sons . Studies in Orléans have also been suspected, but there is no evidence of it. After passing the private exam, but without completing a doctorate or doctorate, Cino probably returned to Pistoia in 1300/1301. Cinos family belonged to the "black" faction of the Guelphs, loyal to the Pope , which part he himself took in the escalating party struggles in Tuscany at the time is not known. In May 1301 the faction of the "whites" succeeded in driving the representatives of the blacks out of Pistoia, who then allied themselves with the other, meanwhile black-dominated cities of Tuscany and with Charles of Valois , who was called to support by Pope Boniface VIII waged a five-year war for their return. Cino, too, had to leave his hometown in 1303 and could not return until 1306 after Pistoia surrendered to Moroello Malaspina , Margrave of Lunigiana , after an eleven month siege . In the following years Cino put himself in the service of the imperial party and operated 1310-1313 as assessor Ludwig II of Savoy the matter of the Luxemburgers Heinrich VII. After the death of the emperor († August 24th 1313), which he in his Guido Novello directed canzone Da poi che la natura ha posto fine (no. 163) lamented Cino resumed his studies again in Bologna. He received his doctorate legum on December 9, 1314 in Bologna and in the same year published his main legal work, the Lectura Codicis , a commentary on the Codex Iustinianus , with which he added to the legal school of " commentators " that started in France (Orléans) in Italy Asserted itself.

In the following years, Cino practiced as Assessor of the Podestà of Siena (1314-1315), where he also served as Syndic (1318/19), and as legal advisor and assessor to the papal Rector of the Mark Ancona in Macerata and Camerino (1320-1321) . On September 29, 1321 he began teaching at the University of Siena for a salary of 200 gold florins , which he continued until 1323 and after a short stay in Florence (November 1323 to April 1324) for an increased salary of 280 florins from autumn 1324 to 1326 continued. In addition to this teaching activity, he also remained active as a practitioner with advice and expert opinions. At the end of 1326 he moved to Perugia , first as legal advisor to the municipality and then from 1328 to 1330 as professor of civil law with additional teaching assignments. The salary was slightly lower in the beginning than before in Siena (250 floriners for the ordinariate, 25 florins for an additional commission). During this time, Bartolus de Saxoferrato, then fourteen, began his studies in Perugia and became a student of cinemas. After a stay in Naples in 1330 or 1331, where he gave lectures at the invitation of Robert von Anjou , and a renewed stay in Florence (1332), Cino taught again in Perugia (1332-1333) and then in Bologna (1333-1334). In 1334 he returned to Pistoia and was elected Gonfaloniere there, but did not take up the office.

Cino was married to Margherita di Lanfranco degli Ughi, who also belonged to a well-known family from Pistoia. The connection resulted in a son and four daughters.

His grave is in the cathedral of Pistoia, adorned with a marble tomb by Agostino di Giovanni , which is one of the most important sculptures of the Italian late Gothic period.

Cino as a poet

Cino belonged to a milieu of widely learned jurists and medical professionals who were also versed in vernacular poetry, who had a center in Bologna in the second half of the 13th century and which radiated the culture of all of northern Italy and Tuscany. 20 canzons , 11 ballads and 134 sonnets by Cino have survived , plus several poems for which the attribution is doubtful.

His poetry is predominantly love poetry in the manner of the Dolce Stil Novo , trained in the models of the Occitan Trobador poetry and the Sicilian school of poetry , and thematically centered around the power of Cupid , with Cino to a lesser extent than Guido Cavalcanti or Dante attaching importance to difficulty of expression and philosophical Exaggeration of the topic sets. The lady whom he sings about in many of his poems as Selvaggia (meaning "wild, untamed, cruel") and whose death he sings in the kanzone Oimè, lasso, quelle trezze bionde (No. 123) and the sonnet Io fu '' n su l'alto e 'n sul beato monte (no. 124), people mostly wanted to identify with a daughter of Lippo or Filippo Vergiolesi, a leader of the whites of Pistoia, who moved to his mountain fort Sambuca after the defeat of 1306 (1309 sold to the municipality of Pistoia) withdrew: this is where the "beato monte" ("blessed mountain"), the "aspri monti" ("rough mountains") and "duri sassi" ("hard rock") are located , which Cino sings about as the scene of Selvaggia's death and later mourning.

The letter poems and tenzones that Cino exchanged with other poets of his time play a significant role in his work . Among his correspondents are Onesto degli Onesti (called Onesto da Bologna, No. 132-136), a Cacciamonte (No. 137), Picciòlo da Bologna (No. 138), Mula da Pistoia (also Mula de 'Muli, No. 139), Bernardo da Bologna (no. 140, 170), Gherarduccio da Bologna (no. 141–144), Meuccio (probably Meo dei Tolomei , no. 145), Gherardo da Reggio (no. 146), Cecco d'Ascoli (No. 147), Guelfo Taviani (No. 148–149), Binduccio da Firenze (No. 150) and Marino Ceccoli (No. 162), but also the two Tuscan spokesmen for Dolce Stil Novo, Guido Cavalcanti (No. 131 ) and Dante (No. 125–130, cf. 164).

Cino and Guido Cavalcanti

Cino's Sonnet to Cavalcanti (No. 131) is the sharp answer to an accusation of plagiarism that is not preserved in Cavalcanti's work itself. The words Cinos coined on Cavalcanti “ch'io non sono artista, / né cuopro mia ignoranza con disdegno, / ancor che 'l mondo guardi pur la vista” (131.9–11; “that I am not an artist [ie not a member of the Artistenfakultät ], / and also not cover up my ignorance with arrogance, / although the world only pays attention to external appearances ”) one has sometimes evaluated in Dante research as an allusion to Dante's much-puzzled verses, with which Dante himself in the inferno towards Cavalcanti's father distanced from a “sdegno” (arrogance, contempt) of the son ( Inf. 10,61–63).

Cino and Dante

For Dante, among the poets he addressed, Cino was first and foremost the “friend”, next to the “primo amico” Cavalcanti. In his work De vulgari eloquentia , written during the first years of Dante's exile (around 1304), Dante cites Cino and “his friend”, that is, himself, as outstanding examples of “sweet and subtle” poetry in the vernacular ( qui dulcius et subtilius poetati vulgariter sunt Dve I, x, 2). It is there that he pays tribute to Cino as an exemplary representative of Italian love poetry ( Dve II, ii, 9), while Dante himself (the "amicus eius" ) by distinguishing between the three main genres of vernacular poetry - divided into the hierarchically ascending subject areas of struggle, love and virtue ) as a representative of the highest genus in the genre hierarchy , poetry about ethical-moral "rectitudo" .

The relationship between Dante and Cino could go back to a possible study visit by Dante in Bologna (1287?) Or it could have started earlier. The authorship is uncertain and today mostly no longer attributed to Cino, but to Terino da Castelfiorentino , the sonnet Naturalmente chere ogni amadore , to be added around 1283/84 , which, in addition to Cavalcanti's and Dante da Maiano's answers to the answer sonnets to that of Dante, later became the first sonnet in the Vita nova (cap. III) recorded A ciascun'alma presa e gentil core heard: the latter Dante had submitted to the “famosi trovatori” (“famous poets”) of his time in order to obtain their judgment on the dream vision described therein, and with the He also begins his friendship with Cavalcanti. On the other hand, a canzone on the death of Dante's Beatrice (no. 125), which is to be assigned to around 1290, is certainly to be attributed to Cino.

There are also three alternations of sonnets by Cino and Dante. The first (No. 126–127; Dante: Rime 94–96) probably also dates back to the time before the turn of the century (1298?). In terms of content, the other two belong to the time of Cinos exile. In one case (No. 128; Dante: Rime 111) Dante had prefixed his answer with a Latin letter ( Epist. III), which apostrophized both the recipient and the sender as political exiles and therefore in the period from 1303 to 1306 originated. In the other case (nos. 129–130; Dante: Rime 113–114) Dante had responded to a sonnet addressed by Cino to Moroello Malaspina, first in the name of the margrave and then in his own name. This change could also have occurred after 1306, since the subject of exile given in Cino's answer poem could also be meant in a figurative sense. This presumably last correspondence already expresses an alienation on the part of Dante when he rebukes the "changeable heart" ( volgibile cor ) Cinos in Malaspina's name and not only distances himself from the earlier common practice of love poetry, but also with it concludes the counsel that Cino should submit his frivolous heart to the discipline of virtue, “so that deeds may coincide with sweet words” ( sì che s'accordi i fatti a 'dolci detti ).

As partisans of Henry VII, both pursued a common political goal at times, but Dante did not mention Cino in his works, not even in the Commedia , which otherwise pays tribute to numerous living and deceased poet colleagues. It is therefore assumed that he disapproved of Cinos political resignation and the change of attitude after Heinrich's death. Nevertheless, Cino dedicated the canzone Su per la costa, Amor, de l'alto monte (no.164) to the death of his former friend . However, three sonnets critical of Dante are also preserved ( In verità questo libel di Dante , Infra gli altri difetti del libello = No. 186 and Messer Bosone, lo vostro Manoello ), for which the attribution to Cino was long considered doubtful, but more recently was again endorsed by LC Rossi (1988).

Cino and Boccaccio

It is possible, but not proven, that Cino met Boccaccio during his stay in Naples (1330–1331) . But he was at least familiar with Cinema’s poetry. He quotes his canzone La dolce vista e 'l bel guardo soave (No. 111) in the fifth canto of his Il Filostrato (V, 62-65), which was also written in Naples four years later (around 1335 ), and he leaves Cino by Filostrato in the preface to the fourth day of the Decameron together with Guido Cavalcanti and Dante as examples of honorable lovers who dealt with love affairs at an advanced age.

Cino and Petrarch

Cino gained importance as a literary role model, especially for Petrarch , even if the two did not meet personally. In his Canzoniere Petrarca laments the death of "'l nostro amoroso messer Cino" in a sonnet of its own ( RVF 92), and in the sonnet of Sennuccio del Bene († 1349) he tells the deceased, in the Venusian sky of great lovers (circumscribed as "La terza spera" ) to send greetings to the late poet colleagues Guittone d'Arezzo († 1294), "messer Cino", Dante and Franceschino degli Albizzi († 1348) ( RVF 287). Together with these and other poets as well as Beatrice, Cino and his Selvaggia are also mentioned in the Trionfi Petrarch ( Triumphus Cupidinis IV, 31–32). The most subtle appreciation can be found in the canzone Lasso me, ch'i 'non so in qual parte pieghi ( RVF 70), in Petrarch in the closing verse of each stanza a great poetic model and in the closing stanza himself: there, apart from Arnaut, Daniel is quoted (or a poem erroneously attributed to it), Guido Cavalcanti and Dante also cited Cino with his canzone La dolce vista e 'l bel guardo soave (No. 111), namely in the penultimate stanza, which is a preference in the gradation of the quotations Cinos versus the other three implied.


The asteroid (36446) Cinodapistoia , discovered on August 22, 2000, was named after him in 2005.


  • Text of the rime in: Mario Marti (Ed.): Poeti del Dolce stil nuovo. Le Monnier, Florence 1969, pp. 431-923.
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Web links

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