chapter  2
Poetry and Patria
Pages 18

Sannazaro wrote the Libro pastorale intitolato Archadio while he was one of Maio's pupils and for a courtly audience that praised Tuscan culture and considered Maio as a mentor and an authority. Conversely, Arcadia inscribes the decline of Maio's influence on the author as well as his conversion to Latin poetry and Pontano's ideas. Highly selective and exclusively devoted to the study of Latin, astrology and natural philosophy, on the contrary, Pontano looked on vernacular poets with a certain degree of aloofness, which emerges from the descriptions of poets such as that found in the conclusion of his dialog Antonius. The central role played by Pontano in Sannazaro's identity strategy, moreover, further demonstrates the impact of the poet from Umbria on the literary scene of Naples. While it also foreshadows the crucial role Sannazaro would later play at least in Pontano's intentions in receiving and preserving his mentor's legacy.