chapter  5
Written in the Stars
Pages 28

The book seeks to ground the results of formal analysis in the precision of microhistory, and to rethink the study of poetry within the condition of cultural pluralism that marks the goals and achievements of many other Early Modern European endeavors. Here, De Divitiis has recently argued, translates visually the etymology of Pontano's name from the Latin word pons, that is, bridge, thus proudly restating the Umbrian origins of the poet's family. As if throwing metaphorical bridges across individuals and traditions, Pontano negotiated a difficult compromise among Tuscany, Naples and the Papal States during the diplomatic crisis of 1486. It discusses his philosophical works, and especially De rebus coelestibus, pursues a difficult synthesis of contrasting sources such as Aristotle, Ptolemy and Cicero. Additional fragments of Pontano's multifaceted legacy are still visible in the elegant chapel in Via dei Tribunali, where the old poet used to mourn his beloved wife and held the last meetings of his prestigious academy.