Commentary Notes

spacerDedicatory epistle ut ille ait Menander, Sententiae 313, Ἡ πενία δ' ἀγνώμονάς γε τοὺς πολλοὺς ποιεῖ.

spacerPlinius iunior ita gratum olim fuisse ait Epistulae III.xi.3.

spacerSiquidem Cherlius ab Alexandro Choerilus was a poet of small ability in Alexander's retinue. The quote is Horace, Epistulae II.i.233f. (the “Philips” were Macedoniang gold coinage).

spaceret Corneliorum monumento demum inferri, non fuit dedignatus Cicero, Pro Archia xxii.2

spacerin magnis et voluisse satis A Latin proverb originating in Tibullus III.vii.7.

spacerPoem 1 William Bloumt. fourth Baron Mountjoy [d. 1534] was a pupil and friend of Erasmus and befriended such figures as Colet, More, and Grocyn. It was at his invitation that his former teacher made his first visit to England, in 1499. He did much to sponsor the New Learning in England and in his recent Henry, Virtuous Prince (London, 2008) p. 175, David Starkey not unreasonably suggests that it was at his intervention that John Skelton was replaced as tutor to the future Henry VIII by the Humanistically-trained John Holt. It is therefore no surprise that he recognized Ammonio’s value and sponsored him.
spacerMeter: hendecasyllables.

spacer1.2 Nereus = the ocean.

spacer1.5 Neo-Latin poets frequently identify their patrons with Augustus’ friend Maecenas, the patron of such poets as Horace and Vergil. But the comparison may be especially apt here, since, in a way, Mountjoy did stand in something the same kind of relation to Henry VII as Maecenas had to Augustus.

spacer1.34 In calling God a figulus, Ammonio was possibly thinking of the Demiurge in Plato’s Timaeus.

spacer1.37f. These lines seem problematic: a.) we have already been told that God “decorated the heavens with various fires” in line 29, so that this statement appears repetitious; 2.) the connection of celestial fires and human woes and diseases is difficult to grasp.

spacer1.48 Agenor was the mythical ancestor of the Phoenicians (and more particularly of the Carthaginians). In this statement Sparta stands for Greece as a whole.

spacer1.54 This is no place to go into the long history of the confusion of Goths and Geats.

spacer1.62 It was an article of faith among Scottish historians of the time (such as Hector Boece in his Scotorum Historia I.6) that the Scots had migrated from Spain to Ireland, and thence to Scotland.

spacer1.64 Mt. Hybla in Sicily was famous in antiquity for the quality of its honey.

spacer1.65 Stlavus is an orthographic variant of Sclavus otherwise attested.

spacerPoem 2 This is a largley autobiographical poem: Ammon obviously stands for Ammonio himself, and Lycus is at least an idealized version of an Italian Humanistic immigrant more recently arrived in England. This poem should be read against the background of the remarks by Polydore Vergil about bad conditions in contemporary Italy and the consequent influx of immigant Humanists into Northern Europe and England cited and quoted in the Introduction. This poem was written while Henry VII was still on the throne, in the last years of his reign, when he was contemplating participating in a campaign against the Turks.
spacerPizzi (p. 58) identifed Lycus as Pietro Vanni [Peter Vannes, d. 1563], some kind of kinsman of Ammonio from Lucca, who served as Latin secretary to Wolsey and went on to enjoy a career as an English diplomat. But this identification seems insupportable since, according to L. E. Hunt’s O. D. N. B. biography of Vannes, Ammonio did not bring his relative to England until 1513, two years after the appearance of the present volume.
spacerThis eclogue was reprinted in the anthology Bucolicorum Auctores (Basel, 1546).
spacerMeter: dactylic hexameters.

spacer2.10 Hymen was the Roman god of Marriage. Iacchus was a Greek epithet of Dionysius (i. e., Bacchus).

spacer2.15 Tethys was a Greek sea-goddess.

spacer2.39 The Tiber was subject to periodic flooding. A particularly bad example had occurred in 1495. Cf. Leoniceno’s 1497 epigram:

Tempore Alexandri sexto nonisque Decembris
spacerIntumuit Thybris bis senas circiter ulnas.
Insula quaeque domus facta est, mediisque repente
spacerCircundata vis aequabat cymba fenestras.
Deucalion eo vix tantum tempore tellus
spacerSiluvium passa est, latuit cum tota subundis.

[“In the time of Pope Alexander VI, on the 5th of December, the Tiber rose about a dozen arm-lengths. Each house became an island, and suddenly in them iddle of the streets a boat brought around reached the height of the windows. Scarcely so much land was flooded at the time when Deucalion survived a flood that submerged everything.”]

(Quoted and translated by Robert Sallares, Malaria and Rome: a history of malaria in ancient Italy, Oxford, 2002, p. 122.)

spacer2.51f. He would do, in other words, what Odysseus is said to have done in the proem to the Odyssey.

spacer2.70 From Vergil's Eclogue i.66 (et penitus toto divisos orbe Britannos) to Shakespeares "this emerald isle" speech in Richard II, Britian and its inhabitants been written of as being cut off from the world, or as existing as a separate one.

spacer2.72 He was standing in front of Augustus’ Ara Pacis at Rome.

spacer2.84 Ditia regna may be poetic plural-for-singular, or Ammonio may have been thinking of Scotland as well as England.

spacer2.85 Plana might have struck an English reader as a strange adjective to apply to his country, but, at least if you overlook Wales, England indeed is relatively flat in comparison with Italy.

spacer2.96 “Pagasian” = “Thracian,” and of course refers to Jason (the next line refers to Medea, whom he brought back from Phasis on the Black sea, together with the Golden Fleece, the object of this comparison).

spacer2.110 The Napaeae were a kind of wood-nymph, not very different from Dryads.

spacer2.114 He means tin and lead.

spacer2.128 Cynthius = Apollo (the sun).

spacer2.138 Cf. Vergil, Eclogue i.25f.:

verum haec tantum alias inter caput extulit urbes
quantum lenta solent inter viburna cupressi.

spacer2.142 Nestor is the eloquent old king of Pylos in the Iliad. Because of his advanced age, “the years of Nestor” became proverbial, one which Ammonio repeatedly invokes in his poetry.

spacer2.143 Marcus Atilius Regulus. A general and consul captured by the Carthaginians during the First Punic War, he was sent to Rome on parole to negotiate a peace settlement, but strongly urged the Roman Senate to refuse the proposals and continue the war. Honoring his parole, he returned to Carthage and was executed.

spacer2.144 Three Roman generals, all named Publius Decius Mus, died fighting for their nation.

spacer2.145 Codrus was a legendary early king of Athens.

spacer2.150ff. Ammonio understood the English mentality very well: he praises Henry for having raised up commoners, but, aware that such earlier kings as Edward II and Richard II had made themselves hugely unpopular by surrounding themselves with base-born favorites, hastenes to add that Henry put strict limits on the amount of power he was willing to allow such “new men.”

spacer2.155 Both Athena’s shield and aegis were tradionally thought to have been decorated with a gorgon’s head.

spacer2.157 The reference is of course to Henry’s defeat of Richard III at Bosworth Field.

spacer2.159ff. Henry’s rule had been challenged by two pretenders claiming to be the sons of Edward IV (killed by Richard III in the Tower), Lambert Simnel and Perkin Warbeck. The latter of these was ultimately hanged.

spacer2.164ff. Henry defeated Perkin Warbeck’s Irish supporters and also the men of Cornwall who marched on his behalf, but were abjectly routed.

spacer2.180 Henry’s daughter Margaret was married to James IV of Scotland, and was the mother of the future James V.

spacer2.182ff. Given the time at which this poem was written, the son in question must be Henry, not Arthur, who had died in 1502. But, although Arthur did have a distinct facial resemblance to his father, despite what Ammonio says here Henry looked much more like his grandfather Edward IV.

spacer2.187 In 1507 Henry’s daughter Mary was betrothed to Charles of Castile, the future Emperor Charles V. But she wound up marrying Louis XII of France instead.

spacer2.192 “Both Spains” because Aragon and Castile were still separate kingdoms.

spacer2.196 The Seventeen Provinces of Flanders had passed into Habsburg hands in 1482, when Mary I of Valois, Duchess of Burgundy, married the Emperor Maximilian I.

spacer2.198 In actualy the Paeones were a a Slavic or Illyrian people living in Macedonia (see John Shea, Macedonia and Greece, the Struggle to Define a New Balkan Nation, Jefferson N. C., 1997, 51f., but some ancient writers such as the historian Appian (The Illyrian Wars § 14) identified them with the Pannonians, the ancient occupants of Austria and Hungary (Pannonia was ceded to the Huns by Theodosius II in the fifth century).

spacer2.205 The allusion is to Charles’ namesake Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, who had comprehensively defeated the French under Louis XI in the War of the Public Weal (1465). Mary’s betrothed was the son of Philip I of Castile, who had died at a young age in 1506.

spacer2.215 Charles’ grandfather was the Emperor Maximilian I.

spacer2.218 Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius.

spacer2.231 This seems like a very diplomatic allusion to Henry VII’s extreme avarice.

spacer2.232 See the note on 2.142.

spacer2.233 The Sibyl of Cumae encountered by Aeneas in Book VI of the Aeneid.

spacer2.235ff. During the final years of his life, the Pope was calling for a new Crusade to counter Ottoman expansion, and Henry indicated his willingness to participate. See Gladys Temperley, Henry VII (Boston, 1914) 361ff.

spacerPoem 3 Henry VII died on 21 April, 1509. Meter: elegiac couplets.

spacer3.2f. Gashing the cheeks, tearing the hair, and beating the breasts were traditional womens’ acts of public mourning in Greece and other Mediterranean societies.

spacer3.28 Here too (as at 2.184) Ammonio maintains the fiction that there was a facial resemblance between Henry VIII and his father.

spacer3.30 Henry’s forces had been greatly outnumbered at Bosworth Field.

spacer3.53 “Bistonian” = Thracian (i. e., the lyre of Orpheus). The reference is doubtless to Henry’s ability as a lutenist.

spacer3.56 Achilles.

spacer3.70 His lips are as red as the rose of Lancaster.

spacer3.72 Romulus was supposed to have been a son of Mars.

spacer3.81 As noted at Erasmus, Poems, translated by Clarence H. Milller, edited and annotetged by Harry Vredeveld (Collected Works of Erasmus, vols. 85, 86) II.447, these lines imitate lines from Erasmus Ode de Laudibus Britanniae Regisque Henrici Septimi,

Indulgens aliis, sibi nil permittit, habenas
spacerSuis relaxans civibus, stringit sibi.

spacer3.93 Astraea, the Roman goddess of justice, is supposed to have lived on earth during the Golden Age of Saturn, but abandoned the it out of disgust for Man's bad dealings (Ovid, Metamorphoses I.150, etc.). Despite what was said about Henry VII in the first part of this poem, this statement at least offers a hint that all was not well during his reign.

spacer3.99f. The same wish that was expressed at 2.232f.

spacerPoem 4 Henry VIII married Catharine of Aragon on 11 June, 1509.
spacerMeter: glyconics (Pizzi p. 59 asserted that this poem is modeled after Catullus lxi, but Ammonio’s imitation consists more of the selection of the same meter for his epithalamium than of any detailed imitation of that poem).

spacer4.4 See the note on 2.10.

spacer4.11 Juno is invoked because the marriage occurred in June.

spacer4.14 Hippotades = Aeolus.

spacer4.23 Panchaea = Arabia, where the fabulous Phoenix makes its nest.

spacer4.41 Father Thames holds a “refluent urn” because, by the time it reaches London, the Thames has become a tidal estuary.

spacer4.46 See the note on 2.15.

spacer4.52f. Lucina was the Roman goddess of childbirth.

spacer4.61 It was a Roman tradition to sing bawdy verses at weddings. They were called “Fescennine“ after Fescennia, a town of ancient Etruria where the custom supposedly originated.

spacer4.64f. Catharine was the daughter of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella of Castile.

spacerPoem 5 Richard Foxe [d. 1528] was Bishop of Winchester and Keeper of the Privy Seal. He was one of Henry VII’s chief supporters and advisors, and played a similar role under Henry VIII until eclipsed by Wolsey. He was also an enthusiastic supporter of learning: besides founding Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and a couple of schools, he was responsible for bringing to England such Humanists as Bernard André (see the note on Poem 25) and Juan Luis Vives. In this poem Ammonio applies for his patronage, and from the subsequent poems addressed to Foxe in this collection it is tolerably clear that his suit was successful.
spacerMeter: elegiac couplets.

spacer5.1 In Greek and Roman mythology, the twin brothers Castor and Pollux, sons of Leda, were worshiped as gods who helped shipwrecked sailors and who brought favorable winds for those who made sacrifices to them.

spacer5.10 St. Elmo's fire is a phenomenon that occurs during certain stormy weather conditions. It appears as a glow on the top of tall pointed objects, such as the masts of ships, and is often accompanied by a cracking noise. When stars appeared on the heads of Castor and Pollux during the voyage of the Argonauts, the twins became the special patrons of sailors. From that time, sailors believed that St. Elmo's fire was actually Castor and Pollux coming to protect them during a storm.

spacer5.18 To the Greeks and Romans, Scythia was a distant land far to the north (Ammonio of course means he was obliged to cross the Alps).

spacerPoem 6 Written on the death of John, Lord Greystoke at Havering-atte-Bower, age 21, on 17 August 1508: see. G. E. Cokayne, The Complete Peerage (edd. V. Gibbs and H. A. Doubleday, London, 1910 - 49) VI.201f. (note).
spacerMeter: elegiac couplets.

spacer6.16ff. It is just as well that Ammonio regarded death by the “sweating sickness” (evidently a virulent form of influenza) as an easy way to go, for this was the death he himself was destined to die.

spacerPoem 7 Meter: 1 dactylic hexameter + 1 iambic dimeter.

spacer7.56 Aemilius Papinianus, known as Papinian, was one of the great Roman jurists.

spacerPoem 8 Thomas Ruthall [d. 1523] was created Bishop of Durham in 1509 and served as Secretary to both Henry VII and Henry VIII, in which capacity he performed valuable diplomatic service. The MODO in the title of this poem suggests it was written soon after his installation. This poem, like Poem 5, is an application for patronage. The following poem suggests that this appeal was also successful. Poem 8 also appears to cast new light on Ruthall’s personality by showing him to be an extravagant luxury-lover. The diocese of Durham was a palatine state and the occupant of this see was a kind of semi-independent Prince Bishop.
spacerMeter: hendecasyllables.

spacer8.6 See the note on 2.142.

spacer8.10 My assumption is that Ammonio’s use of suplinas is according to Oxford Latin Dictionary def. 2 (c.), “(of a stream) flowing against its natural direction, i. e. towards its source,” i. e., if he spends money in supporting Ammonio he will be amply repaid for his investment.

spacer8.27 Orpheus.

spacer8.44 The Attalids of Pergamum were one of the successor-dynasties that inherited the empire of Alexander the Great. They were proverbial for their luxury.

spacer8.45 Here pectine does not designate a comb, but rather the reed of a loom.

spacerPoem 9 Although at this time the English calendar year began on March 25, it was nevertheless a custom to exchange New Year’s gifts on January 1. Poets would often accompany their gifts, or use as a substitute for an actual gift, a poem written for the occasion (strena).
spacerMeter: hendecasyllables.

spacer9.4 Phasis, a Greek city on the Black Sea, was known for its pheasants, to the extent that it gave them their name. The pheasant is called “impious” because it is an expensive dish that attracts the attention of gluttons (see Philostratus, Life of Apollonius of Tyana VIII.vii.4)

spacerPoem 10 One of Henry VII’s enthusiasms was his attempt to persuade Rome to canonize Henry VI. See John W. McKenna, “Piety and Propaganda: The Cult of King Henry VI,” in Beryl Rowland (ed.), Chaucer and Middle English Studiesi n Honour of rossel Hope Robbins (London, 1974) 72 - 88, and “D. H.”’s note at The Gentleman’s Magazine 57:2 (1787) 1113 - 4 (read it here). Some literature of the time is written as if the canonization were a fait accompli, (for example Henry’s poet laureate Bernard André in his De Vita atque Gestis Henrici Septimi Historia, § 19) and the prayers to Henry in a Sarum Book of Hours printed by Wynkyn de Worde in 1502, pp. 124f. This poem might be another such example, where Ammoio is fictively writing as if it were the day upon which Henry’s sainthood was made official (or at least on the day it was announced in England), but he may have written it in anticipation that it could be read aloud in public when the great day arrived. For, being composed in the same meter, it bears a conspicuous resemblance to Horace’s Carmen Saeculare, written for performance on the day Augustus’ Altar of Peace was consecrated (this was noted byPizzi p. 64).
spacerMeter: Sapphic stanzas.

spacer10.9 Thetis = the sea.

spacer10.76 Henry VI was actually only nine months old at the time of his father’s death (the Latin bimulus would appear to be the result of the Roman “inclusive” means of counting time).

spacer10.113ff. It was commonly believed that Henry was murdered by Edward IV’s brother Richard Duke of Gloucester (the future Richard III).

spacer10.125ff. See The Miracles of King Henry VI: Being an Account and Translation of Twenty-three Miracles Taken from the Manuscript in the British Museum (Royal 13 c.viii), ed. Ronald Know and Shane Leslie (Cambridge U. K., 1923). This was a document drawn up at the behest of Henry VII to support the effort to procure his canonization.

spacer10.142ff. “Henry...suggested to Ferdinand that he might send an army of the renowned English bowmen to help him against the Moors...and it was believed that a force of English bowmen could in a few years conquer the whole of Africa” (Temperley p. 362).
spacer“Canopus” = Egypt.

spacer10.150f. From 1485 until 1551, England was periodically ravaged by outbreaks of the virulent epidemic disease known as the “sweating sickness” or the “English sweat.”

spacerPoem 11 “Canicida” means “Dog-Killer.” According to Pizzi p. 64, Il carme ha un significato allegorico. Il destriero generoso è lo stesso poeta,, i cani ringhioso che sonolo da lui colpiti e abbattuti sono i suoi avversari maligni. But the allegorical value of the poem really has to do with the character of the king himself: the horse behaves just like the lion-like English of Poem 13, in that he is affable when unprovoked, but terrible when roused. Canicida is also described in connection with the 1511 tournament held to celebrate the birth of Henry’s son Prince Henry of Cornwall, in The Great Chronicle of London (edd. A. H. Thomas and I. D. Thornley, London, 1937) p. 370, and Ammonio’s poem allows us to make sense of a remark in Elyot’s Boke of the Governour (ed. H. H. S. Croft, London, 1883) I.181, “But the most honorable excersise, in myne opinion, and that besemethe the astate of euery noble person, is to ryde suerly and clene on a great horse and a roughe ...daunting a fierce and cruell beaste .. a stronge and hardy horse dothe some tyme more damage under his maister than he with his waipen ... with his fete and tethe betyng downe and destroyenge many enemies.”
spacer Meter: elegiac couplets.

spacer11.4 The “Libyan beast” is of course a lion.

spacer11.10 Dictynna = Diana.

spacerPoem 12 The subject of this poem cannot be identified: the only member of the Italian colony in England with whom Ammonio is known to have been on bad terms was Polydore Vergil, but their quarrel rose later, when they competed for the position of papal collector of Peter’s Pence in 1514.
spacerMeter: hendecasyllables.

spacer12.5 The phrase croceo...luto echoes Vergil, Eclogue iv.44, iam croceo mutabit fellera luto, and Ammonio means to indicate that these three kinsmen are wastrels. Cf. Bruce Thornton, “A Note on Vergil Eclogue 4.42 - 5,” American Journal of Philology 109, p. 227, who interprets this passage:

Although greed is missing from Vergil’s passage, luxury certainly is emphasized: murice is the distinctive purple derived from the murex shall-fish, a color that was “a commonplace for expensive self-indulgence”; luto and croceo, “yellow,” could suggest gold. These two colors, along with sandyx, “scarlet,” evoke the extrme luxury often the object of Iron Age greed.

spacerPoem 13 Pizzi p. 15 identifies “Griphus” as Piero Griffo of Pisa, a papal tax-collecter who was in England in 1506 and 1509 - 12. This anti-French poem was not provoked by any contemporary event. England had not had any serious military encounter with France since the signing of the 1492 Treaty of Étaples, and would not again until Henry VIII’s invasion of 1513, leading to his victory at the Battle of the Spurs and capture of Thérouanne in 1513.
spacerMeter: iambic trimeters.

spacerPoem 14 Beginning with is accession to the throne, rumors were flying that Henry VIII intended to invade France. In an attempt to dissuade him, the French sent Antoine Bouchier, Abbot of Fécamp, on a 1509 mission to urge Henry to abide by existing treaties with France. In the following year Bouchier returned with two other representatives to England, bringing with them chests full of silver to bribe Henry into abandoning his supposed project, and the plural legatos in line 3 makes it seem that this poem was written in connection with his second visit. According to Ammonio, they were given a warm reception, but the abbot’s own disposition was such that his English hosts got the idea he was out of sympathy with the purpose of his mission. (1 canebas suggests that Bouchier wrote an unfriendly poem about Anglo-French relationships, in the same way that an earlier French ambassador, Robert Gaguin, had provoked the English with a similar poem: see Bernard André, De Vita atque Gestis Henrici Septimi Historia § 59 and also David Carlson, “Politicizing Tudor Court Literature: Gaguin’s Embassy and Henry VII's Humanists’ Response,” Studies in Philology 85 (1988) 279 - 304.
spacerMeter: elegiac couplets.

spacer14.6 Assuerus is the Hebrew equivalent of Xerxes. Cleopatra is “that disgrace of Lagus,” because in her the dynasty founded by Alexander’s general Ptolemy son of Lagus came to an end.

spacerPoem 15 Meter: iambic dimeters.

spacer15.42ff. For these wishes see the note on 2.142 and the note on 2.243.

spacerPoem 16 Luigi Marliano of Milan, a friend and correspondent of Erasmus, was a Humanist of broad accomplishments. He served as court physician to the Dukes of Milan, then to the Emperor Maximilian, Philip the Fair, and the Emperor Charles V, and is supposed to have been an intimate familiar of the latter. Eventually he became the absentee Bishop of Tuy, and is chiefly remembered as the designer of the columnar plus ultra device of Charles. He published his philosophical treatise Sylva Fortunae at Breschia in 1503. More information about Marliano is provided by Earl E. Rosenthal, “The Invention of the Columnar Device of Empror Charles V at the Court of Burgundy in Flanders in 1516,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 36 (1973) 198 - 230.
spacerMeter: hendecasyllables.

spacerPoem 17 John Colet, Dean of St. Paul’s [1467 - 1519], an important figure in the rise of English Humanism, planned and funded the re-foundation of St. Paul’s school, where the grammarian William Lilly would be the first headmaster and exert an enormous influence on the future of English Latinity.
spacerMeter: hendecasyllables.

spacer17.15 Falernian was highly prized wine in antiquity.

spacerPoem 18 Colet had begun his work of founding the School in 1508, although it did not open its doors until 1512. Evidently he had alaready found an appropriate statue for its decoration.
spacerMeter: glyconics.

spacer18.11 Britain, named after its eponymous founder, the Trojan refugee Brutus.

spacerPoem 19 According to Pizzi p. 67, In questo carme è celebrata l’abilita nel maneggio della armi e nell’equitazione di Enrico VII, but surely this is a description of the young Henry VIII, who dearly loved jousting.
spacerMeter: elegiac couplets.

spacer19.7 Pizzi p. 67 is perhaps right to think that this line refers to Hercules, but Ammonio’s allusions are uncharastically far-fetched and diffult to decipher. Mt. Haemus was a mountain in Thrace, and Hercules had Thracian associations insofar as he defeated the man-eating mares of the Thracian king Diomedes as his twelfth labor, and in later antiquity Thrace was occupied by Goths (a people, as we have already seen, frequently confused with Geats). But it might be easer to think Ammonius was thinking of the Emperor Claudius II Gothicus, so-called because he had won an important battle over the Goths at Thracian Nassos, and was subsequently deified. This might dovetail better with the second half of this question, since Athena’s only son was Erichthonius, an early mythical king of Athens: “He looks like a Roman emperor or a Greek king.”

spacerPoem 20 Meter: hendecasyllables.

spacerPoem 21 Poems 21 and 22 are printed by Pizzi as his Appendix I (pp. 71 - 73). Poem 21 is addressed to Niccolo Tegrimi [Nicolaus Tegrimus or Tygrinus, d. 1527], a prolific Lucca Humanist. It was printed among the gratulatory verses at the front of the 1742 Lucca edition of Tygrinus’ Vita Castrucii Antiminelli Lucensis Ducis, but not, of course, in the editio princeps of that work (Modena, 1496). Among his many works were two published speeches he had written pledging his city’s fealty to a newly-elected pope, his 1492 Oratio pro obedientia ad Alexandrum VI papam praestanda and his 1503 Oratio per obedientia praestanda, Oratio pro obedientia pr[a]estanda Pio III, pont. max. Senensi : non habita, sed composita. Later in the same year he must have written and delivered a similar speech on the accession of Julius II, although this one was not published.
spacerMeter: hendeasyllables.

spacer21.21 Although the thought is not so clearly expressed here, Ammonio is repeating the idea of 8.23ff.:

Et mentis memor illa vis tenacis,
Qua leges populi potentis olim
Et decreta patrum tenes sacrorum spacer
Sed tamquam articulos tuos et ungues.

[“...and the power of your retentive memory is such that you are as familiar with the laws once enacted by your mighty people and the decretals of the holy Fathers as with your own fingers and fingernails. ”]

spacer21.48 The civic crown, a chaplet of oak leaves, was a high decoration for Roman citizens, second only to a triumph. It was only awarded for the saving of a Roman life in battle: is there a hint here that Tygrinus’ diplomatic speech had averted catastrophe for Lucca?

spacerPoem 22 This poem, found in a letter from Ammonio to Erasmus dated 27 October 11 (Allen nr. 236), is written in a response to a flattering iambic poem written to him by Erasmus in a letter from Cambridge of ca. October 20 (Allen nr. 234).
spacerMeter: iambic trimeters.

spacerPoems 23 and 24 These two gratulatory epigrams were published by Gilbert Tournoy, “The Unrecorded Poetical Production of Andreas Ammonius,” Humanistica Lovaniensia 37 (1988) 255 - 64. Together with an introductory epistle also supplied by Ammonio, they appear at the front of the Logica Secundum mentem Scoti by Stephanus de Flandria O. S. M., a book published at Bologna in 1495 and seen through the press by Ammonio himself at the request of Antionius Alabantus, head of Stephanus’ Order (mentioned at 23.3). The first of these two is a common vade, liber type of epigram that can ultimately be traced back to such Roman items as Ovid, Tristia I.i and Martial III.iv.
spacerBoth poems are written in elegiac couplets.

spacer23.7 Zoilus, a Cynic philosopher of the fourth century B. C., who was famed for his bitter attacks on Homer and Plato, became the type of the captious critic.

spacer24.2 Alcides = Hercules.

spacer24.10 For the idiom see Martial IX.xx.2, Infantis domini conscia terra fuit.

spacerPoem 25 This poem, published by Tournoy in the same article, was one of the gratulatory epigrams written for Bernard André’s Hymni Christiani, printed at Paris by Josse Bade in 1517, with other such epigrams being contributed by, among others, Erasmus, Thomas More, and William Lilly, the headmaster of St. Paul’s School (for this rare volume, a copy of which is British Library C.124.3.18 (1), see Imprimeurs et libraries parisiens du XVIe siècle, Ouvrage publié d’ aprèw les manuscrits de Philippe Renouard (Paris, 1969) II.154 nr. 342.
spacerAndré, a blind Franciscan who haled from Toulouse [dates unknown], was Henry VII’s poet laureate. The title of this poem constitutes evidence that he retained this position under Henry VIII, which receives confirmation from the fact that he signed himself poeta regius in connection with his 1513 De inclita invitissimi regis nostri Henrici octavi in Gallos et Scotos victoria. An edition of De Vita atque Gestis Henrici Septimi Historia appears elsewhere in The Philological Museum, and André is discussed in the Introduction to that work.
spacerMeter: elegiac couplets.

spacerPoem 26 This poem was published by David R. Carlson, “Three Tudor Epigrams,” Humanistica Lovaniensia 45 (1996) 189 - 181. It was printed at the end of James Whitstone’s De iusticia et sanctitate belli per Iulium pontificem secundum in schismaticos et tirannos patrimonium Petri invadentes indicti allegationes, printed at London in 1512. Carlson plausibly suggested that “There is reason to think that [Whitstone’s] pamphlet was the official public apology for Henry VIII’s decision to intervene in the papacy’s quarrels with France...the tract was printed by England’s royal printer, Richard Pynson, whose job included issuing official propaganda.”
spacerMeter: Elegiac couplets.

spacer26.5 Acroceraunium is a Greek headland famous for the frequency of the lightning-strikes it attracts.

spacer26.7 Herbam dare is an idiom for “surrender”(Oxford Latin Dictionary “herbam“ def. 1 (d).