Early Modern Exchanges


Joachim du Bellay’s Roman Poetry / Teachers' salaries in Verona (1407-1515)

20 March 2019, 5:00 pm–7:00 pm

Joachim du Bellay’s Roman Poetry / Teachers' salaries in Verona (1407-1515)

Join us for two fascinating talks by Francesca Masiero (UCL) and Jack Hayes (UCL) which will be focusing on educational practices in fifteenth and sixteenth century Verona and Joachim du Bellay’s sixteenth century roman poetry. Full details are below and will be followed by a short Q&A and some nibbles and drinks. We look forward to seeing you there!

Event Information

Open to



Early Modern Exchanges


IAS Seminar room 11
First floor, South Wing
UCL, Gower St
United Kingdom

Teachers’ contracts and salaries in Verona (1407-1515)
Francesca Masiero, UCL

My presentation explores the teaching contracts and financial conditions of teachers in Verona between 1407 and 1515. Veronese archives, in this respect, offer abundant and detailed documentation to help clarify how education was organised outside Tuscany over the fifteenth century. The first part of the presentation outlines the terms and conditions of the contracts, such as lengths of appointment, teaching location and subjects to be taught. The second part of the presentation illustrates teachers’ remuneration and the system of additional benefits and rewards that was put in place by the Veronese commune to retain good teachers in the city. Soon, both well-known teachers, such as Guarinus Veronensis, and many lesser well-known tutors became the mainstays of the extensive provision of pre-university education. By investigating the contracts issued to appoint teachers and their salaries, it is possible to understand how practices were formalised and officially codified and, therefore, to shed light on the policy and legislation of education in Verona.

Joachim du Bellay’s Roman Poetry and the Case of Livia Colonna (1522-1552)
Jack Hayes, UCL

Whilst in Rome in the service of his relative the Cardinal Jean du Bellay during the 1550s, Joachim du Bellay produced various books of verse, some French (Les Regrets, Les Antiquitez de Rome), some Latin (Poematum libri quatuor). In the Latin collection, we find an intriguing poem whose connection to contemporaneous Italian literature remains unexplored. This poem deals with the death of Livia Colonna, muse at the court of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, who was murdered by her son-in-law in 1552. This paper will explore the socio-literary background in which Du Bellay’s verse commentary on Colonna’s death emerged. It will seek to establish: how Du Bellay came to be aware of the case; how he attempted to use Latin verse on Colonna to integrate himself into a ‘virtual salon’ of Roman writers; and how, despite this, the Latin poem still functions as part of Du Bellay’s broader critique of Roman immorality and decadence.