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Alcionio, Pietro

ALCIONIO, PIETRO, or PETRUS ALCYONIUS (c. 1487-1527), Italian classical scholar, was born at Venice. After having studied Greek under Marcus Musurus of Candia, he was employed for some time by Aldus Manutius as a corrector of the press, and in 1522 was appointed professor of Greek at Florence through the influence of Giulio de' Medici. When his patron became pope in 1523 under the title of Clement VII., Alcionio followed him to Rome and remained there until his death. Alcionio published at Venice, in 1521, a Latin translation of several of the works of Aristotle, which was shown by the Spanish scholar Sepulveda to be very incorrect. He wrote a dialogue entitled Medices Legatus, sive de Exilio (1522), in connexion with which he was charged with plagiarism by his personal enemy, Paulus Manutius. The accusation, which Tiraboschi has shown to be groundless, was that he had taken the finest passages in the work from Cicero's lost treatise De Gloria, and had then destroyed the only existing copy of the original in order to escape detection. His contemporaries speak very unfavourably of Alcionio, and accuse him of haughtiness, uncouth manners, vanity and licentiousness.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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