Scala, Bartolomeo

(1430-1497) and ALESSANDRA (ca. 1475-1506)
   Italian humanists, father and daughter. Bartolomeo served as chancellor of the Florentine republic from 1465 until his death. Born the son of a poor miller in the small Tuscan town of Colle, he moved to Florence to study at the local university. In 1454 he moved to Milan to study under Francesco Filelfo. He returned to Florence about a year later. Although qualified to practice law, by 1457 he had become private secretary in the service of Pierfrancesco de'Medici, an appointment that for the first time brought him into the circle of the politically powerful Medici family. This connection led to his appointment as chancellor in 1465. Scala's authority was great-est during the hegemony of Lorenzo de'Medici over Florence (1469-1492), for he was a useful agent of Lorenzo's active foreign policy. He had much less influence on Lorenzo's son Piero de'Medici. After the fall of the Medici from power in 1494, he was dismissed for three days by the anti-Medicean regime and then re-stored to office, though his salary was cut and his role in government reduced. Despite his administrative duties, Scala wrote several books, of which the most important was his History of Florence. Other works included De consolatione / Consolation, written in re-sponse to the death of Giovanni de'Medici (1463); Apologi centum/ A Hundred Apologues (1481), and De legibus et iudiciis / On Laws and Legal Judgments (1483), which he dedicated to Lorenzo.
   His daughter Alessandra Scala received a humanistic education from her father but also studied with Johannes Lascaris and Angelo Poliziano. The latter admired her ability despite his personal dislike for her father. Her eloquent performance in a presentation of Sopho-cles' Electra in Greek drew praise from contemporaries, and she cor-responded with the Venetian female humanist Cassandra Fedele. Alessandra married the Greek scholar and soldier Michele Marullo but after his death in military service in 1500 spent the rest of her brief life in a convent.

Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. . 2004.

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