v. 100. Fitter left untold.]
Che’l tacere e bello,
So our Poet, in Canzone 14.
La vide in parte che’l tacere e bello,
Ruccellai, Le Api, 789.
Ch’a dire e brutto ed a tacerlo e bello
“Vie pui bello e il tacerle, che il favellarne.”
Gli. Asol. lib. 1.
v. 117. Electra.] The daughter of Atlas, and
mother of Dardanus the founder of Troy. See
Virg. Aen. b. viii. 134. as referred to by Dante
in treatise “De Monarchia,” lib. ii.
“Electra, scilicet, nata magni nombris regis
Atlantis, ut de ambobus testimonium reddit poeta noster
in octavo ubi Aeneas ad Avandrum sic ait
“Dardanus Iliacae,” &c.
v. 125. Julia.] The daughter of Julius Caesar, and wife of Pompey.
v. 126. The Soldan fierce.] Saladin or Salaheddin, the rival of Richard coeur de lion. See D’Herbelot, Bibl. Orient. and Knolles’s Hist. of the Turks p. 57 to 73 and the Life of Saladin, by Bohao’edin Ebn Shedad, published by Albert Schultens, with a Latin translation. He is introduced by Petrarch in the Triumph of Fame, c. ii
v. 128. The master of the sapient throng.]
Maestro di color che sanno.
Aristotle—Petrarch assigns the first place to Plato. See Triumph
of Fame, c. iii.
Pulci, in his Morgante Maggiore, c. xviii. says,
Tu se’il maestro di color che sanno.
v. 132. Democritus
Who sets the world at chance.]
Democritus,who maintained the world to have been formed by the fortuitous concourse of atoms.
v. 140. Avicen.] See D’Herbelot Bibl. Orient. article Sina. He died in 1050. Pulci here again imitates our poet:
quel che il sentimento
Intese di Aristotile e i segreti,
Averrois che fece il gran comento.
Morg. Mag. c. xxv.
v. 140. Him who made
That commentary vast, Averroes.]
Averroes, called by the Arabians Roschd, translated and commented the works of Aristotle. According to Tiraboschi (storia della Lett. Ital. t. v. 1. ii. c. ii. sect. 4.) he was the source of modern philosophical impiety. The critic quotes some passages from Petrarch (Senil. 1. v. ep. iii. et. Oper. v. ii. p. 1143) to show how strongly such sentiments prevailed in the time of that poet, by whom they were held in horror and detestation He adds, that this fanatic admirer of Aristotle translated his writings with that felicity, which might be expected from one who did not know a syllable of Greek, and who was therefore compelled to avail himself of the unfaithful Arabic versions. D’Herbelot, on the other hand, informs us, that “Averroes was the first who translated Aristotle from Greek into Arabic, before the Jews had made their translation: and that we had for a long time no other text of Aristotle, except that of the Latin translation, which was made from this Arabic version of this great philosopher (Averroes), who afterwards added to it a very ample commentary, of which Thomas Aquinas, and the other scholastic writers, availed themselves, before the Greek originals of Aristotle and his commentators were known to us in Europe.” According to D’Herbelot, he died in 1198: but Tiraboschi places that event about 1206.