Friday, September 7, 2007

Renaissance Literary Lovers Exhumed

Poliziano on the left and Della Mirandolla on the rightThe bodies of Italian Renaissance philosopher Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (February 24, 1463 -November 17, 1494) and classical scholar and poet Angelo Ambrogini, best known as Poliziano (July 14, 1454 – September 24, 1494) were recently exhumed from St. Mark's Basilica in Florence.

The two men, who died a few weeks from each other, were thought to be lovers. The cause of their death remains uncertain however. It is thought that Della Mirandola might have been poisoned while Poliziano might have died either a victim of a then wide-spread syphilis epidemic or also poisoned.

Now, modern biomolecular technology and scanning might be able to clear the mystery. Giorgio Gruppioni, a professor of anthropology from Bologna who is in charge of the project, also said that scientist would try to learn more about the appearance of both men.

"We have already noticed that the structure of Pico's skeleton shows he had quite a robust figure, whereas most paintings show a more slender, feminine stature,"
The project will be the subject of a TV documentary.

The picture above shows Poliziano on the left and Della Mirandolla on the right.

See also:
* Medici writers exhumed in Italy
* Giovanni Pico della Mirandola
* Poliziano

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