1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Caro, Annibale

CARO, ANNIBALE (1507–1566), Italian poet, was born at Civita Nuova, in Ancona, in 1507. He became tutor in the family of Lodovico Gaddi, a rich Florentine, and then secretary to his brother Giovanni, by whom he was presented to a valuable ecclesiastical preferment at Rome. At Gaddi’s death, he entered the service of the Farnese family, and became confidential secretary in succession to Pietro Lodovico, duke of Parma, and to his sons, duke Ottavio and cardinals Ranuccio and Alexander. Caro’s most important work was his translation of the Aeneid (Venice, 1581; Paris, 1760). He is also the author of Rime, Canzoni, and sonnets, a comedy named Gli Straccioni, and two clever jeux d’esprit, one in praise of figs, La Ficheide, and another in eulogy of the big nose of Leoni Ancona, president of the Academia della Vertu. Caro’s poetry is distinguished by very considerable ability, and particularly by the freedom and grace of its versification; indeed he may be said to have brought the verso sciolto to the highest development it has reached in Italy. His prose works consist of translations from Aristotle, Cyprian and Gregory Nazianzen; and of letters, written in his own name and in those of the cardinals Farnese, which are remarkable both for the baseness they display and for their euphemistic polish and elegance. His fame has been greatly damaged by the virulence with which he attacked Lodovico Castelvetro in one of his canzoni, and by his meanness in denouncing him to the Holy Office as translator of some of the writings of Melanchthon. He died at Rome about 1566.