was one of the most respected poets and scholars of his day. He was born into an aristocratic Venetian family, and had a brilliant career, achieving notable success in politics, the church, and the arts. His most important appointments were as secretary to Pope Leo X from 1513 to 1521, historiographer of Venice from 1529, and librarian of St. Mark's Cathedral beginning in approximately 1530. In 1539 he was made a cardinal, and for the remaining years of his life he devoted himself to theology and ancient history. In the field of the arts, he wrote a dialogue on love, Gl'Asoliani, dedicated to Lucrezia Borgia, and compiled one of the earliest Italian grammars. He also helped to establish Italian as a literary language, and was deeply involved in the development of the printing process.
was the daughter of the Spanish cardinal, Rodrigo Borgia, later Pope Alexander VI, and his mistress Vannozza Catanei. The Borgias were notorious for their ruthless pursuit of power in Renaissance Italy, and Lucrezia has often been represented as one of the most grasping of the family. However, in retrospect it seems that she was the pawn of her scheming father and bloodthirsty brother, Cesare. The most unsavory rumors began in 1501, surrounding Lucrezia's 3 year old son, Giovanni, who was recognized by two Papal bulls, first as the child of Alexander, and then as the child of Cesare. After the death of her father in 1503, Lucrezia had a calmer life with her third husband at the court of Ferrara, where she was a celebrated patron of the arts. In her 30's she became deeply religious. She died at age 39.