Giovanni Pontano (jōvän´nē pōntä´nō), 1426–1503, Italian poet, historian, and statesman, who used also the Latin form Jovianus Pontanus. He was protected by Alfonso of Aragón, who made him his chancellor of Naples (1447) and later his secretary. Pontano personally surrendered Naples to the French invaders. A noted humanist, he discovered Donatus' commentary on Vergil. His verse, in Latin, is notable for its grace, harmony, variety of subject matter, and natural expression of sentiment. He is thought to have greatly influenced Erasmus.