Known also by the pseudonym Callimaco Esperiente, humanist, philosopher, and political figure; b. San Gimignano (Siena), Italy, 1437; d. Cracow, Poland, November of 1496. With Pomponio Leto, he founded the Roman Academy. He took part in the plot against Pope Paul II (1468) with other members of the academy. Later exiled, he took refuge in Poland, where he became secretary to Casimir IV, for whom he performed various delicate missions (e.g., as delegate to Constantinople, Rome, Venice, etc.). He left historical works, discourses, letters, and poetry in which he gives evidence of a vast humanistic culture. He denied the immortality of the soul, called into question the distinction between soul and body, affirmed the complete independence of morality from religion, and defended the absolute sovereignty of the state. In his Consilium Callimachi (ed. R. Nsetecka, Cracow 1887), he went so far as to consider religion a political instrument, thus anticipating machiavelli.
Bibliography: a. sapori, "Gl'Italiani in Polonia nel medioevo" in Archivio-storico italiano 3 (1925) 156. g. agosti, Un politico italiano alla corte polacca nel sec. XV (Turin 1930). g. saitta, Il pensiero italiano nell'umanesimo e nel Rinascimento 3 v. (Bologna 1949–51) 1:485–490.