Bartolomeo Platina

Pope Sixtus IV Appoints Platina Prefect of the Vatican Library Bartolomeo Sacchi (; 1421 – 21 September 1481), known as Platina (in Italian ''il Platina'' ) after his birthplace (Piadena), and commonly referred to in English as Bartolomeo Platina, was an Italian Renaissance humanist writer and gastronomist.

Platina started his career as a soldier employed by condottieri, before gaining long-term patronage from the Gonzagas, including the young cardinal Francesco, for whom he wrote a family history. He studied under the Byzantine humanist philosopher John Argyropulos in Florence, where he frequented other fellow humanists, as well as members of the ruling Medici family.

Around 1462 he moved with Francesco Gonzaga to Rome, where he purchased a post as a papal writer under the humanist Pius II (Enea Silvio Piccolomini) and became a member of the Platonism-influenced Roman Academy founded by Julius Pomponius Laetus. Close acquaintance with the renowned chef Maestro Martino in Rome seems to have provided inspiration for a theoretical treatise on Italian gastronomy entitled ''De honesta voluptate et valetudine'' ("On honourable pleasure and health"), which achieved considerable popularity and has the distinction of being considered the first printed cookbook.

Platina's papal employment was abruptly curtailed on the arrival of an anti-humanist pope, Paul II (Pietro Barbo), who had the rebellious Platina locked up in Castel Sant'Angelo during the winter of 1464-65 as a punishment for his remonstrations. In 1468 he was again confined in Castel Sant'Angelo for a further year, where he was interrogated under torture, following accusations of an alleged conspiracy by members of Pomponio's Roman Academy involving plans to assassinate the pope.

Platina's fortunes were revived by the return to power of the strongly pro-humanist pope, Sixtus IV (Francesco della Rovere), who in 1475 made him Vatican librarian—an appointment which was depicted in a famous fresco by Melozzo da Forlì. He was granted the post after writing an innovative and influential history of the lives of the popes that gives ample space to Roman history and the themes of Antiquity, and concludes by vilifying Platina's nemesis, Paul II. Provided by Wikipedia
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