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Baldassare Castiglione

Cultures in Translation

Baldassare Castiglione (1478–1529), Count of Casatico, was a courtier and diplomat who worked from 1504 for the Montefeltro family at the Court of Urbino in the Italian Marches, and subsequently took holy orders in 1521 and pursued an ecclesiastical career. He died of plague in Toledo in 1529, while he was in Spain as apostolic nuncio (ambassador to the Holy See). Castiglione’s experience at the tiny but highly refined court of Urbino is described in his most famous literary work, the Book of the Courtier (Libro del cortegiano), published shortly before his death to great acclaim.