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Lodovico Domenichi

Lodovico Domenichi (1515–1564) was an Italian poligrafo: an intellectual who engaged in writing, translating and editing.

Born in Piacenza in 1515 to one of the city’s aristocratic families, Domenichi completed his university education in Padua and Pavia. In 1539, he continued his studies at the Collegio dei notai e giudici piacentini [Piacentine college of notaries and judges]. He remained in Piacenza until 1543, where he practiced law. He spent much of his time there frequenting literary and artistic milieus, including the city’s short-lived Accademia degli Ortolani. The literary production tied to this academy is known for its anti-classicism and anti-courtly attitude. During these years, Domenichi befriended two contemporary Italian intellectuals: the subversive Pietro Aretino, and a fellow academician, Anton Francesco Doni. By 1545, Domenichi had left Piacenza for Venice, where printing was quickly developing into a great industry.

An amateur poet and an exile, Domenichi saw a future for himself in Venice. Working with Gabriele Giolito de’ Ferrari, a Venetian printer, he published, translated, and edited various volumes including his original works—La nobiltà delle donne (1549), Historia di detti e fatti notabili di diversi principi et huomini privati moderni (1556), La donna di corte (1564) and Le due cortigiane (1563)—some of which were alleged to have been plagiarized. He also edited an important collection of contemporary women’s writings with Giolito called Rime diverse d’alcune nobilissime donne (1559). The lengthy La nobiltà delle donne, written in the defense of women, takes the form of a dialogue over five days and includes both male and female interlocutors.

Domenichi died in Pisa in 1564.



Androniki Dialeti, “‘Defenders’ and ‘Enemies’ of Women in Early Modern Italian querelle des femmes: Social and Cultural Categories or Empty Rhetoric?” presented at the 5th European Feminist Research Conference, Lund University, Sweden, August 20–24, 2003.

Piscini, Angela. “Domenichi, Ludovico,” Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani volume 40 (1991) (accessed October 8, 2016)

Romei, Giovanna. “Doni, Anton Francesco.” Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani volume 41 (1992) (accessed October 8, 2016)