Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America edition:63 location:Chicago, IL date:30 March – 1 April
While Poggio Bracciolini was arguably the most prolific author of humanist eulogies, one of the prime contributions to the genre was Leonardo Bruni’s funeral oration for Nanni Strozzi (1428). When in 1444 Poggio composed such a eulogy for his friend and ally Bruni himself – having previously done so for Niccolò Niccoli (1437) and Niccolò Albergati (1443) – he wrote in overt competition with the actual funeral oration, which had been delivered in March 1444 by Giannozzo Manetti. This paper offers an analysis of both orations as historical witnesses of Bruni’s life and work, as well as a comparison of the images of Bruni displayed by them. Furthermore, it explores how Poggio’s enthusiastic encomium for the towering figure of the late Bruni becomes as much a vehicle for promoting his own standing in Quattrocento humanism as a sincere homage to his deceased friend.