1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Boscán Almogaver, Juan

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BOSCÁN ALMOGAVER, JUAN (1490?–1542), Spanish poet, was born about the close of the 15th century. He was a Catalan of patrician birth, and, after some years of military service, became tutor to the duke of Alva. His poems were published in 1543 at Barcelona by his widow. They are divided into sections which mark the stages of Boscán's poetical evolution. The first book contains poems in the old Castilian metres, written in his youth, before 1526, in which year he became acquainted with the Venetian ambassador, Andrea Navagiero, who urged him to adopt Italian measures, and this advice gave a new turn to Boscán's activity. The remaining books contain a number of pieces in the Italian manner, the longest of these being Hero y Leander, a poem in blank verse, based on Musaeus. Boscán's best effort, the Octava Rima, is a skilful imitation of Petrarch and Bembo. Boscán also published in 1534 an admirable translation of Castiglione's Il Cortegiano. Italian measures had been introduced into Spanish literature by Santillana and Villalpando; it is Boscán's distinction to have naturalized these forms definitively, and to have founded a poetic school.

The best edition of his poems is that issued at Madrid in 1875 by W. J. Knapp; for his indebtedness to earlier writers, see Francesco Flamini, Studi di storia literaria italiana e straniera (Livorno, 1895).