«Antivenire» the Battle in Giovanni Pontano’s Letters
Three letters, written between 1493 and 1495 by Giovanni Pontano, deal with the lightning Italian war of Charles VIII and reflect the absolutely relevant role played by Pontano in the Aragonese society and court. In this correspondence Pontano’s considerations on the facts and their moral and political effects are expressed with a particularly lively epistolary style that makes Pontano an uncommon prose writer, whose influence we can find in the works of Machiavelli. In fact, the fresh images of his prose and the surprising modernity of his political thought, the powerful incisiveness of metaphor, the reference to the exemplary lesson of classics and to the "system" of his Latin works are basic aspects of his epistolary style. Even if we cannot find a descriptio or a narratio of battles, the three letters are remarkable because they give some practical advices de re militari – absent in Latin Pontano’s works – on the best way of «antivenire» the battle.