A timeline of John Florio’s life, from his birth to his death.
John Florio’s life began in London in 1552. After two years, with Mary Tudor’s ascension to the throne, his family was forced to leave and settled for one year and half in Strasbourg. He later moved to Soglio, a little village in between Italy and Switzerland, and there he spent his childhood formed by his erudite father. At ten years old he was sent to Tübingen, in Germany, to study under the renowned Protestant humanist Pier Paolo Vergerio. He came back to London in 1570, starting his successful career as one of the most prominent humanist in Renaissance England.
JOHN FLORIO IS BORN
John Florio is born in London. His father is Michelangelo Florio, a protestant preacher, translator and grammarian with Jewish ancestors.
MARCH 4, 1544
At 2 years old, John Florio is forced to leave London, moving to Strasbourg.
John Florio moves to Soglio.
At eleven years old, John Florio is sent to Tubingen to study under the renowned Protestant humanist Pier Paolo Vergerio.
John Florio comes back to London.
John Florio goes to Oxford as poor scholar and becomes servant and tutor of Italian language to Barnabe and Emmanuel Barnes, sons of the Bishop of Durham.
John Florio publishes the English translation of Jacques Cartier’s Voyages to Canada titled “A shorte and briefe narration of the two nauigations and discoueries to the northweast partes called Newe Fraunce: first translated out of French into Italian, by that famous learned man Gio: Bapt: Ramutius, and now turned into English by Iohn Florio; worthy the reading of all venturers, trauellers, and discouerers”
John Florio meets Giordano Bruno at Oxford and decides to move with him at the French embassy in London.
AT THE FRENCH EMBASSY
John Florio works as personal secretary to the French ambassador Michel Du Castelnau, and as his daughter’s tutor in Italian.
A LETTER LATELY WRITTEN FROM ROME
John Florio publishes the anonymous pamphlet “A letter lately written from Rome”.
John Florio works as spy for Francis Walsingham in the Babington Plot.
John Florio works as anonymous editor for Philip Sidney’s “Arcadia” in collaboration with Matthew Gwinne and Fulke Greville.
HENRY WRIOTHESLEY, THIRD EARL OF SOUTHAMPTON
Henry Wriothesley becomes John Florio’s patron. Florio works as his personal secretary and Italian tutor.
SECOND FRUITS & GIARDINO DI RICREATIONE
John Florio publishes “Second Fruits” the second bilingual language lesson manual to which is annexed “Giardino di Ricreatione“, a collection of six thousands Italian proverbs.
PERPETUAL AND NATURAL PROGNOSTICATION OF THE CHANGE OF WEATHER
John Florio publishes the anonymous pamphlet “Perpetual and natural prognostication of the change of weather”.
John Florio is the ghostwriter of Vincentio Saviolo’s fencing manual titled “Vincentio Saviolo his practice”.
A WORLD OF WORDS
John Florio publishes the first Italian-English dictionary “A World of Words”.
LIFE AT COURT
John Florio becomes groom of the privy chamber and private secretary to Queen Anne of Denmark.
John Florio publishes the first English translation of Montaigne’s Essays.
John Florio writes the Italian translation of James VI’s “Basilikon Doron”.
QUEEN ANNA’S NEW WORLD OF WORDS
John Florio publishes the second edition of this Italian-English dictionary, “Queen Anna’s New World of Words”.
QUEEN ANNE’S DEATH
Queen Anne dies and John Florio loses his position at court.
John Florio publishes the first English translation of Boccaccio’s Decameron anonymously.
John Florio writes his testament, bequeathing his library to William Herbert, Third earl of Pembroke.
John Florio dies in Fulham.