Aurelio Fregoso

Fregoso, Aurelio

Italian condottiere (d. 1581). Autograph letter signed. Florence. 4to. 1 p. on bifolium. With autograph address.
$ 1,019 / 950 € (87235/BN57686)

To Niccolò Machiavelli's son Guido Machiavelli (ca. 1512-67), asking for a horse from the legacy of Guido's brother, the condottiere Piero Machiavelli (1514-64). In this interesting letter, Aurelio investigates whether Guido was willing to sell, lend, or gift the horse to him, as he was about to accompany Duke Cosimo I de' Medici on a voyage and was thus in "great need" of "a safe one". Curiously, Fregoso calls the horse "il gacho" - a rare Spanish term for a type of horse or mare. Piero Machiavelli's service in the navy of Philip II of Spain might account for his terminology.

- Aurelio Fregoso was the illegitimate son of Ottaviano Fregoso (1479-1524), the 44th Doge of the Republic of Genoa. Niccolò Machiavelli lauded Ottaviano Fregoso as an ideal ruler, and Baldassare Castiglione made him one of the interlocutors in "The Book of the Courtier", and thus the embodiment of an ideal courtier. Just as Niccolò Machiavelli's youngest son Piero, Aurelio Fregoso became a respected and successful condottiere. As such he was involved in the unsuccessful defence of Siena against Florence (1553-55) and thereafter took service with Duke Cosimo I de' Medici. He also accepted commands for Emperor Maximilian and was active as a diplomat. - With a note of the recipient Guido Machiavelli referring to Fregoso's request. Traces of folds. Slightly stained. The lower left edge of the blank leaf trimmed..

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