Casa, Giovanni della (1503-56)

Archbishop of Benevento and a prominent Counter- Reformation clerical administrator, wrote, among other secular works in verse and prose, Il Galateo in the early 1550s: it was published posthumously in 1558 and translated before the end of the century into French, English, Latin, Spanish and German. Still read today, it was, after Castiglione's The courtier, which it trivializes, the most influential of Italian books on behaviour. It is more attractive in style than in tone, of which a fair sample is: 'We must subscribe not necessarily to the best customs but to those which prevail in our day'.

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