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This article is an orphan, as few or no other articles link to it. Please introduce links to this page from related articles; suggestions may be available. (November 2010) Giovanni de Matociis (died 1337), commonly called Giovanni Mansionario from his administrative office in the cathedral of Verona, was an early Italian humanist, a forerunner of Petrarch.[1][2] In about 1311 he was appointed as mansionario,[3] a role for a person in minor orders variously described by sources as a sacristan or recipient of a minor benefice from legacies: Vivaldi held such a position some four centuries later. Giovanni was also a notary.[4] From this time he began work amassing his Historia Imperialis ("Imperial History") a series of emperors' biographies, beginning with Augustus, in which his antiquarian bent and classical studies amended many misconceptions of ancient Roman history;[5] Though he depended on Isidore's Etymologiae to a degree that would have been considered naive a century later, and on the Historia Augusta, deprecated nowadays, his marginal drawings of Roman coins show that numismatics had been brought to the historian's aid perhaps for the first time in this work. Roberto Weiss has observed that "during the early Trecento [14th century] such a work as the Historia Imperialis could have been produced only in Verona", with the unrivalled library holdings of its cathedral chapter.[6] His Latin has been described as "nondescript, unadorned".[7] By his careful reading of the Roman historian Suetonius, Giovanni detected that there were two authors named Pliny, not one, as had been believed previously. He published his findings triumphantly in a tract.[8] Other works include a Gesta Romanorum Pontificum, of which only part survives, and a lost life of Saint Athanasius and a book on the Old Testament, also lost.[9] Notes ^ R. Avesani, "Il preumanesimo veronese", in Storia della cultura veneta 2:Il Trecento (1976:119ff) ^ Roberto Weiss, The Renaissance Discovery of Classical Antiquity, (Oxford: Blackwell) 1969: "The Forerunners of Petrarch",22-24. ^ Irene Favaretto, Arte antica e cultura antiquaria nelle collezioni venete al tempo della Serenissima, 1990:32. ^ Witt, Ronald G., In the footsteps of the ancients: the origins of humanism from Lovato to Bruni, p. 166, (Brill), 2003, Google books, ISBN 0-391-04202-5, 9780391042025, and [1] ^ Riccobaldo and Giovanni Mansionario as historians", Manuscripta 30.3 (November 1986:215-23); Giovanni's own copy, annotated with his marginal drawings, is among Chigi Mss in the Vatican Library (Ms Chigi.I.vii.259.) ^ Weiss 1969:22. ^ Witt, 167 ^ E. Truesdell Merrill, "On the eight-book tradition of Pliny's Letters in Verona", Classical Philology 5 (1910:186-88). ^ Witt, 166 Persondata Name Mansionario, Giovanni Alternative names Short description Date of birth Place of birth Date of death 1337 Place of death