Boccalini, Traiano (b. 1556, Loreto, Papal States [Italy]--d. Nov. 29, 1613, Venice)
Prose satirist and anti-Spanish political writer, influential in the Europe of his time for a widely circulated satire, Ragguagli di Parnaso (1612-13; "Reports from Parnassus").
Boccalini was educated for the law and spent many years in Rome in papal service (1584-1612), becoming acquainted with a number of eminent men of his day. His political experience is mirrored particularly in Ragguagli di Parnaso, a light and fantastic satire on the actions and writings of his contemporaries, written in the form of 201 ironical newsletters in which the wise men of all centuries, presided over by Apollo, discuss art, literature, and politics. Another series appeared in Pietra del paragone politico (posthumously published, 1614; "Political Touchstones"), a vigorous denunciation of the Spanish domination of Europe.
A weightier work was Commentari sopra Cornelio Tacito (first published 1677; "Comments upon Cornelius Tacitus"), a discussion of politics and government, offering Machiavellian advice to princes.