1493 – 1569
Who was Bernardo Tasso?
He was, for many years, secretary in the service of the prince of Salerno, and his wife Porzia de Rossi was closely connected with the most illustrious Neapolitan families. Their son, the great poet Torquato Tasso, was born at Sorrento in 1544.
During the boy's childhood the prince of Salerno came into collision with the Spanish government of Naples, was outlawed, and was deprived of his hereditary fiefs. Tasso shared in this disaster of his patron. He and his son were proclaimed rebels to the state.
Bernardo moved to Rome where his son joined him in about 1552. In 1556 news came that Porzia had died, and Bernardo suspected her brother of poisoning her with the object of getting control over her property. As it subsequently happened, Porzias estate never descended to her son; and the daughter Cornelia married below her birth, at the instigation of her maternal relatives.
He served various noblemen then, among them duke Guidobaldo II, in whose court his son Torquato was educated. When Bernardo was serving the duke of Milan, Guglielmo Gonzaga, he was appointed governor of Ostiblia.
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