On the first folio of a manuscript that used to belong to Angelo Colocci, a book collector living in sixteenth-century Rome, an erudite named Girolamo Borgia described the public performance of a poem entitled Urania on February 1, 1501, in Naples. As Borgia’s annotation informs us, the author and performer of this five-book poem in Latin hexameters, which sets out to explain poetically the astrological causes of earthly events, was the Umbrian humanist Giovanni Gioviano Pontano (1429-1503), once the leading political and intellectual figure of Quattrocento Naples, an old man retired from public life at the time of the event:

February 1, 1501. Pontano began to read his Urania in his academy. Fifteen noble and most erudite men attended the reading almost every day. But I, Girolamo, did not spend one single day without attending, and made sure to write on the margins whatever I could. Indeed, these annotations are extracted from the oracle of their very author.2