Poggio was famous for his beautiful and legible book hand. The formal humanist script he invented developed into Roman type, which remains popular as a printing font today (as his friend Niccolò de’ Niccoli’s script developed into the Italic type first used by Aldus Manutius in 1501).
(Gian Francesco) Poggio Bracciolini (February 11, 1380 – October 30, 1459) served under seven popes, as a Florentine/Roman scholar, writer and an early humanist. He recovered a great number of classical Latin manuscripts, mostly decaying and forgotten in German, Swiss, and French monastic libraries, including the only surviving Lucretius, and disseminated manuscript copies among his learned friends.
Poggio di Guccio (the surname Bracciolini was added during his career) was born at the village of Terranuova, since 1862 renamed in his honour Terranuova Bracciolini, near Arezzo in Tuscany.
Taken by his father to Florence to pursue the studies for which he appeared so apt, he studied Latin under Giovanni Malpaghino of Ravenna, the friend and protégé of Petrarch. His distinguished abilities and his dexterity as a copyist of manuscripts brought him into early notice with the chief scholars of Florence: both Coluccio Salutati and Niccolò Niccoli befriended him. He studied notarial law, and, at the age of twenty-one he was received into the Florentine notaries’ guild, the Arte dei giudici e notai.