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Goffredo Mameli (Sept. 5, 1827- July 6, 1849)

Educated by the Scolopii in Genoa in the classics, Mameli's love of poetry prevailed over an abortive career in philosophy and law when he was expelled from the University of Genoa in 1841 for a misdemeanor. Attracted to Mazzini's Young Italy, the early romanticism expressed in his poetry soon found political themes in the emerging historical events and rapidly changing political climate with sonnets to Charles Albert, odes to Bandiera brothers and to the apparent liberal reforms of Pius IX. Of his many ardent patriotic poems set to music, his fame, among many competing versifiers of 1848-49, rested upon " Fratelli d'Italia" written during demonstrations in Genoa in early September 1847 and set to music by a Genoese living in Turin, Michele Novaro. It was sung throughout the revolutions, popularized by succeeding generations of Garibaldini but did not receive the status as Italy's national anthem until 1946. Mameli was a favorite poet of Mazzini, who in 1850 wrote the preface to an edition of the poet's works; he had already persuaded Giuseppe Verdi in October 1848, during the radical phase of the revolution, to set t o music one of Mameli's verses, the L'Inno militare. In March 1848 Mameli joined the volunteer Genoa corps under Nino Bixio in Lombardy and in the fall of 1848 followed in support of the impending republican constituent assembly. Sent by the Roman Republic on an unsuccessful mission to Genoa to solicit aid, he returned to support Garibaldi's defense of Rome where he was wounded on the Janiculum on June 3 and died July 6.

Marion S. Miller


Barrili, Anton Giulio. "Goffredo Mameli nella vita e nell'arte," Nuova Antologio, 183 (l giugno 1902), 385-409.

_______. ed. Scritti editi ed inediti di Goffredo Mameli. (Genua: Tip. del R. Istituto Sordomuti, 1902).

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