City Readers Digital Historic Collections at the New York Society Library
Torquato Tasso (1544-1595)
Torquato Tasso (Italian: [torˈkwaːto ˈtasso]; 11 March 1544 – 25 April 1595) was an Italian poet of the 16th century, best known for his poem La Gerusalemme liberata (Jerusalem Delivered, 1581), in which he depicts a highly imaginative version of the combats between Christians and Muslims at the end of the First Crusade, during the siege of Jerusalem. He suffered from mental illness and died a few days before he was due to be crowned as the king of poets by the Pope. Until the beginning of the 20th century, Tasso remained one of the most widely read poets in Europe.