Giorgio da Gallipoli

He was the author of some poems in Byzantine Greek, remaining secular, even when touching sacred subjects. As Marcello Gigante rightly notes, he was “perhaps the most representative poet of the circle around Casole monastery” together with Giovanni Grasso, Nettario, Nicola di Otranto but, unlike the others, he was characterized by a very sharp Ghibelline spirit, marked by a loyalty to emperor Federico equal to his enmity towards the Latin church.
In his compositions he branded the violence of the Latin priests of his town, the corruption of the church of Rome, the definition of Parma.

With regard to the church of Gallipoli, he left an epicede on the death of his domestic’s son, who was a poet-singer of the cathedral, a poem on the occasion of the opening of a new door in Gallipoli Cathedral and an inscription in praise of bishop Pantaleone.
Giorgio di Gallipoli dedicated also a laudatory poem to Giovanni III, Duke of Vatatses, who had visited the city around 1246. The poem “Rome”, in iambic verses, is considered his most important composition; it is about emperor Federico. Therein is condensed the political thought of Giorgio “the Cartofilace”, who deplored the decay of Rome and hoped that Frederick “would purify the Roman church, by chasing the new merchants out of his temples and providing the town with a new priest”.
His poetic production found do date, consists of thirteen odes, contained in the Laurentian code Gr plut. V 10, of two odes contained in a code of the monastery of the Holy Saviour in Messina, published by Lavigni, and in an inscription engraved on the backside of a Roman cippus, now kept in Gallipoli diocesan museum, in honour of Pantaleone, bishop of Gallipoli.

[From: Il grande Salento per immagini (Storia - Arte - Cultura - Tradizione GALLIPOLI) Texts by Elio Pindinelli, Published by Il Salentino Editore - translated by - Rocco Merenda]