The attempt also of the daring highwayman Maternus to seize the empire was betrayed; but at last Eclectus the emperor's chamberlain, Laetus the praefect of the praetorians, and his mistress Marcia, finding their names on the list of those doomed to death, united to destroy him.
As a pupil of the famous Pomponius Laetus, and, subsequently, as a member of the circle of Cosmo de' Medici, he received a finished education.
JULIUS POMPONIUS LAETUS [Giulio Pomponio Leto], (1425-1498), Italian humanist, was born at Salerno.
Its constitution resembled that of an ancient priestly college, and Laetus was styled pontifex maximus.
In 1468 twenty of the academicians were arrested during the carnival; Laetus, who had taken refuge in Venice, was sent back to Rome, imprisoned and put to the torture, but refused to plead guilty to the charges of infidelity and immorality.
Laetus continued to teach in Rome until his death on the 9th of June 1498.
As a teacher, Laetus, who has been called the first head of a philological school, was extraordinarily successful; in his own words, like Socrates and Christ, he expected to live on in the person of his pupils, amongst whom were many of the most famous scholars of the period.
Laetus a,lso wroth commentaries on classical authors, and promoted the publication of the editio princeps of Virgil at Rome in 1469.