Lady Emilia Pia (
Count Lewis (Ludovico) of Canossa, a relative and friend of the author. A diplomat visiting Urbino, he leads the discussion on the first evening, during which he and others try to determine the qualities and speech of the ideal courtier.
Sir Frederick (Federico) Fregoso, a courtier, soldier, and diplomat; brother of Lord Octavian. A student of languages and the friend of literary figures such as the author, he leads the discussion on the second evening, explaining how a courtier should behave and speak.
Lord Octavian Fregoso, a native of Genoa, where he was elected doge in 1513. Living in temporary exile at Urbino, he leads the fourth evening’s debate about the relationship of the courtier to the prince and about the ideal form of government.
Lord Julian (Giuliano) de Medicis(
Bernard Bibiena (bee-bee-
Gaspar Pallavicin (pahl-lah-vee-cheen), or Pallavacino Gaspare, a native of Lombardy. He is young and sickly. He is the cynic in the group and is especially cynical about women. His comments on the second evening lead to a delightful exchange with Lady Emilia and to the decision that the third evening should be devoted to the qualities desirable in a woman at court. He does not change his opinion, but his opinions are pushed so far to the side that he hardly dares to speak after the third evening.
Pietro Bembo (pee-
Francesco Maria della Rovere (roh-