In summary, among the exponents of Italian humanism in the fifteenth century Andrew Biglia merits a place of honour. He was a skilled writer who, for the relative brevity of his productive life, was surprisingly prolific author who demonstrated his erudition, profound religious spirit, and lively love for the Augustinian Order.
His writings pertinent to humanism were both numerous and significant. It may be surprising that someone with the erudition of Biglia would employ so much of his time in translation but it must be remembered that at the time Greek was still poorly known in the Latin West. Thus he performed a service worthy of his learning by offering the treasures of Greek learning to those who knew only Latin.
Biglia dedicated himself principally to the translation of the works of Aristotle, and two of his versions are still extant. The first comprising the eight books of the Physics, is found in the Codex 4, 36 of the Academy of Sciences in Budapest. The second, the three books of De anima, is preserved in the Bywater Codex 10 (Western Manuscript 40042) of the Bodleian Library at Oxford. Both codices are based on the original manuscript of the translator.
There was also his translation of one of the lives of Plutarch, the Vita Timoleontis, which is preserved in a fifteenth century codex in the Municipal Library of Macerata (5. 3C. 36.).
The most famous work of Biglia is his Rerum mediolanensiurn historia. It recounts the events of his native city of Milan from 1402 until 1431, and offers an outstanding example of the style and characteristics of humanist historiography. Composed from a Milanese point of view, it reflects the political ideal of a Lombardian patriot in the first quarter of the fifteenth century.
Differing from Luigi Marsigli O.S.A. and his other friends who were advocates of the independence of Florence, Biglia looks forward to the realization of his dream of a united Italy under the leadership of the Visconti. Since he was born in Milan and became an Augustinian in the Priory of St Mark there, Biglia felt obligated enough to the city and its government to become the official historian of the Visconti family.
It should be noted that because of the general thesis of his work, a theme that appears even more clearly in his funeral oration to the memory of Duke Giovanni Galeazzo, Biglia had a notable influence on the historical importance attached to the Visconti family by many Italian historians of the twentieth century. Biglia's Historia achieved wide manuscript circulation and reached two printed editions.
Biglia had the good fortune to spend his years of study and teaching in those Italian cities that most cultivated humanism and experienced its flourishing: Padua, Florence, Bologna and Siena.