Bernardino Baldi - Encyclopedia


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BERNARDINO BALDI (1533-1617), Italian mathematician and miscellaneous writer, was descended of a noble family at Urbino, in which city he was born on the 6th of June 1533. He pursued his studies at Padua with extraordinary zeal and success, and is said to have acquired, during the course of his life, no fewer than sixteen languages, though according to Tiraboschi the inscription on his tomb limits the number to twelve. The appearance of the plague at Padua obliged him to retire to his native city, whence he was, shortly afterwards, called to act as tutor to Ferrante (Ferdinand) Gonzaga, from whom he received the rich abbey of Guastalla. He held office as abbot for twentyfive years, and then retired to his native town. In 1612 he was employed by the duke as his envoy to Venice, where he distinguished himself by the congratulatory oration he delivered before the Venetian senate on the election of the new doge, Andrea Memmo. Baldi died at Urbino on the 12th of October 1617. He was, perhaps, the most universal genius of his age, and is said to have written upwards of a hundred different works, the chief part of which have remained unpublished. His various works give satisfactory evidence of his abilities as a theologian, mathematician, geographer, antiquary, historian and poet. The Cronica dei Matematici (published at Urbino in 1707) is an abridgment of a larger work, on which he had bestowed twelve years of labour, and which was intended to contain the lives of more than two hundred mathematicians. His life has been written by Affo, Mazzuchelli and others.

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