Francesco Bianchini - Encyclopedia


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FRANCESCO BIANCHINI (1662-1729), Italian astronomer and antiquary, was born of a noble family at Verona on the 13th of December 1662. In 1684 he went to Rome, and became librarian to Cardinal Ottoboni, who, as Pope Alexander VIII. (1689), raised him to the offices of papal chamberlain and canon of Santa Maria Maggiore. Clement XI. sent him on a mission to Paris in 171 2, and employed him to form a museum of Christian antiquities. He died at Rome on the 2nd of March 1729. A paper by him on G. D. Cassini's new method of parallaxes was inserted in the Ada Eruditorum of Leipzig in 1685. He published separately: - Istoria Universale (Roma, 1697), only one volume of which appeared; De Calendario et Cyclo Caesaris (1703); Hesperi et Phosphori nova Phaenomena (1729), in which he asserted Venus to rotate in 243 days; and (posthumously) Astronomicae et Geographicae Observationes Selectae (1737) and Opuscula Varia (1754).

See Fontenelle's "Eloge" (Memoires de l'Acad. de l'Histoire, p. 102, Paris, 1729); Mazzoleni, Vita di Francesco Bianchini (Verona, 1735); Tipaldo, Biografia degli Italiani Illustri, vii. 288 (Venezia, 1840); Mazzuchelli, Scrittori d'Italia; Maffei, Verona Illustrata, p. 254, &c.

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