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Veranzio's uncle, Antun Vrančić, engraved by Martin Rota

Faust Vrančić (1551, Šibenik – January 17, 1617) was a Croatian and Venetian bishop, humanist, philosopher, historian, diplomat, linguist, lexicographer, and inventor.

His name is rendered Faust Vrančić in Croatian, Fausto Veranzio in Italian, and in older sources, he's also known as Verancsics Faustus [1][2](sources from Kingdom of Hungary) and Faust Verantius (Latin).

Contents

Life

Faust in Šibenik's wells museum
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Family history

The Veranzio family came to Šibenik (Dalmatia, Croatia) where a member of the family was mentioned for the first time in 1360. His father, Mihovil, was a Croatian Latin poet and on his mother's side he was from the Berislavić family (s. Trogir).[3] While the family's main residence was in Šibenik, they owned a summer house in Šepurine, a village neighbouring Prvić Luka, where he is buried. The family owned substantial amounts of land on the island of Prvić and acquired an impressive art collection. Descendants of the family still live in the summer house in Šepurine. His uncle, Antun Vrančić (in Hungarian: Verancsics Antal [1] (1504-1573), diplomat and high civil servant, was in touch with Dutch philosopher, humanist and writer Erasmus (1465-1536); with German philosopher, theologian and reformer Philipp Melanchthon (1497-1560); and with Nikola Zrinski (1508-1566), Croatian ban, poet, statesman and soldier.

Activities

As a youth, Veranzio was interested in science. He attended schools in Padua (Padova) and Venice, where he focused on physics, engineering and mechanics. At the court of King Rudolf II in Hradcany in Prague Veranzio was Chancellor for Hungary and Transylvania often in contact with Johannes Kepler and Tycho Brahe. In 1598 he got the title of bishop of Csanad.

After his wife's[citation needed] death, Veranzio left for Hungary and later for Venice to join the brotherhood of Saint Paul (barnabites) in 1609, where he committed himself to the study of science.

Vrančić died in 1617 in Venice. By his own request, he was buried in Prvić Luka, a village on the island of Prvić island near Šibenik.

Language

He was the author of a five-language dictionary, Dictionarium quinque nobilissimarum Europeae linguarum; Latinae, Italicae, Germanicae, Dalmaticae et Hungaricae, published in Venice in 1595, with 5,000 entries for each language. The term Dalmatian was at that time used to define the Croatian language [2], (not to be confused with a minor Romance Dalmatian language). Particularly, he used the words from Chakavian dialect of Croatian language. When Peterus Lodereckerus published the second edition of Veranzio's dictionary in Prague, he referred to the Dalmatian language as Croatian. Since that publication the language has continued to be known as Croatian.

In an extension of the dictionary called Vocabula dalmatica quae Ungri sibi usurparunt, there is a list of Croatian words that entered the Hungarian language. The book greatly influenced the formation of both the Croatian and Hungarian languages orthography; the Hungarian language accepted his suggestions, for example, the usage of ly, ny, sz, and cz. It was also the first dictionary of the Hungarian language, printed four times, in Venice, Prague (1606), Pozun (1834), what is nowadays Bratislava in Slovakia, and in Zagreb, Croatia, in 1971. The work was an important source of inspiration for other European dictionaries; among them:

  • Hungarian and Italian written by Bernardino Balli
  • German Thesaurus polyglottus by humanist and lexicographer Hieronim Megister
  • Multilingual Dictionarium septem diversarum linguarum by Peterus Lodereckerus of Prague in 1605 in Latin, Italian, Bohemian, Polish, German, Hungarian, Dalmatian. The author edited the second edition of Vrancic's work and renamed the Dalmatian language for the first time into "Croatian".

Work

Technical research

Veranzio's book on mechanics, Machinae Novae (Venice 1595), contained 40 large pictures depicting 56 different machines, devices, and technical concepts. The sensational book was soon translated into Italian, Spanish, French and German. Veranzio had examined Leonardo da Vinci's rough sketches of a parachute, and set out to implement a parachute of his own. A now-famous sketch of a parachute that he dubbed Homo Volans (the Flying Man) appeared in the aforementioned book.[4] Twenty years later, he implemented his design and tested the parachute by jumping from a tower in Venice in 1617. The event was documented some 30 years after it happened in a book written by John Wilkins, the secretary of the Royal Society in London.

His areas of interest in engineering and mechanics were broad. Mills were his main point of research, where he created 18 different designs. He envisioned windmills with both vertical and horizontal axes, with different wing construction to improve their efficiency. The idea of a mill powered by tides incorporated accumulation pools filled with water by the high tide and emptied when the tide ebbed, simply using gravity; the concept has just recently been engineered and used. By order of the Pope, he envisioned and made projects needed for regulating rivers, since Rome was often flooded by the Tiber river. He also tackled the problem of the wells and water supply of Venice, which is surrounded by sea. Devices to register the time using water, fire, or other methods were envisioned and materialized. His own sun clock was effective in reading the time, date, and month, but functioned only in the middle of the day. The construction method of building metal bridges and the mechanics of the forces in the area of statics were also part of his research. He drew proposals which predated the actual construction of modern suspension bridges and cable-stayed bridges by over two centuries. The last area was described when further developed in a separate book by mathematician Simon de Bruges (Simon Stevin) in 1586.

History and philosophy

Only a few of his works related to history remain: Regulae cancellariae regni Hungariae and De Slavinis seu Sarmatis in Dalmatia in manuscript form, while Scriptores rerum hungaricum was published in 1798. In Logica nova and Ethica christiana, in a single Venetian edition in 1616, he dealt with the problems of theology regarding the ideological clash between the Reformation movement and Catholicism. Tommaso Campanella (1568 - 1639) and the Archbishop of Split Marco Antonio de Dominis (1560 - 1624) were his intellectual counterparts.

Today, one of oldest astronomical societies in Croatia wears the name of Faust Veranzio, and a warship of Croatian navy (ship for rescues).

Lost works

Veranzio published some of his works under the name Veranzo. Many of them were never printed, left in the form of manuscripts. Some were sold to stay in big archives in the capitals of Austria or Hungary, while some were lost forever.

References

  • The book mentioning Veranzio's parachute jump is John Wilkins's Mathematical Magic of the Wonders that may be Performed by Mechanical Geometry, Part I: Concerning Mechanical Powers Motion, and Part II, Deadloss or Mechanical Motions (London, 1648).
  1. ^ a b Google Books Andrew L. Simon: Made in Hungary: Hungarian contributions to universal culture
  2. ^ a b The Hungarian Quarterly, Vol. XLII * No. 162 *, Summer 2001 László Sipka: Innovators and Innovations
  3. ^ Naklada Naprijed, The Croatian Adriatic Tourist Guide, pg. 208, Zagreb (1999), ISBN 953-178-097-8
  4. ^ Jonathan Bousfield, The Rough Guide to Croatia, pg. 280, Rough Guides (2003), ISBN 1843530848

External links


Faust Vrančić
Fausto Veranzio
File:Fausto
Portrait of Fausto Veranzio
Born Šibenik, Republic of Venice
(today in Croatia)
Nationality Croatian
Field Polymath and bishop
Works Machinae Novae, Dictionarium quinque nobilissimarum Europæ linguarum

Fausto Veranzio[1] or Faust Vrančić[2] (Latin: Faustus Verantius; Hungarian and Vernacular Latin: Verancsics Faustus)[3][4] (circa 1551 – January 17, 1617) was a polymath and bishop from Croatia.[5]

Contents

Life

Family history

File:Antun Vrancic by Martin
Fausto's uncle, Antonio, engraved by Martin Rota
Fausto was born Šibenik[6] He was a member of the noble family of counts Veranzio or conti Verantii (a branch of which later merged with Draganich family, creating the Counts Draganich-Veranzio),[7] a notable family of writers.

He was the son of Michele Veranzio, a Latin poet, and the nephew of Antonio,[7] archbishop of Esztergom (1504–1573), a diplomat and a civil servant, who was in touch with Erasmus (1465–1536), Philipp Melanchthon (1497–1560), and Nikola Šubić Zrinski (1508–1566), who took Fausto with him during some of his travels trough Hungary and the Republic of Venice.[8]

Fausto's mother was from the Berislavić family. His brother, Giovanni, died still young in battle.[7]
The Veranzio family probably came from Bosnia to the town of Šibenik[6] (Dalmatia), where a member of the family was mentioned for the first time in 1360.[9]

While the family's main residence was in city of Šibenik, they owned a big summer house on island Prvić, in place Šepurine, a neighboring place to Prvić Luka (where he is buried in local church). The baroque castle that was used by Vrančić family as summer residence is now in possession of family Draganić.

Education and political activities

As a youth, Veranzio was interested in science. Still a child, he moved to Venice, where he attended schools, and then to Padua to join the University, where he focused on law, physics, engineering and mechanics.
At the court of King Rudolf II, in Hradcany Castle, in Prague, Veranzio was chancellor for Hungary and Transylvania often in contact with Johannes Kepler and Tycho Brahe. After his wife's death,[10] Veranzio left for Hungary. In 1598, he got the title of Episcŏpus Csanadiensis[11] in partibus (even if he never set foot in Csanád). In 1609, back in Venice, he joined the brotherhood of Saint Paul of Tarsus (barnabites) and committed himself to the study of science. Veranzio died in 1617 in Venice and was buried in Dalmatia, near his family's countryhouse.[12]

Polymath and inventor

Veranzio's masterwork, Machinae Novae (Venice 1595), contained 49 large pictures depicting 56 different machines, devices, and technical concepts.
Two variants of this work exist, one with the "Declaratio" in Latin and Italian, the other with the addition of three other languages. Only a few copies survived and often do not present a complete text in all the five languages. This book was written in Italian, Spanish, French and German.[13] The tables represent a varied set of projects, inventions and creations of the author. There Veranzio wrote about water and solar energy, the universal clock (Plates 6–7), several types of mills, agricultural machinery, various types of bridge in various materials, machinery for clearing the sea, a dual sedan traveling on mule (Plate 47), special coaches, and Homo Volans (Plate 38) a forerunner of the parachute. His work included a portable boat (Plate 39), that is say a boat that, thanks to the same energy as the current may go against the river (Plate 40). It was his idea to use the printing rotary principle (e.g. grinding them printers, Plate 46) in order to alleviate the great difficulty of printers and improve results.

Despite the extraordinary rarity of this book (because the author published it at his own expense, without a publisher and having to stop printing because of lack of funds),[13] the Machinae Novae was the work which mainly contributed to Veranzio's popularity around the world. His design pictures were even reprinted a few years later and published in China.[14]

Veranzio's parachute

File:Fausto Veranzio homo
"Machinae Novae" plate n. 38: Veranzio's parachute

One of the illustrations in Machinae Novae is a sketch of a parachute dubbed Homo Volans ("The Flying Man"). Having examined Leonardo da Vinci's rough sketches of a parachute, Veranzio designed a parachute of his own.[15][16] Paolo Guidotti (about 1590) already attempted to carry out Da Vinci's theories, ending by falling on a house roof and breaking his thigh bone; but while Francis Godwin was writing his flying romance The Man in the Moone", Fausto Veranzio performed a parachute jumping experiment for real.[17]

He is considered the first man to build and test a parachute: in 1617, now over sixty-five years old, he implemented his design and tested the parachute by jumping from St Mark's Campanile in Venice.[18] This event was documented some 30 years after it happened in a book[19] written by John Wilkins, the secretary of the Royal Society in London.

Mills

His areas of interest in engineering and mechanics were broad. Mills were one of his main point of research, where he created 18 different designs. He envisioned windmills with both vertical and horizontal axes, with different wing constructions to improve their efficiency. The idea of a mill powered by tides incorporated accumulation pools filled with water by the high tide and emptied when the tide ebbed, simply using gravity; the concept has just recently been engineered and used.

Urbanist and engineer in Rome and Venice

File:Pons ferreus by Fausto Veranzio.gif
Drawing of suspension cable-stayed bridge by Fausto Veranzio in his Machinae Novae

By order of the Pope, he spent two years in Rome where he envisioned and made projects needed for regulating rivers, since Rome was often flooded by the Tiber river.[20] He also tackled the problem of the wells and water supply of Venice, which is surrounded by sea.[20] Devices to register the time using water, fire, or other methods were envisioned and materialized. His own sun clock was effective in reading the time, date, and month, but functioned only in the middle of the day.

The construction method of building metal bridges and the mechanics of the forces in the area of statics were also part of his research. He drew proposals which predated the actual construction of modern suspension bridges and cable-stayed bridges by over two centuries. The last area was described when further developed in a separate book by mathematician Simon de Bruges (Simon Stevin) in 1586.

Lexicography

File:Fausto Veranzio
Frontespiece of the Dictionarium quinque lingarum

Veranzio was the author of a five-language dictionary,[21] Dictionarium quinque nobilissimarum Europæ linguarum, Latinæ, Italicæ, Germanicæ, Dalmatiæ, & Vngaricæ,[22] published in Venice in 1595, with 5,000 entries for each language: Latin, Italian, German, the Dalmatian language (in particular, the Chakavian dialect of Croatian) and Hungarian. These he called the "five noblest European languages" ("quinque nobilissimarum Europæ linguarum").[23]

The Dictionarium is a very early and significant example of both Croatian and Hungarian lexicography, and contains, in addition to the parallel list of vocabulary, other documentation of these two languages. In particular, Veranzio listed in the Dictionarium 304 Hungarian words that he deemed to be borrowed from Croatian. Also, at the end of the book, Veranzio included Croatian language versions of the Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, the Ave Maria and the Apostles' Creed.[24]

In an extension of the dictionary called Vocabula dalmatica quae Ungri sibi usurparunt, there is a list of Proto-Croatian words that entered the Hungarian language. The book greatly influenced the formation of both the Croatian and Hungarian orthography; the Hungarian language accepted his suggestions, for example, the usage of ly, ny, sz, and cz. It was also the first dictionary of the Hungarian language, printed four times, in Venice, Prague (1606), Pozun (1834) [25], and in Zagreb, Yugoslavia, in 1971. The work was an important source of inspiration for other European dictionaries such as an Hungarian and Italian dictionary written by Bernardino Balli, a German Thesaurus polyglottus by humanist and lexicographer Hieronim Megister, and multilingual Dictionarium septem diversarum linguarum by Peterus Lodereckerus of Prague in 1605.[23]

History and philosophy

Only a few of Veranzio's works related to history remain: Regulae cancellariae regni Hungariae and De Slavinis seu Sarmatis in Dalmatia exist in manuscript form, while Scriptores rerum hungaricum was published in 1798. In Logica nova ("New logic") and Ethica christiana ("Christian ethics"), which were published in a single Venetian edition in 1616, Veranzio dealt with the problems of theology regarding the ideological clash between the Reformation movement and Catholicism. Tommaso Campanella (1568–1639) and the Archbishop of Split Marco Antonio de Dominis (1560–1624) were his intellectual counterparts.

Lost works

File:Wells museum in sibenik
Veranzio's parachute in Šibenik's Wells Museum

Veranzio published some of his last works under the name "Giusto Verace"[26]. Some of them were never printed, left in the form of manuscripts. Some were sold to stay in big archives in the capitals of Austria or Hungary, while some were lost forever.

Legacy

When Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889–1951), Austrian-British philosopher and mathematician, moving from Berlin to England, began studying mechanical engineering in 1908, he was highly influenced by his reading of Renaissance technical treatises, particularly Veranzio's Machinae Novae.[27]

The 17th century Brooklyn Tidal Mill in Long Island (NY), one of the most popular and few still standing mills in the New York City area,[28] was built after the plan of Fausto Veranzio.[28][29][30]

Today, one of the oldest astronomical societies in Croatia bears the name "Faust Vrančić", as does a Croatian Navy rescue ship, as well as many schools in Croatia.

Notes

  1. ^ Alfred Day Rathbone, He's in the paratroops now, R.M. McBride & Company, 1943, University of California. page 172
  2. ^ Originally pronounced "vranchich"
  3. ^ Andrew L. Simon, Made in Hungary: Hungarian contributions to universal culture
  4. ^ The Hungarian Quarterly, Vol. XLII * No. 162 *, Summer 2001 László Sipka: Innovators and Innovations
  5. ^ Berthold Laufer, The Prehistory of Aviation Chicago Field Museum of Natural History, University of Michigan, 1928
  6. ^ a b Today Šibenik, Croatia. Cfr. A collection of modern and contemporary voyages & travels, Oxford University, 1805
  7. ^ a b c Abbe Albert Fortis, Travels Into Dalmatia, 1768
  8. ^ Memoirs of the court of Augustus: continued, and completed, from the original papers of the late Sir Thomas Blackwell John Mills, University of Aberdeen, Printed for A. Millar, 1753
  9. ^ Naklada Naprijed, The Croatian Adriatic Tourist Guide, pg. 208, Zagreb (1999), ISBN 953-178-097-8
  10. ^ Cultural Link Kanada, Deutschland: Festschrift zum Dreissigjährigen Bestehen by Beate Henn-Memmesheimer & David Gethin John
  11. ^ bishop of Csanád
  12. ^ on the Island of Prvić in the Adriatic Sea.
  13. ^ a b Original Machine Novae, Fausto VERANZIO - Malavasi Library, Milan - a complete and very detailed description of first and second edition of Veranzio's most famous work, "Machine Nove"
  14. ^ Weiying Gu, Ku Wei-Ying,Missionary approaches and linguistics in mainland China and Taiwan, Leuven University Press, 2001 - ISBN 9058671615 - Page 184
  15. ^ "The Invention of the Parachute", by Lynn White, Jr. in: Technology and Culture, Vol. 9, No. 3. (1968), pp. 462-467 (463)
  16. ^ Jonathan Bousfield, The Rough Guide to Croatia, pg. 280, Rough Guides (2003), ISBN 1843530848
  17. ^ Francis Trevelyan Miller, The world in the air: the story of flying in pictures, G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1930, pages 101-106
  18. ^ He's in the paratroops now, Alfred Day Rathbone, R.M. McBride & Company, 1943, University of California.
  19. ^ The book mentioning Veranzio parachute jump is John Wilkins's Mathematical Magic of the Wonders that may be Performed by Mechanical Geometry, Part I: Concerning Mechanical Powers Motion, and Part II, Deadloss or Mechanical Motions (London, 1648)
  20. ^ a b Biblioteca italiana, o sia giornale di letteratura, scienze ed arti, Vol 53, New York Public Library, 1829 (Italian)
  21. ^ Dictionaries in Early Modern Europe: Lexicography and the Making of Heritage by John P. Considine.
  22. ^ Apud Nicolaum Morettum, 1595, Venice
  23. ^ a b When Petrus Lodereckerus published in 1606 his Dictionarivm septem diversarvm lingvarvm, videlicet Latine, Italice, Dalmatice, Bohemicè, Polonicè, Germanicè, & Vngaricè, vna cum cuiuslibet linguæ registro siue repertorio vernaculo, Singulari studio & industria collectum a Petro Lodereckeroin (Prague), he included two more languages than Veranzio's pentadictionary: Czech and Polish, with the addition of indices in Latin for each language.
  24. ^ Was Faust Vrančić the first Croatian lexicographer?", by Branko Franolić, Annali Istituto Orientale di Napoli, Volume 19, 1976, p.178-182
  25. ^ Today Bratislava in Slovakia
  26. ^ The pseudonym "Giusto Verace" is a sort of pun in Italian: means "just (righteous) and genuine (truthful)".
  27. ^ F. A. Flowers, Portraits of Wittgenstein, Volume 2, page 133
  28. ^ a b Roger H. Charlier and Charles W. Finkl,Ocean Energy: Tide and tidal power
  29. ^ Bernard L. Gordon, Energy from the sea: marine resource readings, Book & Tackle - University of Virginia, 1977, ISBN 0910258074. - p. 119
  30. ^ ISES Congress 2007 Nothing New Under the Sun or Every Little Bit Helps Tidal Power: Status & Perspectives R.H. Charlier, M.C.P. Chaineux, C.W. Finkl, A.C Thys, Vol. I–V, Springer

References


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