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Verantius, Faustus [Vrancic, Faust]

1. Dates
Born: Sibenik (Coatia), 1551
Died: Venice, 20 Jan. 1617
Dateinfo: Dates Certain
Lifespan: 66
2. Father
Occupation: Aristocrat
He came from a noble Croatian family. His father was a diplomat and poet. His uncle, Archbishop of Esztergom, Primate of Hungary, Cardinal, and an influential stateman, took charge of his education.
This certainly sounds affluent at the very least.
3. Nationality
Birth: Yugoslav Area (or more exactly Croatian)
Career: Yugoslav Area, Italian
Death: Italian
4. Education
Schooling: Vienna, Padua, Sapienza (Rome)
He studied philosophy and law in Padua from 1568 to 1570. Studies apparently at the university level in Vienna and Rome are also mentioned. There was no mention of a degree, which would have been irrelevant for one of his status. Later in his leisure time he studied mechnics and mathematics.
5. Religion
Affiliation: Catholic
6. Scientific Disciplines
Primary: Engineering, Hydraulics
Subordinate: Mathematics
His Machinae novae (1616) is a book of mechanical and technological inventions. Some of his inventions are applicable to the solutions of hydrological problems, and others concern the construction of clepsydras, sundials, mills, presses, and bridges and boats for widely different uses. Althogh some of his 'machines' were not wholly original or independent inventions, many of them were explained for the first time in print in Machinae novae.
In 1595 he published a five language dictionary (Latin- Italian-German-Croatian-Hungarian). He was also the author of Logica nova and Ethica christiana (1616).
7. Means of Support
Primary: Government, Church Life
Commander of the citadel at Veszprim, 1579-81.
Secretary of the royal chancellory of Hungary, 1581-94.
Bishop of Csanad, 1594.
Imperial counselor for Hungarian and Transylvanian affairs, 1598-1605.
Member of the Congregation of St. Paul in Rome, 1605-15.
8. Patronage
Type: Court Official
Emperor Rudolf II offered him the post of secretary of the royal chancellory of Hungary in 1681, and granted him the title of Bishop of Csanad, an honorary office since the bishopric was then occupied by the Turks, in 1594.
At his request, Louis XIII in 1614 granted him a privilege for printing a "book of machines". In 1615 Cosimo II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscary, granted him a analogous privilege for the book "that the latter wishes to publish."
9. Technological Involvement
Types: Hydraulics, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Devices
Some of his inventions are applicable to the solution of hydrological problems, for example, the project to keep the Tiber from overflowing its banks at Rome and that of providing Venice with fresh water. Others concern the construction of clepsydras, sundials, mills, presses, and bridges and boats destined for widely different uses.
His designs for a wind turbine, a funicular railway, and a bridge suspended by iron chains represent an advance over contemporary techniques.
He did build bridges and mills in Vienna.
10. Scientific Societies
Memberships: None
  1. G. Gyurikovits, "Biographia Verantii" in Verantius' Dictionarium pentaglottum, Bratislava, 1834. (Zagreb edition, 1971).
  2. Dizionario biografico degli uomini illustri della Dalmazia, ed. Simeone Gliubich, (Vienna, 1856).
  3. Opca enciklopedija.
Not Available and Not Consulted
  1. J.T. Marnavich, Oratio habita in funere ill. ac rev. viri Fausti Verantij, Venice, 1617.
  2. H.T. Horwitz,"Ueber Fausto Veranzio und sein Werk Machinae novae" Archeion, 8 (1927), 169-75. CD1740.A66.
Compiled by:
Richard S. Westfall
Department of History and Philosophy of Science
Indiana University

Note: the creators of the Galileo Project and this catalogue cannot answer email on geneological questions.

1995 Al Van Helden
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