Info Panel
Home  /  E-sources  /  Faust Vrančić  /  Faust Vrančić, 450th birth anniversary / Ivka Kljajić ; Miljenko Lapaine

Faust Vrančić, 450th birth anniversary / Ivka Kljajić ; Miljenko Lapaine

“Faust VRANČIĆ (Faustus Verantius), a polyhistor, a constructor, a writer and a lexicographer, was born in 1551 in Šibenik, and died in Venice in 1617. In Požun, he obtained the initial humanistic education, and in 1568 he went to study philosophy and law in Padua, where he stayed until mid 1572. In the following years his life is poorly known, but probably he spent those years in Italy. In 1575 he was admitted to the membership of the Croatian Fraternity of St. Jerome in Rome. In 1579 he was appointed head of the bishop’s goods in Veszprém, where he stayed until 1581, when he accepted the position of the secretary of King Rudolf II in Prague; there he studied natural sciences, mathematics and technique. In 1594, he left his secretary position and lived in Dalmatia and Italy until 1598, especially in Venice, where in 1595 he published his famous dictionary Dictionarium quinque nobilissimarum Europae linguarum, Latinae, Italicae, Germanicae, Dalmaticae et Ungaricae (Dictionary of the five most noble European languages, Latin, Italian, German, Croatian and Hungarian). It is the first dictionary of the Croatian language, therefore it has a particular meaning for both mathematical and natural science terminology. It contains about 5000 words of each language. In 1598 Rudolf II named him the Titular Bishop of Csanád, but he served as the king’s counselor for Hungary and Transylvania. In 1605 he left the court and entered the Order of St. Paul, the so-called Barnabites, in Rome. Translated in Croatian, he published the work Život nikoliko izabranih divic in 1606. Returning to Rome, he also devoted himself to philosophical thoughts, especially logic. Thus in 1608 he published in Venice his work Logica suis ipsius instrumental format, and in 1610, in Rome, the work of Ethica christiana, in which the author was named by the pseudonym Justus Verax Sicenus. The revised edition of these two works is entitled Logica suis ipsius instrumentis format et recognita. Ethica christiana was published in 1616 in Venice under his real name. Return to Rome was of great importance for his further research into technical problems. As a result of all the occupations and researches on machine constructions and the solution of architectural problems, gradually he wrote his main work Machinae novae Fausti Verantii Siceni cum declaratione Latina, Italica, Hispanica, Gallica et Germanica, which was printed in late 1615 or early 1616 in Venice. In this work he presented 49 sketches and projects using copper etching technique. They bring 56 different devices and technical constructions, as described in the comments in Latin, Italian, Spanish, French and German. All these projects were not new, but many of them originally belonged to Vrančić, and they meant a great enrichment of technical forms. In Rome, he solved various practical hydrological problems, among which the problem of frequent flooding of the Tiber River in the city and the fountain improvement in Venice. In order to propose how to avoid the floods of the Tiber, Vrančić sought the causes of these floods. His proposal for the solution of this problem was presented as a cartographic presentation (project 1) titled Vrbis Romae Dilvvivm (About Roman watercourses) in the work of Machinae novae. The reprint of the Machinae novae was published in Zagreb in 1993.”

Summary of the paper: Kljajić, I.; Lapaine, M. Faust Vrančić, 450th birth anniversary. // Cartography and Geoinformation 1, 1 (2002), pp. 165-167.