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(E) History of Croatian Science
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  01/2/2005 | History | Unrated
(E) History of Croatian Science


History ofCroatian Science - the whole story

© by Darko Zubrinic, Zagreb (1995)

In this section we should again mention the names ofMark Antun Dominis andRugjer Boskovic (1711-1787), whose work was veritably encyclopaedistic.

The first known manual about book-keeping was "Della mercatura e del mercante perfetto," written by Benko Kotruljic (born inDubrovnik, 15th century). Its French translation appeared under the title "Parfait négociant" in Lyon in 1613.

On the islet of Kosljun near largest Croatian island of Krk there is a beautiful Franciscan monastery, which had one of the oldest "banks" in Europe. It was operational from the 17th to 19th century, providing loans for the poor at low interest rates, to protect them from exploiters. See "What's on Kvarner," p. 81, available at Appleby.

Frederik Grisogono (born inZadar, 1472-1538), a mathematician, physicist, astronomer and physician, was educated in Padova, where later he became a university professor. His commentaries on Euclid's `Elements' were published in his book Speculum astronomicum terminans intellectum humanum in omni scientia, Venice in 1507. His most important contribution was the theory of tides, based on the attraction of the Moon, which influenced Mark Antun Dominis. He discovered the antipodal tidal wave. His theory of tides is described in De modo collegiandi, pronosticandi et curandi febres, nec non de humana felicitate ac denique de fluxu et refluxu maris, Venice 1528.

Juraj Dragisic (Georgius Benignus), Franciscan born in the famousBosnian town Srebrenica, suggested a reform of the Julian calendar to Pope Leon X in 1514 in his study Correctio erroris, which was accepted by the Pope Gregory XIII. The new, Gregorian calender is in use since 1582.

Vinko Paletin (1508-1575), born in the noble family on the island of Korcula, arrived to Mexico as a young missionary. Later, after his studies in Italy, he became professor of mathematics in Vicenza. For several years Paletin was employed on diplomatic missions for the Spanish King Philip II.He translated from Spanish into Italian the work about navigation written by the Spanish cosmograph Pedro Medina (L'arte del naviger, Venice, 1554). Paletin's most important work is De jura et justitia belli contra Indias, preserved as manuscript in Latin, and a more extensive version in Spanish (Croatian translations exist since 1978 and 1979). He mentioned that builders of Maya pyramids in Chichen-Itza, Mayapan and Uxumal, as well as builders of huge basalt heads, were in fact old Cartagians which according to antic authors sailed off long ago across Gibraltar, and discovered the New World (Hesperids). Maya Indians recounted to Paletin an old legend about "the arrival of bearded people from far away". For more details see [Zoric].

The first technical discoveries are related to the name ofFaust Vrancic (lat. Faustus Verantius, italianized name Fausto Veranzio, hungarized nameFaustus Verancsics, 1551-1617). It is known that he collaborated with Tycho Brache and Johannes Keppler. Vrancic was fluent in at least seven languages. At the court of King Rudolph II in Hradcani in Prague (Rudloph II was Roman-German Emperor and Croatian-Hungarian King) he worked as his secretary, and in that period completed his importantdictionary of five most noble European languages (Dictionarium quinque nobilissimarum Europeae linguarum: Latinae, Italicae, Germanicae, Dalmaticae et Hungaricae) and published in Venice in 1595. He is best known for his book of inventions inMachinae Novae, published also in Venice in 1595. The book was finantially supported by the French King Louis XIII, and the Toscan Duke Cosimo II de Medici. Among his numerous inventions the most famous is the parachute, which he tested in Venice. It is true that Leonardo da Vinci had a similar idea earlier, but he made only a rough sketch of it, of pyramidal shape, while Vranic's parachute had rectangular shape, as today. - the whole story

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