Maggi, Jerome

, an ingenious and learned man of the sixteenth century, was born at | Anghiari in Tuscany. He was educated in the Italian universities, where his genius and application carried him almost through the whole circle of sciences; for, besides the belles lettres and law, he applied to the study of war, and even wrote books upon the subject. In this also he afterwards distinguished himself: for he was sent by the Venetians to the isle of Cyprus, with the commission of judge-martial and when the Turks besieged Famagosta, he performed all the services to the place that could have been expected from a skilful engineer. He contrived a kind of mine and fire-engines, by which he laid the labours of the Turks in ruins: and he destroyed in a moment works which had cost them no small time and pains. But they had too good an opportunity of revenging themselves on him; for the city falling at last into their hands, in 1571, Magius became their slave, and was used very barbarously. His comfort lay altogether in the stock of learning with which he was provided; and so prodigious was his memory, that he did not think himself unqualified, though deprived entirely of books, to compose treatises full of quotations. As, he was obliged all the day to do the drudgery of the meanest slave, he spent a great part of the night in writirjg. He wrote in prison a treatise upon bells, “De tintinnabulis,” and another upon the wooden horse, “De equuleo.” He was determined to the first of these subjects by observing, that the Turks had no bells; and to the second, by ruminating upon the various kinds of torture to which his dismal situation exposed him, which brought to his reflection, that the equuleus had never been thoroughly explained. He dedicated the first of these treatises to the emperor’s ambassador at Constantinople, and the other to the French ambassador at the same place. He conjured these ambassadors to use their interest for his liberty; which while they attempted to procure him, they only hastened his death: for the bashaw Mahomet, who had not forgot the mischief which Magius had done the Turks at the siege of Famagosta, being informed that he had been at the Imperial ambassador’s house, whither they had indiscreetly carried him, caused him to be seized again, and strangled that night in prison. This happened in 1572, or 1573, it is not certain which.

The books which he published before he went to Cyprus, are, 1. “De mundi exitio per exustionem libri quinque,Basil, 1562, folio. 2. “Vitoe illustrium virorum, auctore | Æmilio Probo, cum commentariis,Basil, folio. 3. “Commentaria in quatuor institutionum civilium libros,” Lugd. 8vo. 4. “Miscellanea, sive variae lectiones,” Venet. 1564, 8vo. He also published some books in Italian; the most celebrated of which is his “Delia fortificatione delle citta,” which contains an account of his machines and instruments.

There were other men of considerable eminence in Italy of the same name, among whom we may enumerate, a brother of the preceding, Bartholomew Maggi, a physician at Bologna, who wrote a treatise in Latin, “On the Cure of Gun-shot Wounds,Bologna, 1552, 4to; VlN­Cent Maggi, a native of Brescia, and celebrated professor of ethics at Ferrara and Padua, author of several works Francis Maria Maggi, who published “Syntagmata linguarum Georgia,” Romae, 1670, folio; and lastly, Charles Maria Maggi, an Italian poet of the seventeenth century, and one of the restorers of good taste in Italy, after the barbarous ravages of the school of Marini. He was born at Milan in 1630, and was secretary to the senate of that city. He died in 1690, and his works were published in the following year by Muratori, at Milan, in 4 vols. 12mo. This poet is mentioned with very high encomiums in the letters between Mrs. Carter and Miss Talbot. The dowager lady Spencer also, when resident at Pisa, published a “Scelta” of his works; and in 1811, “The Beauties” of C. M. Maggi, “paraphrased,” were published by Mariane Starke. 1


Gen. Dict.—Niceron, vol. XVIII. —Fabroni. vol. XVII. British Critic, vol. XXXVII.