Patrizi, Francis

, a platonic philosopher and man of letters, was born, in 1529, at Clissa in Illyricum, and was educated at Padua. In 1553 he began to appear as an author by some miscellaneous Italian tracts. In 1557, with the view of obtaining the patronage of the duke of Ferrara, he published a panegyrical poem on the house of Este, entitled “L’Eridano,” in a novel kind of heroic verse of thirteen syllables. After this, for several years, he passed an unsettled kind of life, in which he twice visited the isle of Cyprus, where he took up his abode for seven years, and which he finally quitted on its reduction by the Turks in 1571. He also travelled into France and Spain, and spent three years in the latter country, collecting a treasure of ancient Greek Mss. which he lost on his return to Italy. In 1578 he was invited to Ferrara by duke Alphonso II. to teach philosophy in the university of that city. Afterwards, upon the | accession of Clement VIII. to the popedom, he was appointed public professor of the Platonic philosophy at Rome, an office which he held with high reputation till his death, hi 1597. He professed to unite the doctrines of Aristotle and Plato, but in reality undermined the authority of the former. He wholly deserted the obscurity of the Jewish Cabbala, and in teaching philosophy closely followed the ancient Greek writers. During his lecturing at Rome, he more openly discovered his aversion to the Aristotelian philosophy, and advised the pope to prohibit the teaching pf it in the schools, and to introduce the doctrine of Plato, as more consonant to the Christian faith. His “Discussiones Peripatetics,” a learned, perspicuous, and elegant work, fully explains the reason on which his disapprobation of the Peripatetic philosophy was founded. He was one of the first of the moderns who attentively observed the phenomena of nature, and he made use of every opportunity, that his travels afforded him, for collecting remarks concerning various points of astronomy, meteorology, and natural history. In one of his “Dialogues on Rhetoric,” he advanced, under the fiction of an Ethiopic tradition, a theory of the earth which some have thought similar to that afterwards proposed by Dr. Thomas Burnet. His other principal works were, “Nova Geometria,1587; “Parallels Militari,1594, both of which are full of whimsical theories and an elaborate edition of “Oracula Zoroastris, Hermetis Trismegisti, et aliorum ex scriptis Platonicorum collecta, Graece et Latine, prefixa Dissertation^ Historica,1591. 1


Gen. Dict. Landi Hist, Litt. d' Italic. Brucker. Bees’s Cyclopædia.