BASSANTIN (James)

, a Scotch astronomer of the 16th century, born in the reign of James the 4th of Scotland. He was a son of the Laird of Bassantin in the Merse. After finifhing his education at the university of Glasgow, he travelled through Germany and Italy, and then settled in the university of Paris, where he taught mathematics with great applause. Having acquired some property in this employment, he returned to Scotland in 1562, where he died 6 years after.

From his writings it appears he was no inconsiderable astronomer, for the age he lived in; but, according to the fashion of the times, he was not a little addicted to judicial astrology. It was doubtless to our author that Sir James Melvil alludes in his Memoirs, when he says that his brother Sir Robert, when he was using his endeavours to reconcile the two queens Elizabeth and Mary, met with one Bassantin a man learned in the high sciences, who told him, “that all his travel would be in vain; for, said he, they will never meet together; and next, there will never be any thing but dissembling and secret hatred for a while, and at length captivity and utter wreck to our queen from England.” He added, “that the kingdom of England at length shall fall, of right, to the crown of Scotland: but it shall cost many bloody battles; and the Spaniards shall be helpers, and take a part to themselves for their labour.” A prediction in which Bassantin partly guessed right, which it is likely he was enabled to do from a judicious consideration of probable circumstances and appearances.

Bassantin's works are,

1. Astronomia Jacubi Bassantini Scoti, opus absolutissimum, &c; ter. edit. Latine et Gallice. Genev. 1599, fol. This is the title given it by Tornœsius, who translated it into Latin from the French, in which language it was first published.

2. Paraphrase de l'Astrolabe, avec une amplification de l'usage de l'Astrolabe. Lyons 1555. Paris 1617, 8vo.

3. Mathematica Genethliaca.

4. Arithmetica.

5. Musica secundum Platonem.

6. De Mathesi in Genere.

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Entry taken from A Mathematical and Philosophical Dictionary, by Charles Hutton, 1796.

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BASILIC
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BASILISK
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BASS
* BASSANTIN (James)
BASSOON
BASTION
BASTON
BATTEN
BATTERING