Dante, John Baptist

, of the same family, probably, with the preceding, and native also of Perugia, was an excellent mathematician, and is memorable for having fitted a pair of wings so exactly to his body, as to be able to fly with them. He made the experiment several times over the lake Trasimenus; and succeeded so well, that he had the courage to perform before the whole city of Perugia, during the solemnity of the marriage of Bartholomew | d'Alviano with the sister of John Paul Baglioni. He shot himself from the highest part of the city, and directed his flight over the square, to the admiration of the spectators: but unfortunately the iron, with which he managed one of his wings, failed; and then, not being able to balance the weight of his body, he fell on a church, and broke his thigh. Bayle fancies, that the history of this Daedalus, for so he was called, will not generally be credited; yet he observes, that it is said to have been practised at other places, for which he refers us to the “Journal des Sgavans” of 1678. Dante was afterwards invited to be professor of the mathematics at Venice. He flourished towards the end of the fifteenth century, and died before he was forty years old. 1


Gen. Dict. —Moreri.