Dati, Charles

, professor of polite literature at Florence, where he was born, became famous, as well for his works as for the eulogies which many writers have bestowed on him. He behaved with great courtesy to all learned travellers who went to Florence, many of whom expressed their acknowledgment of it in their writings; but of his personal history, his countrymen have left us little account. He was a member of the academy della Crusca, and in that quality took the name of Smarrito, and became one of the chief ornaments of that society. He made a panegyric upon Lewis XIV. in Italian, and published it at Florence in 1699; the French translation of it was printed at Rome the year following. That monarch gave him a pension of an hundred pistoles, with a liberal invitation to France, which however he declined. He had already published some Italian poems in praise of Louis. The book entitled “Lettera di Timauro Antiate a Filaleti, della vera storia della Cicloide, e della famosissima esperienza dell' argento vivo,” and printed at Florence in 1663, was written by him; for it appears from the 26th page of the letter, that the pretended Timauro Antiate is no other than Charles Dati. In this work he endeavours to prove that father Mursennus is not the inventor of the cycloid, as is said in the history of it, but that the glory of that invention belongs to Galileo; the other, that Torricelli was innocent of plagiarism, when he pretended to be the first who explained the suspension of quicksilver in a glass tube by the pressure of the air, for that he was the real author of this supposition. But the chief work to which our Dati applied himself, was the “Vite dei Pittori,” which he published in 1667. This, which was to have embraced the lives of all the ancient painters, contains only those of Zeuxis, Parrhasius, Apelles, and Protogenes. He published also a valuable collection of elegant and useful lessons for writing Italian, entitled “Prose Fiorentiui.” Few men had studied that language with more attention. He died in 1675, greatly lamented for his personal, as well as public character. Among his numerous correspondents we find the name of our illustrious Milton. There is a recent and much improved edition of his “Vite dei Pittori” by Della Valle, published at Sienna, 1795, 4to. 1


Fabroni Vitae Italorum: the best account yet given. —Niceron, vol. XXIV. —Tiraboschi.. Cureiuse.