Nani, John Baptist

, a noble Venetian, and proctor of St. Mark, was the son of John Nani, once possessed of the same post, and born Aug. 30, 1616. He studied polite learning under Peter Renzoli of Arezzo, a secular priest; and went through his course of philosophy among the Dominicans of St. Paul and St. John at Venice. His brother, Augustine Nani, being made commandant of Vicenza, he followed him to that city, and continued his studies there. Upon his return to his own country, in | 1637, he was one of the thirty who are drawn every year by lot, to assist at the election of magistrates. His father, who was a person of good abilities, formed his son for business himself; and, in that view, carried him to Rome, where he went ambassador from the republic of Venice to Urban VI I L That pontiff, a man of discernment, predicted, that John Baptist Nani would make an extraordinary person: and his holiness’s prediction was verified. He was admitted into the college of senators in 1641; and not long after went ambassador to France, which character he sustained at Paris for the space of five years, with great reputation. Mazarine, who then was prime minister there, had frequent conferences with him, and received some excellent advice from him, upon the affairs discussed in the treaty of Munster, which was concluded in 1648; in which year Nani returned home, having obtained from France considerable succours both of men and money, for carrying on the war against the Turks in Candia. His merit raised him soon after to be a member of the grand council of the republic, in which he was appointed superintendant of the marine and the finances. In 1654 he was sent ambassador to the imperial court of Germany; did the republic considerable services; and made a second journey to that court^ upon the election of the emperor Leopold. While he was here, he received orders to go again to France, in 1660. He was there at the marriage of Lewis XIV. after the Pyrenean treaty, and obtained fresh succours for the war of Candia. The Venetian senate were greatly satisfied with his conduct, and appointed him proctor of St. Mark. Not long after, in 1663, the great council nominated him captain-general of the marine; but, the air of the sea not at all agreeing with his constitution, it was resolved not to expose a life so valuable, and even necessary to the republic, to such imminent danger; and the nomination was withdrawn.

He continued, however, to serve his country upon many considerable occasions, and was appointed by the senate to write the “History of Venice;” an employment which is given only to the principal nobility of that republic. He published the first part; and the second was in the press, when he died, Nov. 5, 1678, in his 63d year. His “History of Venice” was much esteemed, and translated into French. There is an English translation of the first part, by sir Robert Honey wood, 1673, fol. There are some | partialities in his history, and his style is considerably embarrassed with parentheses, but it is still a favourite with his countrymen. He also published “An Account of his second Ambassage into France in 1660,” and composed other pieces, which are extant in manuscript only. Several authors have spoken advantageously of him. 1


Niceren, vol. XI.—Tiraboschi.