Poleni, John

, an Italian marquis, and a learned mathematician, was born at Padua in 1683. He was appointed professor of astronomy and mathematics in the university of his native city, and filled that post with high reputation. In three instances he gained prizes from the Royal Academy of Sciences, and in 1739 he was elected an associate of that body. He was also a member of the academy of Berlin, a fellow of the London Royal Society, and a member of the Institutes of Padua and Bologna, and contributed many valuable mathematical and astronomical papers to the Memoirs of these Societies. As he was celebrated for his skill and deep knowledge of hydraulic architecture, he was nominated by the Venetian government, superintendant of the rivers and waters throughout the republic; other states also applied to him for advice, in business belonging to the same science. He was sent for by pope Benedict XIV. to survey the state of St. Peter’s church at Rome, and drew up a memoir on what he conceived necessary to be done. | He died at Padua in 1761, at the age of 7S. He appears to have acquired very distinguished reputation in his day, and was the correspondent of many learned contemporaries, particularly sir Isaac Newton, Leibnitz, the Bernoulli’s, Wolff, Cassini, Gravesande, Muschenbroeck, Fontenelle, and others. Nor was he more esteemed as a mathematician than as an antiquary, and the learned world is indebted to him for a valuable supplement to the collections of Graerius and Gronovius, Venice, 1737, 5 vols. fol. but these volumes are rather scarce. Among his other most valued publications are, “Exercitationes Vitruvianae, seu Commentarius Criticus de Vitruvii architectura,Venice, 1739, 4to and “Dissertazione sopra al Tempio di Diana di Efeso,Rome, 1742. Fabroni gives a long list of his mathematical and astronomical essays, and of the Mss. he left behind him. 1

1 Fabroni Vitae Italorum, vol. XII. —Dict. Hist.