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Fausto Veranzio

AKA Faust Vrancic

Born: 1551
Birthplace: Sibenik, Croatia
Died: 27-Jan-1617
Location of death: Venice, Italy
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Our Lady of Charity Church, Prvic Luka, Croatia

Gender: Male
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Engineer, Lexicographer

Nationality: Croatia
Executive summary: Tested Da Vinci's parachute

While Leonardo Da Vinci is sometimes credited as the inventor of the parachute, he only sketched the idea; it was Fausto Veranzio a century later who assembled and tested the first working parachute, inspired by Da Vinci's drawings. Called Homo volans (Flying Man), it had a lightweight wooden frame over which fabric was stretched, and it was tested by Veranzio in a leap from the top of a tall building in Venice in 1595. Additionally, he designed windmills and a mill driven by tides, and engineered a flood control system on the River Tiber. He studied engineering and mathematics, and served in the court of King Rudolph II in Prague, where he befriended two leading scientists of his time, Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler. Veranzio spoke seven languages fluently, and compiled a 5,000 word, five-language dictionary (Croatian, German, Hungarian, Italian, and Latin), which was the first published dictionary of the Croatian language.

    University: University of Padua

    Roman Catholic Bishop
    Order of St Paul
    Croatian Ancestry

Author of books:
Dictionarium quinque Nobilissimarum Europeae Linguarum (Dictionary of the Five Most Noble Languages of Europe) (1595)
Machine Novae (New Machines) (1595)

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