Toscanelli, Paolo

   Florentine astronomer, mathe-matician, and cartographer, best known in his own time as an out-standing mathematician but most famed in modern times because his geographical ideas and his map depicting non-European parts of the world may have encouraged Christopher Columbus in the formula-tion of his plan to reach eastern Asia by sailing west. Toscanelli stud-ied mathematics at the University of Florence and medicine at Padua. At Padua he became a friend of the German scholar Nicholas of Cusa. Toscanelli practiced medicine in Florence from 1424, and since astrological knowledge was an important part of 15th-century medicine, he was expert in that field and in the closely related field of astronomy. He observed and mapped comets and was one of the first to conclude that comets are celestial rather than meteorological (that is, superlunary rather than sublunary) objects. His family's in-volvement in the spice trade may have attracted Toscanelli to specu-late about routes to the oriental source of spices. His miscalculation of the circumference of the earth, based on rejection of the accurate figures of the ancient astronomer Eratosthenes and his acceptance of other Hellenistic astronomers (including the standard authority, Ptolemy) who greatly underestimated the circumference, may have encouraged Columbus to seek his new route to Japan and China. If the letters are not later forgeries (a hotly debated issue among Colum-bus scholars), Columbus corresponded with Toscanelli, receiving a letter and a map that encouraged the plan that he carried out (unsuc-cessfully, as far as reaching East Asia was concerned) in 1492.

Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. . 2004.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Toscanelli, Paolo dal Pozzo — • Mathematician, astronomer, and cosmographer (1397 1482) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Toscanelli, Paolo del Pozzo — ► (1397 1482) Cosmógrafo y matemático italiano. Fue astrólogo judiciario e instaló un gnomon en la basílica de Santa Maria del Fiore. Observó el cometa de Halley en 1456 …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Paolo Dal Pozzo Toscanelli —     Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli     Mathematician, astronomer, and cosmographer, b. at Florence in 1397; d. there, 10 May, 1482. Toscanelli, who was one of the most distinguished scientists… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Paolo Dal Pozzo Toscanelli — Paolo Toscanelli Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli ou Paolo Toscanelli (Florence 1397 – Florence, 15 mai 1482) surnommé Paul le physicien, était un astronome, un cartographe et un médecin florentin du XVe siècle. Sommaire 1 Biographie …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Toscanelli — Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli Der Arzt, Mathematiker, Astronom und Kartograf Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli lebte von 1397 bis 1482 in Florenz. Er beschäftigte sich u.a. mit der Idee, dass man Asien von Europa aus auf einem westlichen Seeweg erreichen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli — (* 1397 in Florenz; † 1482 in Florenz) war ein italienischer Arzt, Mathematiker, Astronom und Kartograf. Er beschäftigte sich u.a. mit der Idee, dass man Asien von Europa aus auf einem westlichen Seeweg erreichen könne. So wurde er einer der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli — Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli. Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli (Florencia, 1397 10 de mayo de 1482) fue un matemático, astrónomo y cosmógrafo italiano. Fue el hijo del físico Dominic Toscanelli. Aprendió matemáticas en la Universidad de Padua y se graduó …   Wikipedia Español

  • Toscanelli — Toscanelli, Paolo, Astronom, geb. 1396 in Florenz; brachte 1468 den ersten Gnom on auf der Kathedrale zu Florenz an u. stand 1474 mit Columbus wegen dessen Entdeckungsreise im Briefwechsel; er st. 1482 …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Toscanelli — Toscanelli, Paolo del Pozzo …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Paolo Toscanelli — Naissance 1397 Florence (Italie) Décès 15 mai 1482 Florence (Italie) Nationalité …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.