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Francesco Redi

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Italian poet, b. at Arezzo, 18 February, 1626; d. at Pisa 1 March, 1698. After taking his degree in medicine, he entered the service of the Colonna family at Rome as a tutor, and held the position five years. In 1654 he went to Florence, where he acted as physician to the Grand dukes Ferdinand II and Cosimo III. He was constantly engaged in experiments intended to improve the practice of medicine and surgery, and yet found leisure for much literary work. He was an active member of several of the academies of the time, and, as an associate of the Crusca, aided in preparing its important Vocabolario. He taught in the Studio at Florence in 1666, as lettore publico di lingua toscana and was one of the first members of the Arcadia. His writings include a number of scientific documents, e.g. "Osservazioni intorno alle vipere", "Esperienze intorno alla generazione degl' insetti", "Consulti medici", etc. Other writings are his "Lettere"; the dithyrambs, "Bacco in Toscana" and "Arianna Inferma", besides a number of lyrics, some of which are Petrarchian and others burlesque in their tone; and an unedited Vocbolario aretino . The "Bacco in Toscana" is the best example of the dithyramb in Italian, and, although deformed occasionally by obscure imagery and diction, it remains one of the best works of the seventeenth century.

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