1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Mazzoni, Giacomo

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MAZZONI, GIACOMO (1548-1598), Italian philosopher, was born at Cesena and died at Ferrara. A member of a noble family and highly educated, he was one of the most eminent savants of the period. He occupied chairs in the universities of Pisa and Rome, was one of the founders of the Delia Crusca Academy, and had the distinction, it is said, of thrice vanquishing the Admirable Crichton in dialectic. His chief work in philosophy was an attempt to reconcile Plato and Aristotle, and in this spirit he published in 1597 a treatise In universam Platonis et Aristotelis philosophiam praecludia. He wrote also De triplici hominum vita, wherein he outlined a theory of the infinite perfection and development of nature. Apart from philosophy, he was prominent in literature as the champion of Dante, and produced two works in the poet's defence: Discorso composto in difesa delta comedia di Dante (1572), and Della difesa della comedia di Dante (1587, reprinted 1688). He was an authority on ancient languages and philology, and gave a great impetus to the scientific study of the Italian language.