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The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Beccaria, Giovanni Battista

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BECCARIA, Giovanni Battista, jŏ-vä'nē bät-tēs'tạ, Italian philosopher: b. Mondovi 1716; d. 27 April 1781. He went to Rome in 1732, where he studied, and afterward taught grammar and rhetoric; at the same time applying himself with success to mathematics. He was appointed professor of philosophy at Palermo, and afterward at Rome. Charles Emmanuel, King of Sardinia, invited him to Turin in 1748, to fill the professorship of natural philosophy at the university there. He paid much attention to the subject of electricity, and published ‘Natural and Artificial Electricity’ (Turin 1735), besides many other valuable works on this subject. In 1759 the King employed him to measure a degree of the meridian in Piedmont.