Janello Torriani and the Spanish Empire

A Vitruvian Artisan at the Dawn of the Scientific Revolution

Series:

Janello Torriani, known in the Spanish-speaking world as Juanelo Turriano (Cremona, Italy ca. 1500 – Toledo, Spain 1585), is the greatest among Renaissance inventors and constructors of machines. Contemporary literates and mathematicians celebrated Janello Torriani and his creations in their writings. It is striking how such fame turned into nearly complete oblivion, leaving only a few clues of a blurred and distorted memory dispersed here and there. This book wishes to show the central role that artisans formed in the Vitruvian tradition played in demonstrating through practical mathematics an increasing and positive control over Nature, a step rooted in humanist culture and foundational for the understanding of those historical processes known as the Scientific and the Industrial Revolutions.

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Biographical Note

Cristiano Zanetti received his Ph.D. in History of Science and Technology at the History and Civilization Department of the European University Institute of Fiesole (2012). He has published monographs and articles on Medieval Archaeology and Renaissance Science and Technology, and is active in Public History projects and organizing exhibitions to disseminate the results of his research.

Table of contents

Illustrations
Acknowledgements
Abbreviations
Introduction


PART 1. A CENTRE OF EDUCATION FOR THE VITRUVIAN ARTISAN AT THE PERIPHERY OF THE EMPIRE

1. Janello Torriani's First Education
Cremona, the Italian Wars and the Desire for a Better Life
Fashioning the Aura of the Genius
Family, Social Status, Education
Humanist Pedagogy in Cremona

2. The Theoretical Clock
The Science of the Stars
Renaissance Scientific Instruments
A Physician as a Mentor: Giorgio Fondulo (Cremona 1473-1545)

3. The practical Clock
The Guild
Janello Torriani the Blacksmith
Between Public Clock and Private Workshop


PART 2. THE EMPEROR’S CLOCKMAKER (1540-1558)

4. The Artisan Courtier
The Grand Tour in Reverse
A Broth of Clocks for the Emperor
Climbing The Social Ladder

5. Networks and Technology in Habsburg Europe
From Commoner to Courtier
The Artisan’s Apotheosis
The Ambassadors from Mantua and their Brokerage of Janello’s Inventions
Janello Entrepreneur

6. The Microcosm
The First Machine-Tool to Cut Gears
Anatomy of the Microcosm


PART 3. HYDRAULIC METAMORPHOSIS OF A CLOCKMAKER AT THE COURT OF THE NEVER-SETTING SUN

7. Mechanics: From Micro to Macro
Automata, Watches And Great Machines
Models and the Problems of Scale
From Clockmaking to Hydraulic Engineering

8. Janello in Spain as a Royal Hydraulic Engineer (1563-1585)
Hydraulic Engineering in the Habsburg Empire
Toledo: a Paradigmatic Stage for Renaissance Water-Technology

9. The First Global Empire Produces the First Giant Water-Machine
Qui Bono? Janello caught between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Invention and the Practice of Secrecy

Conclusions
Bibliography
Manuscript Sources
Printed Sources
Index

Readership

This book wishes to address an audience interested in the history of science and technology, attracted by the charming milieu of the Cinquecento and concerned with excellent patterns of creativity.

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