Mathematician:Tito Livio Burattini

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Italian inventor, architect, Egyptologist, scientist, instrument-maker, traveller, engineer, and nobleman.

Developed an early system of measurement based on time, similar to today's International System of Units.

Invented the the metro cattolico (that is "catholic [i.e. universal] metre"), a unit of length equivalent to the length of a pendulum whose period is $1$ second.

Probably the first to recommend the name metre for a unit of length.

Used measurements made by John Greaves in an attempt to accurately determine the circumference of Earth.

Made lenses for microscopes and telescopes, and gave some of them to Cardinal Leopoldo de' Medici.

Performed optical experiments and contributed to the discovery of irregularities on the surface of Venus, comparable to those on the Moon.

Credited with building a calculating machine, which he donated to Grand Duke Ferdinando II of Tuscany, that borrowed from both a Blaise Pascal machine and Napier's bones.




  • Born: 8 March 1617 in Agordo, Italy
  • 1639: Explored the Great Pyramid of Giza with John Greaves
  • 1641: Moved to Poland at the invitation of the court of King Władysław IV
  • 1647: Built a model aircraft with four fixed glider wings
  • Died: 17 November 1681 in Kraków, Poland

Theorems and Definitions


  • 1675: Misura Universale ("Universal Measure")

Also known as

In Polish his name was rendered Tytus Liwiusz Burattini.