Giambattista della Porta Biography
Birthday: November 1, 1535 (Scorpio)
Born In: Vico Equense, Italy
Giambattista della Porta was a 16th century Italian scholar, playwright, and polymath. He is best remembered for his work ‘Magiae Naturalis’ aka ‘Natural Magic’ that he published in 1558. The book, covering a variety of subjects, including astrology, mathematics, and philosophy, was an immediate success and established his reputation as a “professor of secrets” in the European world. He was born in a noble Neapolitan family to a wealthy father who served Emperor Charles V. Porta was the third of four sons and the second to survive childhood. He was educated by private tutors in an academic household that was frequented by philosophers, musicians, mathematicians, and poets. Porta was raised more as a gentleman than as a scholar and was taught to ride, dance, and perform well in sports and games. His interest in music encouraged him to attend the highly exclusive academy of musicians, Scuola di Pitagora. During his lifetime, the multi-talented scholar released books on various subjects like magic, physiognomics, science, and philosophy. In February 1615, Porta died in the house of his daughter in Naples.