Paolo Dal Pozzo Toscanelli
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Toscanelli, Paolo Dal Pozzo
Born 1397 in Florence; died there May 10, 1482. Italian humanist scholar, cosmographer, and astronomer.
The conservator of the library founded in Florence by the humanist Niccolò de’ Niccoli for the general use of the citizens, Toscanelli studied the works of ancient and medieval cosmographers. He supported the theory that the earth was round and advanced the idea that it was possible to reach India by a western route. In 1468, using a gnomon, he determined the times of the solstices. Toscanelli made critical corrections to the Alfonsine tables, a set of 13th-century astronomical tables, and removed the astrological elements contained therein.