Giovanni Villani (c. 1280–1348) was an Italian banker, official,
diplomat, and chronicler from Florence who wrote the Nuova Cronica on
the history of Florence. He was a leading statesman of Florence but
later gained an unsavory reputation and served time in prison due to
the bankruptcy of a trading and banking company he worked for. His
interest and elaboration in economic details, statistical information,
and political and psychological insight signifies him as a more modern
late medieval chronicler of Europe. His Cronica is viewed as the first
introduction of statistics as a positive element in history. However,
historian Kenneth R. Bartlett notes that "his reliance on such elements
as Divine Providence links Villani closely with the medieval vernacular
chronical tradition," that is to say, not linked closely with his
Renaissance-era successors. In recurring themes made implicit through
significant events described in his Cronica, Villani also emphasized
three assumptions about sin and morality that guided historical events,
these being that excess brings disaster, forces of right and wrong are
at constant struggle, and that events are directly related to the will
of God. While continuing work on the Cronica and detailing the enormous
loss of life during the Black Death in 1348, Villani died of the very
same illness. His work on the Cronica was continued by his brother and
nephew. Villani's work has received both praise and criticism from
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Today's selected anniversaries:
The people of Madrid rebelled against French occupation of the city,
triggering the Peninsular War.
Captain Charles Fremantle of the Royal Navy established the Swan River
Colony, the first British settlement on the west coast of Australia.
World War II: General Helmuth Weidling, commander of the German troops
in Berlin, surrendered the city to Soviet forces led by Marshal Georgy
Zhukov, ending the Battle of Berlin.
Falklands War: HMS Conqueror launched three torpedoes and sank ARA
General Belgrano , the only ship ever to have been sunk by a
Henri Toivonen was killed in an accident while leading the Tour de
Corse rally, resulting in FISA, the sport governing body for motor
racing events, banning the powerful and popular Group B rally cars for
the following season.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. Eagerness; liveliness; enthusiasm.
2. Promptness; speed
Wikiquote quote of the day:
We are so bound together that no man can labor for himself alone. Each
blow he strikes in his own behalf helps to mold the Universe.
--Jerome K. Jerome
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