Biography of Giambattista Della Porta (1535-1615)

Philosopher, scientist and Italian writer, was a friend of Galileo, and related to P. Sarpi and T. Campanella. He/She studied medicine, Demonology, astrology, palmistry, magnetism, and mechanics. The correspondence between the external shape of the body and the character (of human phisiognomonia, 1586) analyzed and described a machine of steam (from spiritalibus, 1601). He/She also tried the themes of cryptology and the mnemonics (of NOTIS litterarum notis, 1563 and Ars reminiscendi, 1602). His main work is magic naturalis sive de miraculis rerum naturalium (1558). It distinguishes "natural magic" (that man, with his magical arts, aid to natural processes, are carried out using principles of sympathy and antipathy and astral influence) and "diabolical magic" (based on trade with unclean spirits).