Cecco D'Ascoli, An Italian Savant And Martyr, whose real name was Francesco (of which Cecco is a diminutive) Stabili, born at Ascoli in 1257, died in Florence, Sept. 16, 1327. He taught astrology, philosophy, and mathematics, and to escape from penalties imposed upon him by the inquisition for his alleged heterodoxy, he went in December, 1324, to Florence, where however he was handed over to the secular courts as a heretic and sentenced to die at the stake. It has been asserted that he had been for some time physician to Pope John XXII.; that from having been a friend of Dante he became an adverse critic of his writings and of those of Guido Cavalcante; and that the admirers of the illustrious poet joined the inquisitors who clamored for his death. But there is no conclusive authority for these and other statements in regard to him, excepting in respect to the circumstances attending his death, He possessed an extraordinary amount of information for his day, as attested by his principal work, L'Acerba, a kind of poetic cyclop;edia, in four parts, devoted to the sciences and to ethics, and finished only to the beginning of the fifth part, which he had reserved for theology. His writings were chiefly founded upon personal observations and experiments, and foreshadowed even the principle of the circulation of the blood.

The work passed through 20 editions from the time of its first appearance (about 1473) to about 1523, the least imperfect being that of Venice, 1510.