Marco Antonio de Dominis

[Marco Antonio de Dominis] Ecclesiastic, scientist, and apostate, born island of Arbe, off Dalmatia, 1566; died Rome, Italy, 1624. Having left the Jesuit Order, he was made Bishop of Zengg and Modrus and later transferred to Spalato. After becoming involved in the quarrels between the Holy See and Venice, he apostatized, and was welcomed to England by James I. He wrote a number of violent anti-Roman works, but eventually alienated his English friends and returned to Rome. Having recanted all that he had written against the papacy, he attacked the Anglican Church with equal violence. He finally came into conflict with the Inquisition, was declared a relapsed heretic, and was confined in the Castle of Sant' Angelo, where he died. The case having been continued, his body was burned, together with his works. According to Newton he was the first to develop the theory of the rainbow, a claim which is disputed in favor of Descartes.

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