(1,237 words)

Aviatics is the skill of using wings or other airfoils to stay up in the air, in other words the art of flying like a bird (Latin avis). Medieval chronicles already contain many accounts of individuals who tried to imitate avian flight. Most such “flights” from high towers ended in disaster. Stories of attempted flights with a level of detail that enhances their credibility occur in increasing numbers from the second half of the 15th century, one example being the case of Giovanni Battista Danti (ca. 1477-1517), who mad…

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Behringer, Wolfgang, “Aviatics”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 24 March 2018 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_017269>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321

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