The famous Leonardo da Vinci, probably one of the most intelligent people who ever lived, was born on this day in the small Tuscan town of Vinci.
He was the illegitimate son of a wealthy nobleman and notary Piero Fruosina and a local peasant woman named Caterina.
Leonardo actually did not have a surname – “da Vinci” is simply a label that he originated from the place Vinci.
Although he was the illegitimate son, his father cared for him, especially for his schooling. The first five years of his life little Leonardo spent with his mother in the village Anchiano near Vinci, and then came to his father’s house and lived with his family.
His father married a 16-year-old girl who loved Leonardo, but died young. His father got lawful heirs only in his fourth marriage. Da Vinci was educated by the famous painter Verrocchio.
At the age of 25, Leonardo was accused of sodomy, but was acquitted. It is interesting that Leonardo was a vegetarian and felt great compassion towards animals.
He allegedly bought caged birds from traders, only to open their cages and release them. He was 173 centimeters tall (measured by the length of his skeleton) and wore his hair long, although short hair was more fashionable at that time.
Leonardo also wore an unusually long beard, even though men normally cut theirs short in his time. Recently, Leonardo’s fingerprint was reconstructed from his papers.
Based upon it, it was concluded that it is possible that his mother was of Middle Eastern or even Arab origin, and that she may have been a slave brought to Italy.