V Vico, Giambattista (1668-1744) Professor of Latin eloquence at the University of Naples and author of the New Science. Vico was born in Naples and left only once, to tutor the children of the Rocca family for nine years (1686 to 1695) at their castle at Vatolla in the Cilento, south of Naples. He considered himself an autodidact, having acquired his adult education by reading in the library of the convent of Santa Maria della Pieta at Vatolla. He won appointment to the university at the age of thirty-one (1699). The position was poorly paid, which caused him to accept commissioned works, such as the life of the military figure Antonio Carafa, and to offer private lessons to young students preparing for the law. In 1723 he lost his bid for a better chair. This experience became the turning point in his career. In 1735 Vico was appointed royal historiographer, and in 1741 he was succeeded in his professorship by his son Gennaro.