Bassantin (or Bassantoun), James (ca.
Scottish astrologer and mathematician, the son of the laird
of Bassandean in the Merse, Berwickshire, Scotland, born in
the reign of James IV. After studying mathematics at the University
of Glasgow, he traveled for further studies on the Continent.
He subsequently went to Paris, where for some years he
taught mathematics at the university. He returned to Scotland
in 1562.
There was a prevailing belief in judicial astrology at that
time, particularly in France. On his way home through England,
according to Sir James Melville’s memoirs, Bassantin
met with Sir Robert Melville (brother of Sir James), who was at
that time engaged on the part of the unfortunate Mary, Queen
of Scots in endeavoring to effect a meeting between her and
Elizabeth. Bassantin predicted that all his efforts would be in
vain, which proved to be true.
Bassantin was a zealous Protestant. His principal work is a
treatise on astronomy, written in French and translated into
Latin by John Tornaesius, which was published at Geneva in
1599. He wrote four other treatises on mathematics and horoscopes,
but they do not appear to have been published.

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