Redi, Francesco (fränchāsˈkō rāˈdē) [key], 1626?–1698?, Italian naturalist, poet, philologist, and court physician to the dukes of Tuscany. Through controlled experiments he demonstrated that certain living organisms, notably maggots in rotting meat, did not arise, as had been alleged, through spontaneous generation. His Generation of Insects (1668, tr. 1909) is included in the nine-octavo edition (1809–11) of his complete writings. His chief poetical work was the dithyrambic ode Bacchus in Tuscany (1685; tr. by Leigh Hunt 1825).