The art of seduction is old and for some reason, even though women are more frequently the ones seducing, we do not have a female figure, who is said to be "the greatest lover ever" or anything like that (fine, perhaps now we do). We do have famous womanizers, though, whom many of us call "casanovas", without actually knowing where the word comes from. Well, the greatest casanova of all time was, of course, Giovanni Giacomo Casanova, the infamous Venetian known for his ability to tempt pretty much any woman, man, or, possibly, alien he wanted to.
There was much more to him, though, than just outrageous womanizing. Further proving that seduction is an art for people of wit and intelligence, Casanova played many roles throughout his lifetime. He was a writter and wrote more than twenty books, some philosophical, some historical. He was also a playwrite, a politician, a businessman, a diplomat, a magician and even a spy. His story is an interesting one.
Giovanni Giacomo Casanova was born in Venice in 1725 to actress Zanetta Farussi, wife of actor Gaetano Giuseppe Casanova. Quite obviously a background very favorable if you intend to have many lovers. The funny thing is that Casaniva's real father was not Gaetano Giuseppe at all: it was one of his mother's many men (Michele Grimani, to be more precise). As a matter of fact, it is suspected that only one or two of Farussi's five children had a legitimate father.
After the death of his father, Casanova was sent to a boarding school, where he first had a sexual encounter at the age of eleven. He lost his virginity to two sisters at the age of sixteen - the same year he graduated from the University of Padua with a degree in Law. In 1740 he joined the Church and it is not difficult to say, having in mind his reputation, that it was a complete and utter failure. He never had a lot of time to spend on this career of his since he was, well, quite frankly, having sex all the time, after being taught how to properly behave in the higher circles of society by Alvise Gasparo Malipiero.
Afterwards he joined the millitary, which was also not to his liking and he abandoned it after a moment of boredom or two. Casanova then returned to Venice but was exiled in 1948 due to several reasons, the first of which is digging up a nobleman's corpse as a joke (which led the victim of the joke into an irrecoverable coma) and, as expected, for raping a young girl (of which he was later aquitted).
When exiled from Venice, Casanova spent time in Paris, Dresden, Vienna and Prague but returned to Venice after a few years only to be imprisoned for witchraft. He then escaped from prison (being the first one to do so from one of the most secure prisons of the time)and went to France again where he became a trustee of the first state lottery. As a self-proclaimed alchemist and Rosicrucian, which wasn't nearly the safest profession in town, Casanova became "an object of interest" and thus met many famous people, the bigger part of whom he undoubtedly made love to. Among those famous people are Jean-Jaques Russot, the famous politician/philosopher, Madame de Pompadour, the famous, eghem, free-spirited woman, the Count of St Germain, the famous magician and d'Alembert, the mathematician. Most of these people reflected on Casanova being a particularly charismatic, interesting and intelectual person.
Later on, Casanova sold state bonds in Amsterdam and due to the great success of the ordeal could buy a silk factory. The need for temptation struck back, however, and Casanova lost most of his money to multiple affairs with women, ended up in prison a few times and escaped again, this time to Switzerland.
He had the idea of becoming a monk (for reasons unknown), but quickly dropped it only to go visit Voltaire and Albrecht von Haller. Casanova then changed his name a few times, to look "cooler" no doubt and was presented with the Papal Order of the Éperon d'Òr (yet again for reasons unknown). To top it off, Casanova represented Portugal at the Augsburg Congress in an attempt to end the Seven Years' War.
Casanova was one of those people, who are successful at anything they put their hands on, whether it be politics, temptation or digging-up corpses. He spent the last years of his life unexpectedly humbly, however, working in the Castle of Dux as librarian, hated by most of its inhabitants and filled with discontent. Casanova even wrote in a letter that he didn't think he would publish his autobiography, because it was "a despicable story", which can only cause hatered of him.
Whatever may be the case, a man, whose last name becomes a commonly used word, is pretty much manlier than all X-men combined.