A Florentine nobleman, Dati was a disciple of Galileo (1564-1642) and, in his youth, an acquaintance of Evangelista Torricelli (1608-1647). He befriended Lorenzo Magalotti (1637-1712) and Francesco Redi (1626-1697). Redi dedicated his Esperienze intorno alla generazione degl'insetti [Experiments on the generation of insects] (Florence, 1668) to Dati. A founder of the Accademia del Cimento, Dati participated assiduously in its meetings. As Secretary of the Accademia della Crusca, he initiated the third edition of the Vocabolario (1691) and wrote the Discorso dell'obbligo di ben parlare la propria lingua (1657), in which he staunchly claimed the supremacy of Florentine Italian. He authored many scientific works, including the Lettera ai Filaleti della vera storia della cicloide e della famosissima esperienza dell'argento vivo [Letter to the Filaleti regarding the true story of the cycloid and the well-known sterling silver experience] (Florence, 1663), written under the pseudonym of Timauro Antiate. In it, he claimed the Tuscan - and thus Medicean - priority in the correct interpretation of Torricelli's 1644 experiment, which had sparked a lively discussion all over Europe. He also published many historical, political, and literary works, including the fascinating Vite de' pittori antichi [Lives of the old painters] (1667), dedicated to Louis XIV (1638-1715).