Flavio Gioja

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Statute of Flavio Gioia in Amalfi by Alfonso Balzico, 1900

Flavio Gioia or Gioja (Italian pronunciation: [ˈflaːvjo ˈdʒɔːja]; c. 1300 – ?) is reputed to have been an Italian mariner and inventor, supposedly a marine pilot, and has traditionally been credited with perfecting the sailor's compass by suspending its needle over a fleur-de-lis design, and enclosing it in a little box with a glass cover. He was also said to have introduced such design, which pointed North, in deference to Charles of Anjou, the French king of Naples.[1]

Flavio Gioia's birthplace is alternately given as Amalfi, Positano, Naples, or Gioia, a town in Apulia, hence the derivation of the reputed surname.

The lunar crater Gioja is named after him.


Although to be clear Flavio Gioia did not invent the compass but he was part of a group of people who thought about the compass invention therefore he also was in charge of polishing the fascinating device.