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  • 8/15/2004

Giovanni Battista Benedetti


(14Aug 1530 - 20Jan 1590)

    Giovanni Benedetti was taught philosophy, music and mathematics by his father. After the age of seven he seems to have had no formal education and certainly did not attend a university. Benedetti studied Euclid"sElements under Tartaglia, probably about 1546-1548, although they seem to have fallen out with each other.
   Benedetti was court mathematician to Duke Ottavio Farnese at Parma from 1558 until 1566. The following year he became ducal mathematician and philosopher, employed by the Duke of Savoy, a post he held until his death. He is also known to have taught in theUniversity ofTurin.
    Benedetti published De resolutione in 1553, a book of geometry, and other mathematical works followed. Issues of mechanics enter into his second book of geometry and were prominent in a later work.

In Parma he carried out astronomical observations, and he published a work on sundials. His interest in astrology was always obvious in his astronomical work.

    Extensive considerations of optical issues, including the camera obscura, are found in his works. He was one of the first to treat musical harmonies in terms of vibrations. However, his consideration of music is confined to two letters and seems less important in his work than other disciplines

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