Cardano, Girolamo

Cardano, Girolamo

▪ Italian physician and mathematician
Girolamo also spelled  Gerolamo , English  Jerome Cardan 
born September 24, 1501, Pavia, duchy of Milan [Italy]
died September 21, 1576, Rome
 Italian physician, mathematician, and astrologer who gave the first clinical description of typhus fever and whose book Ars magna (The Great Art; or, The Rules of Algebra) is one of the cornerstones in the history of algebra.

      Educated at the universities of Pavia and Padua, Cardano received his medical degree in 1526. In 1534 he moved to Milan, where he lived in great poverty until he became a lecturer in mathematics. Admitted to the college of physicians in 1539, he soon became rector. His fame as a physician grew rapidly, and many of Europe's crowned heads solicited his services; however, he valued his independence too much to become a court physician. In 1543 he accepted a professorship in medicine in Pavia.

      Cardano was the most outstanding mathematician of his time. In 1539 he published two books on arithmetic embodying his popular lectures, the more important being Practica arithmetica et mensurandi singularis (“Practice of Mathematics and Individual Measurements”). His Ars magna (1545) contained the solution of the cubic equation, for which he was indebted to the Venetian mathematician Niccolò Tartaglia (Tartaglia, Niccolò Fontana), and also the solution of the quartic equation found by Cardano's former servant, Lodovico Ferrari (Ferrari, Lodovico). His Liber de ludo aleae (The Book on Games of Chance) presents the first systematic computations of probabilities, a century before Blaise Pascal (Pascal, Blaise) and Pierre de Fermat (Fermat, Pierre de). Cardano's popular fame was based largely on books dealing with scientific and philosophical questions, especially De subtilitate rerum (“The Subtlety of Things”), a collection of physical experiments and inventions, interspersed with anecdotes.

      Cardano's favourite son, having married a disreputable girl, poisoned her and was executed in 1560. Cardano never recovered from the blow. From 1562 he was a professor in Bologna, but in 1570 he was suddenly arrested on the accusation of heresy. After several months in jail he was permitted to abjure privately, but he lost his position and the right to publish books. Before his death he completed his autobiography, De propria vita (The Book of My Life).

Additional Reading
Biographies include Angelo Bellini, Gerolamo Cardano (1947); Øystein Ore, Cardano, the Gambling Scholar (1953, reissued 1965); and Markus Fierz, Girolamo Cardano, 1501–1576 (1983).

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • CARDANO, Girolamo — (1501 1576) One of the most prolific writers of sixteenth century Italy, Girolamo Cardano is best known for his contributions to medical literature and mathematical schol­arship. He was born in Pavia on 24 September 1501, the illegitimate son of… …   Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary

  • Cardano, Girolamo — (1501 1576)    Italian physician, mathematician, and natural philosopher. Born in Pavia and educated there and at Padua, he supported himself during his student years as a gambler. One of his later writings, Liber de ludo aleae / Book on Games of …   Historical Dictionary of Renaissance

  • Girolamo Cardano — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Cardan. Girolamo Cardano Girolamo Cardano Naissance 24 septembre&# …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Girolamo — is an Italian variant of the name Hieronymus. Its English equivalent is Jerome.It may refer to:* Girolamo Cardano (1501 1576), Italian Renaissance mathematician, physician, astrologer and gambler * Girolamo da Cremona (fl. 1451 1483), Italian… …   Wikipedia

  • Cardano — Cardano,   Gerolamo (oder Girolamo, auch Geronimo), latinisiert Hierọnymus Cardanus, italienischer Mathematiker, Arzt und Philosoph, * Pavia 24. 9. 1501, ✝ Rom 20. 9. 1576; wirkte und lehrte in Mailand und Pavia, 1562 70 in Bologna; lebte danach …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Girolamo Cardan —     Girolamo Cardan     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Girolamo Cardan     (CARDANO, CARDANUS)     Italian physician and mathematician, b. at Pavia, 24 September, 1501; d. at Rome, 21 September 1576. He was educated at the Universities of Pavia and… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Girolamo Cardano — Stich von Cardano Gerolamo Cardano (auch Geronimo oder Girolamo; lateinisch Hieronymus Cardanus; * 24. September 1501 in Pavia; † 21. September 1576 in Rom) war ein Arzt, Philosoph und Mathematiker und zählt zu den Renaissance Humanisten …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Cardano — Stich von Cardano Gerolamo Cardano (auch Geronimo oder Girolamo; lateinisch Hieronymus Cardanus; * 24. September 1501 in Pavia; † 21. September 1576 in Rom) war ein Arzt, Philosoph und Mathematiker und zählt zu den Renaissance Humanisten …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Gerolamo Cardano — Infobox Scientist name = Gerolamo Cardano box width = image size =250px caption = Gerolamo Cardano birth date = September 24, 1501 birth place = Pavia death date = September 21 1576 death place = residence = citizenship = nationality = Italian… …   Wikipedia

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